Monday, November 08, 2010

Gayle's spanky new bike

On Saturday afternoon I provided tools, advice and adult supervision for Gayle as she transferred the kit from her World Famous Fixie Inc Betty Leeds to her brand new 2011 Fixie Inc Chip Race frame.

Unlike the 2010 frame which was Reynolds 953, the 2011 model is from 3/2.5 titanium and weighs 300g less than the Betty Leeds frame.
 The crucial frame geometry numbers are identical to Betty's, but the top tube is almost horizontal and the seat tube is correspondingly about 3cm longer.

With a Chorus 11 speed groupset, American Classic mag wheels, and Ritchey WCS Carbon bars stem and seatpost, the new bike, officially dubbed Pony, weighs in at 7.36kg.

MORE PHOTOS over at Gayle's blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More about the tandem

Everything you ever wanted to know:

Headset Top: Campagnolo Veloce.
Bottom: Ritchey Scuzzy Logic roller bearing
Bottom bracketsCampagnolo AC-H 111mm
CranksetSuntour Superbe Pro. Front 175mm; rear 170mm
BrakesFront: Scott Self Energising Cantilever
Rear: Suntour XC Pro SE Cantilever
Brake leversCampagnolo Chorus Ergopower 10 speed
Front derailler             Campagnolo Centaur
Rear deraillerCampagnolo Chorus with J-Tek Shiftmate
Hubs Front: Phil Wood Tandem 36h.
Rear: Shimano Ultegra 36h
RimsCampagnolo Omicron
ClusterSRAM PG 970 12-26
TyresContinental GP 4 Season 700 x 28
SaddleFront: Brooks Swallow
Rear: Specialized
SeatpostFront: TTT.
Rear: Kalloy
StemFront: Salsa 14cm
Easton Vice
Handlebars Front: Mavic 350 44cm
Rear: Charge Slice bullhorn
Handlebar tapeFizik Microtex

Saturday, October 16, 2010

First outing on the 'new' tandem

Occasionally I pine for Ergopower shiftlevers on one of my road bikes, but not being even a faux-racer, I don't feel the need often enough to spend the money.
On the tandem, its a different kettle of cod- after today's shakedown ride I don't think I could use anything else on the tandem again.

Resplendent in new Revolution Bicycles merino jerseys, Gayle and I took the Bob Jackson for shakedown ride around the Mangere shitponds loop this morning.

Overall, it feels a lot like Worrall's Bob Jackson which we rode earlier this year, but the improved gear shifting makes it a lot easier to ride.

The friction shifting on Worrall's bike is surprisingly good, but it is still frustratingly easy to miss a shift on a climb and lose momentum.

No such problem with the Ergopower shifters - early in the ride we floated up short climbs in easy gears, later on we were attacking them out of the saddle and shifting up as we started to spin out.

The self-energising cantilever brakes were a revelation too.
I had the same brakes on the bike in the early 90's but remembered the front Scott SE as grabby and prone to juddering.
Today, fitted with KoolStop salmon pads, they were smooth and powerful enough that I am lucky that Gayle's teeth are not embeded in my spine.

I am looking forward to lots of fun and mischief on this bike.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

At last, my preciousss

Friday morning, a month and two days after I had paid for it, and seven years after I started looking for one, I collected the Ritchey frame from NZ Post at Mangere Airport.
It had apparently been there for two weeks, and might have lingered longer had I not availed myself of NZ Post's online Customer Enquiry Form.

Friday evening I set to work.
When building a new bike, I like to get my position sorted first, so I plugged in a dummy headset and fitted a seat and seatpost, and handlebar and stem.
The frame is a 62, 1cm larger than advertised, so with the seat at the correct height there is only a fistful of seatpost showing.
The 56.5cm toptube is extremely short for such a large frame so I didn't have to think twice about using a 15cm Salsa stem that was on standby for the tandem.

