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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Most adults ride without helmets?

While on the road (as in a business trip) USA Today is found at every hotel and this Snapshot drew my attention naturally.  Of course, I doubt this pertains to mountain biking and I bet no mountain bikers were even surveyed.  I can, however, see this being true for casual riders.   What this means is that 58% percent of the people surveyed take their lives into their own hands everytime they get on a bike.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Everything was toasty except the toes!



I did a pretty crazy thing this morning, I rode to work in 3 degrees Fahrenheit. It wasn't too bad and in fact I over layered on a few items like gloves and shirts. The only part I didn't get right was the toes. Here is what I started out wearing:
  • Head: face mask, hat, ski goggles and a bandana, along with a helmet.
  • Hands: Subzero polar fleece gloves and Insulated OR mits.
  • Upper Body: Blaze orange windstopper jacket, long sleeve ride jersey, a waffle shirt, turtle neck, and fleece pull over.
  • Lower Body: Bib tights, my Army Gortext running pants, and fleece shorts.
  • Feet: Gortex sock liners and wool socks, and LL Bean guide boots.
Got a half mile down the road and had to take off the goggles because they fogged up. Another mile or so, took off the over mits, the fleece pull over, and hat. Opened up the zip pits and the front zipper and I was still sweating profusely. The only thing that got cold were my toes.

I had to stop two times to warm up the toes, once at the Hawleyville Deli and the other another mile mile or two down the road. What I found helped immensely is just getting off the bike and walking in a circle would warm them right up.



I was feeling great, for the most part. I had a few bouts with naseau that I figured must have been something I ate from the previous day but it turns out I had a little bit of a stomach virus. I opted not to ride home in the afternoon because of that.

When I got home this evening and downloaded my ride data off of the Garmin I noticed that this was the second ride for the 'Goose, the previous ride and inaugural was during the fall on the Monroe Rail Trail pulling Elliot on the trailer bike and Brodie in the Burley Trailer. I guess you could say this ride was a true test of the 'Goose. It passed with flying colors.


I was finally able to get the Topeak handlebar pack on these bars by using rubber strips to go around the bars for the clamp to mount on. My new Trunk pack worked nicely and it has a lot of room. Fenders were really nice but really didn't come across any wet conditions. One thing is that they make a lot of noise. Went with a pair of BMX platform pedals that I took off the Bridgestone. The only thing I need to change on this bike are the grips. I need a pair of those ergonomic flared grips.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another reason to get a Surly Pugsley

Had a spate of warm weather on Friday and Saturday morning that I decided to take advantage of it but it turns out that they snow in my area is too deep to ride in. I needed to check out some ATV tracks that I noticed the other day that entered Upper Paugussett State Forest off of Hanover Rd. I took the opportunity to give the Helmet Cam another shot. This time I mounted it further back on the helmet and it seems to have done some good but it's not perfect.



The first section of the fire road was tough, having to call upon Granny for help in order to keep moving fast enough to prevent sinking. In the video above you can sort of make out that it starts out good but that's only because this part of the fire road didn't have a lot of snow due to the pine trees covering this section and that it gets very wet. As I emerged out from under the pine trees, though, the snow got deep and wasn't very well packed which made it extremely difficult to ride in. I think this is where a Surly Pugsley would have been perfect.

By the depressions in the snow I could tell that an ATV had come through this section, which is still illegal, but the track it made was of no help to me. There were also some Cross Country Ski and snow shoe tracks, too.



That flat part of the fire road, besides the climb up the back side of the mountain, was brutal and extremely tiring. In this video I give a little commentary on riding this section (there's no music).



Riding in this stuff was next to impossible and really tiring.


At the intersection with the white trail and this quasi new trail where there was logging a few years back there was a nice XC Ski track that I was tempted to follow.

I am going to have to come back with my XC Skis and explore this section some more. That skier must have had some fun.


And here we are heading down the west side of the mountain. I think this came out a little better. The positioning of the camera on the helmet needs a little adjustment, I think it should be forward a little more. Otherwise, it was a fun ride down the mountain.



