April 5, 2008

2 things I wonder about

First, for all of the bike geeks, the second thing has to do with bicycles, so don’t freak out. We’ll get there in a minute.

So here’s the first thing I wonder: why isn’t recycled toilet paper (or any toilet paper) brown? Now, when you pulp up wood (or old paper) to make new paper, you have to bleach it to get it really white. Great for writing up the great American novel or whatever, but doing it to wipe your ass seems silly to me, *especially* with the recycled stuff (which is, natch, what Sarah and I get). I mean, how much extra energy and gnarly chemicals does it take to turn something white that’s going to be used for butt-wiping? Doesn’t that defeat the whole point of making it from recycled paper?

When I started ranting about this to Sarah, she said “People would never buy brown toilet paper”. When I pressed her on this point, she added “because they’re all stupid”. Hmm. She might be right, there.

So now, on to the bike rant. My good pal McCalla recently started using something I haven’t seen before – an SDG “I-beam” saddle and seatpost. I took one look at the design of this post and saddle and said something along the lines of “all other saddles are obsolete”. Then I did a little research and realized that they’ve been around for several years, but they haven’t really managed to become very popular, as far as I can tell.

Here are a few fun facts about the saddle/post setup:
-You’ve got something like 60mm of fore-aft adjustment, instead of maybe 20-30mm with a conventional saddle.

-Adjustment of tilt/angle and fore-aft, plus clamping, is accomplished with one nice strong bolt. Simple! Yes, if the bolt broke, you’d be screwed – but the same can be said of any conventional seatpost – in fact, conventional posts just have more things that can break, and all of them are just as critical.

-The saddle weighs 125 grams. And it has *actual padding* and kevlar sides, so that you don’t have to buy a new one every time you make the mistake of, say, leaning the bike up against a wall. No carbon shell on ti rails idiocy here.

-They’re CHEAP. A