With the ergonomics sorted, I installed a Greatest Hits selection  of 70s and 80s Suntour that I had been fettling while the frame was in transit.

A set of 70s Cyclone deraillers came from CTB, the rest is Superbe ranging from 1978 to 83.

 I had built a set of Araya 20A clincher rims onto Superbe RH-1000 small flange hubs, but the 122mm rear dropout spacing is  narrower than I was expecting so my old faithful 36h tubular wheels were pressed into service.
With Clement Campionato del Mundo tubulars it is impossible to dislike a bike with these wheels.

Saturday morning, I wrapped the bars with white Fizik Microtex tape, soldered the cable ends and set out for a test ride.
Needless to say, it rained.

Headset               Cane Creek 100 Classic
Bottom bracketSugino Mighty
CranksetSuntour Superbe Cw-1000 175mm, TA 41 & SR Royal 53
PedalsSuntour Superbe Pro track PL-2000, with Christophe aluminium toeclips
BrakesSuntour Superbe CB-4000 standard reach
Brake leversSuntour Superbe CB-3200
ShiftleversSuntour Superbe Pro LD-3250 power ratchet
Front derailler             Suntour Cyclone FD-1300
Rear deraillerSuntour Cyclone RD-1700
Hubs Campagnolo Record, wide flange 36h
Front rimFiamme Ergal
Rear rimMavic Monthlery Legere
FreewheelSuntour Ultra 6, 14-24 or 14-26
SaddleIdeale 2002 Titanium
SeatpostSR Royal ESL 27.2mm
StemSalsa 15cm
Handlebars Nitto 185 44cm
Handlebar tape Fizik Microtex

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Ritchey is here

Collected this morning from the NZ Post depot at Auckland International airport.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bob Jackson tandem

Completed, if not finished, this morning.

I have had the frame for about 20 years, but have not ridden it since the mid '90s.
Earlier this year I had some good rides with Gayle on Worrall's tandem, so I decided to build this one up with modern components so that we can shift gears while climbing or sprinting out of the saddle

Fortunately, when I was younger and stupider I had respaced the dropouts back so that a modern rear wheel would fit.
The drivetrain is a Campagnolo/Shimano/SRAM hybrid, with Campagnolo Chorus 10 speed Ergopower and rear derailler and a Shimano Ultregra hub with SRAM PG970 12-26 cassette.
A J-Tek Shiftmate corrects the cable pull of the 10 speed Campag shifter for the 9 speed cassette.
Cranks are Suntour Superbe Pro, rethreaded by Bruno at Cycle Express, on Campagnolo Veloce 111mm bottom brackets.

Chainrings are 52/38, which should give us a low enough bottom gear, but might leave us a bit short at the top end.

Because of the curved seattube, the front derailler needs to be positioned a couple of centimeters further back, hopefully easy to achieve by making an aluminium packer to go between the mounting bracket and the derailler.

The brakes are self-energising cantilevers. Front is Scott SE, rear is Suntour XC Pro.

All the Bob Jackson tandem photos

Friday, September 17, 2010

Scraping the bottom of the barrell?

This week I broke one of my rules of being on holiday, and visited a couple of local bikeshops on my own time.

On Tuesday I went to Cycle Express to collect some Suntour Superbe Pro cranks that Bruno had rethreaded for use on my tandem.

Twice, I found myself at T.White's Bikes.
Saturday evening for the excellent CGG Jenna Makgill fundraiser, which left me financially poorer but hopefully rich in kharma; then again yesterday to get a set of single chainwheel attachment bolts for the aforementioned tandem.

This is not a normal situation for me- having assembled my last four vintage bikes almost entirely from parts that I had on hand, I don't expect a project to grind to a halt for want of a packet of bolts.
Perhaps this means that I am finally scraping the bottom of my barrell?

I doubt it.
Despite using some of the pile of parts into bicycles, and some recent success selling surplus frames on Trademe, my shed looks no less cluttered.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Something to do in the weekend

It would be bad manners to miss out on this opportunity to support the fabulously amazonian Jenna Makgill

Monday, September 06, 2010

Mine at last!

