Eye-catching
Sunday February 28th 2010, 9:33 am
Filed under: News

The Handbuilt show, once again, did not fail to impress. As usual, there were scads of beautiful bikes to ogle, lot’s of details on those frames to examine, and plenty of assemblies and component installations to scrutinize. While I am fairly exhausted from the weekend, I can truthfully say, I don’t think I’ll ever tire of ogling, examining, or scrutinizing the bikes at this show. Keep ‘em coming.

Granted as the weekend wears on, that scrutiny of components and such diminishes a bit, but it’s one of those things I think I enjoy most about the show. Observing the sometimes curious choice the craftspeople use of components:

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… a vintage XT group on this gorgeous Signal.

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… unique Gipiemme shifters on this Bilenky.

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… not necessarily the most up-to-date group set on Cielo.

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… the pairing of XT rear derailleur, a 9-speed cassette, and Centaur 11-speed shifter at Palermo.

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Igleheart’s utilization of SunRace components was quite the exception too.

I also appreciate how cleverly the bikes are sometimes displayed. The use of one-off mounting and securing of the rig for display can be really brilliant.

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… a beautifully painted old frame with mounting brackets brazed on it’s side at VeloColour.

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… custom stands to clip the pedals into at Shamrock.

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… elegant swoop rack at Engin. (Great paint too!)

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… not to forget Signal’s custom mounting brackets.

Those that are making their own components are also not to be overlooked. High ATD (Attention To Detail) always well-received in my book.

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… customizable modular hubs, brakes, etc from Cykelmageren.

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… lugs and wood tubes at Sylvan. (One of my favorites.)

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… sharp bullet bars at Black Sheep.

All in all, great show, greater bikes, strange town. There’s plenty more photos of items I probably missed pointing out in this to be seen on my photo set; needless to say there’s surely a ton of other photos out there of the show.



NA-aaaaHBS
Friday February 26th 2010, 11:07 pm
Filed under: News

Due to the slow internet connection here at the Comfort Inn I’ll keep this brief.

Richmond, VA—NAHBS—the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. We made it to the last few hours of day one after a nine hour or so drive across the Appalachians. So far so good—nay, so great; so here are some photos of the show so far:

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Sylvan

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Cykelmageren

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VAR

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Speedvagen

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Richard Sachs

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Igleheart

More to come on the flickr account as the rest of the weekend goes by….



Moon Book
Thursday February 25th 2010, 7:37 am
Filed under: News

The other day I got an unexpected gift in the mail from my friend James, so excited I was I tore open the envelope to reveal a copy of Yehuda Moon & the Kickstand Cyclery (July 1, 2008 – January 2, 2009). This is a compendium of sorts of the daily comics chronicling the happenings of Yehuda, Joe, Thistle and all the other characters surrounding the Kickstand Cyclery bike shop. A book like this immediately earns a position in my bike library.

I do enjoy this comic, I make sure to check the action everyday and am usually pretty amused. Having it in print is the next best thing to having Yehuda himself visit me in person. Now I’m going to have to get my hands on the first edition. Evidently the author, Rick Smith visited the shop where James works and was signing copies—icing on the cake.

So make sure to check out this daily online comic, it’s a good one for sure; and pretty relatable if you work in a shop I think. Also to find out more info on its creator, here’s a little interview I did with him a couple of years ago—I bet he’s been up to some new and exciting stuff since then, but nonetheless….

And James, thanks for the great gift. Cottered cranks indeed!



Richmond
Tuesday February 23rd 2010, 11:02 pm
Filed under: News

This weekend is the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show. I’ve attended the last two years in Portland, OR; and Indianapolis, IN; for some reason to me that seems like a big deal. This will be the first year it’s not exactly geographically convenient for me to attend, but I am attending nonetheless. Ol’ Drew and I are making the trip crack of dawn hoping to make the show on it’s first day. Richmond, VA is probably a cool town, I’ve not been there in who knows how long, but I’m meeting some of my family there to show them what all this insanity for bikes is all about that I’ve developed. I’m expecting a dashingly good time; I’ve also just gotten a new digital camera (rumour has it, they’ve stopped even manufacturing film cameras!) so I’ll have, I’m sure, a ton of unique photos of beautiful bikes, components, and other cycling accoutrements.

