Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This just in

Some one is getting a frame and fork from me!

click on the logo for the "what's the deal"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My birthday ride

If I had to describe the ride with the new hub with just one word, it would be "awesome"! I was very pleased at the variables that the eight gears provided. When you are used to riding single speed, it becomes a nice treat to shift just a little bit to get it just right.

Below is the route that I rode. With the head wind blowing for more than half the ride, it sure felt more than 23 miles.

Today I turned 38 years old. My gift to myself was a ride that allowed me to test out my new hub and enjoy a great day. It was around 24* and sunny. That makes for a pretty nice winter day. I did experience some 18mph head winds that weren't the best of fun but it's all part of the ride.

I stopped by the Old Spokes Home to look things over. It is only about 5 miles from my house but I figured it was long enough to show any problems if there was going to be any.

The next few pictures are at the Burlington waterfront on Lake Champlain. Some day I will get a nicer camera in hopes to create a picture more closely to what I see in person. It was a wonderful day out.

When I left the waterfront, I headed south down Shelburne Rd. and cut over towards Hinesburg. I wanted to take more pictures but I was enjoying the ride and views too much to want to stop.

Camels Hump off in the distance.

This panoramic view is the result of not knowing what my camera was doing. Pretty cool looking. I later figure it out at home and will use that feature more often for sure.

Back home with ~23 miles on the new hub. I am very happy with the setup. When I first took off from the house the hub was acting as if it was asleep. I would shift and it wouldn't respond. Then when it did I would be in a gear that was way wrong. This all happened in less than 200 yards. I thought it was the STI shifter and/or the cable. I very quickly "learned" how to use the system and discovered that there was no problem at all. It is incredible to me how instant the shifting is and that there are no rules (that I know of yet) on when to shift. I have noticed that if you are loaded on the pedals when downshifting, it will not drop a gear until you come off of it a bit. Shifting up did not seem to have that issue. I also have not got on it while standing and shifting but I don't suppose I will ever need to be in a situation like that.

After the ride, I checked the cable for proper adjustment and it was still dead on. I feel that everything is where I want it and tomorrow I will wrap the bars and call it done. I look forward to plenty of winter riding. It might just prove to be a low or no maintenance system.

Monday, December 27, 2010

some thoughts

This was a morning last week that I rode to the shop. I shot this picture when I got there. I almost can't believe how much I enjoy riding in the winter.

It was that morning that I had to ride fixie. I completely destroyed my freewheel. All of the grease from the sealed unit escaped and ran dry. The pawls starting skipping and that was it. There is a fixed gear cog in there some where.

This is a beauty! I mounted the Nokian on the wheel and it looks like a workhorse.

Here's a cool shot that doesn't look so hot with all the clutter in the background. This wheel weighed in at 8 lbs even. It is a bit heavy but I think that once I reap the benefits of the IGH, I will not even worry about that at all.

Here it is mounted. All I had left at this point was to run the shift cable and do up the brake cables and change the rear pads.

Velocity makes these bottle traps that match their rim colors. I thought I would throw one on. I like it well enough.

Finally, I threw some new pads on the rear. Not only did I want a fresh start for the new rim, I had absolutely no life left in the old pads.

Here it is ready to roll. The only thing that I didn't do was wrap the bars with new tape. I want to be sure I don't need to change anything or move the hoods any. Tomorrow I head out to shake it down. I will post my thoughts and comments on that later.

Monday, December 20, 2010

today's happenings

I love (loved) these booties. They are the SottoZero and they fit very nice. Booties take a bit to get on but I didn't mind too much. Until....

This happens! This is my second pair in a very very short period of time. The first pair lasted two weeks of twice daily use and then the zipper exploded. This pair zips up crappy and then by the time I am done riding, the zipper separates. No good at all. To save time and hassle I will be investing in some winter cycling shoes. $$$$ In the mean time...

I will be running the Drilliums with boots. Not at all what I like to do but I have to have warm feet and the booties just won't hold up. (Yes, Joe, you told me so)

Next up, I half heartily cleaned a spot on my rear fender and drilled two holes and

now I have a reflector with a small LED that will help these coffin drivers (I'm not sure why I said that) see me better. It isn't that big

but this one is and its bright. It looks a little weird but not really.

