First, THE MOTHER OF ALL TRIGGER (heh) WARNINGS!!! BEWARE! If you’re prone to sucking your thumb in the fetal position because you don’t like facts that don’t fit into your narrow-minded view, this post will likely have you drooling in a heap in the corner. If you can’t handle the truth, move along. We wouldn’t want to have anyone suffer a conniption!
Second, before you get all indignant, I do wear a mask. I wear a mask for work, unless I’m outside and/or distanced from others. I wear a mask every time I go into a store. I wear a mask, well, wore a mask when my wife and kids went out to eat, before our knuckleheaded governor decided to disembark from “the science” and shut down dining in our state (science shows spreading of only 1.7% to 4% of cases in dining circumstances [depending on the source], last I saw reported – bars are a different matter). In fact, most Americans do, at least as I’ve seen. I’d be willing to bet we’re north of 90%.
Anyway, I did struggle with wearing a mask at first. Seeing others who refused had me feeling I should rebel as well because I didn’t agree at all with our governor granting herself the authority to be a one-state dictator. You know, while I’m on that, it never ceases to amaze me the consternation over president Trump being a supposed dictator when Democrat governors the country over are showing people exactly what “dictator” looks like and… crickets. Ours governor is among the worst, but thank God for Minnesota. Also, thankfully we have a legit supreme court that held her in check. Even the libs on our court shut her emergency orders down. Our governor likes to claim the vote was 4-3 along party lines, but she’s misrepresenting the ruling. That’s lying, for those in Rio Linda, to borrow a phrase.
So, you want to know why some people still refuse to wear masks? Hmmm… Let’s see now…
Before I get to the real answer, ask the governor of Michigan why people don’t wear masks. Perhaps it would be best to ask Nancy Pelosi, or Cuomo, or Fauci why they don’t wear masks. How about president Trump? We know why he doesn’t wear one (same reason as everyone else), but he’s certainly no worse than any of the other examples above. At least he’s honest about when and why he’ll wear one.
People refuse to wear masks because they’re sick of the lies, games and manipulation – put simply, they’re tired of politicians being politicians with a virus.
Forgive me if I don’t want to listen to whining politicians, servants, who expect us to blindly follow rules they bend or ignore laws to make but then refuse to follow those same rules themselves. I wear a mask because I care about those around me, and I have to do a lot of interacting with others for my job. It makes sense to me that I should, so I let all of the rest of that crap slide down the hill behind me. That said, I certainly understand why there are those who refuse to wear a mask. They’re saying, “If you don’t have to wear one, I don’t. This is still America, motherf***er.”
That’s exactly why people refuse wear masks. First politicians lied about their necessity so people wouldn’t horde the N95 masks. Then those same politicians couldn’t bother to follow their own rules – even when they knew cameras were on them (and sometimes when they didn’t – all the better)… Politicians, you want others to wear a mask? You first, you pampas asses*.
Now, all of that said, I don’t agree with people who, like the politicians above, don’t wear masks. I have a special dislike for those who wear them around their chin, or just over their mouths. I think they’re silly. But what I don’t like or don’t agree with is my business. I don’t make a big deal about it, I simply refuse to go near those people. I do recognize their right to be wrong and I understand why they’re fed up. I am, too. I’m simply fed up behind a mask.
* In all fairness, it appears someone got through to governor Whitmer on the optics because she does wear her mask during press conferences now. Finally.
There’s a new fad out there in cycling that says, in respect to aerodynamics, your wheel’s rims should be a millimeter, even two, wider than your tire. 23mm wide rim? 23mm tire. 25mm rim? 23, 24, maybe a 25mm tire, max.
It makes a difference, the width of the rim. Having your rim wider than your tire has an effect on aerodynamics, but the question is how much? A better question is, is it even worth it for a weekend warrior cyclist to worry about this in the first place? That’s the real question.
The video I saw, going from memory, claimed an advantage of a few meters in a 45-mph sprint that lasts 20-ish seconds. A few meters to a pro can mean the difference between a win and 2nd, 3rd, or even an off the podium finish. That’s YUGE, as they say!
But how about for we weekend warriors? I’ve had friends adamantly recommend to newer riders that they make sure their tires are, at best, the same width as the outside width of the rim, but it’s better if they’re a millimeter less.
This little thought experiment gets fun when we take the aero argument apart for we non-pro cyclists. First, we have to accept reality. I can’t hit 45-mph unless I’ve got a very steep hill I’m descending. 35 on a flat? Sure, with a good lead-out, but that extra 10-mph… that’s a lot of watts I can’t put to the pedals.
Now, we know that the power required to move the bike forward increases exponentially with speed because of wind resistance. At 45-mph, you’d need to be putting between 900 & 1,100 watts out. Your average 18-mph ride without wind assistance is around 125 watts (give or take). So, to go 2.5 times faster, you’ll have to push out 8.8 times the watts. Now, that 40-ish-mph is around 60 feet per second, over 20 seconds, that’s 1,200 feet (or 365 meters). You’re going to go three meters or 10′ further because your tires are a millimeter less in width than the rims, which works out to just under two-tenths of a second (0.167) over the length of the sprint.
Now, back to that 18-mph ride – hopefully you can see where this is going because I’m lost in a sea of mathematics… Basically, over that 20 seconds, by the time you factor in the drag, you’re going to gain about a thirty-second of an inch if your tires aren’t quite the width of your rims. Put in perspective, stand and hammer for one full pedal-stroke before resuming at your normal pace. That’s your three meters better, minimum, rather than that measly 1/32″. In other words, making sure your rims are wider than your tires is about as useless as useless gets until you’re cracking along at 30-mph. Even then, if they’re even close, it shouldn’t matter.
However, let’s be thorough, rather than simply dash the hope of free speed out of hand… or a little more thorough, anyway.
On my Venge, because I’ve got better clearance than on my Trek, I run 26mm Specialized Turbo Pro tires on 50 mm deep x 25 mm wide wheels (the first two photos from the left). As you can see, especially by the second photo, the profile is fantastic from an aerodynamic standpoint. Having the 26mm tires also provides a massive improvement in ride characteristics on chip & seal roads over a 23 or 24mm tire (I’ve ridden both). Therefore, any benefit I might get from running a 24mm tire is completely washed out by the reality that I’ll be much faster with the more comfortable ride.
My Trek 5200 is a vastly more interesting case study. On my Trek, with limited clearance, I’m currently running 25mm Michelin Pro4’s on 38mm deep x 23mm wide wheels. Now, until I upgraded to carbon fiber wheels, I was running 19.5mm-wide alloy wheels. I couldn’t fit 25mm wheels on the bike with the alloy wheels because the 19.5mm with caused the tires to “lightbulb”. Every time I’d get out of the saddle to climb a hill the tires would rub the chainstays. With the 23mm wide rims and 25mm tires, though, I’ve got plenty of clearance due to the diminished bulb effect. The 25’s on my 23mm wide rims, pumped to 90 psi (6.2 bar) are a perfect mix of comfort and decent rolling resistance. I dare not go lower as 85 is a little squishy, and I disdain squishy.
In the end, with the setup I’ve got I can’t imagine I’m losing more than a second over 40 miles if I were to stick to 25’s on the 25mm wide rims and 23’s on the 23mm wide rims… and I’m gaining a lot more than that second in comfort using wider tires. I’ll save that little bit of nitpicking to the pros who are fast enough to benefit from it. Until our governor starts paying me to ride my bike again, at least. Then, once I’m a pro again, maybe I’ll consider a change. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was you.