Thursday, December 8, 2011

Salsa Vaya - Holiday bike special #3...

(As of the end of December, the Vaya has found a new home.)

The next bike to go on the sale table is a 2011 model year Salsa Vaya in size 55. Seems strange that the 2011 model year bike is now old when it's still 2011, but I digress. According to Salsa's fit chart, it should fit guys in the 5'6" to 5'9" range (ideally 5'7" or 5'8") and gals in the 5'8" to 5'10" range. If you live in the Bay Area and are in that range and have been waiting for a killer deal on a 55cm Salsa Vaya, this is your chance.

As mentioned, it's a 2011 model which means it's got a Shimano 9-speed drivetrain with a double crankset. All the specs are on the link up in the very first sentence. Rack is not included, but can be added for and additional $80. Pedals aren't included as well. The brake housings were upgraded to compressionless housing which makes a huge difference is how the disc brakes feel and perform with the road brake levers.

The original price is $1595. Sale price for this baby is $1095 - a whopping $500 savings. Help me make some room and get yourself a sweet road/dirt all-rounder. This would make a great bike for dirt road loops around Mt. Tam. Photos are of the actual bike. Yes, there is dirt on the tires. No the bike is not used. I've got a dirt parking lot and in order to test ride any bike, it gets ridden through the parking lot. Price does not include sales tax. Shipping not available, sorry.

(What's playing: KWMR Coast Highway Blues)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Parts, we gotcher parts on sale...

I run a pretty tight ship inventory-wise. However, sometimes I end up with parts for one reason or another that I'll likely not need in the foreseeable future. So, every so often I feel the need to make my buying error your purchasing error. Here are some parts that are one-time only "my loss is your gain" sale items.

First up. Before Shimano had 28t 10-speed cassettes, the Italian component company, Miche, was offering cassette cogs that could be mixed and matched in various combos. This is a 10-speed 12-29 cassette that will fit onto Shimano cassette splines (not the deep spline, though). The exact cogs are: 12-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-27-29. As is, it would sell for about $85. It's yours for $40. Lock ring not included.

There are a few nice square taper cranks on the market. One of them is the FSA Vero crank. It's nothing special to write home about. Forged arms, CNC aluminum rings in 50/34 combo. Just works nice. These are regularly $90, but the limited supply I have can be yours for $50 each. Pair them with a nice Shimano UN54/55 bottom bracket and you're set to go. I've got three in 175 and one in 170 length. The rings on the 170 are designed for Shimano 10 speed. The rings on the three 175 length cranks are designated as Shimano 9-speed, but they work just fine with Shimano 10 speed.

SRAM Rival cross crank. 175mm hollow arms. 46/38 rings in a 130mm bolt circle. Includes a GXP external bottom bracket. This cranks has been installed in a frame by never used. No box included. Regular price is $225, but you can have this set for $115 with bottom bracket.
*(Rival crankset is sold)

SRAM Red right side shifter. I thought I was ordering a pair of Force shifters, but what arrived was a single right side Red shifter. I could have returned it, but time passed, and my loss can be your gain. This should be on the north side of $300, but if you've crashed your shifter and need one, this one can be yours for $200 and I'll include shipping to the 48 states with this one. Includes cables and housing as pictured.

Momentary lapse of remembering that Dura Ace 7900 front derailleurs are not compatible with Dura Ace 7800 shifters. This Dura Ace 7900 front derailleur has a 34.9 clamp. These are usually about $125, but you can nab this one (without box) for $65.

There you go. Maybe you're piecing a project bike together and need that one last piece. Maybe you want a spare to have. Don't wait. Call or e-mail.

And with the exception of the SRAM Red lever, prices don't include shipping/postage.

(What's playing: KWMR Reggae Radio)

Classic Merckx retro mod...

As we get older (okay, some of us), we still like to ride our bikes. Sometimes we like to ride our old vintage road bikes. And if it's a vintage road bike like a vintage road bike should be (I'm talking 70's and 80's) it will have a double crank and a close ratio freewheel. The crankset will have rings of 52 and 42 or 52 and 45. The freewheel will be a 13-21 or a 13-23.

Today, there is a plethora of gearing options and sometimes the gearing options make it easier to pedal a bike uphill with lower gears. Back when we were riding 52/42 with 13-23's, we had time to ride more and had the strength to push those bigger gears. Today, with jobs and less time to ride, fitness isn't quite what it used to be.

Today, there are a lot of gearing options for road bikes. However, converting a classic road bike to these new-fangled cranksets doesn't always maintain the same feel of the original bike. Until now.

This classic Campy equipped Merckx came in recently for a lower, easier to get up the hills drivetrain. To maintain the original look, we went with an IRD Defiant 50/34 crank, IRD 6-speed 13-28 freewheel, and a new Campy Veloce rear derailleur. The Defiant crank has a similar design to the original Nuovo Record crank with the fluted arms and the large chainring design has a similar shape and cutout to the early Nuovo Record rings. The rear derailleur is important because the old Super Record derailleur will only go up to a 24t cog. Additionally, the new Campy Veloce 10s derailleur has limit screws that and limit screw stops that allow it to move across 10 cogs and this set-up only had 6 cogs. A longer limit screw took care of that and stopped the derailleur right on the 6th cog.