This morning I won the ebay auction for this lugless Tom Ritchey road frame.
I have been looking for one since about 2003 but this is the first one I have found in my size.
According to the vendor, it dates to the late 70s. With fully lugless, fillet brazed construction and a sloping fork crown it bears a strong resemblance to the lugless Ritchey frame from the Palo Alto Bicycles catalog.

Now that I have won the auction, I can start accumulating parts.
My plan is to use a set of original Suntour Cyclone deraillers that CTB gave me, with early Suntour Superbe cranks, brakes, shiftlevers and hubs.
The rear dropout spacing is 125mm, so a 7 speed drivetrain should be possible.
I have a dilemna regarding bars stem & seatpost, whether to go for period correct parts; or to use my 1990s Nitto-made Ritchey WCS stem possibly with a Nitto S83 seatpost.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raleigh Gran Tour on trademe - SOLD

This week's Trademe delight is a slightly hard done by but basically decent 60cm Raleigh Gran Tour frame.
With a bit of love and elbow grease this will make a great winter bike, commuter or credit card tourer.
If you don't believe me, take a look at Oli Brooke-White's stylish but low-budget Gran Tour:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

CTB Tour of Tahiti updates

After a couple of bouts of food poisoning CTB has finished the Tour of Tahiti 23rd on GC and 4th in the masters competition.

After stage 12:
CTB: "Wahoooo. Just finished a 48kph crit.
Teammate won.
Feeling satisfied"

DB: "Good work! Do you have beer yet?

CTB: "Yeah I had money in my pocket and had a beer at the first pub past the finish line."

Before the Stage 12 criterium:
"I am amped. Mark (Langlands) won yesterday.
We just want to stay upright. And tomorrow we have a specatcular day off planned"

After Stage 11:
"Hi I am sick again but made it to the finish. It was a 10km climb to 600m today so not much fun. Lost a couple of minutes. Only a criterium tomorrow night to go! Yay."

Final results are up on the
Tour of Tahiti website

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Stage 10

From CTB:

"I blew with 10k to go. Gutted! I dropped to 2nd on the masters and 26th on GC. First weak day. Hopefully tomorrow will go better."

Stage details for the French speakers among you.

Stage 10 results

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

After stage 6

Tour of Tahiti, stage 9

A brief text report from CTB:

“Eagle from Onehunga hangs on to lead on another summit finish! I hate skinny little climbers who make me look so slow and hurt so much on 20 min climbs!”

With three stages to go, CTB is still in the masters jersey, but dropped three places on GC today to 19th.

Photo from stage 8

Monday, August 02, 2010

CTB strings out the bunch

From stage 3

More vicarious suffering

A text report from CTB:

"Today was hard. 120km. 4km climb to 300m to the finish.
Ave 42kph
Pulse for the last 15mins 185BPM
Still leading masters. 16th on GC"

Stage 8 Results

A couple of photos from Stage 5:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A vicarious night on a drip

CT-B ate something inappropriate during the rest day yesterday, and spent last night on a drip.
Despite suffering epically in todays' sixth stage of the Tour of Tahiti, he managed to maintain his Masters ranking but dropped to 17th on GC .
Drips are Pro!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Another vicarious cycling triumph

After five stages in the Tour of Tahiti, CT-B is first Master and 15th on GC.

In Thursday's stage he got in a breakaway from the start, eventually taking a couple of minutes out of the next Masters rider.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ron Cooper

I have wanted a Ron Cooper racing bike ever since Richard Oddy brought his 1969 Cooper on our first ever Retro Ride back in 2002.

Early this year I posted a wanted to the Classic Rendezvous email list, and within a couple of days I was in negotiation with CR listmember Gabriel Romeu for his celeste Cooper frame.
Gabriel emailed a few photos, and I was sold as soon as I saw the four neat holes in the bottom bracket shell.