Gratuitous Bike Porn Shot:



This short ride is tied with my ride at West Woods as being the most tiring ride of my life. At least I didn't have drive anywhere. Until all this snow melts, I think I am sticking to riding my fixed gear on the roads and XC skiing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Friday Fix: Random Stuff

Found an interesting article in an NY Times archive about Fixed Gear riding called Unstoppable that might make for some good lunch time reading.

Some fixed gear blogs I have recently started following:

TableRockCycles: Fixed gear mountain maniacs down south somewhere. Great scenic ride shots and a good quantity of bike porn.

Fixed Gear Maniacs: The latest on the fixed gear scene in Miami, FL. Check out the post on 10 Reasons to Ride Fixed Gear.

Lastly, another blog from Maine, describes everything you might want to know about fixed gear riding.  Kind of hard to read with the size of the font, the white background and the font color.  Or maybe I am getting long in the tooth?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fixie hotline 508 620 6600

If you are wondering if Cycle Snack has been effected by the Peanut Butter Salmonella recall, I can safely say that the Snack is a Peanut Free Blog. The winter doldrums have actually come this year which have led to not many riding opportunities since New Years because we are actually having a winter this year in New England. The only thing to keeping me going right now is building and rebuilding bikes. I have wheels on the Bridgestone now but I have to replace all the brake pads and cables. I have been hemming and hawing as to what rear wheel to use:
  1. Bolt on disc/rim brake hub single speed wheel that I originally bought for the Fetish Fixation
  2. QR disc brake with shimano cassette hub with Atomblast hoop (I have a spacer kit from Surly)
  3. QR rim brake with shimano cassette hub.
Last night, I made a break through or maybe I have just gave up, I am not sure. I decided to go with the first wheel for the Bridgestone, because I can use it as a flip flop wheel for both fixed gear and free wheel. The other option was the Atomblast (#2) wheel but that wheel is just too beefy for road use. Unless I can find a cheap, disc brake, cassette hub wheel, this is the best bet.

This of course speeds up my decision on what to do with the Fixation now, which I am going to use the Atomblast wheel for the fixation. I hoping to get a pair of Kenda Stick-es 2.6s from a buddy and eventually make it an 8 speed hardtail. Then, if I can find a good deal on replacement fork for the 'Horse, one that has a remote lockout, then the Marzocchi will go on the Fetish. Also by going this route, I can experiment on another Ghost Chain Ring test. I looked at trying a Ghost Ring on the Bridgestone and figured out that it wouldn't work because the chainstays are not long enough.

I am planning on a cold weather commute next Monday because my car is going to be in the shop for a couple of days. I don't think I will have the Bridgestone ready in time (unless I can find a non-drive side 175mm crank arm by Sunday) for that ride and I am not sure I would want to try it as an innaugural run, however, I am probably going to ride the 'Goose instead now that it's ready for commuting.



This ride could be monumental and set new records in Sub-rural-urbia. The planning alone is turning into a whole new effort. The big part of planning this ride is deciding what to wear, from head to toe.

The winter doldrums appear to be having an effect on Crazy Eddie as well. He's got some great prices on parts but my understanding is that he will not ship. These prices are insane!

PREDICTION: 50 % of bicyclists will be riding single-speed or fixed-gear by 2012.

Discount store for fixed-gear/single speed stuff. No charge for labor, helping you convert your old bike, with any purchase.

Fixie hotline 508 620 6600

Our mission: - make bicycling simple and inexpensive for regular folks.
WHEELS
Alex Ace 19 rim with Formula hub. Rear flip flop $34 front $32
Mavic Open Sport rim with Formula hub Rear flip flop $55 Front $54
Weinmann LP18 rim with Formula hub Rear flip flop $43 Front $41
Mavic CXP 22 Silver with Formula Set front and rear $115/set
Mavic CXP 22 Black set $125 set
Weinmann Deep V DP18 colored sets, ;yellow, blue, red, black, gold $120
27 inch double wall rims with Quando hubs $24
Winmann SP17 $80 per set
Lots more

