Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On One Retards

Part of that Unreal Deal from Unreal Cycles, or I should say, the reason I got such a good deal on the Panaracers was because I bought a new wheelset. I decided to go with a geared rear wheel because I can with the Dillinger and who knows what the next bike will be in my future but most likely it will be a full susser 29er. The front wheel weighs 1050 grams and the rear is 1270 grams but hey I could have gone lighter for double or even triple the price.

Panaracer 29x2.35

I got an Unreal Deal from Unreal Cycles last week: I got a pair of Rampage Panaracer 29x2.35s for half price when I bought a new wheelset. It will be interesting to see what it is like to ride with a larger volume tire. They are bi-directional, one way for front and the other for rear. Can't wait to test them out on the trails this weekend - that is if it's dry enough, and yikes there is race next weekend!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reconstructing Lambert: Finis!

Here is my Lambert Grand Prix Fixed! Weighing in at 22 lbs, she is eager to get out for a test ride. Below is what the bike looked like when I brought it home from the shop nine months ago. I think this could be my favorite build to date. The Bianchi was my first love and introduction to fixed gears, she taught me a lot. The next bike to really make an impact is the Marin Stinson, a former internally geared 4 speed comfort bike with front squish. The Stinson will remain as my fixed gear commuter until something better comes along that could replace it. I think this will be the fun bike!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finally ... back on the 'Horse again.

I think most people wouldn't tollerate the issues that I have had with this bike and would have sold it a long time ago. After my last ride on the 'Horse, I ended up with rear flat. At first I thought it was prickers but when I checked the tire, there was a little piece of metal sticking through that was getting my tube every time. I threw on an old Specialized Hardrock 26 x 1.95 but looks more like 2.1 or even a 2.2. That's the thing with Specialized tires, they are bigger that they say they are.

So it was off to Brooksvale Park in Hamden for the first CT NEMBA Trail Ambassador Training Session for 2010. After some instruction, eight mountain bikers headed up one of the main trails in Brooksvale Prak into the Naugatuck State Forest. It was insanely cold and I was a bit undersdressed with shorts and my summer riding shoes. Forturnately, on the climb up, I warmed up quickly. Also on the initial climb we lost one guy who I think wasn't in the best of shape and decided to bail. Before entering the State Forest, another guy's hub blew and he had coast back to the lot.

We ended up doing a nice 5 mile loop in the State Forest that included the jump trail. Then it was the climb up along Brooksvale Stream, which we had to ford and while in the river, I stalled out and had to put a foot in the water. That sucked! On the other side, I wrung out the water and I was surprised but my toes were able to stay warm enough with my wool riding sock.

Then it was up the Cromie Road to a trail that cuts back over to the boundary with Brooksvale park and then back to the lot.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reconstructing Lambert: 52:18

Got the drive train put together tonight! Being stuck with the 52t chain ring upfront, the closest I could get to 42:15 (73.6 gear inches) was 52:18 (75.9 gear inches). All I need is front tube and I will be rocking.

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Reconstructing Lambert: Progress

Worked on the cockpit last night drinking PBR and listening to Liquid Metal, especially when Beyond the Pit came on a midnight.

The more and more I dive into this build, the more and more I am replacing parts. The only bits remaining Lambert OEM, besides the frame, at this point are cranks, BB, pedals (though they are gone once I find some orange CBs), and headset. The stem clamp, I discovered was shot, too, so no Lambert stem and no mustache bars now.

Instead, I put on Origin 8 Bull Horns with of course O8 bar tape. They have an interesting barend plug, it's two pieces and works like a barcon whereby you twist it and it expands to tighten against the inside of the bar. Since I was stuff the bar tape into the end I had to do it the old fashion way and use a mallet to get it in. I have an aero lever on the right.

There is a brand new Sanke stem that has a lot of neck that I can play with.

I knew there was a risk that the OEM Lambert Brakes might not work with the 700c wheels, and they didn't. I had to scrounge in the parts bin for another brake, and then scrounge for a bolt to hold it onto the fork. I ended up using one off a Panasonic frame I had hanging up in the back of the garage from another project in waiting.

These Weinmann DP-18 wheels with Origin 8 hubs are hawt! These are temporary until I can get the Iro's laced up but I still looking for matching hoops, not very hard mind you. All the different shades of orange is probably going to require a name change. When this is finished, I will submit it and the Stinson to the Fixed Gear Gallery.

More NYC Bike Porn: 29er Commuter Dinglespeed

I came across this commuter on 46th between Park and Lex. When I saw that is was a D660 I was really excited - a 29er in the City! Woo Hoo!

Cockpit was unique with horn, huge barends, a grip shifter on the left side and it looks like there is a mount for a Garmin Edge 500 and one of the 205/305/605/705 bike computer gps series.

Pipe insulator for a junk/top tube protector. I also like how he using a cork to push into the bottom of the steering tube and then attaching the bottom of the fender to it. I have something similar that broke that could be remedied just this way.

At first the rear derailleur threw me and I thought, OK, he's using it as a tensioner but looking at the drive train closer and noticing that there was a twist shifter on the left grip led to the discovery of a truly unique style of bike, a dinglespeed!

A dinglespeed is where you run two cogs in the rear and either one or two rings upfront. Only here we have a two rings upfront and waht appears to be a flip flop hub in the rear with two different cogs.

sitting next to the Dinglespeed is another Redline, a 26" wheeled Monocog. What's the likelihood of finding two 'Cogs parked to one another in NYC at the same time?

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Friday Fix: NYC Fixed Gear Commuter

Every very time I am in NYC I head out at lunch to my favorite Indian Restaurant on 46th between 3rd and Lex. I am always on the prowl for bikes, especially fixed gears and single speeds, which I see quite a bit these days. Since, I was alone in my stroll I didn't feel awkward whipping out the camera for every bike I saw. Take for instance this bike I saw between Park and Lex on 48th St.

