Robot’s Useless Reviews – White Saddles and Tape

Like WKRP in Cincinatti’s Herb Tarlek with his matching white shoes and belt, a bike with a white saddle and the obligatory, complimentary bar tape says one thing, and one thing only, PURE CLASS. If, like me, your attempts at pulling off the clean and classy look of the pro peloton has only ever resulted in a decidedly off-white, even yellow, and quite possibly light brown motif, then you’re excused for your velo-faux-pas. Evidently you, also very much like me, lack the necessary class to pull it off.

I would also guess that you do not have a pro mechanic willing to freshen up your livery at the end of a long, hard day in the saddle, if only to give you a little lift as you soldier on in the eating-disorder and dope-fueled circus known as the Pro Tour. Heck, even an amateur mechanic with too much time on their hands could keep your ride looking clean and classy, but how many of you/us has that kind of time.

I know there is a whole cadre of well-meaning riders out there trying to emulate their pro heroes and heroines, but until they’re sponsored by some questionably funded multi-national and traveling around in a million-dollar bus, I don’t see the point. Yes, it looks Tarleky good, but from the moment you tighten the tilt bolt and finish off your wrap job with that finicky bit of electrical tape, there’s a timer running, and when it goes off you’re gonna look like a kindergartener’s finger-painting of the apocalypse.

Let me ask you this: What do you think when you walk into someone’s home for the first time and see that they’ve got white leather couches? Right! Cocaine dealer! Me too. And so, you’re right to be skeptical of your friends rolling up for your weekly group ramble on a carbon fiber drug couch. Why are you riding bikes with Scarface? Do you have a problem? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you’re riding bikes for the fun of it, or just for the convenient access to high-grade narcotics.

I’d go so far as to say that humans have no business making things they touch that are white. We’re filthy animals. We sweat from all parts of our retched bodies. We drop our chain, put it back on, and then claw our bars with greasy, sweaty mitts. Have you ever watched your friend pull into the aid station at mile 65 and wolf down a Chocolate Chip Clif Bar and a bag of Cheetos before hopping back on his/her shred sled? It is not conducive with white saddle and tape.

If you can keep a fresh, white set of bar tape clean for more than 15 minutes, you’re a better person than I am.

OK. There are a lot of reasons you are a better person than I am, but I think my point stands.

White hands are for mimes and high-end furniture movers. “Yes, Mrs. Vanderbilt! We will take exquisite care of your Steinway! Just let me push this invisible, sliding door out of the way, and we’ll get right to it! Someone pass me that not-really-a-rope.”

Do you know why toilet paper is white? It’s so you know when you’re done. That’s just a context-giver.

So look, don’t run down to your basement and pull the Flite Pro and matching Cinelli Cork tape off your rig. That would be wasteful. Instead, fire up a fresh Sharpie and color them both black, which is the color they should be. It goes without saying that you should not be wearing white bib shorts and gloves either, so when you start to sweat and all that Sharpie starts to run, it’ll just bleed right into your already black chamois and gloves. Then just keep on riding it that way until it all slowly disintegrates, whereupon you should get yourself a fresh black cockpit and saddle like a reasonable, non-coke-dealing person.


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