Cranksets
Bulletproof (no ring) $27
Bulletproof with rocket ring $42
Origin 8 with ring $37
Speedwell with ring $27
Sugino (no ring) $53
Rocket rings $13

Tires
Michelin Orium $12
Kenda Kontender $8
Kenda 27 inch black $5
Continental 27 in $12
Gatorskin $26
Continental Ultra sport $13

Track pedals $16
Road pedals with clips $12
Road pedals without clips $9.50
Steel clips with straps $7.50

Track grips $6

KMC chains $6
Bullhorn Bars $13
I hope his prediction comes true! I wonder if I should change his name to the Nostradamus of the New England Fixed Gear Culture. I found another post of his that appears to be somewhat toned down. I hope this is just an effect of the weather and not a marketing strategy change.

Single speed/fixed gear road bike. - $300 (Framingham)

Reply to: sale-1000022370@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2009-01-20, 5:36AM EST
New single-speed and fixed-gear bikes. Previous model year closeouts. Up to 40% off list. Prices $185 to $375. E-mail for list.

Perhaps 30% of the biking population in Boston is riding single-speed or fixed-gear.

Either this is an efficient, affordable, low-maintenance, stress-free way of commuting – or we are all dumb !

Nothing like converting a great ole’ eighties road bike to fixie; but good ones are getting harder to find, - and more expensive to convert. Try a brand new bike at a discount price.

Single speed/fixed gear. THE WAY !



Saturday, January 17, 2009

Frigid Bike Maintenance

The cold snap gripping New England has had some profound affects like me not being able to ride that has left me moody and grumpy at times. Granted it's not quite nearly as cold as what Craig Barlow in Ottawa is experiencing but I think this could be the coldest temps we have had in Southern New England in the 30 years I have lived here.

To make up for the lack of riding I tried a spin class at work this week that was somewhat of an illusion of riding a fixed gear, but not quite. Feeling that I was missing something still I decided to heat up the man cave after dinner and try to find a solution for the Bridgestone.

When I fired up the Kero-sun, it was 39 degrees in the garage - I think I might get some insulated garage doors and replace the side door with something better insulated. The thermometer I have on the floor was reading 35 degrees. So, I put on a few layers of fleece and my Sears Craftsman knit hat and got to work. Still, it was so cold in the garage I could see my breath.
Earlier this week, I took the Bridgestone to the LBS to see if I could get the bottom bracket removed, because I couldn't budge it and neither could they. The LBS suggested heating it with a torch. I wasn't too keen on that idea and asked if they had any cranksets with an off set.


The only thing they had was a SR Suntour 175mm drive side crank with a 32t chainring and a bash guard. For $9 clams, I said let's give it a shot because I figured I probably have a non-drive side 175mm crank arm laying around the parts bin - but I don't. Heck the bash guard had to be worth $10 to $15 bones alone.


I took off the bash gaurd (I'll be putting that on the Fixiation) and replaced the 32t with a 42t chain ring and then put a 16t cog on the wheel but there was too much sag in the in chain. I like my chain lines tight!

I took a link out and then tried a 15t like the venerable Sheldon Brown recommended to me right before he passed away. That didn't work either. Then I tried 17t because that seemed to work with the Barney the Purple Cannondale:

From Cycle Snack

Look at that chain line. Actually, when I think about it, it was probably too tight! Finally, I tried a different chain and got it to work going back with a 16t! There is just the slightest amount of sag but I can live with that. It's better than being too tight. The other good thing about knowing that 16t works is I'll be able to use my TomiCog now. It also means that I will probably have to use my Atomblast rear wheel to get my fixed gear game on!

I could have the Bridgestone done this weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Friday Fix: 1975 Raleigh Super Course MKII

It's done! I gave you a little taste with the tape job on the mustache bars earlier this week and here is the rest of the bike. Of course, I don't know when I will be able go out and give it a good test ride will all the frigid weather we are having here in New England. Not to mention snow. I don't think we have seen this much snow for quit a few years.

