Mini Velos, revisited

February 25th, 2016 [print] 1 comment

Way back in 2009, I posted about mini velos which, at the time, were new to me. Unlike Japan and much of Europe, the 20" wheel size is pretty uncommon in the U.S., so you don’t really encounter them much–if ever–over here.  However, there’s still a market over here, and a lot has changed in the past few years, so I figured an update was in order.

First and foremost, BikesDirect has their steel framed Mercier Nano up for sale again. It’s currently in pre-order status, but ships next June. If you want one, I’d suggest jumping on it right now, as they don’t seem to offer them every year, and they sell out fast.

It’s a pretty simple bike, with 20" (406 not 451 wheels), 2×8 drivetrain with downtube shifters, and the old 1" threaded fork standard. Starting price is extremely affordable at $300, with lots of upgrade potential, and it comes in two sizes.

Mercier Nano

If you don’t need full gearing, Respect Cycles Urban Velo is one of the only readily available mini velos for the U.S. market. Starting price is $350-370, and it’s available as a singlespeed or fixed gear, with a flip-flop rear hub. It’s currently at v2.1, and comes in only one size, with a steel frame and fork. The upside is, it uses a more modern 1 1/8" fork, so you have some upgrade potential there, since eBay is flooded with carbon forks from China that would fit. It can also fit a 2" wide tire.

Respect Cycles Urban Velo

Cannondale seems to be the only major manufacturer to offer a mini, which they call the Hooligan. It comes with a flat bar, disc brakes, and a Lefty fork. It’s about 3x the price of the other two above, but you can pick it up at any local Cannondale dealer. It comes with a 3-speed internally gear rear hub, which will work for flatter cities, but may not be a good choice for everyone.

Cannondale Hooligan

Unfortunately, that’s about it, as far as minis that can be easily acquired without turning to eBay, having a custom frame builder hook you up, or finding an off-shore retailer who will ship to the U.S. If you know of any others, please leave a comment below.

Categories: Cycling Tags:

My favorite wheelbuilding tool

February 21st, 2015 [print] No comments

I just thought I’d pass this on for anyone who may be frustrated while trying to get spoke nipples into double-walled rims.

Instead of spending an hour trying to shake lost nipples out of the void, just use a Klein Tools Vaco K34 screw-holding driver to set them in place.  You just slide the sleeve toward the handle, hold the nipple on the tip of the driver, then slide it forward again to lock it in place.  Then insert into the rim, get a spoke on it, and release.

You can find one pretty much anywhere for less than $10.

Klein Tools Vaco K34

Klein Tools Vaco K34

Gold Alligators

March 9th, 2013 [print] No comments

I sold off my Avid BB7 (mtn) brakeset, so I can replace it with a more appropriate CX set-up.  Since the Shimano CX-75 calipers I have on order don’t come with discs, I got the prettiest ones I could find:

Alligator Crown Ti 160mm (front)
Click for larger image

Alligator Aries Ti 160mm (rear)
Click for larger image

I figured I’d try out a couple different models, and see which works best.  The titanium nitrite coating will actually wear off pretty quickly at the braking surface, which is good, since it’s used as a low-friction coating.  It’s the same stuff on my KMC chains.

I’m hoping to get my bike back together by the time the gravel roads dry up.

Categories: MTB Tags:

Guess who’s stuck inside?

February 27th, 2013 [print] 2 comments

The mid-West got hit with 11" of snow late last week, and another 10" this week.  Since I’m not ballsy (or crazy) enough to try to ride my bike in those conditions, I’ve been making up for it by shoveling snow.  250ft of sidewalk, just to have something to do and burn some calories.

Click for larger image

And in the mean time, I’m still getting my dropbar 26er just how I like it.

Click for larger image

I plan on doing some long distance gravel training as soon as everything dries out enough, so I swapped to my trusty Carbon Cycles rigid carbon fork.  That dropped weight by a couple pounds.  I also sold my SRAM X.7 double crankset for an X.9 triple, then tossed the granny gear, and have it set as a double.  Why?  Well, because the X.7’s retarded 120mm BCD meant there were basically no aftermarket chainrings available, and I needed to move to a larger big ring to stop spinning out on descents.

Click for larger image

Now it’s set up with a 48T large ring which, with the 26×1.9" tires and 11T cog, gives me roughly the same top end gearing as a CX bike running 35c tires and 46×11 gearing.  But, since the tires are larger volume than most CX tires, I can run them at a lower PSI and cruise right over chunky gravel.