Turned out pretty sweet.


Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx

New drivetrain

New drivetrain

Chainstay decal
The story was that this bike was originally purchased at Freddy Maerten's brother's bike shop, Maerten's Sport in Belgium.

(What's playing: )

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What's in the stand...

On the spot bar tape job on something a bit unique. Jacquie Phelan pedaled over from Fairfax on a spectacular Fall day here in West Marin. Temps in the upper 60s, maybe the 70s. We were also under a "hazardous wind advisory" that never materialized. Good for cycling.

With Jacquie's bike in the stand, I peeled off several years of torn and frayed cloth handlebar tape and replaced it with some new Cateye tape and some split-in-half Grab-On drop bar grips. The halved sections fit on top of the bar where your hands rest and are held in place by the cloth tape. And while Jacquie was snapping photos of a coffee table sized book of cycling posters, I finished within minutes. And Robin Williams' bike was not in the stand as reported. I had relayed a story of him stopping at the shop to pick up another layer while he was out on a ride and was facing dropping temperatures.

Splash of color

Cunningham Cross Bike

Alice B. Toeclips

Built by...

Jacquie and her bike

(What's playing: Tom Russell The Sky Above, The Mud Below)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday special...

If all those other companies can do it, so can I. Here's the deal, or rather here are the deals. All involved purchasing a Black Mountain Cycles road or cross frame and all should be able to appeal to different needs you might have. Black Mountain Cycles "Cyber Monday" special runs through Sunday December 4. Let your friends know. Pass the word. Get down offa that fence.

Deal #1
Simple. Black Mountain Cycles road or cross frameset shipped to your door (in the lower 48 states) for $550. Or if you pick it up in store, $525. Deal #1 is valued at up to $635.

Deal #2
Black Mountain Cycles road or cross frameset, t-shirt, water bottle, and pint glass shipped to your door (in the lower 48) for $575 ($550 if you pick up in person). Deal #2's value is up to $668.

Deal #3
Black Mountain Cycles road or cross frame with Cane Creek 40 headset installed for $575 shipped to your door (in the lower 48) or $550 if you pick it up in person. Heck of a deal valued at up to $695 and the best deal, monetarily, out of the three.

Note, sales tax is applicable for any sale to a California address.

Okay, go! Operators are standing by. Here's some pictures of recent builds to get you all stirred up.

cross 009

62cm Road Ultegra

(What's playing: Monsters of Folk Magic Marker)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday special #2 - Surly Cross Check...

Up next on the holiday sale special is a 58cm Surly Cross Check. One only and one size only. In store purchase only. Regular price $1150. Sales price $700. If you don't need a new bike, your buddy does. C'mon over and check it out and make yourself happy with a new bike. Here's a photo of the actual bike. Pedals not included.

As of 12/4/11, the Cross Check has found a new home.

What's playing: The Rolling Stones Who's Been Sleeping Here)

T-day ride...

Got out for a post-rain, pre-feast ride on the road bike. With fenders, it's no problem to head out for a ride without having to think about how the road/weather conditions will affect your ride. I'm not a big fan of going out to ride in the rain if I can help it, but it's just rained or if it's a bit crappy, heading out on a ride with a fendered bike is a no worry experience. No worries about the stripe of wet grime up your backside. No worries about wet feet. No worries about riding on roads through cattle ranches where the catle crossings are littered with a soupy, slick sheen of cow shit. Nothing worse that having that splash up on your water bottles.

And there are plenty of cattle crossings riding on any of the roads out in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, which is where I headed for a little jaunt on Thanksgiving. The roads were plenty wet and I was going to head out to Kehoe Beach and back on the road. On the way out through Inverness, there were more cars that usual (holiday drivers). By the time I got to the turn off for Marshall Beach Rd., a fine dirt road for road bikes, I had enough traffic and decided on some sweet dirt. In the summer, this road is pretty dusty and has some pretty good sections of washboard. Not today. It was a little slick and super smooth.

Marshall Beach Rd
Marshall Beach Rd. (also known as "L" Ranch Road.

Marshall Beach Rd
The road surface was pretty solid, but there were a few spots where it was a bit soupy and the bike had some pretty nifty two-wheel drifts.

Marshall Beach Rd
North into the headwind.

Marshall Beach Rd. looking across Tomales Bay towards Marshall.

Double track
Inverness Ridge off in the distance.

What's playing: Elvis Costello The Element Within Her)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Post Thanksgiving / pre-Christmas clearance...

Got to make room. Between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, I'm going to be posting bikes and parts that are for sale and on sale. Sales prices on bikes are good for in-store purchase only. I just don't have any boxes big enough to pack a complete bike into at this time. And I'm going to start with bikes.

As of 11/25/11, the Surly below is sold. Thanks for the calls and e-mails.

First up is a Surly Long Haul Trucker. Size 56cm. Stock bike except for the wheels. I robbed the wheels off this bike for a cycle tourist a while back. He was touring down the coast and by the time he got to my shop, he had multiple broken spokes in back and his front had seen one too many pot-holes. I also robbed the rear derailleur from it for another emergency repair. The wheels are now a handbuilt set of Velocity Synergy rims, Deore hubs, and DT Champion 14g spokes. The rear derailleur is the Deore model. Original price is $1090. Sale price between Friday Nov. 25 and Saturday Dec. 24 is $600 plus sales tax of 8%. Git it while it's hot. This is the bike.

(What's playing: The Who The Kids Are Alright)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crotchet and leather goodness...

Been a while since I wrote a "Things I Like" post. It's not because there haven't been things I like that I've wanted to write about. Early on when I started this blog, I started writing about "Things I Lke," "Things I Want To Like," and "Things I Dislike." Then, in the mean time, this thing called Facebook showed up. You might have heard about it. On Facebook, you can "Like" all kinds of things. Some things you may "Like" but don't actually have a connection to it. Some things you may "Like" because it's the fashion of the day. I like to "Like" things I have a personal connection to and therefore, there's not many things I "Like." Black Mountain Cycles does have a Facebook page and I think it's cool that folks "Like" it and it's cool if folks don't "Like" it. Just because you don't "Like" it doesn't mean you don't like it.

Now how in the hell did I get from "crotchet and leather" to going on about "Likes" on Facebook? Oh yeah, I like classic crotchet and leather gloves. And specifically, I really like the Euro-Asia Imports classic version with tan leather and a natural crotchet back. Besides the gloves, I also like Euro-Asia. They've been a bike parts distributor for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, every invoice is hand written. For clarification, "as long as I can remember" goes back to 1988.

These classic gloves are so anti-new technology that they suit me just fine. I've got a pair of high-end, name brand (okay, Pearl Izumi), gel filled gloves that I wanted to like, but the location of the gel pads is not right. The gaps in the gel are right where I hold onto the corner of the bar. And the gel globules really give me a disassociative connection to the bar and hence the bike. But not these leather and knit gloves, oh no. There is minimal padding and I can feel the bar and that gives me a proper feeling of what's going on with the bike. Someone commented that there is no baby soft snot spot on the glove for nose wiping. To this, I simply referred them to Rule 5.

So there you have it. I've got these gloves in stock in sizes Medium, Large, and Extra-Large. They aren't cheap, but they aren't Rapha expensive. You get your own set for $39.95 (plus applicable tax and shipping if you aren't physically shopping in the store.

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(What's playing: The Stanley Brothers The White Dove)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Titanium Thursday Pt. 4...

Okay, final installment of Titanium Thursday (one time Thursday event). This one's a sweet little Willits titanium road bike that had its Ultegra triple components replaced with a mix of 7800 and 7900 Dura Ace.

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(What's playing: Social Distortion Ring of Fire)

Titanium Thursday Pt. 3...

Quick one here with a titanium group hug.

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A shot of the first and most recent frame Steve has made with S&S couplers.

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Okay, so there's an aluminum and carbon frame in the photo.

(What's playing: Neil Diamond Solitary Man)

Titanium Thursday Pt. 2...

In the second edition, we have a new Steve Potts build. A really sweet 700c, disc brake cross bike. This is really a go fast dirt road, paved road rocket. Built with a SRAM parts group, White Industries hubs with HED Belgium rims, Thomson seat post, Ritchey bar and stem, and Avid BB7 brakes. The blue outline in the decal is a really nice match to the blue painted fork. It's just a good feeling bike. Dialed and rarin' ta go with the S&S couplers.

sp 001

potts 009

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(What's playing: Waylon Jennings The Wurlitzer Prize)

Titanium Thursday Pt. 1...

It's been pretty intense recently. Lots of builds. Lots of repairs. Lots of titanium. I'll parse out the sweet ti goodness in doses. The first dose is a nice little Steve Potts number that was in to get the fork repainted, new Moots stem and seat post, and new Potts ti bars.

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Rick at D&D Paint suggested the exact color for the lower half of the Type II fork and really nailed exactly what the owner was looking for.

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The brake pad with the rusted nut was replaced

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(What's playing: Tom Waits Heigh Ho)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How many times...

How many times have you ridden past something and taken it for granted? Ridden past something and thought "I should stop sometime and check that out?" Anyone who has ridden past the town center of Inverness on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. has seen the old boat that's been stranded high and dry on the beach behind the Inverness Store. I've always thought I should stop and check it out a little closer sometime.

Well, that sometime happened about a week ago as I was riding through Inverness to get to the dirt road climb up to the Inverness Ridge. The sun had just risen and the light was almost perfect. As I came into Inverness, I glanced over, saw the boat bathed in the first light and knew today was the day to check it out. And as chance would have it, I had my trusty little camera in my pocket.

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The sun rises right over Black Mountain

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Fishing boat on Tomales Bay

Then it was time to get back on the bike and start climbing up to the ridge.

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Excellent trail conditions

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Looking across to the bay through the trees

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Sometimes, you have to look up

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The trail up top

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Looking down to Drake's Bay from the ridge

(What's playing: KWMR Coast Highway Blues. If you like the blues, you should check this show out on every Wednesday 8:30 - 10:30)