Thursday, April 30, 2009

In it's own private Idaho

Yes, it is true-this bike is now in Idaho. I guess if I were Dan Quayle I would say it is in Idahoe because of all the potatoes up there. This bike is what they call 'burly' where I live. Sturdy 36 spoke wheels with Phil Wood hubs, Tange Presitge 'ultrastrong' main tubes and a stout steel fork. It may be stylish but it can be beaten savagely on the choppy tarmac of Boise.

That set of bars kind of gives the bike a look of, "Hey, Iv'e only got 5 minutes to get to my 17th century English lit class!" least that's the image that I see in my feeble brain .

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is this the first official single-speed MTB ?

Back in the mid '80's I got the notion to build a single speed mountain bike. People were riding single speeds in the dirt and a few races even had a single speed class but nobody was building a bike specifically for such racing, at least until this one was built in about May of 1987. It might have been the first time I used a wishbone style seatstay, a primitive handbuilt one. The bike also had a 24" rear wheel and a 26" front , a combo that I thought would make the bike accelerate easier while kepping the front end stable and familiar. At the time single speeding in the dirt was a hard sell but once I tired it I was pretty much hooked. It was fun to sprint away from folks on thier fully laden geared bikes weighing much more .The lack of chain slap made the bike almost silent on the trail, a real treat. I guess it caught on eventually...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blatant self-promotion:

Yes, if some of you folks are interested in framebuilding, at least the version coming out of my limited intellect you can check out my newest blog: Hey, it's free and it's totally sincere, even the insults. What it lacks in photos it more than makes up for in so-called 'information', which what outside the internet is called 'opinions'.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ride with the pro

Ever seen an ad for an event where you can "ride with the pros" Well, we had an impromptu type of ride with a former pro at the shop this week. The fellow in the picture is Federico and he was a pro for Gerolsteiner in 2001 but had his career cut short by a devistating crash training that almost left him paralyzed. Needless to say, he can still pedal a bike and after this ride, I was almost rendered paralyzed. I have never ridden with someone who made going uphill look so effortless . He was on a borrowed bike and his injuries from his crash require daily maintenence....neverthe less, he still rides like he's getting paid for it. These other folks in the photo were similarly humbled by our Italian visitor. We all thought we were in for a nice short easy sightseeing ride..........

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Path racer # 2

I swear I'm going to put some tires on it before it leaves the shop. The woman who will own this bike used to work at the local university bike co-op. Showing her roots, this buildup has some scrounged parts that although not new and shiny will be functionally sound. I date the hubs as Phil Woods from apprximately 1978-1984 era, give or take a few burnt brain cells along the way. The bars are Specialized WTB drops, probably from the early eighties and really getting hard to find. The bulk of the other stuff is new such as the rims, spokes, fenders , brakeset and headset. The seat is a spanking new Brooks and it will be a punisher for the first few months but after that it will be like family, that is if you have a happy one. Working with old stuff is something I don't do all that much any more but this build inspired me to get some sort of beater together out of a few of the hunereds of old bits I have laying around. My worry is that it will come out like this one, way too nice to be a real beater.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Path racer ready for travel

The racks are from Tubus, a Cargo rear and Tara front. These racks are very lightweight, super strong and really a pleasure to install. Just think........Seattle to San Diego on a fixed gear............