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)