Monday, September 24, 2007


June 8
Why do I sell Bianchi? Because they make great bikes. Because they make every road bike a person is likely to need. Take a look at their catalog; racing bikes, sport bikes, touring bikes, three cyclocross bikes, two track bikes, steel, titanium, carbon fibre, aluminum, scandium, composites. Campagnolo or Shimano, Italian or Taiwanese, many models in nine sizes. We won’t be adding another brand in the near future.

To convert an old tubular wheel to clincher, first tape your new rim onto the old wheel and move the spokes over one at a time. Don’t tighten the nipples very much; just a few revolutions to hold them in place. When you’ve finished the hoop replacement, un-tape the old rim and set it aside. Look at the new wheel from the side; see where pairs of spokes cross each other one last time before continuing on to their respective nipples? That’s the third “cross,” and the only “lace” (on most wheels, when the spoke leaves the hub, it goes over two other spokes and under the third). Remove the nipples from those two spokes and put one full twist at that cross, then send the two spokes back to their original rim-holes. Do that all the way around. Now, instead of each spoke going over-over-under, it will go over-over-under-around-around. That full twist will take up the extra length of the spokes and will give you a super-cool, fairly stiff wheel. I have found this to work with fairly normal-profile clincher rims, such as a Mavic MA3, and have two such wheels in regular use with no problems. Some rims may perhaps require 1-1/2 turns. Good Luck.

June 12
An old 16-speed Merckx I’m working on needs a new chain, jockey wheels overhauls, the tape has come unraveled, broken spoke, dirty, etc., etc. Lots of miles since the last tune. The front derailleur cable has a tail which hangs out about an inch beyond the derailleur clamp, and ticks on the right crankarm when in the small chainring. The crimp on the end has actually worn a groove on the end of that crankarm!

June 16
There are so many ways a derailleur can be out of adjustment. Of course, the “adjustment” ways, like barrel adjusters and stop screws. But also adjustments like hanger straightness and chain wear, both of which are actually “repairs.”
Even on a new bike, even after it’s been adjusted, maybe even broken-in, cables will fall out of adjustment. You have a hundred little things that can go beyond adjustment and repair. What about dirt? Corrosion?

Paint inside a welded-on housing stop will crack and compress, maybe even chip and fall out. That’s going to effect cable tension, perhaps suddenly or in 1000 miles of use. But it will happen.

The cables running under the bottom bracket get dirty; bathe them in wax. It will clean, lubricate, and seal in one application/wipe. Dry Prep like a fly fisherman uses (wax dissolved in solvent) works pretty well, and there are commercial preparations available. Always use a little extra, and wipe off that extra carrying away the smut dissolved in it.

Make sure cable housings are cut and filed exactly flush, otherwise the pointed end will break up the housing end (expecially on plastic ones), maybe point a hole through it and effect the frame stop somehow. Also it could send the cable off-center, which results in too much friction.

When you clean a chain while it’s still on the bike, finish by polishing the outside of the chain. First, shift into your highest chainring. Using a dry, clean, rag, work directly on the outside plates of the chain as they lie on that largest chainring. You can get right up close, even push on the rag a l ittle, and get it really shiny. Oooh.

June 21
If you want to clean up quick after a bike ride and don’t have the time or facilities for a shower, use baby wipes. Stash a box in your desk at work, or carry a little ziplock bag in your pack or pannier. You can get practically an entire bath out of one disposable packet.

Today’s words to combine:
Pick a word from group 2 to modify a word in group 1:



Such as, “Neo Progressive.”
Or, “Moderate Conservative.”
Or, “Extreme Liberal.”

Remember, name calling is one of your basic fallacies. Ad Hominem, “To the man.”

I sure hope goodwill is brought to a neighborhood by a bike shop. It seems like a place for people to talk about their ambitions, their hopes and dreams, to use an old colloquy... We are all on our way somewhere; through parenthood, or vacation, or career, travel. And bicycles help us get through that in numerous ways; the cycling of seasons, day and night, miles and hours. These are the rhythms of life, which are embodied in the circular motion. Cycling.
I have an old rebuilt Kawamura/Nishiki with old tubulars on, friction 6-speed, etc. I’m a little afraid to ride it possibly because of the tubulars but also because the bottom bracket is hanging out on the right side about 5mm. And it’s got sorta trashed threads on the driveside, Alumininmin, cup. So I can probably count on it coming apart on the first or second ride. Sheesh.

June 25
It occurs to me: that if you do someone a favor, and exact payment by requiring that person to do a favor for someone else sometime, you could start a chain reaction that might go on for quite some time. You could change the world with just one small gesture. An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an opposing force.

June 27
Some poser in an SUV told me this morning, "the sidewalk's right over there."
Duh. I pulled up to his open window and said, "the sidewalk's for pedestrians, get it straight."

I wanted to say more.

1 comment:

Whitney said...

Bianchi story in the paper today: