Monday, November 22, 2010

another DIY project - reflective buddy (mud) flaps

This is something I'm still working on using reflective material and some repurposed flexible plastic material (was from a cover of a performated notebook).

Reflective bicycle mudflaps to keep rain and debris off your shoes and socks - and friend riding behind you. Hence the name, buddy flaps.

These are about 3-4 times wider and twice as long as what the fenders come with (if they have them at all) like on the Allez pictured below.

God, I love zip ties.

I love bikes... but I really have a thing for zip ties.

I picked up this chro-mo steel framed MOTIV brand (a Costco special) mountain bike really cheaply recently. It was a clean "garage queen" but lacked a saddle, seat post, and the shifters (shift+brake combo) were haywire like the ratcheting mechanism went afoul (common for a low end thumb shifter I've experienced). It has virtually brand new Tioga city tires too (though on the outset I was hoping to have a slightly more offroadable bike) and I intended to build it up for an in-town rider that I can leave chained up anywhere without too much worry about it being stolen or stripped.

I spent less than an hour swapping out the shifter+brake combo for an old school thumb shift and canti brake levers (somewhere I got these and had them lingering in a box of parts for just this type of project) and I found a bargain bin used seat at Bike Works ($5). The longest part of this work was getting off the handle grips without tearing the rubber. I also found a seatpost on e-Bay for $10 shipped. It should be here in a week or so, but I was eager to test ride the bike today, now that I'd fixed the gear issues.

I developed a 4 zip tie temporary fix for the lack of a seat post.

Here is the bike.

How the seat sits.

(Note to tinkerers: see the small yellow part on the seat? It's a small tear and I am wondering what - other than electrical tape - can I use to repair it?)

Underside of seat.

I wouldn't ride this for months like this - and I didn't even really sit on the seat while riding it through town as the height was way too low for me. I just wanted something there in the event I did need to sit for a moment.

I think Matt at Bike Hacks would love my hack.

Monday, November 15, 2010

what's new in the e-bikes world

Tucked into the corner of the Seattle Auto Show from this past long weekend (for some) was a display of electric vehicles, including these bicycles.

Most were around $1,000+ each, including this mountain bicycle by e-moto.

Most were step-through style frames, like the one I saw in Seattle a while back.

Friday, November 12, 2010

winter projects x 2 (Nate's tinkering du jour)

Since it has gotten colder and darker, and I have not been riding as much as I was, say in July, I have decided to embark on an upgrade of my so-called "rain bike" my older purple mid-1990s Cannondale pictured below.

I've used it for training rides, commuting, recreational rides and such. I've gone back and forth between having road pedals (which require the speacial shoes with cleats) and plain ol' platform pedals (which you could pedal in flip flops if you dared). It has a 21-speed Shimano RSX drivetrain, Mavic rims laced to Shimano hubs, RSX brakeset, Specialized Mondo tires, and improvised fenders and a rear rack. I added also a cycling computer, lights, and a bell. It is about as close to a multi-purpose vehicle as you can find and still be on 700x23c smooth tires.

Since I recently needed to replace bar tape, I decided it would be a good time to consider other upgrades. It started with buying a carbon fork to replace the stock aluminum Cannondale fork - all aluminum is very, very "buzzy" on even the smoothest of pavements and leads to fatigue fairly quickly. The whole project spiraled from there. See a midway strip-down photo below and a bare frameset shot below that.

My kitchen/workshop where I cleaned parts taken off of the Cannondale. Note the coffee pot - I was doing this after 10 o'clock at night, probably closer to midnight.

Once I stripped and cleaned the parts off of the Cannondale (I have a whole newer Shimano compact double 105 drivetrain, brakeset, etc. to put onto the Cannondale) I checked them over and they all look good still. I decided that it'd be a shame to toss them in a box and forget about them. Also, once the Cannondale is re-assembled, would I really want to continue to subject it to rain and grime?

I traveled to a local bicycle recyclers and found a suitable frame to put the Cannondale donor's parts on. The frame is a 1970s Raleigh Super Course II (made in their Carlton shop) with Reynolds 531 steel. It features pretty chromed dropouts, a paneled paint job, and just the right amount of patina without being too abused in its former owner's hands.

Here it is as I received it.

Here it is after I added a few parts to it.

I still need to find a couple of odd bits, mainly related to fitment of the newer style brakeset (need longer bolts) and the rear derailleur hanger (need an adapter of sorts to slide into the horizontal drop out). I think a place like Harris Cyclery or a local shop can help me out.

Hopefully, I keep in mind this is supposed to be the new "rain bike" when I am done!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

for sale: misc. road bike items (prices reduced)

Cleaning house... anyone interested? Prices are without shipping included. US sales only. I'd consider taking online payment via PayPal only.

ROAD BICYCLE TIRES (used but plenty of wear left)
700x28 Specialized gumwall - $5
700x23 Michelin carbon black with yellow accents - $10

FRONT – USED but true, Shimano hub with sealed bearings, quick-release, Weinmann silver rim - $25
REAR – NEW with TAGS – Shimano hub 8/9/10 speed, quick-release, Alex rim - $60

BRAKE - Cervelo road brake caliper - $20

E-mail if interested.

illuminating event


November 9, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Meet @ Cascade Bicycle Club Office-- 7400 Sand Point Way NE Seattle Wa 98115

Participants meet at the Cascade Bicycle Club offices, at 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, from 7pm to 8:30pm for another Reflect-a-Thon. Come and test your visibility gear, compare it to the lights and reflectors that other cyclists are using, and get ideas and feedback on how you can be safer at night.

At the Reflect-a-thon, volunteers will wear your outerwear and helmet, and ride your bike to show you what you look like from the perspective of a car. Reflective tape pieces will be provided for participants who need additional visibility.

Contact Robin Randels
Classes Coordinator
206 446 7457
206 390 3945