Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Meet the Wrench: Dale

Most of us have bikes and these bikes require some form of professional attention given our penchant for abusing these hightech pieces of carbon/aluminum. Or, if you recently snagged a bike from SpeedTheory (if you're snagging your bike from elsewhere there best be a good reason) it was likely in the hands of a man simply known as Dale.

A man of few words, most of them surly, Dale is usually found in his tool-laden fortress of solitude at the shop humming along to various rock tunes while delicately cabling some high performance ride. Strangely, not much is known about the origins of this bike guru. Over the years various unconfirmable rumors have surfaced including a year spent in the East-Asia Co prosperity sphere living underwater learning how to kill a man with a chain whip or a 5 mm Allen wrench.

We caught up with this intrepid man of international mystery after a month long stint as a lederhosen farmer in far reaches of California. Here is what he had to say:

So, Dale, thanks for talking with the SpeedTheoryBlog. Let's get into the tough questions. If you could be a bike part, which bike part would it be and why? Which frame would you have to be attached to?

most people would answer this as wanting to be a hot chicks bike seat but not me. The shorts get all the glory anyway. I would say a Chris King rear hub as they are complicated beautifully machined and most people don’t understand them but I would have to say a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost. I can be kind of lazy and I don’t want too many demands put on me. As for the frame I would be on, it would be Dario Pegoretti’s last frame (not that I hope he loses his battle with cancer).

Chris King does make a sweet hub. How about this: Picture yourself in a darkened alley. Stumbling drunkenly is a cycling parts designer that you've always wanted to slap because of their silly and unservicable parts designs. Which parts company would this designer work for?

Ah parts designers, I do strongly believe that the bicycle industry is where most engineering students go to work after they have failed or been kicked out of school. Picking one is so hard……

Ironically, you're likely right about the engineers. Ok, try this one: You're in a swank hotel room with the do not disturb sign on the door, were it legal, what parts group or specifically which part would you make sweet love to because it is so awesome?

I would say it is a toss up between Epidermis or Galoshes…. Oh! Sorry! Wrong question. Sweet love? I’m not sure most bike parts are kind of pokey and I am more of a take you home, have my way with you and not make you breakfast kind of guy. If I had to choose and it wasn’t going to steal my wallet when I fall asleep it would probably be a Chris King rear hub. A pink one!

Ha, the CK hub is getting a lot of attention Dale. Next up: What is the weirdest thing you have ever seen done to a bike you've been asked to work on?

I don’t know about weird but gross definitely comes to mind. There is one guys tri bike that I worked on that I had to replace the headset bearings on as they were kind of seized. They weren’t damaged from years of bad weather or road salt but URINE! I needed a hammer and screwdriver to get them out of the frame! Seriously guy, pee OFF the bike not ON! How did he pee there anyway? didn’t he get any in his aerobottle?

That may be the most frightening thing I have ever heard, a urine-seized seat post? Ok, let's shift topics: In a battle to the death Trevor Williams is pitted against Ursus arctos horribilis, commonly known as the grizzly bear, who would you bet on to win? Would your answer be different if Trev had his beard?

I actually know the true answer to this question. Trev Williams WITH the beard can easily defeat the bear. He just gives the bear that look and rips of his shirt and presto! Instant coronary for the bear. This is how he earned the nick name Tha Killa! Without the beard he is like a rosemary sorbet that the bear would use to cleanse his palate between courses.

Folks, I can't make this up . . . speaking of associates . . .Mark K comes into the shop and announces he's leaving cycling/Tri behind and joining cirque de soliel, how does that make you feel?

I would feel kind of numb as I would instantly envision those small female Chinese contortionists, Mark is the one with the green ribbons dancing magically through the air.

Well, I think Cirque de Soliel is ruined for me.
into the life of Speed Theory's wrench. And Folks remember, if it needs fixin' Dale is the guy.


Trev said...

Weird: Just last night I was talking to Gary and New-Rob about quitting mechanical engineering and designing bike parts for a living.

Rob said...

Hahaha, I love how we call new-Rob, new-Rob. Gary is lucky he's G1.

Anonymous said...


I thought you were an electrical engineer. That explains a lot...

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