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Headset for rainbike..(45 posts)

Headset for rainbike..gray8110
Sep 29, 2002 11:02 PM
Ok, I have a frame, fork and most of the necessary components for my rainbike.. but now I need a headset.. I've held off on deciding here because it seemed kind of an important decision given that it is a rainbike. I'm not really sure what to think here. I'm generally only going to be using the bike as a rainbike.. so.. would it be wiser to go with a cheaper headset (easier to replace when something goes wrong)or a more expensive/durable model. As this is a 1" threadless steerer, it comes down to a Ritchey, Cane Creek C-1 or Campy Chorus on the low end or Chris King on the high end.


Anyone you like and...Eager Beagle
Sep 30, 2002 6:13 AM
just stretch a bit of old inner tube over the top of it to keep the water out. I think you'll get old wearing out a chorus headset anyway...
Agree w/the inner tube trickSilverback
Sep 30, 2002 3:55 PM
I used to do that with my beaters and mud bike, and it works really well. You can slide one over the bottom, too, if you pull it down over the steerer tube before you assemble the bike.
re: Headset for rainbike..DINOSAUR
Sep 30, 2002 8:28 AM
I went with a Cane Creek C-1 on my beater bike. Only downfall is I have to order replacement bearings from Cane Creek directly as my LBS doesn't carry Cane Creek in stock.
If money is no object the Campy Chorus is a step up. Chris King is too much money for me on a rain bike...IMHO
Sep 30, 2002 10:34 AM
I didn't know there was a "rain spec." What does it look like and how is it different from a "sun spec."

Rain bike
Sun bike
Cloud bike
Night bike
Day bike
Climbing bike
Beater bike
Descending bike
Cornering bike
Cafe bike
Poseur bike

Where does it end? I think people are getting way too carried away with this whole specialization concept. True there are some merits to things like time trials and various disciplines, but what is so special about rain that you'd dedicate a couple thousands dollars to riding in it on a regular basis? How about not riding in it or just wiping your bike down afterwards? Geez, wouldn't a true "rain bike" require a carbon or titainium frame to deal with the corrosion issues? Better get all sealed bearings in the wheels like Ksyriiums and only top components like Record or Dura Ace. Hey wait, this looks a lot like my climbing, bike which looks a lot like my century bike, which looks a lot like my double century bike and it's exactly like my descending bike, and there's an amazing similarity to my ONLY bike which happens to get riden in the rain when it happens.

How many bikes do you *really* need vs. want?
So true...Mike Prince
Sep 30, 2002 10:40 AM
I have 2 bikes right now, my road bike and my mountain bike. Road bike is set up to my liking so I don't see a need for a second/third/fourth one, in fact just sold my old Cannondale earlier this year. The Steelman gets ridden in every conceivable weather condition (lots of rain, snow, even sunshine!) without reservation but with proper maintenance.

I agree about the glut of climbing/commuter/rain bike threads lately. Makes me glad that I have a bike that does what I want/need.
Sep 30, 2002 11:18 AM
Geez. Would it please you guys more if he said that it was just a secondary bike? Lay off. It was a question and isn't that what we're here for? I too have a rain bike...just happens to be one that's around 8yrs old and I kept it when a new one found it's way into my garage this year. Lord forbid I decide to call it my "Beater Bike" as I'd get flamed for that. How about this. If you don't like the question, don't reply to it. Or better yet, just go away.

In answer to the question: Just find something that's sealed real well. I don't know how newer threadless units are, but if they have cartridge bearings, you're pretty well set.
Oh mygrzy
Sep 30, 2002 2:36 PM
So besides being a master of the obvious (sealed headsets R gud) and unable to take your own advice (if you don't like something then shutup) what did you have to add other than being defensive?
Oh myclintb
Oct 3, 2002 6:45 AM
Are you completely devoid of any diplomacy? I'm certainly not a politically correct person, but at least I don't go out of my way to be condecending and mean.
Oh mygrzy
Oct 4, 2002 9:52 AM
Oh I dunno - some times my kid gloves get left at home other times I have trouble typing with them on.