What attracted me to this bike first off was the fact that the bars seemed a bit odd to be bull horns, they appear to be more like steer horns. As if they were flop and chops but before they were chopped, they were bent using a pipe bender. Some sort of rubberized tape to prevent scratching the frame. I always wonder why you would do this? Is it to make the bike androgynous so as to deter theft or just to protect the frame from scratches - which until you take off the tape you will never see.

A true track frame with horizontal drops and chain tensioners. Nice, but you can tell well used, Deep-V Velocity rims. Pretty small frame, though, maybe a 46cm.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick and Dirty

Got out for a quick 5 mile ride after work today on the Dillinger. Prior to clipping in and heading off I made a few more adjustments but that didn't abate the creaking noise I keep getting while pedaling which leads me to believe I have to revisit the EBB again. My Ergons needed to be readjusted, too. In my haste to be out the gate I should have checked my air pressure because when I got out on the trail I could feel that they were a little mushy. I also put on my full huckle & buckle kit, well I always ride with my knee and shin guards but today I threw on the forearm guards. After my last two rides, the scrapes and gouges in my forearm needed a little extra protection. It paid off when I endoed and landed right on my forearm.

Looks like the Open Space off of Sanford Road got marked and that means I can start on my trail proposal in earnest now. I probably won't be able to push a trail between the two houses on the little sliver of open space that separates them. I imagine the residents off of Sanford Road will fight it so I will make that a Phase II attempt and a test of the system. I think it will be a test because the town wants trails but they can't let developers play ring-around-the-rosy with them when it comes to divying up the land. If the town wants trails then they are going to have to ensure there is enough land to do so.

The Wet Spot (there are more shots on the Gussy Blog) on the Gussy Trail was particually wet today. There was actually a trickle of water running through it. Looks like I might have to go in and cut a channel just so that it's not a big trough that you have to ride through.

Today's ride was exceptionally wet and dirty. We did get over two inches of rain earlier in the week and that manifested itself up and down the trail. For the most part, the Upper Gussy was pretty well drained. There are some new spots that are soft that I am going to have to armor this spring and summer.

Another visit to the Park City Metro North Station Bike Rack

Back to NYC this week so I thought I would drop in at my favorite bike rack and see if there was anything new, anything wild, anything fabulous, maybe something vintage dragged up from the basement because the car was in the shop. There as a little treat, this mass produced Bianchi with a sprung saddle, granted not a Brooks, though. A friend of mine has something similar that I want him to sell me so that I can rebuild it into a fixed/sser Monster Crosser.

I have seen this Schwinn often times enough and what get's me is that the owner is sitting on a train somewhere, or already at his place of work with a saddle and seatpost. Dude, get a lock, and lock it down!

The Panasonic with the ghetto styled bars seems to be a regular now and of course there is the Toponga. I don't understand the bag over the seat concept in rainy weather. OK, so the first time you plant your fourth point of contact upon the seat, it will be dry, but by the time you get where you are going, the rest of you will be wet anyway, so what's the difference? Unless of course the owner thought it was supposed to rain today, too, which might be the more likely explanation.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Gear: Hydrapack Laguna

This is my new hydration pack from Hydrapak, the Laguna. I won it a contest for being the GPS Data whore that I am. So I thought I give a little review of the new gear. First off, this pack has more straps and buckles than a dominatrix. While it's primary purpose is for mountain biking it will also expand into a day pack, so not only does it have straps for carrying a helmet and pads, it also has compression straps at the bottom so you could carry a lightweight sleeping bag.

It has four external pockets, one at the top, another towards the bottom but on the exterior of the pack and then two on the sides as bottom. The top most outer pocket is felt lined which I would presume would be for a small camera. The lower external pocket has headphone access for your mp3 player, as well as some pockets, and a key clip. I think it would have been smarter to make the top most pocket for the mp3 thus not having your earphone not have to reach as far.

Side pockets are nice for snacks. I can reach both with the pack on but it's difficult.

The main compartment is nice and roomy. Plenty of room for extra tubes, pump, first aid kit, and my folding saw. In one of the pockets I have my Gerber collapsible pliers and in the other is baggie with emergency ass wipe. It's missing a pump sleeve, unfortunately.

Overall, love the feeling of it on. The sternum strap can be adjusted up or down as well as tightness. Felt good wearing it around the garage. Can't wait to field test it this weekend.

New bits for the Fixed Gear Marin Stinson

I picked up an Origin 8 saddle the other day from eBay. It was like $15 with free shipping. I knew it would be perfect for the Stinson. Now all I need are some yellow Crank Brother pedals, a yellow KMC chain, and yellow fenders. Yellow rims would be the icing on the cake but that might be a little obsessive.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Please move the bike rack where it can be seen by all

The Park City at Oh Dark Thirty
Who ever moved the bike rack to the back of the station in the Park City was thinking with his or her head up their fourth point of contact. Of course it's now hidden from view were any enterprising person now has a much easier opportunity to steal something than if they were near the street.

The Topanga was back but I missed the Schwinn Cruiser with the lopsided seat. I haven't seen this Pannasonic since last summer.

I love the ghetto style bars. Nice big frame, perfect for fixing.

While walking to a new Indian Buffet in NYC I saw some lovely bikes including a teal Spaulding mountain bike and a smallish fixer outside the restaurant sitting like a diamond in the rough amongst all the delivery bikes. The significance of the Spaulding is I have one waiting in the wings while I decide what to do with it. Maybe, if I can find a 700c fork with a disc brake mount and a threaded, one inch steering tube I could build it into an all steel 69er, something I have been jonesin to ride again.