The acquisition of this bike is pretty interesting, I got it for a six-pack of Bass Ale. If you want to see it in it's original state, check this post out. I got the bike with two wheels and tires, no pedals or saddle. I ended replacing the bars but kept the levers, the front wheel, front and back tires and pedals came from the Peugot UO-8 that I had. The saddle came from the Fuji Monterey that I turned into a ski bike. And the rear flip flop wheel I bought used from an LBS just the other day. The only new items on the bike is the bars and tape.

While the bike is essential ready to go, I am still looking for some old styled fenders and I might put a leather Brooks Saddle on it. The KHS is Brooks-like but I think a bike of this vintage should have a Brooks.



If it ever does warm up a bit so that I can get out on the bike, the roads around here are going to be sloppy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good tape job

Finished up the Raleigh Super Course MKII this evening and I put on the finishing touches by taping the bars. Let me first say that Bike Nashbar Bar Tape stinks! Now it could be that I just let it sit too long in the cabinet before using it but half the sticky stuff came off on protector tape. You also don't get that little strip of extra tape to wrap the back side of the brakes. So, I won't recommend it.

Taping these bars was pretty except for the brakes. As I mentioned before, since I didn't have that little strip I had to go over the brake, loop back on the other side and then wrap where brake hood meets the bar and then over. Probably should have made a movie on how to do this. There is a gap on the underside doing it this way and it wouldn't be there if I didn't have that little extra strip that you get with the other brands.

Despite the challenges, it came out really well. Now, I need a rode test but it looks like mother nature isn't going to cooperate this week. More frigid temps are expected here in New England and it looks like there is another snow storm coming on Thursday. I was looking back at some of my archived posts and there was one from last January where I went riding at Trumbull when it was 45 degrees!

Still, I think this is going to be a fun bike! Also this evening I decided to take the bottom braket out of the Bridgestone and I couldn't get it out. I applied a copious amount of locktite and it still didn't help. In fact one side of the BB is plastic and it cracked. I have a BB tool that I had connected to a ratchet handle and I had a some pipe on the end of that and yet I still couldn't budge it. So, it looks like I am taking it into the LBS to see if they can get it out. If I can get a longer spindle in there then I will be able to use the Sugino cranks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bike buying tips for hard times

Saw this post looking something new from Crazy Eddie but not sure it's his.  Has some of his qualities but I can't be sure.  Below this one is a new one from Eddie.

Re: Bike buying tips for hard times (USA)


Reply to: sale-989535928@craigslist.org [?]
Date: 2009-01-12, 7:57AM EST


What a load of crap. 

First place, Chances are good, if you like the bike and walk away because you couldn't get the price you wanted, it will be more expensive or sold next time around. 
Bikes shops if there worth anything at all, know that it gets slow in the winter and use the time to get ready for the onslaught of business in the early spring, sometimes as early as mid February 
Unless you do bicycle repair all the time, you loose it. I know this because right after this, Im going down to my home shop to work on the bike I will be riding 20 miles into work today.You also need a place that you can drip oil on the floor and a good place to clean up. Working on your bike is fun, but dose takes time away from when you could be riding. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who wants to save money. 
Dream on about your single speed. I once road back from Montreal on a 1936 Raleigh fixed gear, had a blast, but I would never recommend it for everyone. 
Shimano does a great job and as time goes on, STI levers have gotten better. Hey, Your so Smart, why dont you make your own! 
Funny about Shimano, there in town tonight and most of the dealers will be there. I will bring your letter so I can pass it around. 
The best advice to give anyone about dealing with retail sales of any sort is to not look for a deal. If you cant afford the item, save your money till you can. Beating the salesperson down does not make for good relations and will hurt you in the long run. The best customers that get discounts without asking are happy, fun, friendly and caring about the employee that most likely dosent even make a living wage. 

Not sure if this is a good tip but if you have been around bikes long enough you know that late fall and early winter is the best time to get a deal on a bike.  I have to echo the sentiments of bike repair.  I do it because I find it fun and to be one with my bike (famous Zen saying) but I would be hesitant to take this up as a full time career because it would take away from the ride time I think.