The wife won't let me have a dog so I've got nothing to kick when I get home ;-)

Kind of a persistent problem with writing on the net: trying to be direct and having a cynical/sarcastic nature vs. being so polite and PC that you don't say anything. Probably need to take more deep breaths (and Prozac) and sprinkle more smiley faces on everything I write. Yup, no doubt about it I use too many strong words and I'm way too opinionated for my own good. Either that or I'm just plain evil. ;-b
Sep 30, 2002 11:43 PM
Try a new FRM threadless. They work pretty well. they're sealed bearings and come with little O rings at the seals. Cheaper than the other-if you can find them.
rain bikesEric_H
Sep 30, 2002 12:27 PM
If one lives in the Pacific NW the need for a RAIN bike is understood. From November until March it is pretty much the only bike ridden. Fenders and flaps are a must.

For the record:

Rain bike - Kona Jake the Snake CX with fenders/flaps
Back-up bike (aka "old race bike" and "dry-day winter bike") - Marinoni EL/OS
Primary/race bike - Merlin XL
Sep 30, 2002 6:56 PM
Christ man.. move to Oregon.. buy a $5000 bike and tell me if you want to risk riding it in the rain 3 months out of the year.
Define the risk. -nmgrzy
Oct 1, 2002 8:42 AM
"Risk" is not the right wordingEric_H
Oct 1, 2002 9:42 AM
I say this because sure, one is really not "risking" anything by riding the $5K bike in the rain. However, it is common knowledge that riding in the rain wears out parts and IMO, it is better to wear out and replace cheap parts.

I live in the Vancouver, BC area and we have very wet winters. To ride in a group, fenders with a rear mud flap extension are pretty much required to keep the spray off of other riders' faces. Most group rides have mandatory fender/flap requirement. The front flap is for personal protection, to keep the feet drier.

Personally, I don't want the hassle of having to mount fenders on my race bike every fall. I have a CX bike, which has tons of clearance for fenders, eyelets, and relatively cheap components. I give it a tune-up before rainy season (new cables, brake pads, pack the hubs, etc) and then I ride it with little more than washings and chain lubings.

I think one has to live in an environment where the rain bike makes sense before passing judgement as to its validity. Just about every single serious rider in the Pacific NW has a winter (rain) bike.
"Risk" is not the right wordinggray8110
Oct 1, 2002 10:48 AM
Thanks.. that's exactly my point.. risk is an accurate term in my thoughts though as well because even with fenders you're dealing with sanded and sometimes graveled roads (at least in oregon)during winter which sandblasts the paint on the bottom of your frame.. plus the sand makes the traction worse on a narrow tired bike and a crash is more likely..
Fair 'nuffgrzy
Oct 1, 2002 2:01 PM
Does New England count for a place that has winter? How about being a paperboy for three years and riding my bike every single day? How about attending school in central New York for over six years with a bike as primary means for transportation?

Rain doesn't actually wear anything out. Water itself not abrasive unless under extremely high pressure. Rather it's the grime, corrosion and not maintaining a bike after riding in the rain that wears things out. It's kind of funny, but as far as MTBs go I don't see anyone pulling out their rain bike. And gee, when we're all done riding in the water, mud and grime we break out the hose and soap and wash the bikes down. Now correct me if I'm wrong but other than using stainless steel on the two smaller chainrings isn't the technology on a MTB virtually identical to a roadbike?

What I criticise is this whole concept of having to have a quiver of bikes for every single type of condition that one might imagine when in reality one good bike pretty much meets all of the requirements. Not that there's anything wrong with having a couple bikes, but I get kind of nauseous with all this overt anal obsessive compulsive bike fetish being tossed around. How come the people that have "climbing bikes" don't also have "descending bikes". Makes perfect sense doesn't it? ;-) Since we originally started with headsets for "rain bikes" what about the proper stem for a rain bike? Proper valve stem caps for a rain bike?
Oct 1, 2002 7:36 PM
Would you think differently if you raced, where every second counts?

A "quiver" of bikes can offer the best tool for the job. Yes, some people do have "descending" bikes. What about those idiotic 50 pound motorcycles without motors the young downhiller freaks use?

I just finished my climbing bike prep for the 508. Came in at 12.5 pounds. Now, that with no rear brake, no large chain ring, and no front derailleur or shifter, but who needs those things climbing? That's about 3 pounds less than a light road racing bike. That's enough to make a measureable difference, and it feels soooooo good.

Call if "fetish," if fetish means "faster."