I admit, it’s still a bit of a weird set-up, but it’s incredibly versatile:  it’s competitive with a CX bike, but I can toss a suspension fork and 2.35" Nevegals on it, and still go anywhere.

Changes still in the works are Shimano CX-75 brake calipers, so I can lose the Travel Agent brake adapters, and Alligator rotors.  Once I sell some of my bike parts hoard, I’ll look into replacing the fork with something else to remove close to another pound. At which point, I think I’ll finally be done.

For now.

Categories: MTB Tags:

Dropbar MTB

December 10th, 2012 [print] No comments

I promised pics, so here you go:

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

One thing I’ve never understood is why road and mountain bikes have different cable pull ratios for brakes.  I suppose it’s so you have to keep buying more shit.  Well, since I just bought these Avid BB7s not too long ago, I decided to keep them, and go the cheap route by using Problem Solvers Inline Travel Agents, which allow road brake levers to work with mountain bike brakes.  Yes, they’re ugly, and yes, they add a little weight.  But I wasn’t going to give Avid the satisfaction of selling me a set of Road BB7s.  Also, by keeping the current calipers, I can easily go back to using a flat bar at any time.  Honestly, though, I can’t imagine I ever will.

Brake feel is still on par with what I had before, so the Travel Agents don’t make braking feel weird, either from the main brake levers or the ‘cross levers.  In the past, I rode rim brakes with 2mm or less gap between the rim, and my brakes had very little modulation.  I loved it.  Move the index finger 2mm, and you brake gently; 3mm and you brake hard; 4mm, and you’re dead.  It was wonderful, and I’m not being sarcastic.  However, now that I’m used to brakes that have actual modulation, I quite like it and, as I said, I’m happy with the feel.

Click for larger image

Here’s another ugly but tolerable add-on that I have to live with.  My fork has a mechanical lock-out remote that mounted to my old MTB handlebar.  However, there’s no way to fit it to a larger diameter road bar (even on the narrow section), so I had to get creative.  I ended up using a generic mount I found on eBay, which was intended to be used as a spot to mount lights.  I cut a 1.5" piece of an old Easton carbon bar that can’t be used anymore, and mounted the remote to that.  It’s still in close reach when I need it, but I though it’d look better if I could mount it directly to the handlebar.  Oh, well… compromises must be made when you’re building weird bikes.

Click for larger image

Here’s another look at the remote mount, as well as my super tidy cables.

Click for larger image

So, what was the point in this ridiculous set-up?  Primarily comfort.

Coming from mountain bikes, it took me awhile to adapt to road drop bars.  But, once I did, I began to love the race position they put me in, especially in the drops (I spend about 99% of my time in the drops, rarely using the hoods on my road bike).  I know, most people don’t think a race position is anything near comfortable, but for me it is.  I love that forward position, staring not at nature, buildings, birds in the trees, but at the road directly ahead of me, crouched like a cheetah ready to pounce.  To me, it’s Lay-Z-Boy comfortable for hours on end.

I’d been riding my road bike almost exclusively for about a year, when I signed up for that sadistic Cedar Cross race last Spring.  Since I didn’t have a real ‘cross bike (my Scrambler probably would have worked, but the widest tires I could fit were 32c, and I didn’t know if that’d be enough on the singletrack), I took my hardtail.  As natural as it was to ride, using a flat bar was no longer comfortable on the gravel roads or Katy Trail, and using the bar-ends didn’t help much.  All I could think for the final 30 miserable miles was, "Man, too bad this bike doesn’t have drop bars; then it’d be perfect!"

So, now the day has come–my MTB has drops.  Reach and drop are identical to my main road bike, and I feel totally at home riding it for the first time in a long time.  I haven’t had much time to ride singletrack, yet, but the little bit that I have done has gone well.  For steeper descents, I can use the ‘cross levers and get my butt behind the saddle, and for climbing, I have my choice of drops when I have traction, or hoods when I don’t.  Oh, and when I hit a fire road or pavement, I can just lock the fork, stand up, and sprint, just like I do on my road bike.

I also discovered a side benefit of using a road bar:  it’s very narrow.  My old flat bar was 22", which is considered too narrow by today’s standards (and too wide by mine).  My road bar is only 16.5", which gives me anywhere from 5 to 10 inches extra space between trees or fence posts than other bars.