This sweet little lady is going to get laced into....

this hoop. The yellow is nice. I think that it will pop on the bike. It will go oh so nicely with the yellow bar tape that I like so much.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

sunday outing

I got out this morning for a ride with my friend Mike B. We met at the City market downtown.

Here is my ride before it goes under the knife next week for its 8 speed internal gear hub. I can't wait to get this baby rolling with some gear options. It will help out a lot with my commute and make it overall more enjoyable to ride. Long time coming, for sure!

Here it is shoved in the snow at Mike's house. We rode over there from the market. We decided to ride on some trails and the snow packed bike path because "he" showed up on this....

His sweet ass new Surly Pugsley. If you didn't notice the nearly four inch wide tires, let me tell you that this is a snow bike. It is a super toy for the fluffy white stuff. Envy!

Mike was nice enough to loan me his Soma. It is setup single speed with studded tires. Where we were at this picture was a bit much for me to get through so we turned around and hit the bike path down to North Beach.

This picture is awesome. I really like it. Enough said.

The water was so calm, it was so nice out. There was fog on the lake which keeps you from seeing across to the New York shoreline.

Here's looking south down the beach towards downtown. Its pretty awesome to see this strip of gravel that divides the water and the snow. Incredible!

This bike is a little small for me but it was fine and a blast to ride in the snow. I am definitely a fan of the IGH and if I ever put together a bike like this, I will surely be running one.

The Pug is like a monster truck of bikes. Gearing and tire pressure are things you have to adjust, tweak and get used to but it likes to laugh at the terrain. I would like to put some time in on one of these.

That's it for now. Maybe I will get out on Sunday after Christmas and get some more pictures of our great playground.

This is Justis, my kick ass daughter

We went to Virginia Beach to see my family for Thanksgiving. My sister took us to see the school that she teaches at and this cool bike rack is right outside. There are quite a few of them strewn about. Glad to see that they are promoting bike riding in the city.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

this is fun

Just a typical ride home at the end of the day. My ride is just at 10 miles each way and it gives me just enough good reason to enjoy a ride like this. It is alot more pleasant to ride in the winter when there is fresh snow on the ground and/or snow falling. I look forward to times like these. Still working on getting my layers right. Seems the easiest when it is 15* or colder.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

bike mods coming up

I am finally getting some parts together to modify my single speed 'cross bike! It is an all purpose bike and I love that I can and have set it up in many configurations to suit the task at hand. In the summer I put 23c tires on it with the 42/18 and made it my road cruiser. I even put flat bars on it that I cut down for the short fixie-type stance. This past fall I put 35c 'cross tires on it with a 32/18 and raced it at Catamount in the CX series. I did the best I could. Now I put the 38/18 on it and have just switched to the studs and use it to commute and ride with the guys on Sundays.

Now I am taking the bike to the next level. GEARS! Shimano Alfine 8speed IGH. I ordered a pair of Velocity Deep V hoops in yellow. I think that they will look sweet and they will give a level of visibility to my bike and me while I am on the road. I am going to run Versa 8 shifters and brake levers so that I can keep the drop bars.

Now, I will still run the bike in the different setups but now I will have the luxury of gears. I will run a 42/18 setup in the summer and a 38/18 in the winter. This will give me a large range of gears designed to be best for the conditions. I love that 4th gear is direct drive. It allows you to pick the ratio that you want and then know what you have up and down from there.

I will post pictures of the build when I start. Probably my holiday project.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

let me get current

I put the studded tires on the commuter on 12/4. I went for a ride with the guys on 12/5. After our ride we stopped off to warm up and have some coffee. When we were done, I took off to run some errands before heading home. In all I got 40 miles in.

The beginning of the week brought a small snow storm for my commute to the shop. I was able to test out the route I take. I didn't ride much last winter so I didn't really have much saddle time into the studs.

So far this year, I have ridden more on them than I did all last season. They are a sure sense of comfort when riding every day. I have ridden almost 600 miles since the first weekend in November. I have a huge base that I am trying to achieve. More on that later.