Friday, August 26, 2011

Fat Friday...

Got some new fat tires in the shop. Not fat like these fat tires, but fat for their intended installation application. What I got was a shipment of Kenda Happy Medium 700 x 40 tires that had been on my watch list with a distributor for a long, long, long time. They finally arrived and I snapped up several sets. They look pretty good for hard pack riding. The 40mm size will fit nicely in my cross frames. They're decent light at about 480g. Promising. I do hate to pull off perfectly good tires just to run a new set, but back tire is getting a bit worn down.

Actual measurements on a Velocity A23 rim are 40mm knob-to-knob and 38mm wide casing.

Happy Medium 700 x 40

Good clearance on my cross frames.
Happy Clearance

Minimal tread should roll well. Should also wear fairly well since the knobs are pyramid shaped so they shouldn't get torn off and should wear just like any other low-tread tire; better than you usually think.
Happy Medium 700 x 40

Also got in some 700 x 28 Clement Strada LLG 120tpi tires. They too look very promising. Remember Clement? I do. I had a bike that had Clement del Mundo Seta tires. Those tires were pretty fat too and boy did they ride nicely. If I say "they make that sound" when they roll, you know what I mean. The del Mundos make that sound and so do these new Strada tires. It's a very cool sound. You owe it to yourself to experience the sound. The actual width measurement on a Velocity A23 rim is about 27mm.

Clement Strada

Old school file tread.
Clement Strada

(What's playing: Beastie Boys Fight For Your Right)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Genuine Trek Replacement Parts...

That's right. Black Mountain Cycles frames are genuine Trek replacement parts. For evidence I present the Trek Pilot something or other. What it is is a silver aluminum frame with carbon seatstay and a replaceable derailleur hanger. What this Trek didn't have is a strong enough dropout that was attached to the chainstay and seat stay. Seems when push came to shove and the derailleur was wrapping itself around the cassette and spokes, that the derailleur and the replaceable derailleur hanger ripped the part of the frame that the replaceable derailleur hanger is supposed to protect right off.

You see, a replaceable derailleur hanger is supposed to break in case of unfortunate incident, thereby saving both the derailleur and the frame. Not in this case. Both the derailleur and the hanger are unscathed. The frame, on the other hand...

This is where a Black Mountain Cycles road frame becomes the replacement for the Trek frame. I swapped the parts from the Trek to a 59cm champagne road frame. Virtually all of the parts transferred very nicely. The customer picked up his bike, went on a little test ride and came back saying "wow, that's a great, smooth riding bike. I LIKE IT!" Cool.

You can get that feeling too with your own road or cross frame. Everyone digs how they ride, even the guy with two Seven road bikes. That's got to say something. Don't be left out.

There's not much material on that dropout around the hole for the bolt to secure the replaceable hanger.

This is the part that's supposed to break (in theory).

I have to give a nod to an old co-worker who came up with an ad for Haro Bikes that never ran. It featured a photo of a Haro bike with the headline "GENUINE GT REPLACEMENT PARTS." Always thought that was clever.

(What's playing: KWMR's Coast Highway Blues)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My bikes will take 1/2 hour off your riding time...

That's right. My cross bike will take 1/2 hour off your two hour loop. Imagine that. A full 25% faster. All these big-shot fancy bike companies are spending untold monies trying to develop a faster bike and all they needed was one of my cross bikes.

I built up one of my cross frames with a 9-speed Shimano kit recentily (Tiagra shifters, Sugino triple crank, 12-36 cassette, WTB Pathway tires...) and the new owner informed me that she was riding her 2 hour loop a full 30 minutes faster. Okay, her previous bike was an older mountain bike with suspension fork and knobby tires, but those tires were worn down so they were almost like slicks. When she presented me with this info after a few rides, I asked her what was she going to do with all this extra time she was going to have now that her rides were faster. "Ride more!" was her reply.

So, if you are looking to maximize your time on the bike by either mileage or time in the saddle, my bikes will give you that maximization. Your mileage may vary.

This isn't her bike, but this is a recent road bike build for an old riding buddy. He's not old. Well, I guess we are all older now. We used to ride a lot in the 80's and that was almost 30 years ago. Anyway, he had me build up a single speed road bike for him. White Industries Eno Eccentric hub with White freewheel, SRAM crankset, Velocity A23 rims, Thomson stem, well, not too complicated build - it is a single speed. I'm sure he's going to knock his times down too.

S/S Road

White Ind

(What's playing: KWMR's Faultline Radio)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

King wheelset...

