Thursday, September 20, 2012


Greece is the best country ever. In practically any category of country comparison, Greece comes out on top. Greece has a long history of being the absolute best, too.

Consider the following firsts and bests Greece has on its score sheet:
  • Inventing democracy.
  • Inventing philosophy.
  • Inventing science.
  • Smartest person of all time: Aristotle.
  • Greek people are the best looking. Case in point: John Stamos and Jennifer Aniston are both of Greek extraction. Imagine how good looking their kids would be. I bluster at the thought.
  • Not only did greek people invent athletics, but the best athlete of all time, Shaquille O'Neal, goes by the nickname "The Big Aristotle." This is to imply that his athleticism is Greek inspired.
  • Best all-purpose pastry? The phyllo.
  • Best ever military leader? Alexander the Great. (Note: for the purposes of this review, Macedonia is in Greece).
The Greek people can also lay claim to very worthwhile advances in the fields of yogurt making, mathematics, and income tax evasion.

All in all, it makes for a great country.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Campagnolo Veloce Dual Pivot Brakeset

If you enjoy cycling, and I'm sure you do, you should really do so on a bicycle with excellent stopping ability. The history of bicycle braking systems is long and storied, and out of the scope of this blog. But for a brief rundown, there are several broad categories of bicycle brakes:
  1. Caliper brakes: these are generally seen on road bikes and on very cheap mountain bikes.
  2. Cantilever brakes: most used on older mountain bikes, hybrids, cyclocross bikes, and touring bikes.
  3. Disc brakes: used mainly on newer mountain bikes, but other bikes are available with these as well.
  4. Hub brakes: never particularly popular. I generally make fun of people who use these.
  5. Coaster brakes: The type of brakes where you back-pedal to slow down. Used on city bikes, beach bikes, and children's bikes.
  6. Spoon brakes: Old-assed highwheelers and shite bikes that people ride in China use these.
So as you now know, road bikes generally use caliper brakes. Road bikes sold before the mid-90s generally had single-pivot caliper brakes. These were surpassed by the now-popular dual-pivot design that provides better stopping power and modulation.

Bicycle aficionados the world round know the name Campagnolo, the legendary Italian components manufacturer. While Veloce is one of their least expensive offerings, I've roundly found these brake calipers to be more than satisfactory.

The brakes offer an all-metal forged construction, which promises strength, stiffness, and weight savings over inferior metal forming procedures.

At 339 grams for the pair, you won't be feeling the load of these brakes on your way up the cols.

I personally found that the included brake shoes are superb. They offer a large braking surface and the shoes are very adjustable so you can get them toed-in just right. It's a real pleasure working on these brakes.

The brakes also offer the customary Campy style. They have a clean, fast look.

Overall these brakes offer awesome performance, quality, and durability for a great price. I'm so proud.