Tag Archives: just sayin




I’m starting to get a little addicted to buying weird cycling socks. Here are some “Flanders” in bright yellow. Are they talking about the Tour of Flanders? I’m guessing they are. Mainly I bought them because the logo reminds me of the old progressive breakbeat dance music record label Rampant Records. They used a similar logo on the B-side labels of their 12″ vinyl releases.

Socks are def a little easier to collect than vintage bicycle water bottles.

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Ringle’ Quick Release Lever – The Talisman


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:


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).


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Shimano 8speed to 7speed Spacer Issue: Hall of Fame Level Cheap Dirty Fix

Got a new set of wheels for my beater bike, Ye Olde GT Talera, which is a thousand years old and still jammin.  Seriously, I love that bike, it is so weird.  So Thursday night I was stoked when the wheels arrived and I could finally remove the one with the giant flat spot from that pothole I hit at Atlanta Mobile Social.

The new wheels have an 8 speed freehub, and Ye Olde Talera is a 7 speed, so I ordered the appropriate space from Bike Island  as recommended. Dove into the install and immediately found that the spacer was way too big! It was big enough that I couldn’t even get the  lock ring to catch the threads.


I put all the tools and gear away, and headed in to see what I could find about getting a smaller spacer, which was pretty easy to find, but I just couldn’t let the issue go. I had to WIN. It was the kind of day where a bunch of crap had happened that sucked and getting the wheels put on was going to be the redeeming element, there was no way I was going to give up that easy.

Then I got an idea. A -possible- solution. So crazy it just might work. So I headed out to give it a try. I’ll let the pics do the talking from here…







Yep.  I used a freakin coat hanger to create a makeshift spacer…and it WORKS!

A few notes.  The cassette I have is very old, the original from the bike. I’m pretty sure that newer cassettes as completely flush on the back of the big cog, as the connector pins are recessed. At least that’s how they are on my SRAM cassette on my mountain bike, so I figure Shimano must be doing the same.  This particular cassette has pins that are like rivets, I don’t know if they are removable, but they ad about 3/4 mm to the stack size that butts against the inner part of the freehub.  This contributed to the problem, and is a factor in the makeshit install as well.  In the places where the rivets bumps are the coat hanger wire is bent inwards a bit when they line up with one of the “hollowed out” portions of the freehub body. You can sort of see this at the top of the pic with the yellow arrows.  As far as I can tell this han’t caused any alignment issues at all, it spins straight and shifts fine.

My rig is awesome but it will be temporary. The wire has the potential to pop out if the circumstances are correct, and I don’t want to take that chance, o I ordered a proper spacer, just to be safe. Overall though I was pretty happy since I WON, and I’ll actually be able to use the bike this weekend. Ordered some wicked new Kool Stop brake pads also…upgrades are fun. Cantilever pads are increasingly hard to find, unless you want clunky black uncool bricks.

So Ye Olde talera now has actual round wheels again. Truthfully these wheels are a little much for this bike (bladed spokes? cmon now…), but the price was good and hell, why not trick it out, I love this bike. Still haven’t decided whether I’m going to remove the stickers from the wheels or not…they kind of mess up my vision of a totally murdered out blackity black ride, but at the same time they are kind of growing on me. I’ll decide in a few days. Comparison below.


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Park Tool Small Parts Container Separated at Birth Twin FOUND!

My newly acquired road bike Scotty causes me to randomly wander around the internet looking for something…ANYTHING…to buy to add/change/upgrade his stock set up. So far no luck, although in a future post we’ll discuss the psychological ramifications of  looking at carbon fiber headset spacers and resisting the urge to hit the buy button. A whole mess of issues there.

Anyway, while wanderlusting the digital plains I happened across this little gem from Park Tool:

“Park Tool Small Parts Container” said the description.

Wait a minute! I’ve seen this contraption before, but not in a bicycle related setting.  Hmmm, lemme think. Oh yeah I know! This is the same thing that holds the lemon wedges that get squeezed into the top of your Corona, the olives for your martini, and the cherries that decorate your unnecessarily elaborate, overpriced and somewhat fancy looking cocktail.

This thing is a re-purposed BAR CONDIMENT DISPENSER with a Park Tool Sticker on it!

Nah. Couldn’t be that easy. Park tool are scientists…wizards of the craft, the familiar blue color letting you know that every product they produce is purpose built specifically for bicycle use, on bicycle parts, by bicycle mechanics.  So let’s investigate, I thought. Fired up the engine that searches, and whaddyaknow…



There it was on the first page of results, an unbranded twin brother/sister that most certainly was separated from it’s Park Tool match at the hospital factory assembly line where it was birthed.

Although it is unlikely that these two ever be reunited on the same workbench, both the Park Tool version (27.95), and the “Yet To Be Branded” version ($11.35) are available to be adopted to good homes.


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We’re All Not Training Hard Enough…


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:

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Ceramicspeed Derailer Pulleys

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


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.

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New Bike Day!

Finally, after a zillion years of putting it off, I bought a road bike!!

2012 Scott Speedster 50 (S50)

scott s50 2012 new bike day_cropNow I know it isn’t as fancy schmancy as your bike, I mean hell, your a pro and I’m just an average schmo tooling around slowly. But I love this ride regardless of the lack of Dura-Ace and carbon niceties.

I got a very sweet deal on this bike at Adventure Cycles in what I believe is Braselton GA, but could also be listed as Flowery Branch…they are sort of in the no mans land in between the two.

I’ve already taken it out for a short, flat ride to give myself a little practice with clipless pedals, which I haven’t used since about 2007.  Managed to do pretty well with them so far, thanks to some excellent friends who have flowed me some hand me down gear.

This bike has “st-2300” model Shimano shifters which I swear have had a zillion miles of play engineered into them in order to make them the low end of the line. You have to push the lever like an inch to the side before it engages, and downshifting with a thumb clicker is just not stealthy at all. But I’ll make them work, at least for the first year. My last experience with STI was Ultegra, the very first year they came out. Even though that was a zillion years ago, it was hard to make the backwards jump.

What I needed was a good entry point to road biking (again), and I am pretty sure I made a good choice here. I’m always low budget, high style. Can’t wait to log summer miles on this bad boy…or is it a girl? I haven’t had enough time to feel out it’s personality and give it a proper name.

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