Oct 2, 2002 1:41 PM
Racing always puts things in a different light and the ends always justifies the means. It's probably safe to say that only a minority of people who have a quiver of bikes race and even those that do race may not as often as one might think. I don't really mean to force people to justify how they choose to spend their time and money - there are far worse things in life. In the end it's always best ot get someone else to foot the bill when possible, but when gettng established or in a pursuit where there's no money or it's just a hobby then it's up to yourself. Deciding if it's worth it it totally personal - is it something you do once or virtually every day. Hey, I currently run 5 pairs of skis and not one of them skis like any other. Slalom vs. giant slalom vs. super G. vs. powder vs. all mountain, but hey they're just skis right?

I guess the thing that gets me is what appears to be an arbitrary segmentation for the sake of owning another bike when in reality they work well in other areas and entire segments are being neglected. If you need a climbing bike then doesn't it stand to reason that you must also have a descending bike? Why would one have a steel framed rain bike equiped with crappy non-sealed components when obviously an non corrosive ti or carbon frame with sealed bearings all around would be a much smarter choice? I get a laugh out of the guy that claims his Merlin XL is his racing bike - he must be rich and not mind the flex - or not race very much. What about a Wednesday bike?

Fetish - an object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence. Sometimes all this attention doesn't equate to being faster - I grew up in the world of racing sailboats and know all about spending huge amounts of time and money in search of a few seconds on the race course. Sailboat racing makes bicycling look like a ghetto sport! Sometimes the best thing in the world is a little more rest. ;-) It's kind of funny, but often times the guys that get all obsessed about having all of the specialized gear get their clocks cleaned by the people who have just one bike. I guess this is a kind of a not so subtle reference to Ms. Berge aka The Bumble Bee.

Good luck on the 508! I was able to hit 48 mph in the dark coming down the steep side of Townes Pass from Death Valley. Would've gone a little faster had I ever been down the road before and not been worried about the grapefruit sized rocks in the road I noticed on the trip out to DV. Total hoot coming across the desert under a full moon - we only used the lights when cars approached.
Merlin XL racerEric_H
Oct 2, 2002 3:55 PM
I don't really want to get into a pissing match, but since you "get a laugh" out of me, I'll have to respond. I should have probably stayed out, but I find your tone very judgemental and a little bit arrogant.

First off, by most standards I am a reasonably serious regional racer. I race at the cat 1 level and I am competitive in the Pacific NW while maintaining a full time job. Yes, I ride a Merlin XL and I find it to ride pretty much like the bikes I have preferred in the past which have been steel bikes. I do not feel the flex is exceptional, and the durability factor is worth the trade off in weight and flex. I have raced on aluminium frames before, and been victimized by having them break right before a big week of racing. Bike racing is all about the next big thing in terms of technology, and I guess because I'm sacrificing a few grams and some stiffness to NOT ride the latest alu/carbon hype-bike then I am not a serious racer.

As for my being rich, well, it depends in what context. Compared to many cat 1 riders who have a part time job, yes, I might seem "rich". Compared to the rest of society, I would not be "rich".

I think I will stick to only replying to technical threads where someone might actually find me helpful and not amusing. I suggest you do the same.
Touchy touchygrzy
Oct 2, 2002 5:02 PM
For a minute there you almost sound defensive.

So what's it like crashing on a bike that costs that much? Any idea how many aluminum frames you could buy for that kind of money and still be ahead? Having a rich life isn't about money.

Glad to see that you find me amusing - try not to take everything so seriously.
re: Touchy touchyEric_H
Oct 2, 2002 6:19 PM
Maybe I am being a bit defensive, but you did more or less judge both my financial status and my racing by the bike I ride.

As to your questions....crashing sucks no matter what bike one is riding. I have had one crash on it so far, a slide-out in a wet race. Very lucky to sustain zero damage to anything. For the most part, frames survive crashes, and it is components like STI/Ergo levers, wheels, handlebars, and saddles which take the abuse. Ti is fairly dent resistant, so I will expect it to fare better than steel or aluminium. It is also very shock absorbent, so in theory it *might* survive a crash that would bend/buckle a steel or alu bike. I'll leave carbon out of the discussion as its properties are significantly different.

