Tag Archives: gear

Water Bottle Cages vs Fancy Socks

bottleGages

I finally broke down and bought some water bottle cages. People who have ridden with me know that I have a “thing” about keeping bottles on the bike. I don’t like them rattling and rumbling around. I don’t like the extra weight. I’m just not a fan of using my bike as a hydration transportation unit. The Camelback has been a great solution to this issue, HOWEVER, since I have recently started riding with a little more advanced group, I have noticed I am the only one running a hydration pack and baggy shorts. I’ll solve the shorts issue later, but for now the hydration pack issue is solved. Along with the cages and bottles, I’ll also be running a very small under seat bag, with a tube, tire lever, patch kit and 2 c02 cartidges. Even with two full bottles and all the repair gear, I’ll be carrying less weight than when I use the Camelback, since I carry a grip of tools and a pump in there. I’m going to be travelling lighter but definitely riskier if I flat. I’ll take the chance. BONUS LEVEL: cages were $4.79/ea…70% off list.

The cages look pretty rad, but I tossed an empty bottle in one and I already feel goofy riding with it. This is what my bike will feel like to me when I have both filled bottles in play:

water-truck_007

In other “new gear” news, I got some rad socks. I am assuming that Davis Bicycle Club is purely fictional, but I love the font they used. I really bought them for the “On Your Left” though…bikey people will get it. Get it?

bikeSocks

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My New Aventon Has Arrived!

aventonJustBuilt

My new Aventon arrived Thursday 4/17/2014.  Overall I am pretty stoked on the whole deal.  It came with riser bars and bullhorns, so I set it up with the bullies and some bar tape the color of tennis balls.  It was a bit late when I got home, so after assembly I was only able to take it for a short ride up my street. My street is a huge hill. I had thought that since it was geared taller than my current fixed gear, that I’d have trouble on the hill, but I made it to the top easier than I though. I think that I’m going to benefit from having more momentum from turning the larger gear.

I haven’t properly given it a name yet, but the matte black def reminds me of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the Northrop Grumman Stealth Bomber.  Before a name sticks I’ve gotta put some miles on it.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Aventon Cordoba Fixed Gear

aventonCordoba

I broke down and ordered this murdered out Aventon Cordoba fixed gear from City Grounds. I have been looking to get a new fixed gear for quite a while, and pretty much everything in my size in the under $500 has been sold out for months pretty much everywhere. When I got an HTML email from City Grounds advertising this new build, I jumped on it right away before they run out.

Of course I alreay have plans for it. The matte black offers the perfect canvas to constantly change op the look via accesorization. The most lajor plan though, is to replace the crankset with tubular chromoly BMX cranks. I finally found a mnaufacturer who makes 1/8″ BMX sprockets that are more than like 28 teeth, yet aren’t goofy looking saw blades. More on that later. I also found a suitable euro BB that will work for the mod. It’s gonna be freakin SICK. Also I won’t be scared to stomp on it once the tubies are installed. I am always afraid I am going to crush aluminum cranks.

My currentfixed is a 1984 Peugeot with a flop n chop on the bars and some Vuelta fixed wheels, which I have to say have been pretty rad condidering how low priced they were . My friend Katie iMac gave me the bike, so it kind of has a sentimental value, but I’m pretty sure it musy be sold. Gotta make some room, and I am thinking it just won’t get ridden once I have the new, currently unnamed bike.  I’df much rather have someone ride it often.

Yeah, this new bike needs a name, and I am sure one will present itself. Cordoba is a name I am just not that into. It reminds me of the Chrysler that Ricardo Montelban was hawking back in the 70’s. Welcome to Fixed Gear Fantasy Island.

chrysler_cordoba_ad

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Seat Swapper

I’ve been wanting to swap the seat out on Scotty for a while, and last week I finally got around to finding a saddle that had the right price ($15) and also a ventalation oval for the taint. The new unit is actually a bit less “race” and bit bore “comfort” as evidenced by the slightly larger size, and higher squish factor.