I am a dickless pushover! (priceless)  That would have been a nice title but I am not sure the virgin ears & eyes of my readers could stand the vulgarity in that statement.  They are getting more outrageous each week and now they are even penetrating the road bike market.  Guess Eddie is trying to expand his business and build an empire!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Big Trouble in Fixed Gear Paradise

Switched gears yesterday and put the Raleigh aside because the wheels that I bought appear to be 700c and not 27 inch. Might hit the Bicycle Center on my way home tomorrow to see if that is the case. Not sure how to measure them to check their size. I looked up the Alexrims RP15F and from what I can tell they are not 27" rather 700c. Same with the Sunrims 6000w.

With all the great weather we are having in New England, unless I get a set of Nokians with studs, or a set of Kenda 2.5 Stick-es, I am not going to do be doing much winter riding this year. I spent all day Saturday arranging the mancave even further by adding more storage and a stereo system with tuner, 5 CD changer, and a hook up for my iPod. All I need now is a computer or laptop and I will be golden.

I decided to start working on the Bridgestone. The vertical drops present a challenge because I am stickler with chain sag. I am not sure at this point whether I am going to run a ghost chain ring on this or try for a fixed gear conversion. First I have to get over an issue discovered right off the bat, the cranks I want to use don't work.

When I stripped the bike, I left the bottom bracket, headset and brakes on and took everything else off. The cranks that were on the bike are these Shimanos where the outer ring needs the middle ring on in order to use it. I decided to use the Sugino Cranks I took off the Nishiki

However, the spindle on the BB doesn't appear to be long enough because the outer chain ring is hitting the chain stay. The cranks that came with the bike are different in that they mushroom out from the BB to give you the clearance that you need.



It looks like I have three options:
  1. Get different cranks
  2. Try a longer spindle
  3. Get a new BB


I am going to try the spindle first. In fact, I am going to use the one that I took off the Nishiki to see if that helps, otherwise I am going to try a new BB. I figure the type where the bearing cups are external will give me the clearance I need to run these cranks. One thing for sure, I will be able to try out my new BB socket!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How to make a Ride Map

I was reading on Charlie Rides a Bike about is little ice-less adventure down at Rocky Neck State Park and I know there are a lot of riders out there that have GPSs and ride with them but I don't see many post ride maps on blogs. Therefore I thought I would throw together a little tutorial. Also, this is good for riders who want to make a map of an area that they are new to, assuming of course you can read a map.

There are quite a few programs that you can use, and some with some insane detail, especially using satellite imagery, however for this tutorial I am going to show you an online web utility called GPS Visualizer that takes a lot of the guess work out of the other applications. Some apps don't let you export the images to a graphic file in which you can print from but GPS Visualizer does and that is one of the reasons I like it.

  1. Download GPS data. The best format to use and the one that is most portable is a file with the GPX extension. For more info on this format look at this wiki on GPX. If you use a Garmin Unit, like one of the Edge series, the format is proprietary, but you can use other applications EasyGPX or Topofusion to download the data right to the gpx format. You can also convert what you already have stored on your machine using a website called GPSies. Just click on the Convert Tab and look for the format you want to convert from and to. GPSies will even import directly from your Garmin unit.
  2. Edit your data. If you are going to publish your maps to a blog or a website, you might not want to include extraneous routing information like to where you live or if you had to park a ways off and shamelessly put those knobbies on the hardball. TopoFusion let's you edit tracks but I have never been successful using it. I prefer using Garmin's MapSource. MapSource also will pull from your Edge. One thing to remember about using MapSource is that it saves files in it's proprietary format (*.gdb v3) so if you want a GPX file (which it will read) you have to do a Save As.
  3. Preparing your data. I find using GPS Visualizer the easiest to use, or maybe it's just that I have been using it so long that I am just accustomed to using it. One caution, however, if your track is really, really big (covers a huge area) then you may want to consider using something else that will give you the scale you need and the level of detail you want. If I needed to do something along those lines then I would find a site that uses Google Maps with the terrain option. The only drawback is I haven't found anything along these lines that lets you use multiple files so you would have to merge all your GPS Data. Best tool for that would be TopoFusion's make network feature.
  4. Uploading your data. From the main screen, select the type of map you want to work with and it will open up to a features page where you can select specific settings for you map. I tend to go right for JPEG option of the JPEG/PNG/SVG maps selection everytime.