Just got done building a new wheelset. Thought I'd offer a special deal to readers of the blog or Facebook. As the wheelset sits, it's an $800 wheelset. I'm offering it for $750 shipped to the lower 48 to anyone who says they saw it here or on Facebook. And as special incentive, if you are a reader of the blog and can answer the following question, you'll save an additional $50. That's right, $700 shipped to the lower 48 by answering correctly: What size are the photographs that the blind judge can't see in Alice's Restaurant?

Wheel specs: King classic wheelset with Velocity A23 rims, 32h, 130 spacing, DT Competition 2.0/1.8 spokes w/ alloy DT nipples - $750 shipped to the lower 48.

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(What's playing: Buddy Guy Red House)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What's in the stand...

Not what you're expecting. That's what. Sometimes it's not all Potts and Cunningham and Salsa and ... I find it interesting that there exists some bike shops that wouldn't even allow a specimen like this to enter their door. Granted there are some shops that are what would be called "pro only" and that's like taking your rusted out '68 Ford pick up to the Porsche mechanic. No, there are some shops that would see these bikes as too far gone and I understand that.

On the surface, besides the rust, they look to be in horrible shape. But the owner of the two in the stand only wants them to get through the upcoming Burning Man event held somewhere out in the desert of Nevada. Not my cup of tea, but these bikes have been there and back several times. And it appears that's the only place they get ridden because they were there last year and came to me with the same playa dust they collected in 2010 and probably the same dust under that from 2009.

And actually, with a judicious amount of Triflow and one new chain, they are functioning just fine. Oh sure, one has a front derailleur that won't shift to the granny, but last I heard the playa was dead nuts flat. Don't think the granny's going to be required. So long bikes, I'll see you next year.

The yeller bike is a different story. No playa dust. Just needs to be resurrected. With all the vegetation and insect like critters on it, it might have been better off seeing an exterminator and gardener first. Spiders and earwigs have made a safe haven for a few years, but they will soon get the eviction notice in the form of a mild degreaser/cleaner and a blast of water.

Yep, sometimes, bike like these keep the ole lights on.

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(What's playing: KWMR Coast Highway Blues)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

HTC hitting the high road...

I hope I'm not the first to come up with that line: "HTC hitting the high road." It's too easy. And quite frankly, I'm really not that interested in what is going on at any level of cycling (or sport) with regards to sponsorship. Sponsorship is a very difficult thing to gauge in terms of ROI. Sure, your name gets blasted out there, but does that really net you an increase in income greater than what you spent. And what if you are not a title sponsor, but a small sponsor that gets a tiny piece of real estate on a bike jersey? In cycling, sponsors line up to adorn jerseys because they want to support the sport.

I do, however, follow racing. Road much more than mountain bike racing. But not fervently. I read the recap of the day's stages from the tour after it had happened. I did enjoy reading about Thor defending his yellow jersey and it was great to read about Cadel capturing the overall in dramatic fashion on the second to last day.

So, HTC-Highroad. They were the title sponsor of the team with more wins since the team founded than any other team during that period. Should be a slam dunk for a sponsor to renew, right? Well, maybe only if you know who the heck HTC-Highroad is. I didn't. Guess I didn't following racing close enough. I learned HTC is a maker of mobile phones. Hmmm, go figure. I haven't had a cell phone for 4 years and other than an iPhone, couldn't tell you the names of any other cell phones out there.

I just googled HTC and went to their website for the first time, just now. Nothing on it obvious about them sponsoring the winningest cycling team. I do know the name HTC, just didn't know what they made or sold and only because I've read about the team and seen the pictures.

And what pictures! Oh, pictures that make a sponsor proud. Pictures of your star rider arms up in victory salute crossing the line first. Pictures of your star rider flipping off the camera. Okay, emotions are high in a race, it's a heat-of-the-moment thing. The rider can be forgiven if he apolgizes. But wait, this isn't a photo taken during an adrenaline charged sprint finish. This photo is a studio shot that was surely carefully calculated. It's a full-on "fuck you" to the viewer of the photo. There's no hint of sarcasm or joking around.

As a sponsored athlete, you are representing the brands that adorn your jersey. They are you, you are them. I'm sure the failed sponsorship negotiations weren't caused exactly by that photo, but I'm sure it didn't help matters. That photo not only shows the disregard Mark Cavendish has for his fans (of which, I am definitely not one now), but the disregard he has for the people who pay his wages. If Velonews, sorry, Velo, wanted to set up this shot with Cav flipping the camera off, they really should have had him dress in street clothes. With the shot that was published, both Cav and Velo disrespected not only the reader, but the sponsors of HTC-Highroad as well.

(What's playing: Bob Dylan Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat)