12-14-05: Busy thinking.... see Thoughts on Dec05 ... It's been a wierd year in a wierder world.
REVOLUTIONS- biking in NJ
Wednesday, 14 December 2005
Monday, 12 December 2005
Snow riding in Jersey
Once the snows off the main roads I been riding my Trek XO1 cross bike a lot. The overal setup helps with the slick wet slush that remains.
However, for riding IN snowstorms I built a "snowbike". A 24" wheel frame fitted with a 2' rear wheel, fixed (borrowed from my Dahon fix) and a road fork with a 700c up front. Short cranks tho with the lift of the front wheel I could probably fit 170's. Front brake and drop bars with griptape only on the tops. Rides okay but my next project is to make a studded rear tire for it. I experimented with making a studded 26" (MTB) tire but the screws I used were too long and it hit the 'stays while spinning. Winter sux but with a little ingenuity it can be made bearable. For what it's worth everything - even the BB -- on the snow bike came from the rubbish - except the 16t rear cog.
The rear wheel/fixed cog is going back on my folding fix, but I am keeping the Snowbike.... will rebuild it as soon as I come by another cheap and solid BMX wheel and cog.... It makes blizzards fun! ;)
Sunday, 20 November 2005
Over the mountain
Topic: fixed gearing
11-20-05: After my mundane morning ride, I latched onto a fellow cyclist riding a hybrid at a decent road clip. He was headed for the Rez.
I've ridden the Watchung Reservation several time, but not on a fixed gear, and my last trip was a fun, memorable jaunt on an old geared roadbike. So, I was not aware of the ease with which I would make it up the hills on my fix.
Conversing with my fellow cyclist about general bike stuff, I wasn't aware he didn't know I didn't have gears. Somewhere right before one of the bike climbs, it came up. "You have no gears? You must be some kind of maniac!"
I have heard of people on fixed gears arousing this sort of reaction from geared cyclists but never really heard it myself. Now I have.
Climbing was a cakewalk until the last few dozen yards, when my lungs had a mite of difficulty keeping up with my legs. But I made it with no complaining. The pain in my legs turned into a nice warm fuzzy buzz. I was high on something. What? Sun streamed through the leaveless branches and I realized what. Life.
The view was great -- falling leaves covered the woods but also cleared the trees, leaving a wide view on each side of the road through their claw-like naked branches. I turned around right outside of mountainside and then headed down the mountain, watching my speed on the winding curves but totally enjoying myself. It was peaceful, and refreshing, and awesome. It was Bicycling!
So, does 44x18 make for good hill climbing? I won't ride anything else in those winding ascents and fun downhills. With the cantis up front to control speed, the fuji fix handled admirably, even if I didn't -- several times while rounding curves I took a hand off the bars, and I am probably very lucky to be alive. I only saw two cars, but one was leaning over the center line and she was on a cellular phone.
With a smile I got home, the "immortal" themesong from highlander playing in my head as I unclipped my helmet and enjoyed a toasted tuna sandwich. What a way to start yer morning!
Friday, 18 November 2005
New old seat -- the joys of fall
11-18-05: Working on my fujifix I decided, on a whim, to modify a Wright leather bike seat. IT was intended for a road bike but ended up going on my fixed gear.
The result is mad cool; pics are coming.
Wednesday, 9 November 2005
The Trackbike Cometh -- one gear for all streets?
11-09-05: Temporarily borrowed the rear wheel from my fujifixed to get my Orero? track bike operational. 42x18 gearing for easy resistance braking, platform pedals (for now -- may add clips/straps) and nitto alu stem with steel bars and original cloth tape on the top half.
First time riding brakeless in a while and I end up gettign stopped by a cop. I'm thinking, crud, he's g0nna gimme a ticket for not having brakes. Turns out he just wanted to say "cool bike"(!). Who would've thunk it, a cop who likes bikes!
In the meantime, gonna clearcoat the frame to prevent rust ont he chrome lugs, etc. and tiny paint chips, as it's impossible to find matching touchup paint...
Wednesday, 2 November 2005
A tale of two bikes - fix vs. fix
1-2-05: This afternoon finished putting my Fujifix back together; after using the 16t cog for the Foldingfix, I took the 18'er off and put it on the fuji's wheel. However... The 18 with the 42 gearing was a bit spinny. So I swapped out the Fuji's 42 steel ring for a 43t aluminum one -- a ring that in a cool aesthetic touch I had driled out a while ago. Then finding this still not quite up there, I swapped it for a 44t Salsa chainring.