I can’t say this set-up is for everyone (or anyone), but it works for me.  Thankfully, SRAM’s Exact Actuation throughout their higher-end component lines helps make this sort of thing not only possible, but extremely easy to do.  If you like the feel of a cyclocross bike, but want some fork travel and fatter tires, maybe give it a second thought.

Categories: MTB, Photos Tags: ,

Winter Update

November 24th, 2012 [print] No comments

Man, I can’t believe it’s been 5 months since I’ve updated this thing.

So far, 2012 has been my highest mileage year yet, with over 6,600mi ridden so far, and a goal of 7,000mi by the end of the year.  That will totally depend on how dry it stays outside, but so far it’s looking like it might happen.

I currently have almost 8,500 miles on my cheap FM015-ISP Chinese carbon frameset, and it’s still just as much fun to ride as the day I got it.  If you’ve ever thought about buying one of these Chinese direct frames, do some research on RoadBikeReview.com and don’t hesitate buying one, even if it’s just for an off-season training bike.  Personally, if I could do it all over again, I’d go with the FM039, but only because it’s a little more aero than what I ride.

Back in August, I swapped some parts on my Scrambler and temporarily turned it into a track bike again, so I could go do some laps at Penrose Velodrome in St. Louis.  I can honestly say it’s the bumpiest paved surface I’ve ever ridden, and it’ll scare the hell out of you if you’re going over 25mph on the back corner.  But even so, I had a blast doing it, and plan on going back once the weather gets nice again.

Click for larger image

For now, I’ve set the bike back up as a singlespeed, running some 30c CX tires.  I had a lot of fun running it as a 2×10 with derailers, but since I didn’t spend as much time on it as I’d planned, I’ve decided to re-purpose some of the parts for another odd project…

That’s right, I’ve put drop bars on my 26" hardtail:

Click for larger image

I just started swapping parts last night, and it’s nowhere near done, so just accept this as a teaser pic; I’ll post more photos once it’s finished.

Ever since the Cedar Cross race last May, I’ve been wanting to set it up like this.  To be more specific, ever since around the 85mi mark of the race, I’ve been wishing I had drop bars on it.  After becoming so used to riding in drops all the time on my road bike, using a flat bar with bar ends just wasn’t the same, no matter how low I tried to get the bar.  All I could think about for those last 30 miles was how much I’d rather be in the drops, so it’s about time to just make the switch.  I think it’ll take me some time to become accustomed to drops on an MTB, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be as fast on singletrack with this set-up, but overall, it should be more fun to ride than it has been in the past.

 

How to Rivet an STI Cable Stop

November 13th, 2011 [print] No comments

In the process of modifying my Scrambler frame with cable stops, I ran into a problem:  how to rivet the stops in place.  Seems easy enough on the surface, but what I soon found was it’s impossible to get a rivet gun flat against the rivet heads.  In case anyone else has run into the same problem, I thought I’d share my method.

First, let’s do the brake cable stops.  Whether you’re going with standard ones, or the type that hold hydraulic brake lines, it’s pretty simple.  Drill a couple 1/8" holes where you want the stops.  Be very accurate with your measurements before you drill.  If the holes aren’t lined up with the holes on the stop, you’ve more or less just ruined your frame.  In fact, if you’re even off by a fraction of a millimeter, the rivets may go in, but end up a little crooked, and look like crap.  Use a center punch so the drill bit doesn’t walk, and drill a smaller pilot hole first.  I’d also suggest using aluminum rivets, since they’re lighter, don’t rust, and require less force to rivet than steel.

You’ll need rivets 3mm x 3mm in size, and they’re easy to find at any hardware store for about $5 for 100 of them.

Okay, here’s the problem you’re going to have:  once the holes are drilled, and the stops are zip tied in place, you’re going to realize there’s no way to place the head of the rivet gun flat against the head of the rivet because it’s in a recessed area.

Click for larger image

Here’s the solution:  go to a hardware store, like Ace Hardware, etc, and buy a couple aluminum spacers 1/2" long and 1/4" diameter.  One of them will need to be cut down to about 9mm long for a standard cable stop.  Use a fine tooth hacksaw blade and a vise to cut it, but save both pieces.  Also, be sure to compensate for blade thickness, because you really need it to be 9mm long so that it clears the stop, but allows enough of the rivet pin to stick through so the gun can grab it.