As for how many alu frames I could buy, well, I did not pay anywhere near retail for the Merlin. But you are correct, I could likely kill a couple of Giant TCRs for the price of the Merlin. I guess I'll take my chances.

Bumble BeeDougSloan
Oct 2, 2002 7:03 PM
She is absolutely amazing. She rides a heavy, cheaper Colnago bike that doesn't even fit her, according to her. I think she does have one other bike, though.

But, that's nothing. She also doesn't even train much. I gave her and another racer a ride down to the Central Coast Double this year, and we got a chance to talk about training quite a bit. You know what? She doesn't. She commutes to work at 13 mph, and just gets out once in a while. It's just not fair.

Yes, she does better than I do with just one bike. That's apples and oranges, though. The meaningful question is whether she would be faster with multiple bikes. I bet she would.

The west side of Townes is sort of spooky with all the rocks. I've been down that side twice, but not in the dark. Not sure I would.

Hopefully, the team will let me take the Townes descent this time. I'll use my Cervelo with deep front, disc rear, very low position, and 56x11 gearing -- my *descending* bike!


Sep 30, 2002 7:04 PM
Christ man.. Move to Oregon.. buy a $5000 bike and tell me honestly that you would want to use it november thru march. You need a secondary bike in Oregon. In my case it's a bike with a $50 used frame, old components and wheels. Now with the cost of the frame and headset which I have to buy the total cost of the bike will be about $120 depending on which headset I buy.. I was consdering buying a fork, but decided instead to use an old alum fork that my LBS sold me for $10.. So now I have an everyday bike, a rainbike and a mountain bike..
I need two.Andy M-S
Oct 1, 2002 7:54 AM
How many bikes do you *really* need vs. want?

I have a very nice Bianchi road bike (Total cost, including frame, repaint, new/used components: Around $1,000.

I also have a single-speed rain bike. Tange steel, no derailers, plastic saddle, full fenders. Total cost was around $150.

That's where it ends. BTW, so-called "sealed" bearings often aren't so sealed. I suspect that decent quality ball-bearing hubs can be sealed just as well against the elements.

For me, what makes it a rain bike is that it has a minimum number of parts to get gucked up (hence, no derailers) and fenders, to keep some of the road junk off the rider. It also means that I have a bike that I'm not paranoid about getting wet...

If you have a good bike that can take fenders, and you're willing to spend a lot of time taking care of your drivetrain, and/or the roads aren't gritty where you ride, maybe you don't need a rain bike. But I think that I do...
Sealed means sealedgrzy
Oct 1, 2002 10:33 AM
Take a good look at a true sealed precision bearing and compare it to any loose ball arrangement, even with the best labarynth seals. There's really no comapirson and it's the reason why a Chris King headset is warrantied for ten years, for example. The Phil Wood BB has been in my old Motobecane for over 20 years, has been halfway around the world and back (Diego Garcia and the Philippines) and never been serviced or even removed. Point is a quality bike with quality componentry is far better off as a rain bike than some POS beater made from crap components. I've got no qualms about riding my Serotta in the rain, but if it's raining it means it's snowing in the mountains and skiing powder is way more fun. Riding in the rain is like practicing bleeding - there are somethings you just don't need to do if you can possibly avoid them. If it happens then you deal with it, but the whole concept of devoting resources and time to rain specific riding is ludicrous.
Devoted to the rainEric_H
Oct 1, 2002 11:02 AM
Well, if life is all about doing the most "fun" thing at any given time, then I agree, why ride in the rain!

However, for the serious racer (guilty as charged), putting in the base miles in winter does require preparation to ride in almost any weather condition (or the money to winter in SoCal or Arizona). Is it fun? Sometimes yes, but a lot of the time, no. Some days the only thing that gets me through a wet training ride is knowing that if I can train in "this" weather, racing on a bad weather day in the spring won't seem so bad. Before I sound like a real hardman, I will say freezing rain and black ice keep me off the roads. The crashing risks are just much too high in those conditions.
Devoted to the rain / nightDougSloan
Oct 1, 2002 12:32 PM
I don't do anything special for rain riding, except if I have a choice, I ride my cheap fixed gear Bianchi Pista. I keep 28 mm tires on it, so there's a little more rubber on the road. Also, I keep reflective tape and lights on it always, as it is also my "night bike." I don't like changing things around all the time, nor do I like keeping lights and stuff on a bike I ride mostly during the day or for racing. Having one bike dedicated to night/rain makes sense to me. Plus, The Pista has fewer parts to get chewed up or gunked up from road crap you get in the rain.