seatComp

Of course I would love to have a Selle Italia, but let me tell you how that will work for me. As soon as I get a saddle with a price point higher than $100, I’ll end up crashing or worse, the bike will just fall over when I lean it against something, which will result in a giant gash on the rear corner. I dunno, maybe not…the orig saddle that came with the bike didn’t get torn and it’s been over a year.

seatBA_2

Overall it ended up looking pretty rad, but once I actually performed the install I kind of realized that I am more interested in how it performs than how it looks. Really hoping that the ventalator will help me go a few miles further each ride, because usually the taint is ready to stop before my legs are.

seatBA_1

The new saddle has a higher profile than the last so I had to lower the seat post a bit. Since I was going to be messing with the seat post I figured I would take it out and inspect the seat tube. While pulling out the seat post it felt like freaking sandpaper against sandpaper. I guess the shop I bought it from neglected to pull a very small film of grease on the post before installing it, which is something that I like to do to help prevent the post from getting locked into the tube. This isn’t a big problem with aluminum to aluminum, but I still think it is a good practice, si I sorted it out before the reinstall.

It’s gonna rain today so I won’t get to give it a proper test, but hopefully we’ll get some miles next week and see how it goes.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Ringle’ Quick Release Lever – The Talisman

ringleBottleOpener

Pictured above: My Ringle’ Quick Release Skewer/Bottle Opener / Talisman.  Here is how I got it.

Sometime around ’92 or ’93ish, me and the rest of the crew from Golden Ring Bicycle Shop headed to Interbike Bicycle Trade Show and Schwag Accumulation Event which was either in Atlantic City or Philadelphia the year we got these awesome artifacts. I’ll just go ahead and admit my memory is a little fuzzy since we always used Interbike as an excuse to get pretty wasted the night before. Anyway, whichever year this happened, here is how it went down.

We were walking around collecting a zillion tons of literature, stickers, water bottles and all the free stuff that the manufacturers give awar at bike trade shows, when we came upon the Ringle’ booth.  Zillions of sweet looking parts were on display, in typical early nineties anodized glory, and some dude was giving out these “Bottle Openers”.   The guy who was giving them out was kind of a big dude, and at some point we overheard him telling another attendee…”I’m Geoff Ringle” and I am the testing department as well as the company namesake. If I can’t break it then it is strong enough for us to sell.” I may not be exactly precise on the wording here, but that was the point he was getting across, and believe it when I say he def looked like he could destroy some parts. We were kind of stoked to be talking with the man himself, since Ringle’ parts were all the rage that year. We all got out samples and kept on pushing on.

Since then this little unit has been my trusty beer opening companion for over 20 years and still going strong! Actually, it has worn down quite a bit, and I have to work a little bit to get it to open a brew these days, but I will always give it a try before I opt for some cheaper, less meaningful mode of beverage enabler.  This is because I am convinced that every time I use this on a beer, I get a little boost of good luck.  I never go on big rides without it.

I’ve stayed in contact with the other brothers from “way back when” at the bike shop. If I remember correctly, I may be the last man standing who has one of these from our group.  I hope theirs served them as well as mine has.

I got out of the bike business in 1995, and sort of lost track of what happened to most manufacturers, and I am almost sure that Ringle’ got bought out by a larger company.  Here is an ad from the company when they were in their heyday:

192Ringle

To see a much more thorough collection of Ringle’ history, head over to the MOMBAT Bicycle History Pages (where I copped the ad image from thanks folks).

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bicycle Upgrade Funtime – Ye Olde GT Talera

For a while now I have been wanting to put some purple handlebars and purple cable hangers on ye Olde 1993 GT Talera. I finally got around to ordering the parts, so my big project for the weekend was to make the swap. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’d much rather be riding my bikes than working on them. After 7 years of working at a shop a zillion years ago, I learned that what I really like is to get the thing set up right once and then ride the crap out of it, as opposed to switching parts all the time, which was more my thing during the BMX days.

Right away I ran into a major unforeseen problem. I had stupidly ASSumed that the shfters were a separate component from the brake levers, similar to how they are on my mountain bike.