Now, put the rivet in place through the stop and frame, and slide the 9mm spacer down the rivet pin.  It will rest against the rivet head, and give the rivet gun’s head something to push against.  A couple squeezes of the gun handle, and the pin should break as the rivet permanently clamps the to objects together.

(Tip:  wrap electrical tape around the entire area, because once the pin breaks, the gun may fly forward and ding the frame or scratch your paint.)

The brake cable stops were the easy part, but the STI stop will take a little more effort.  For the record, I didn’t come up with this idea.  I racked my brain for days trying to figure out how I’d get the STI stop riveted on, since putting enough spacers in place for the gun to clear the stop, meant there wasn’t enough pin exposed for the gun to grab onto.  I mentioned it to a guy I know, and he came up with an idea that saved my day:  pull the pin out of a longer rivet, and use it in the shorter one.  I had no idea the pin could be removed, but it can…

I headed back to Lowes, and bough a box of 3mm x 1/2" rivets, since that was the longest they had in 3mm diameter.  If you can find something longer, go for it, but 1/2" gets the job done.

Next, it’s time to do some pin swapping.  Unlike steel rivets, where the pin easily slips out by hand, it’s in there a lot tighter in an aluminum rivet.  I ended up using an adjustable wrench–wrapped around the rivet, just under the head–to press the rivet off the pin, against a hard tile.

This first photo shows how the pins are the same length above the heads, but it’s much longer under the head on the 1/2" rivet.

Click for larger image

With the rivets pulled off the pins, you get an idea how much longer one is than the other.

Click for larger image

Next, do the swap, again using an adjustable wrench to force the pin onto the rivet.

Click for larger image

Now, it’s time to add some spacers.  Remember that piece I told you to hold onto from the cut spacer?  Well, slip it, and the uncut 1/2" spacer onto the rivet pin, and you have enough to clear the taller STI stop, with enough exposed pin for the rivet gun to grab onto.

Click for larger image

You can discard the leftover 1/2" rivet and shorter pin.  When you’re all done, you should have something like this:

Click for larger image

One other thing I’ll add is, if you’re doing this to a steel frame, put a tiny bit of grease around the edges of the holes you drilled in the frame, and between the frame and the stop.  It’ll work as a water-tight barrier to help prevent rust.  That’s a little bit of grease being squeezed out near the upper rivet in my photo, so I know I have a good seal.

Links:

Standard aluminum brake cable stop (also in black)
STI derailer cable stop
Standard rivet gun

EighthInch Scrambler Update pt2

November 13th, 2011 [print] No comments

In my previous post, I stripped the paint off my frame, sprayed on some primer, and was beginning to sand it.  Well, I eventually got around to painting it, but I wasn’t happy.  Even a perfect spray paint job still looks like spray paint, so I took it to a professional and had it powder coated 80-90 Jet black.  One upside to powder coating is, the powder melts very nicely into the welds.  This frame always had crappy looking welds, so now they’re a little easier to look at, although I doubt Gary Klein has anything to be jealous of.

Click for larger image Click for larger image
Click for larger image Click for larger image

The sad part is, I spent more time fucking around trying to paint it on my own, than I did driving back and forth to the powder coater in a city about 40 minutes away.  The guy who did the work was Jeff at Xtreme Body & Paint in Jefferson City.  He was really easy to work with, and does awesome work.  Turn around time was a mere 2 days.

Once I got the frame back, I had to visit my local bike shop to get the BB threads chased, and the head tube re-faced, but that’s to be expected after any paint job.

Since I’m running a front derailer now (and because I don’t want to run full-length cable housing) I decided to install an STI cable stop on the downtube, and an under-BB cable guide.  I got both parts at Nova Cycles for just a few bucks.  For the STI stop, I used a 1/8" drill bit and some 3mm x 3mm aluminum pop rivets.  The cable guide needed to be screwed on, so I drilled with a 5/32" bit, and used a Park TAP-8 5mm x .8 tap.  Installing the guide was as easy as it gets, but the STI stop took some work.  I’ll mention how I got that on in another post.

