Is your saddle level?

July 8th, 2011 [print] 1 comment

Mine sure as hell isn’t, and now the UCI says I’m not allowed to ride in their silly little races because of it:

http://velonews.competitor.com/…/uci-teams-association-continue-squabble-over-saddle-tilt

fuck the UCI - Click for larger image

 

Categories: News Tags: ,

Farmers make giant Tour de France bike

July 8th, 2011 [print] No comments

I don’t watch the Tour, and I don’t care about the Tour, but I do think this is pretty cool.

Tour de France Farmers Bike

Categories: Videos Tags:

Cobra Tube

July 8th, 2011 [print] No comments

The guys at FlyBikes.com have a new innertube available that allows you to swap tubes without removing your tire.

Cobra Tube - FlyBikes.com

Basically, the tube has sealed off ends that, when the tube is inflated, butt up against each other.  Since it’s not round, this means you can simply remove one side of the tire, pull the old tube out, and slide the new one in place, all without removing the tire.  I like the concept, but I’d like to see it with road and MTB applications, on top of just BMX.

For more info, check these links:

http://www.flybikesbmx.com/noticias/cobraeng.htm

http://www.flybikesbmx.com/frames/products/cobra.html

Categories: Links, Miscellaneous Tags: ,

Engraved Campagnolo Crank

July 2nd, 2011 [print] No comments

I have no idea what the source of this photo is, but I do know it’s an old Campy aluminum crank that someone has engraved a beautiful design into.

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Categories: Photos Tags: , ,

Spidey on a bike

July 2nd, 2011 [print] No comments
Spiderman bike
Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Flickstand, pt. 2

May 28th, 2011 [print] 15 comments

If you recall, I did a post on a vintage bike part a couple months back, called the Flickstand, made by now-defunct Rhode Gear USA.  Well, I’m happy to say, I’m now the owner of one.

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They’re pretty difficult to come across nowadays, but I was fortunate enough to find one for sale on Craigslist the other day for $10.  It’ll go on my singlespeed if it fits, but since that bike is awaiting me in NYC at the moment, I’ll have to wait a few days to see if it fits.  Even if I’m not able to use it, it’s something I’ll definitely hold on to because I love rare parts.

Edit:  It fits.

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Categories: Miscellaneous Tags:

Dia-Compe DC139 Brake Lever

May 26th, 2011 [print] 8 comments

I’ll admit, I don’t need these, since I already have some very nice ‘n light Shimano Dura-Ace track levers on my singlespeed.  However, they’re just too cool to pass up, and you never know when I might want some in the future.

(not my photos)
Dia-Compe DC139 bullhorn brake lever - black
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Basically, they’re curved levers that wrap around underneath the bar, allowing you to brake from the flats or the ends.  On the old French bikes, this style was referred to as Guidonnet levers.  Google that term, and you’ll find many classic examples.  Throw "Dia-Compe DC139" in the search results, and you’ll be able to track down a pair of these for around $30.  It’s far easier to find them in silver, but I was able to track them down in black.

They also work on drop bars, assuming the bars have enough reach before the drop, which most probably do.

SOURCE:  Dia-Compe

A chair…

May 19th, 2011 [print] No comments

…made of bicycle parts.

Categories: Photos Tags: ,

Building some road wheels

May 1st, 2011 [print] 2 comments

I had fun learning how to build wheels for my singlespeed last year, so I decided that’d be the way to go for the road bike, too.  The SS wheelset has held up extremely well, so I had no reservations about building another set.  The only new challenge was, I’d be building an asymmetrical rear wheel this time, as opposed to a symmetrical one, like the SS uses.

For hubs, I picked a red anodized pair from BikeHubStore.com, 24-hole front, and 28-hole rear.  I’d considered going 20/24, but ultimately, I’d prefer endurance over weight, and the weight penalty wasn’t too great anyway.

(pretty, huh?)
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I didn’t bother with a photo on the scale, since BHS has one on their site, and the weight of these hubs was accurate to what they list: front 77g, rear 211g.

The rims are Stan’s ZTR Aplha 340, which can be run tubeless or with innertubes (I’ll be using tubes).  The name "340" is supposed to refer to their weight, but it doesn’t, unfortunately; the front weighs 347g, rear 355g.

Spokes are a mix of DT Swiss Revolution and Competition.  I’ve ridden Revolution spokes on my Rolf MTB wheels for a decade or more now, and have always been impressed with them.  They’re also what I built my SS wheelset with.  The front wheel will get all Revolutions, and the rear non-drive-side will, as well.  The drive-side is what will be getting the Competitions.

Nipples are a mix of alloy and brass; alloys up front and non-drive-side rear; brass on the drive-side.

The front wheel was pretty straight forward, although it did require a call to my buddy to ask about the spoke pattern.  I went with a 1-cross pattern, as opposed to 3-cross, so I was lost about how to do it.  After he explained, it went pretty smoothly.  It also helped that I had a Park spoke tension tool on hand this time around.  No more trips across town to the bike shop to bother those guys for theirs.

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For the front, all spokes will have their heads on the outside.  No reason other than I like the way it looks, and since my Rolfs are just the same, I figured it’d be strong enough for a road wheel.

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….And done.  This is prior to tensioning them properly, but that’s the boring part.

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(ready to ride)
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With the front wheel done, I got started on the rear.  I was too busy working to get any photos taken, but I promise it was a pain in the ass, and took much longer than what I’d hoped for.

When it comes to getting the correct tension for the rear, the best advise I found was this:  get the drive-side spokes tensioned properly first, then do whatever it takes to the non-drive-side to get the dish perfect.  Tension seems low on the NDS, but part of that may be the thinner Revolution spokes.  The same seems to hold true for my Rolfs, so I’ll just leave them as-is and see how it goes.

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Weight:  545g front, 742g rear, w/o rim strip or skewers.

If you’ve never built your own wheels, keep this in mind:  you’ll wind up paying less for lighter wheels if you do it yourself, and you get to pick exactly the parts you want.  Sure, it’s difficult if you’re still new to it (or only do it once a year, as I seem to), but it’s a great feeling to know you’re rolling on wheels you built yourself.

Now all I need to do is get my bike built, let the rain end, and get out for a ride.

FM015-ISP Carbon Frame

April 30th, 2011 [print] 9 comments

As I mentioned before, I decided to build a geared road bike to help take the stress off my knees.  After a lot of research, I decided to go with an unbranded Chinese carbon frame, model number FM015.  Many companies offer this frame, but I went with Hongfu due to extremely good feedback they’ve gotten on RoadBikeAction.com.  As is the case with previous customers, I’m happy with my decision, and Jenny, the CS rep who all Hongfu customers will deal with directly, made the whole process go very smoothly.

Originally, I’d thought about the FM028, but discovered the top tube was longer than I like.  The FM015 is very similar, albeit 100g or so heavier.  I’d rather have fit over light weight, so that made my decision for me.  Specifically, I went with the FM015-ISP, as in, integrated seatpost.  It requires a little more work, since the seat mast has to be cut to fit, but I like the looks better.

Here are some initial photos before I begin the build:

The frameset came straight from China in about 5 days.  Hongfu did an great job wrapping the frame to protect it along its journey, and it reached me in perfect condition.  Mojo is impressed with the packaging.

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The frame and fork both come with plastic stabilizers in the dropouts, and the frame also has sturdy, plastic plugs inserted in the BB shell and head tube (sorry, I didn’t get photos of those).

Here it is fresh out of the box:

(check out that massive headtube)
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(uncut seat mast & w/o seat mast topper)
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(uncut steerer)
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I ordered a 3K glossy finish, although 3K matte is also available (glossy matches my Sram Force cranks).  They also offer it in 12K and unidirectional, glossy or matte.  The frame can also be ordered without the ISP option, and with a BB30 shell.

For more info on this frame and all other unbranded Chinese carbon frames, you should really check out the discussions on RoadBikeAction.  The discussions began about 3 years ago when Chinese sellers started offering bare carbon frames on eBay.  A few guys decided to be the guinea pigs and took the plunge, only to report back that they liked what they bought.  Since then, the number of models has gone frame a handful to maybe 20-30 models, and they’re offered from multiple manufacturers and resellers.  More info can also be found on Weight Weenies.

Do your research, as I did, and decide if it’s right for you.  Price are a fraction of what you’ll pay for a brand-name frame, and they’re built by the same manufacturers who build them for the name brand companies.  On the down side, customer support after the sale is still lacking, although it’s improving over time.

I’ll post more photos in the days ahead as I finish the build.

In the mean time, here are a couple additional resources:

http://chinarello.wordpress.com/
http://cheapcarbonframes.com/

Categories: Photos Tags: , , , ,