Now that I have a Computrainer, all of that may be moot. But, of course, I do have a dedicated "trainer bike" for that. :-)

Oct 1, 2002 1:07 PM
I've got an old (77?) Motobecane Le Champion stored under our house. Silver Lilac paint, Campy Nuervo Record, Stronglight crank. Maybe I'll make a project out of restoring this thing. What year is yours????

Oct 1, 2002 2:09 PM
My first Moto was a Grand Touring circa '74. My next one was a Grand Jubile circa '77 or '78. It's black with mostly Suntour Supurbe and Campy parts on it 'cept for the Phil BB. Still have both of them. As fate would have it my fufutre wife also has a Jubile! My brother has a silver lilac Le Champion of around the same year. Very nice riding bike to this day and secretly I lust for getting the thing away from him.
Oct 1, 2002 7:39 PM
Now that I remember, my very first serious road bike was a Motobecane Grand Touring ('74). I've sort of forgotten about the Le Champion I have stored under the house. Might be a good project for the winter.
Sealed means sealed--or does it?Andy M-S
Oct 3, 2002 8:48 AM
Wellll...I have two sets of wheels for my road bike. One set has Shimano 105 hubs with loose balls, the other has Real hubs with SKF sealed bearings.

I've had to replace sealed bearings twice, apparently due to the infiltration of fine dust particles.

The 105's roll as smoothly as when they were new.

Sealed is sealed only within limits.
Yer rightgrzy
Oct 4, 2002 9:41 AM
Actually, there's quite a bit to it and that's why there's ratings for service life and environment. I suspect you could use a better sealed bearing than what was spec'd in your Real hubs and probably end your problems. However, your original point remains - the sealed bearing wasn't so sealed. Doesn't mean that it couldn't work correctly it just means that Real used an inadequate bearing for the application for some reason (i.e. cost, availability, ignorance, etc.). Bearings on my Ksyriums are doing just fine after 3 seasons of use and abuse. Sealed bearings can do just fine in all sorts of applications including the military, marine, and desert environments. Bicycles are relatively simple in comparison. Ultimately the loose ball setup is going to come up short. Just like a watch - nothing is truly "water proof", but rather "water resistant". I feel a whole lot better submerging my MTB while crossing streams with sealed bearings than with the old style loose balls. Experience has shown that the loose ball setup doesn't take kindly to this kind of abuse.
Oct 1, 2002 8:02 AM
My "beater bike" is my second bike. It was my main ride but took second fiddle when I purchased my current bike (a poseur). I can only ride one bike at a time and I prefer to be a poseur. I use it when I'm climbing, descending, cornering, riding in the clouds (do a lot of that), never at night, never in the rain, and it likes a lot of sun.

My beater bike never rides in the clouds, never seen at cafes, climbs good, sees occasional rain, corners like crap, is afraid of the dark, definitely likes daylight (like my poseur bike), not bad at descending, and best yet it never fails me.

How many bikes do I need? Better said, how many bikes do I want, you can't count that high.....
I need two.Andy M-S
Oct 1, 2002 8:43 AM
How many bikes do you *really* need vs. want?

I have a very nice Bianchi road bike (Total cost, including frame, repaint, new/used components: Around $1,000.

I also have a single-speed rain bike. Tange steel, no derailers, plastic saddle, full fenders. Total cost was around $150.

That's where it ends. BTW, so-called "sealed" bearings often aren't so sealed. I suspect that decent quality ball-bearing hubs can be sealed just as well against the elements.

For me, what makes it a rain bike is that it has a minimum number of parts to get gucked up (hence, no derailers) and fenders, to keep some of the road junk off the rider. It also means that I have a bike that I'm not paranoid about getting wet...