WRONG!

LucyShifter580

Lucy Does Not Approve Of One Piece Brake Shifter Combos

I sat there looking at the thing forever, trying to figure out a way I could saw it in half, but that was’t going to happen. It was pretty evident that to complete the mods, I was going to have to buy some new shifters, which I wasn’t looking forward to/ We are talking about a 20 year old bike, so I was really anticipating compatibility issues.

Since I already had the thing apart though, I figured I would move on with what I could do, which was to revers the positioon of the stem so it was angled downward, and put on the new bars. This whole operation went pretty smooth, including the part where I removed the logo from the side of the stem so I wouldn’t have to ride around with a bunch of upside sown lettering.

stem

The next day, and a few internet searches later, I found that they had a 7 Speed SRAM Grip Shift at my local REI, so I headed over there and grabbed it. I would love to have put some under bar shifters on, but the idea was to do these mods without ending up in the poor house, so I opted for the Grip Shift which was ridiculously inexpensive, and hoped that if I set it up correctly, that it would work better than the sloppy feeling versions I remember from BITD.

I was pretty stoked to be able to work outside since for the first time this year the sun actually came out here in Georgia. No seriously, all it has done all year is rain, and if you don’t believe me, check the records. BUT ANYWAY, working outside is fun, much better light and all, so I loaded up the surgery cart with my gear and got ready to dig in.

surgeryCart

First was the front shifter and brakes. Everything went smooth as glass. The new anodized precision cable hangers are SO RAD! Total Overkill. It is the kind of piece that most people will not even notice but heads will know.

frontHanger.fw

Rear shifter and brakes also went silky. Taking my time and paying attention to the details really helped this Grip Shift perform much better than I thought it would.

rearHanger

Overall the whole thing turned out pretty much exactly the way I envisioned. A few people have told me that adding all the purple anodized parts is very 90’s, which is fine sith me since the bike is 20 years old. Period Correct. To me it is like a modern version of a Rat Rod type thing…the beat up old frame hung with a bunch of upgraded parts, wheels, etc. I love this bike, so much SOUL!

wholeBikeTaleraAug2013

Oh Yeah, I Got Some Tricked Out BMX Brake Levers Also, And Added Purple Anodized Barrel Adjusters. Another Touch For The Pays Attention Crowd.

levers

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Kool Stop Brake Pads

It wasn’t easy to find a set of cantilever pads I felt were worth shelling out the loot for, but I had to get something because the 20 year old pads on Ye Olde Talera were making the metal against metal sound. Finally found some Kool Stop jammies that looked like they would be worth having.  They came in last week, and I finally got around to the install today.  DO NOT make the mistake of telling me I have to toe in the pads…they actually come with a little extra material at the back of each pad that more or less MAKES you install them with good toe-in. I would have done it anyway.  They work INSANELY good.

newpadsrear

 

newpadsfront

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re All Not Training Hard Enough…

marketBike

A man carries goods to sell en route for the market on January 22, 2013 near Segou.
(Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #

Almost positive this is the original source:
http://thaiphong.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/mali-endures-in-conflict/

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ceramicspeed Derailer Pulleys

At $252.95, these derailer(sp?!) pulleys are def the “Dramatically Overpriced High End Audio Cables” of the bicycle world.

pulleys

Buy them at Jenson USA before they run out.

Ceramicspeed, if you folks would like to send me a set of these to test and review, I’d be glad to give ’em a whirl, and return them afterwards. Message me if you’re down, aight?

FULL DISCLOSURE: I do think precision pulleys are rad, and I stumbled across these while searching for a swanky anodized set for my new road bike…but $252.95? C’mon now.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cateye Adventure

This new computer from Cateye looks pretty rad.

Measures grade/slope of the current climb you are on and measures altitude gain, which I am thinking is a cumulative figure for how much you climbed over the course of a ride. I am assuming if you are going downhill it shows a negative grade or something. Kinda want to take a closer look at this jammy jam…you can check it out here>>http://www.cateye.com/en/product_detail/604

Tagged , ,