Friday, July 29, 2011

Bike Camping Prep

So I'm not for sure where we are going for a ride, but here is what I'm riding on:
 Same bike as title photo; but with used shit rear wheel, 7 gears of glory, nitto rear rack.
EXAGE!!! Weirdo thumbyish/stem shifter. Freebies, yay.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Confusing Math...

So here is a basic equation:

Oats + Water + Banana + Maple Syrup [Grade B] + Peanut Butter + Almond Milk = Awesome.

So based on this simple math, if you add a bunch of great shit together to the right proportions, you get something really super. This however does not translate well into bikes surprisingly. Witness:

Durachi + Centerpulls + Velocity Dyads + Kool Stop MTB pads = Poor brake performance?

I was confused. So I mixed it up a bit:

Dia Compe + Centerpulls + Dyads + MTB pads = Dope Brakage.

Durachi for the lose... I noticed that it had the hooks for the straddle cable closer in than the D Comps, effectively bringing the cable yolk farther up. Maybe this reduction in mechanical advantage is to blame? I was using the same circular anchored straddle cable for both brakes.

Maybe I should just buy campy. Cause if you throw money at a problem, it goes away--riiiight??? Oh wait; hydraulics, of course. And disc brakes too. With big rotors, because bigger is better. Then the lotus will be adequate.

Math is hard, my head hurts.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Axle Weight Distribution

The unusual summer rain in Olympia and job depression have left me hitting the books/interwebs more than riding. Doing some flipping around, I came across Monsieur Bachelier's Integral cyclo-camping bike.

It's an odd-ball and gimmicky design with the oval chainrings inside the frame [I'd be curious to see how the q-factor, tire clearance, chain line, and chainstay length are impacted by the necessitated spacing before actually considering it.] I was however excited by the location of the hub bearings being placed in the drop outs of the frame. In theory, this should be even more successful than a modern cassette hub at weight distribution for wheel loads. The Integral also features a simple lever that requires no additional tools to remove and service the bearings; handy for the at home or even on the road mechanic if done correctly. Obviously the need for proprietary parts keeps this from being immediately useful, but the potential is remarkable.

The down side I could possibly see is the reduced ease of wheel removal for this set up [at least compared to the traditional quick release hub.] I'd be curious to see this design combined with the bolt on thru-axle often seen on disc brake-equipped mountain bikes. It seems that adding bearings in such a fashion would not be a terrible leap, given enough room in the [not?] drop outs for the right sized bearing. Though this would mean that instead of the hub shell rotating around the axle, the axle would have to move inside the fork somehow while still being secure enough for the purposes of prevent wheel launching from disc brake force. Maybe some engineering student with access to some fancy CAD program is better suited to such theory...

Furthermore, it would seem that the extreme dishing that most modern 8+ speed rear wheels require seems to be a more pertinent weakness of wheel design these days than bearing location. Since most rear wheel fatigue comes from this compromise, perhaps the cassette is simply 'good enough' for the vast majority of circumstances? Though I guess 'good enough' shouldn't be in a aspiring constructeur's vocabulary, yeep...

Bachelier left cycling when World War II started, so it's hard to say how much of a sink or swim design this was. I'd be curious to see a technical trials test of this bicycle compared to traditional freewheel and cassette-equipped bikes of a similar grade.

Check out The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles for more info and better pics.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Buh-huweeymuth and Crash Damageee

Sorry no post in a second, job search plus identity theft concerns... Berph, stories for later. 
I talked earlier about the possibilities of heading out to Gifford Pinchot later this summer for some rough stuff riding. The very privileged question I got to ask myself in this situation much to my glee was 'which bike?' I figure I should talk about the one I keep revisiting.
The obvious problem is that it's too small of a frame for my size, but the stem + seatpost + bars and everything else just make sense. I got the Hookworm tires from a friend which pretty much make the bike great. i was surprised how much clearance it allowed: I was able to get 2.5" knobbie downhiller tires in without too much issue. It's a tight fit though, that's for sure. 
Beyond that the parts are just things that I slowly came across at minimal cost or for free. It's a good conversation piece, that's for sure. 
Put the Lotus on someone's bike rack going up to Seattle earlier this week. This was the sad result:
A little careful cold setting and chasing and its good as new! [well not quite...] Yay forged drops.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cargo Bike Ride | Seattle

Despite riding what I would consider the complete opposite of a cargo bike, I spent the 4th of July in Seattle at the Cargo Bike Ride. It was easy and slow, not surprisingly. Got to work on my tan I guess??? Here are some photos of the cargo bikes. Sorry about the lack of photos, should have been more diligent about that.

This is Max with a tall bike Xtracycle. Some Trek MTB frame with a detachable Colnago frame on the top. This bike lives at Aaron's Bicycle Repair in West Seattle.

I'm a bad photo taker. Front loaded cargo bike with a huge rear trailer. Enough to carry a grill, starter coals, beer, food, and a labradoodle.

Some recumbent speed record monstrosity. The rider as pictured seemed to know a lot about engineering and wasn't afraid to let people know.

Most of the bikes in the ride were Xtracycles: Bridgestone kid carrying Xtracycle with what looks to be a CETMA porteur rack. Probably doesn't have Jan's seal of approval, but I like it anyway. The powder-coated bullmoose bars match the frame nicely.