If you have a good bike that can take fenders, and you're willing to spend a lot of time taking care of your drivetrain, and/or the roads aren't gritty where you ride, maybe you don't need a rain bike. But I think that I do...
it never endsDougSloan
Oct 1, 2002 12:45 PM
There are lots of reasons to have multible bikes. The relative "need" for any individual might be hard for others to understand, though. I think I can justify each, at least for myself:

*C40 - great all around bike, from road racing to ultras

*EV2 - built up sort of "stupid light" - used for hillier road races and climbing portions of ultras where personal sags permitted

*Pista - fixed gear (difference is obvious), plus kept full of reflective crap and lights for night and rain - cheap and no big loss if it gets crashed

*Bianchi Alloro -- steel bike built up with a mish-mash of parts used solely on the Computrainer; this is in an upper bedroom, so no hauling a bike up and down stairs required; wiring for hrm and cadence somewhat permanently installed; steel to best deal with extra abuse of trainer (finding also that Campy 10 speed chain works fine with Dura Ace crankset, Record front derailleur, Ultegra cassette, and Dura Ace rear derailleurs and STI shifters).

*Bianchi Milano - purely for farting around and having fun - will be used for hauling kid trailer at some point

*1980 Bianchi Rekord 748 - kept for sentimental reasons -- downtube 6 speed does not perform nearly as well as modern systems (at the time I thought 20 pounds was really light, too)

*Cervelo P3 time triall - reason obvious

*KHS tandem - reason obvious

Yes, I could get by with one bike. No doubt about it. At least, though, there is some rationale for each bike.

BTW, do you keep only 3 or 4 tools in your tool box -- pliers, screw drivers, maybe some hex wrenches? :-)

You forgot to list your bitching bike (nm)Crankist
Oct 4, 2002 9:44 AM
Oct 4, 2002 10:34 AM
I like grzy, but that really was funny.
No, I didn't. :-b......grzy
Oct 4, 2002 2:07 PM
You missed my whole point. Like some one some where said, it's not about the bike. Once you get over that you'll be OK. Take a good bike, any good bike, and ride the snot out of it in all conditions and stop stressing about the pedigre of the guy's dog that made the decals.
key to enjoying rain riding.desmo
Oct 3, 2002 8:53 PM
I live in the Pacific Northwest and ride all winter for "base" miles, and because I like to ride bikes. One of the reasons I actually like riding in the rain is: not caring how water logged and filthy my "rain bike" is getting. And knowing when I get home the bike gets thrown on a hook and recieves a squirt of WD so I can be off to a hot shower and many cans of Progresso clam chowder instead of 20-30 minutes of cleaning and maintenance while dripping wet in an unheated garage.
Oct 4, 2002 5:48 AM
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, isn't *every* bike a "rain bike"? :-)

Don't tell anyone..desmo
Oct 4, 2002 8:21 AM
but it only rains for a solid 4 months a year in the Southern-Pacific Northwest. The year-round typhoon myth is just to keep as many Californians as possible to stay put.
Reverse Psychologygrzy
Oct 4, 2002 9:58 AM
Actually it's the brain washing we Califronians use on those in the PNW to keep you there. We've got you thinking that it's worth living with months and months of rain for a mere half year of nice weather, when we have nice weather all year round! ;-)

One of the secrets about California - winter is optional. Everyone else in the rest of the country just thinks you have to live with months and months of snow and rain.
Reverse Psychologydesmo
Oct 4, 2002 10:49 AM

I think too many people figured that out already, and is why your state is busting at the seams with the teaming hordes. I'm actually a So Cal transplant, or as we say in Oregon, "ok I'm here, the rest of you stay out". After spending 30 years in the "endless summer", I do embrace the "seasons" found to the north. I must say though riding through the PV hills in 80 degree weather while visiting last Thanksgiving, being surrounded by roller blading bikini girls was a nice change of scenery from the slush, chip-seal, and fir trees I'd be spinning through at home. But with that said, after one, hour and a half 8 mile car ride, and having to find change for a parking meter I'm ready to jump on that 5 North.
Oct 4, 2002 2:17 PM
So Cal - isn't that on a different planet? Planet Plastic as I recall?

I'm thinking NorCal - kind of a more eclectic mix between the two extremes of which you speak. Where cutting edge technology, tree huggers, pot farms and outrageous house prices all get blended together. Monster surf on one side - killer mountains on the other and all sorts of crazy stuff in between. Great fun....if only you can actually afford it.

Hey, this whole thing is togue in check anyway - everything looks more plesant after 20+ winters in New England. Now if you can just convice the bikini clad roller babes to move to Oregon you'd really have something! ;-)