100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 132,323

Bike Bling

Friday, September 28, 2012

Part 1: Bike Jargon on Colorado Public Radio

I was listing to Colorado Public Radio on the way to work. There is a spot on called "Colorado Matters", which covers topics of interest in the State.

The title of the spot was"Sorry, Leadville", and was an interview with M. John Fayhee who was plugging his book “Colorado Mountain Companion: A potpourri of useful miscellany from the highest parts of the highest state”. Here is the link to a recorded version:


For me, the most interesting part of the spot was the special jargon associated with certain activities like mountain biking and skiing. Mr. Fayhee related that he was sitting in a bar in Leadville and overheard a conversation between two mountain bikers. He said as he listened, he had no idea what information was being relayed between the two bikers. He also noted that the two men were his age and not teenagers. He decided to include in his book a section on the jargon, terms and vocabulary of common high-altitude activities in Colorado.

The interviewer, Zach Barr" decided to test Mr. Fayhee on mountain biking jargon. I listened with trepidation. If you don't know the lingo, then you are a either a poser, cleanie or worse - a fred!

The first question was "to taco?".

Great! I knew that one! I had taco'ed my front wheel on my Stumpjumper hardtail at Buffalo Creek. I was bombing down a gnarly downhill, hit a tank trap, went endo and cheese grated my knees and elbows. The front wheel was wonked-out and I had to do portage of the bike back to the rack.

The second question was "Three Hour Tour?". Ok, that stumped me. The answer is a short ride that turns into a long ride. The reference is from Gilligan's Island. BTW, a "long ride" is often called a "death march".

The third question was "WIld Pigs". I knew that one all too well. "Wild Pigs" are squealing brakes. My Stumpjumper FSR Carbon Expert (Ultra Stumpy) put me on my face after my squealing brakes overheated and locked-up.

I am sure that every activity has special Jargon. A sewing club probably uses colorful terms. A sewing club member may use derisive language to describe another member, "Mabel is such a pattern-wonk. She can't track a stitch unless it is pinned to paper!" Perhaps Mabel has comments of her own, "Ethel is such a techno-weenie. She's got an Ultra-Stitch 9000 and can't sew a straight line!" (Note: I am making this stuff-up but you get the idea.)

Jargon and slang is: (1) a way to communicate complex ideas very quickly, and; (2) a way to immediately identify someone as belonging to the group. Here is a link to a pretty good cycling glossary:


Quiz: Where would you expect to hear, "My gun time was 26:01, but my chip time was 25:41."

Part 2: Bike Bling

My darling 26" Specialized Camber Comp came from the factory with a great suspension and great frame. The bike fits the way I ride. Here is a cool video of a Specialized Camber 26.


The Camber is a lot of bike for under 20 benjamins. The Camber is quick. However, my Camber Comp would be a lot more suited where I ride with some techno-bling.

I ordered some great bling from on-line cycling stores. I saved a ton of money.

I got this Shimano XT crank for $199. The list is $380. This crank is super light, strong and blingy! High-end parts are pretty parts. This XT crank has 8 machined "short teeth" in the 44T ring, called "shift points". Shifting happens faster that 1/20th of a crank rotation. Sometimes the stock Alivio setup would take several crank rotations to shift.

The XT crank is also very rigid with low- friction bearings to efficiently transmit pedal strokes into motion. This is fast bling!

To help with the shifting chores I bought an XT front derailleur.

This upgraded XT derailleur is more rigid than the stock SLX; and is lighter, has finer adjustments, better spring and more precise motion. And is more blingy!

Of even greater importance is the rear derailleur. I bought a 9-speed XT Shadow rear derailleur.

The XT Shadow is a seriously good piece of bling! The XT components for a 3x9 are silver. The XT components for a 3x10 are black and look pretty cool. I decided to stick with the slightly out-of-date 27 speed. ( Note: 3 rings on the crank times 9 cogs on the rear equals 27 speeds.)

To round out the upgrade I got XT shifters. These shifters don't look very "blingy". However, these units are precise and smooth.

The red pointer shift indicators let you know what gear you are in. Your legs let you know which gear you are in.

I bought an XT Hyper-Glide 93 chain. Even the XT chain has bling.

This is a low friction chain with zinc and chrome plating for corrosion resistance.

I have high school football games to "ref" this weekend and won't be able to install my bling until Sunday. I am thinking of taking the bike down to Green Mountain Cyclery and having them install the bling.

Thanks for reading my blog.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great link - nice bling- really enjoyed .
    1995 days ago
    Every group does have it's own jargon. To an outsider it can be a foreign language. But we each have our groups that we pick up the jargon in. By the way, I knew the answer to the quiz questions since I run a few races. But didn't know your bike jargon. But that's okay, cause none of us can know everything. I work with elderly and disabled and in my work group APS refers to Adult Protective Services. Our local news channel on tv, ( I live in a rural area in the southern part of New Mexico) comes from Albuquerque. I don't listen to the news often, but it always through me when I do and makes me think a minute when I hear them mention APS, which in their area refers to Albuquerque Public Schools. Whether its in our jobs or our hobbies we all have a special language :).
    Your bling sounds awesome! Hope you get to try it all out soon!
    1996 days ago
  • MPLANE37
    Great blog. I get to learn what to look for in the next bike.
    1997 days ago
    Nice bling! Thanks for the link. I found some great articles.
    1997 days ago
  • BILL60
    That's some real technical stuff. Us "roadies" try to keep it simple.
    1997 days ago
  • NWFL59
    At risk of sounding like a Freddie, your bling looks nice and of high quality. Hope you do a better job officiating your games than the NFL subs. Oiy! emoticon
    1997 days ago
  • KA_JUN
    Sweet, very interesting topic about the language of subcultures. Nice parts, for sure!
    1998 days ago
    Nice bling!! :-)
    Yes, I'm sure most...if not all, activities have jargon.
    Have fun "reffing".
    1998 days ago
    Ooooooooooooo shiny! emoticon
    1998 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.