Monday, June 27, 2011

The Joy of

I usually peruse and
just coz you can occasionally convince someone to ship
something small to Aus that they originally were only going to ship
did have to stop myself from bidding on a Viscount lady's bike that would have cost
$50 to buy
but $300 to post,
so it's not always a good place to look...
but I've recently caught the 650b bug, so I'm looking at French eBay.
not much for auction at the moment
but their "petites annonces" (classifieds) are
a great perve.

this beauty is about $300.

if you can get to Paris 75007 to seal the deal...

and that's not all they have.
check this out!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Now geared for the shops, not the track.

the stow-away had a rather stern first gear for
a bike with such a terrible riding pozzie.
so today 
I received a Sturmey-Archer 22 tooth cog from the UK
and put it on.

already had changed the front crankset
for a NOS cottered set from Ephraim.
the old one was 48T 
and REALLY rusty.
the new one is a much gentler 44T.

you can see how much bigger the old one was
by the amount of clearance.

and here she is.
used to be 48-18, now 44-22.
even easier to hop on and burble.
tootling is easy too.
think I need to shorten the gear cable

Did I say I liked this Merckx?

lovely build

shame about the handlebar fail

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

nostalgia is simply recognising
that you've had more experiences
than you're going to.

Dura Ace high flange hubs

when Victor's Positron imploded, 
taking the real wheel with it, 
the state of the old Shimano HF hubs was revealed.
these are the replacement.
warning: due to a clerical error, these pictures may become

and because they were NIB
they came with my favourite sticker

Friday, June 17, 2011

They even took the headset...

photographed in Bourke St Mall.

Bakerlite bike shop

Bakerlite sells Pashley bikes
and it is a lovely little haven of steel.
lots of tasty frames in sensible and serviceable colour schemes
like black,
and Sturmey Archer hubs.
and 28 inch wheels
and fat white Schwalbe tyres.
older than old school.
Steve the proprietor is a lovely chap
like all good bike shop owners, 
is happy to gasbag about bike related 
for those of you who don't know them
Pashley bikes are made in Stratford upon Avon and 
have built the same frame designs for the last 80+ years.
if you love path racers
the Pashley Guv'nor is probably the closest thing you're going to get
without going bush and trawling through a bazillion farm sheds.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Victor's new cockpit

this is the new flight-deck of the Aerospace Victor.
it's a bit more complicated than I would like,
but it's all function.

it became necessary when the Positron threw itself in the spokes one night on my way home.
an emoticon is necessary here...  :'(
as a result both the wheel and the Positron have been retired.
but this meant a new derailleur and, more difficultly
a new shifter set-up
since the Positron had the unique twin cable thumb shifter.
Velo-Orange came to the rescue with their alloy thumb-shifter mount
which was a really good match for colour and finish with
a first-gen DA friction shifter.

but there was plenty of faffing by me and the boys at Human-Powered
to make the shifter work (the original friction screw was slightly too small for the VO mount bolt)
and at the right height for the cable — an old Shimano radiused mounting washer was filed flat
as it had the right sized square indentation to match the VO mount.

it seems to work OK so far.
derailleur OTOH was an easy fix,
as my regular reader will know I have several

I also had to commandeer the rear wheel with it's DA Oro cluster
from the VA Sport,
and this in turn required a new chain.

et voila!
the Victor is turning into a second Dura Ace beast.
warning: the following picture might be NSFW.

BSC bikes vs Jitensha Studio: the Honjo Mudguard Battle

lots in the news recently about Australian retailers overcharging
then complaining when customers desert them for the wonders of online shopping.
as well as complaining that they get gouged by overseas suppliers.
here's a case in point.

the lovely pair of Honjo mudguards above

Jitensha Studio - $60ish/pair + $50ish shipping

BSC bikes - $299/pair (but free shipping, yay)

yep, you read that right,
that's 300 bucks.

who's gouging who here?

you know what? since most retailers work on a 100% mark-up,
I reckon that BSC just buy them retail online then double the price.
and if they are doing that
then what's the extra $79 for?
customer service?

it's a Japanese product anyway,
so are you going to support an Australian retailer
who assumes its customers are idiots who can't compare prices,
or just go to the source?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Embracing the plastic

the universe has seen to it that my hubris not go unpunished.
I have fallen in love (slightly) with a plastic bike.
and a Gnait no less...
regular readers will know I have been riding a Ginat Cadex CFM* 1 around town lately
and loving everything from the lightness to the box crown forks to the Deore hubs and Mavic rims
to the extra thick cable rope stuff for the brakes
and especially the bolt on drop-outs.

well now there is something else to love
the beauty of the bonded crabon fibre with the aluminium lugs.
normally they are shrouded by ugly grey and yellow paint
but this retrobike user has done a remarkable job of releasing the frame's beauty
from it's ugly factory paintjob.

after doing such a sterling job on this less-is-more resto
he finishes it off like this—

I'll let you decide
dear reader
whether this is an improvement.

Monday, June 6, 2011

brake and pad upgrade

the Lambert CP calipers have been great.
but lately I've been creating so much 
grey mud from the brake pads
I decided to change brands from Shimano basic 
to Kool Stop extreme weather.
at least now I'll get orange mud.
one prob.
the very kool Kool Stop mount bolts were too wide for the slots
that were machined in the Lambert caliper arms.
I just happen to have a pair of NOSDACP calipers in the shed!
originally for the Sport, but it will get the NOSDASP calipers instead.
yipee the slots are big enough.
now I'm
ready for the big rain and freezing temperatures
forecast for the next four days...
as for the Lamberts.
they go to Tushita to wait
for their next re-incarnation.

heaviest braking: front wheel or rear?

apart from how terribly aligned these brake pads must have been (oh the shame!)
the wear of the rear pad on the right shows how much more heavily I brake with the rear wheel.
safest I reckon.

back in the day...
I was told by Dad that I should brake more with the rear and less with the front.
as a result I have a deeply ingrained preference for braking with the left hand
(that's the rear brake lever in my country).
the rationale was that you don't want to go AOT
over the bars.
nowadays I believe the orthodoxy is reversed, and one should
brake more strongly with the front as this gives most stopping power.
well apart from still feeling there is great potential for AOTage,
I remain unconvinced.
consider this.
recently in my town it has been very, very wet.
more rain than we've seen in at least 10 years
(which frankly isn't saying much).
suffice to say everyone is re-attaching mudguards and really checking their brakes.
I have also checked my braking technique in light of aforementioned new orthodoxy.
however a number of times on my one-and-one-eighth inch tyres I have had to brake
a little harder than usual
not much
but enough in these wet conditions that the rear wheel has broken loose.
and I shudder to think
if I was not a rear-wheel braker
how the front wheel would have behaved in such a situation.
because a rear-wheel skid I can control
so long as I've got traction on the front wheel.
but a front wheel skid...
well, even the great Danny MegaSkill would be fucked.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

You have $8000 to spend on a bike...

do you buy this Alex Singer?

or this?

perhaps some context is required...

typical Alex Singer Cyclotourisme Prestige rider

got this here

typical Gniat Trinity Advanced SL1 rider

nicked from here

and our Ginat rider's after 5 wear...