So far so good, but now the question remains: When I want to ride a fixed gear, which fix do I ride? The foldingfix admittenly is a perfect bad weather bike if one takes care to clean it and prevent rust around the joint; it had fenders, a more upright riding position, and the wheels are small so even w/out the fenders road spray is further away. On the other hand, the fuji's cantis make it a good all around bike... and the 2.444 is easier than the 2.625 of the 42x16. But the bigger front ring feels smoother...
But for now, both bikes are good to go...
Tuesday, 1 November 2005
Strangebike (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the fix)
11/01/05 - Modified my fixedgear Dahon folder some more yesrerday. Removed the half link from the chain and swapped out the 18t cog for a 16t, to give it 53x16 gearing. That's a 3.312 gear ratio which would be insanely hard on a normal bike but, with the reduction effect of the tiny 20" wheels it works out perfect aven for short steep hills.
Two days ago some folks at my work felt compelled to test ride the 'fix around the parking lot. "I like this bike" one guy said afterwards.
Today, stopping for my morning coffee, the guy behind the counter came outside and tried the bike.
Meanwhile, motorists still give me dirty looks. The other day on the way to work I was behind a truck at the light. After turning left at the traffic light, the truck got bogged down behind people making left hand turns into stores. I passed the line of stopped cars and zoomed over to where I get my coffee. The guy with the truck pulled in about the time I was walking thru the door. I got my coffee and paid as he was almost to the counter. Moral? The bike *is* faster, at least in traffic. And guess what the motorists don't always like that. They feel slighted. The fact that my folding bike looks particularly odd, causes many of them to shout remarks or beep horns. Like the guy in the truck who said "@sshole" under his breath as he walked past me into the store.
This sort of thing used to bother me. So did the odd looks from other cyclists riding full size bikes. I don't "need" to ride the folder any longer as I no longer take the train daily, but it handles nice due to the tiny wheels, and it has fenders. It's a practical bike for around town -- more so than ever now that it's fixed.
Then it dawned on me -- this morning -- when I was pulling around a turn getting as close to drafting as you can get to a dump truck in the process of jackknifing a turn -- this bike is fun! Who cares what folks think?
Thursday, 27 October 2005
The Dahon -- reborn (or, tales of a fixed folder 2)
10-27-05: After riding my fixed folder I found in the junk and built up, I realized it needed improvements I could not then afford. Specifically, the left crank kept working loose. Being a cottered crank there was only so much I could do to tighten it -- and, being cottered cranks, the chainring was impossible for me to swap out. This is important because tho for the first few days of around town riding the 48x18 gear worked okay the last few I felt it spinning like mad. Also, the bike didn't really fold up as well as I would have liked.
Tuesday, 25 October 2005
folding fixed gear -- a new insanity
10-26-05 -- On 10-24 I found a discarded folding bicycle today, what resembled a imitation of the Raleigh 20. Coaster brake r. wheel was shot as was the front, so I spun an 18t fixed cog onto a double spoked GT bmx rear wheel. Junk find front rim for now.
I cleaned it up, sanded the few rust spots, and painted them over in (closely) matchign white paint. Gloss black bmx front brake caliper, then flipped the handlebars and added bar ends extending the cockpit...
...I then replaced the cheapo seat I had on there with a somewhat nicer junk find, and added a pouch under the seart and a light (need the pouch to clip the light to as there is no way I can get a light mount big enuff fer the seatpost. Then I modified the bars with bar ends.
Later I intend to upgrade from the cheepo cottered cranks... we'll see if the bike lasts. But now I having a folding fix!!!! ;)
Thursday, 13 October 2005
Successful frame repair
Topic: tales from the garage
10-13-05: It's thurday. Modified my Fujifixed frame successfully! Some ultraweld liquid metal, sandpaper, and primer, plus silver spray, did a ton of good. The brake bridge had a hole in it which kept getting filled with road grime and spray fromt he rear tire. Concerned about rust over the long hual even with regular post-ride cleaning, I decided to fill it in.
Went off without a hitch and I am so looking forward to riding this thing!
40 miles b4 work
breaking out the torches
Environmentalist vs bikes
new old joy
Riding and learning...
tales from the garage
You are not logged in. Log in