    The Profiles option is another one that I have started to use more. If you are in the US, the one feature you want to ensure is that you select the U.S. in the units dropdown.


    This is why I like GPS Visualizer so much because you can upload multiple files. If you had a collection of track files from a particular area, you can upload all of them here and make a network map.
  5. Draw the map. In either option, once you have your settings configured and the files selected, hit the draw the map button. Here is Charlie's ride at Rocky Neck State Park done with GPS Visualizer. He uploaded his track file to Motionbased.com where I was able to export out to a GPX file. His track included a road ride from his parents house that I didn't want to include in this map, so I took it out using MapSource. You can tell the thicker lines are where he looped the trail. Here is what his profile looks like:

If you want to try making a map sometime, you can scour the interwebs for GPX data on a particular area, download it, and make a map of it for your next adventure. One word of note, GPS Visualizer is only for US and Canada. If you are not in North America then you are probably going to have to find some sort of Google Supported site and in order to create a static map, you will need to take a print screen of it and save it in a image format. TopoFusion, has this feature built in but if you are using the freeware version the map download is a little wonky and has DEMO on each of the tiles.

As far as the other sites go, especially those that use Google Maps, they won't let you make a map of a networked file using TopoFusion. I tried this on MTBGuru and Motionbased. If there is a site out there that you have seen that lets you do multiple tracks on a Google type map, let me know!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Quattro pazzi elmettos

My wife sometimes refers to me as the Imelda Marcos of the outdoor sports world with all the gear that I have. If you are not a child of the 70s or remember the days of Good King Ronnie, then you might not be familiar with who I am talking about, so check her out on Wikipedia. Her claim to fame was the enormous amount of shoes and gowns she has. Similarly, I have outdoor equipment for just about every extreme.

For example, since I have started biking I seem to have accumulated some helmets. The first helmet I was riding with had to be tossed after a little mishap a few years ago. I gave another one away to my brother-in-law because it was white and didn't want to be wearing a white helmet in the woods with a bunch of hunters in the fall lest they think I am a fleeing deer and take a shot at me. Don't get me wrong, my I have no animosity towards my brother-in-law but he doesn't ride off road so it was a perfect hand-me-down.

After the crash of '05 in which I got my first mountain biking related injury, I bought the red, white, and blue Vigor helmet on the left. It was a desperation move with very little forethought. That was what the shop had that fit and I needed a helmet. I realized quickly that while the helmet is patriotic it wasn't stylish and didn't do anything for during hunting season.

I read about the Giro Semi MX on MTBR but quickly found they had been discontinued for a another, more expensive helmet - the Giro Zen. Not only was this perfect for riding during hunting season but everyone who rated the helmet on MTBR said it was way too hot. Indeed, it is hot and that is why I wear it only during the cold months here in New England.

While I couldn't find it online I did find it an LBS up in New Milford, Straight Line Bikes and Boards. All the reviews were spot on when it comes to being a hot helmet. Maybe that is why it was pulled for the lighter and more open aired Xen. In fact, it appears that Giro moved this style of helmet over to their skiing line as the Giro G10 MX Helmet. Might just have to get one of these for skiing and snowboarding which would further add to my growing collection of outdoor gear.
Besides being blaze orange, the other use for this helmet is for creating ride videos. I have yet to try the new position for the camera mount. The first time I tried it it was too far forward so it didn't quite capture the essence of the ride. I rode with this helmet during one summer and it was brutally hot which led me to get the Fox Flux.

With 20 vent holes, it's supposed to keep you cool but I find that it still gets pretty hot in there. Still, it's sharp looking and of course the woodland, camo pattern is my favorite. This helmet is also perfect for nite riding and I have my head lamp mounted perfectly on top.

The camo pattern is almost like an Alpenflage pattern. I like the way it sits on my head and while I said earlier it get's pretty warm in there it's not as warm as the MX and is not the best helmet for winter riding, unless of course I have an ear band on or a balaclava.

My latest addition is the Giro Hex, which I think is like the MX only with more venting and half the price of the Zen. The large vents keep it cool inside. Unfortunately, I have only ridden with it once so I really can't judge how well it works from a cooling stand point. I will say that it is reall comfortable and of course you can't beat the colors. Probably should have a little more orange for riding during hunting season but I usually take care of that with a shirt of a jacket.


Here is what they look like atop my head. When I start racing later this year I am going to probably wear the new Giro.


Friday, January 09, 2009

The Friday Fix: A Fixed Monkey

If you were looking for a gelded ape, you have come to wrong blog. Found this Monkey on a blog called Bedrock & Paradox, in a post titled Mountain Fixie Ride. The first thing that caught my attention besides the obvious fact that it's a mountain fixie and a 29er, was the drop bars. In particular, the placement of the levers. I think one of the problems I have with the demi Monster Cross is that the levers are too far down into the drops but if they were higher up I might be more comfortable and get more leverage for climbing.

The other thing I find interesting on the bars is how the rider used bar tape up to levers, and then did a split option with Oury grips. I believe the BikeSnobNYC talked about a similar development in the Hip Fixter Community in which he found a bike on the Fixed Gear Gallery where Oury grips were regulated to supporting role, or spacer.

Although, in this case it appears the spacer is really being used to fill the gap between the lever and the rest of the Oury at the end of the bars. I might have to try this. Of course, and I don't mean to be synnical, but the mismatched color between the skidmark brown of the frame, the green King headset and the blue and gray grips make me want to vomit. Since this is an older picture maybe that has changed.

Update on my 1975 Raleigh Super Course MKII, finally got the fixed gear wheel along with another one that I ordered from the Bicycle Center in Brookfield for a mere $50! The new one came with an Alexrim but didn't notice the hub and a 14t cog (that will be fun for climbing hills in New England). The used one that I am going to use on the Raleigh is a Sunrim with a Quandro hub but it didn't come with rimtape and the valve stem is sized for an newer/thinner(?) schraeder or presta. The old schraeder tube I tried wouldn't fit so I need to hit the LBS on the way home. Hope to have it done this weekend.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Another koolaid drinker chokes

I can't believe what I am seeing here, are people really taking a swig of the koolaid and then spitting it out because it's not their thing or are there other malignant forces at hand, like the economy? It seems like quite a few brandy new 29ers keep turning up on Craigslist in Fairfield County, and the rest of Connecticut for that matter, with sellers claiming low mileage or hardly ridden.

I don't think you can acurrately judge a bike's performance after 6 rides, unless you ride it everyday for a week on varying terrain and have an inkling of what you are doing. It's almost like their LBS got them loaded, sold them on the 29er, and now that they have sobered up they don't like it.

Here's a steel Jamis Dragon, that if I had it, I would call it the Green Dragon, and with an offer of free Candy. Now I know riding clipless is not for everyone but the fact that the pedals have toe clips is very revealing.  The only people I ever see with clips off road are casual riders and not true lovers of single track.  Rail trails, fire and dirt roads are perfect for clips.  If you ride single track you are either clipped in or you are on platforms.  Hence, further support to the idea that this guy took it up the keister from an unscrupulous LBS.  Of course, he also could of gotten it online, too.  Bicycle Bananas has it listed for $2,084.  What he is selling it for, $600 from the listp plus what ever he paid to have it assembled.  Here is the link to the ad if you want a closer look.

I have always wanted a Bianchi Single Speed but not in a 17" frame. Still this is a pretty good deal when you consider you get a free Park Tools work stand in the deal. With 2.4 inch tires, this would be a great snow bike, too!