The frame arrived in the mail 4 or 5 weeks later and, as is my wont, I quickly assembled the bike for the following morning's ride with the Solo bunch.

Most of the parts were handily lying about, but the Roy Thame sacrificed its wheels, to which I glued a pair of 25mm Continental Competition tubulars.

My plan was to build a basic Campag Nuovo Record road bike, but, as I rummaged around, it became inescapably obvious that I should use a lightweight OMAS headset and titanium bottom bracket which presented themselves.

Continuing in this vein, after a couple of rides I felt compelled to replace the steel Nuovo Record derailler pivot bolts with titanium Super Record parts before venturing onto the Butter Chicken loop with Gayle.

The initial build left a bit to be desired.
I struggled with the 14-21 cluster on the wheelset, and the modern Brooks Professional saddle was a bit wide, so I found a 14-24 freewheel and a rough looking old model Pro which has become more presentable with use.

Gabriel had told me the frame took a 26.8mm post, but my 26.8 post seemed to slip every couple of rides, so I reamed the seat tube out slightly to take a nominally 27.2mm SR Royal post.
While I had a broken collarbone recently, Gayle very kindly came round and buffed the post, which I had de-anodised with ovencleaner, to its current shiny finish.

The Salsa stem was quickly replaced with a plausible looking 14cm TTT Record that came at very good price from ebay.
To further improve my hillclimbing performance I replaced the expander bolt with an aluminium part that requires a 7mm allen key, a tool which is never to be found when you need one.

Headset               OMAS
Bottom bracketOMAS Big Sliding titanium
CranksetCampagnolo Nuovo Record 175mm, 41/53
BrakesCampagnolo Record, standard reach, pre 1978
Brake leversCampagnolo Victory
ShiftleversSuntour bar end shifters
Front derailler             Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Rear deraillerCampagnolo Nuovo Record Pat.82
Hubs Campagnolo Record, wide flange 28h
FreewheelSuntour Ultra 6, 14-24 or 14-26
RimsFiamme Red label tubular
SaddleBrooks Professional
SeatpostSR Royal ESL
StemTTT Record 14cm
Handlebars TTT 44cm

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cycling shoes for sale, part 1

The recent acquisition of a pair of Quoc Pham fixed shoes for my urban and social riding, plus a pair of Dromarti Race for more sporting toeclip & strap pedal use has rendered obsolete a number of pairs of shoes currently cluttering the bottom of my wardrobe.

The first three pairs of these orphans are currently listed on TRADEME, closing next Wednesday evening.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My vicarious cycling career

While I have not been blogging, my friends have been riding:

Kate stayed upright at the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals this year, had a decent crack at the Elite Track Nationals, won the Manukau Velodrome Rider of the Year, and has now departed these shores.

CTB finished the Kiwi Brevet in third place, albeit with his arse abraded, then was happy to finish Masters Points race at the 2010 RaboPlus Track Nationals uninjured.
He was first Master at T42.
Against all expectation , he recently turned 40, which he turned to his advantage by wangling the old guy's spot in the BikeNZ team to the Tour of Tahiti at the end of this week.
He also organised a very entertaining Tour of the Waikato Hotpools over the Easter long weekend.

The sublime but terrifying Gayle had a solid ride at the Elite Road Nationals, got third in a stage of the NZCT Womens Tour, then topped off her season by winning the Biosport Criterium series.

Things to do on Sunday

Given that I have not blogged for more than two months, I would be surprised if anyone is still reading this, but in case you are, there are a couple of good things to do in Auckland this Sunday:
The official opening of the SH20 cycleway is at 9:30 at Winstone Park, Mt Roskill.
No doubt the event will be blighted by the presence of various dignitaries seeking to greenwash their public image, but in compensation, refreshments are promised.

This should give the Frocks on Bikes crowd enough time to don new outfits before cycling across the new Mangere Bridge at 2:30pm.
Download the NZTA invitation HERE.