You’ll notice I also have rear brake cable guides, so I never have to zip-tie full housing to the top tube ever again.  I installed those prior to painting, and once the powder coat melted all around them, they look like part of the frame.  I intentionally left the STI stop off until after the paint job, because I didn’t want paint–or powder–to get inside the threads.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Unfortunately, along with some pretty easy mods, I’ve also had some very annoying issues.  Because I’m turning a track bike into a 2-speed cyclocross bike, I’m having clearance issues, most specifically with the tires.  I verified long ago that some 32c Kenda Kwicker tires fit the frame and fork, but what I wasn’t expecting was for them not to clear the Cane Creek SCR-3L brakes I just bought.  Due to the design of the calipers, the mounting bolt is higher on the body than it was on my Alhonga brakes, meaning the brakes hung too low below the fork crown and rear brake arch.  Because of this, 32c tires rubbed big time, so I had to order some 30c Kenda Kwick tires instead.  BUT, I wanted 32c, dammit, and I wasn’t about to give up.  Currently, I’m waiting on a set of Tektro R538 brakes, which should give me the clearance of the Alhongas, with the reach of the Cane Creeks.  Once I get that worked out, I’ll be able to use either tire, depending on where I’m riding.

As for other clearance concerns, they all seem to be working themselves out quite nicely.  My biggest concern with running a non-track crankset with dual chainrings is, the inner ring may come in contact with the frame.  As it turns out, I have about 4mm clearance between the chainstay and a 39T ring on my SRAM Force cranks.  It’s tight, but that’s more than enough room to get by.

Click for larger image

My other issue was whether a water bottle bolt would get in the way of the front derailer clamp, but I have just enough room to make it work.  I can’t use that bottle mount anymore, but I don’t think I ever have before anyway.

I did luck out with my rear tensioner set-up, so I’m happy about that.  I’m using a Paul Comp. Melvin tensioner, with a DMR chain tug, which includes a rear derailer hanger.  The Melvin has 3 spacers to help align the pulleys, and once I was finished configuring them, alignment was perfect.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

This is basically where I sit for the time being.  I’m waiting on an STI barrel adjuster and the Tektro brakes.  Once those pieces arrive, I should finally be able to go for a ride.

EighthInch Scrambler Updates

September 17th, 2011 [print] No comments

I love my Scrambler V2, but as I’ve said in the past, the OEM paint job was pretty bad.  Even if it didn’t flake off in small pieces, the matte black still isn’t very attractive.  So, I’ve begun the process of re-painting it.

Click for larger image

Since I no longer have the use of a media blaster, I went the chemical route and used paint stripper.  It’s incredibly nasty stuff, and burns like hell if you get it on you (trust me), but it does the job incredibly fast.  Tip:  forgo the "environmentally safe" crap, which states that it may take up to 24 hours to work (and then never actually does), and get the hardcore stuff, instead.  Literally as I was painting this stuff on, I could already hear the paint bubbling up.  Scraping it off was then effortless.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Beautiful, raw steel…

Click for larger image

Of course, stripping paint is the easy part; the hard part is re-painting.  At this point, I have it primered, and have spent quite a few hours wet sanding (and then re-priming spots I messed up, and sanding them again).

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

I started out with 400-grit to take the roughness off the surface of the primer, then finished up with 800-grit, to get it as smooth as possible.  I’m going with a high-gloss finish, and don’t want any rough spots under the paint.

Speaking of paint, it took a long time to settle on colors, since I like so many different things.  In the end, though, I decided to somewhat mimic the well-known Ritte paint scheme, for a couple of reasons:  I like it; and it matches the Scrambler V3 sticker pack that EighthInch sent me.

Click for larger image

I was able to use FixieStudio and Photoshop to mock up something pretty similar to the finished product, to get an idea of how I wanted to do the colors.  It’s not perfect, but it’s close enough to give you an idea of what I’m shooting for.

Click for larger image

Because I already have black carbon fiber cranks, stem and fork (more on the fork in a minute), I wanted them to blend into the rest of the paint job.  That meant I couldn’t go with some other colors that I like even more, because they’d look better with polished components.  My seatpost is also carbon, but it’s going to be painted to match the blue on the frame.  The same goes for the seatpost clamp.

However, I’m not done desecrating the brand name of the bike just yet.  The name EighthInch is based on the classic chain size, which is still used on most fixed gear and singlespeed bikes.  About a year ago, I did the unthinkable and put a 3/32" chain on the bike, forever destroying its good name.  But it’ll soon get much worse… not only will it not be an 1/8", it won’t even be a singlespeed.

Back in 2008, a member of MTBR.com posted about a bike he’d just built around a Paul Components Melvin chain tensioner.  Basically, he wanted the simplicity of a singlespeed mountain bike, but with the option of an extra climbing gear.  With a 1-speed drivetrain, you have to find a balance between a gear that doesn’t result in you having to coast all over the place, but which will allow you to climb hills with some bit of ease.  On a road bike, it’s difficult enough, but due to off-road terrain being so completely random, it’s even harder to figure out a good ratio.  By using the Melvin in place of a typical chain tensioner, he’s able to have dual chainrings, while running only one cog.  That means you can go with whatever chainring feels best for the flats and downhills, but still have an awesome climbing gear when you need it.  The bike remains lighter and simpler than one with full gearing, without losing most of the simplicity of a singlespeed.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

I’ve always thought it was an awesome idea, but my frame posed a problem:  there’s no place to hang a rear derailer or tensioner.  That is, until I discovered these DMR chain tugs with a derailer hanger built in:

DMR chain tugs w/ derailer hanger

I already wanted a set of chain tugs to being with, and now I’ll have the ability to add a Melvin (or derailer) to my frame without having to find somebody to weld a hanger on.  This opened up the possibility to adding a second chainring, but I still had an issue with clearance for a small ring on a frame that’s designed for only one.  Since I’ve already been using a double crankset with the small ring removed, I simply bolted the 39T back on and did a test fit.  There’s not a huge amount of clearance, but there’s certainly enough that it will work.  In the process, I also made sure my 3/32" freewheel works with a 10sp chain, so I don’t run into any issues there.

Other upgrades include a front derailer, obviously, as well as a set of drop bars and brake levers (the left lever will also be a shifter for the front derailer).  I also bought a new fork with clearance for 32c tires–which also fit the frame; I checked–and some medium-reach brakes to clear the larger tires.  Once I’m finished, the bike will primarily be a rail-trail bike, but the smaller chainring will assure I can take it for some light singletrack riding should the opportunity present itself.  It’s also a 30-minute swap of parts to get the bike set up back how it used to be: a SS roadie on skinny tires, or even a fixed-gear track bike.

But that’s not all...  White Industries makes a dual-cog freewheel, called the DOS ENO, with 16 & 18 tooth cogs on it.  I’m playing with the idea of adding a shirt cage derailer and Shimano downtube friction shifter, which could give the bike 4 speeds.  I don’t know how well that’d work, nor do I know if I want to go through the extra hassle, but it’s certainly a possibility.  It’d also give the bike an extremely unique drivetrain.

More photos later as the project rolls on…

Edit:

I was looking around today, and found this other bike that’s set up how I plan to do mine.  The owner is lucky to have a derailer hanger on his frame to make things easier, but otherwise this gives a really good idea of how mine should end up if I just go 2×1.

Click for larger image

Central Park vs Forest Park

July 17th, 2011 [print] 2 comments

In my opinion, the best thing about Central Park in NYC is the wide-open bike path.  Technically, it’s part road, part multi-use path, but I’ve only ever used it as a bike path, and I suspect many others do as well.  The route itself circles the 843 acre park, and measures approximately 6mi in length.  Leave the path on foot, and it’s possible to get lost in the park, and spend an entire day exploring.

Not until recently, though, did I realize a similar bike path existed not too far from me, in St. Louis, at Forest Park.  Sure, I’ve been aware of the park for years, and even driven through it a few times, but I was never aware of the bike path.  On a recent trip to St. Louis, I finally took my bike along, and Forest Park was one of my destinations.  I entered the park on the north-east corner somewhere, cruised around for 15-20 minutes, and left fairly unimpressed.  At the time, I had no idea what I was missing.

Later, checking out Forest Park’s Wikipedia page, I learned that the park is over 50% larger than Central Park, at 1,293 acres.  I eventually discovered the bike path, too, and found it’s 7.5mi in length, a full 25% longer than the one at CP.  I was a little pissed at myself for having left so soon, without bothering to really look for the path, so I’ll have to make up for it next time I’m in town.

For anyone who might be looking for it, here’s a detailed map of the full bike path at Forest Park:

Click for larger image

And for anyone wondering just how much bigger Forest Park is compared to Central Park, I made this map using Google Earth, with CP laid over FP (both rotated east to west):

Click for larger image

FP is about 2mi long and 1mi wide, while CP is 1.6mi long, and .6mi wide.  At the end of the day, though, I’d still rather spend my time in CP.  The park is far livelier, with hotdog vendors, horse and buggy rides, and a few thousand people sharing the bike paths and sidewalks.  Forest Park seems a bid deserted, on the other hand.