Here are a couple pics from year’s past:

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Pegoretti @ Portland, OR

Handbuilt photos in 2008

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Velo Orange @ Indianapolis, IN

Handbuilt photos in 2009



Snow on My Bike
Wednesday February 10th 2010, 8:17 pm
Filed under: Photos

Originally uploaded by prestashrader



Hubday
Wednesday February 03rd 2010, 8:52 pm
Filed under: News

Resistance training. I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. Is that an actual name for a style of training regimen? My version works like this: ride a cross bike all the time, heavy traction tires, with a bag full of whatever, and a set of sluggish hubs. Lately I’ve also topped it off with thicker than recommended chain lube in the winter. Fight through that and you’ve gotta be building strength, right?

Salty. Maybe this Yehuda Moon put it together for me, but don’t we have a lot of salt on our roads? My lips are not only dry, but they’re actually salty from them it seems. How’s that for the crops? My bike has seen better—less desiccated—days.

Today’s ride home however, was a champ-fest. Rocketing across and off the 2nd street bridge was exhilarating, just pushing it! Laying it down. Where was the competition? Apart from the slavish motorists, all in my head. This is my training, remember! The ride home had one further point of awesomeness to it. No hat, first time in a long time I’ve gotten to ride with nothing under my helmet! Is it happening? Probably too early, especially considering that flea-bag Phil, I’ll take Chuck’s forecast this year.

I’ve just been loaned a book. The Wonderful Ride, the “true journal of Mr. George T. Loher who in 1895 cycled from coast to coast on his Yellow Fellow Wheel”. Sounds pretty cool, might inspire me to take that first step to ride some god-awful distance this spring I’ve been thinking about. We’ll just have to see how Mr. Loher fares.

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I love those little Campy part labels

My good buddy Drew over at On Your Left suggested a good idea to me that I am real excited about. I’ve sold the wheels the CAAD9 came with and was planning on, but reluctant to, buying a set of MAVIC Ksyriums. Good wheels to have, no doubt, but I’m a fan of hand-built wheels—preferably my own. There was also a financial issue buying a new set of wheels. Settling that debate was Drew’s suggestion of the brilliance of Campagnolo—or more accurately, he suggested trying a Fulcrum freehub body on my Campy rear hub. Enter the assumed Campagnolo part number 1011225. This will allow me to keep the wheels rolling I built for my recently demised Coppi. Centaur hubs on Aeroheads; thirty-two hole spectacularness!

Oh, and I’ve got a birthday coming up, was the AARP invitation I got in the mail the other day some kind of joke? WTF?



KD-2228 Thread File
Sunday January 31st 2010, 11:43 am
Filed under: Photos

Originally uploaded by prestashrader



Worlds
Friday January 29th 2010, 3:32 pm
Filed under: News

Awesome news here locally. Most here locally have already heard, but for those who haven’t: the Cyclocross World Championships will be held here in Louisville in 2013.

That’s cool news right? I’m happy to hear it, but must admit it seems like a slightly unlikely choice. What’s New England think of that decision? Or New Jersey and Oregon?

Hey, it’s still the here in the ‘States, right? First time it will not be in Europe What would top that for me personally, is if I was sent to Europe for the first time ever.



Thomson X2
Thursday January 28th 2010, 10:14 pm
Filed under: Photos

Originally uploaded by prestashrader



Built
Sunday January 24th 2010, 11:49 am
Filed under: News

Last night I built my new * Cannondale CAAD9. Had a good time hanging out with Drew and a few Fat Tires (glad I live near a state that sells that fine beer; god forbid the state I live in allow it, right?) I took my time, it was just about hanging out to me, no rush putting it together really. I found out some of the minor limitations and inefficiencies of the workstand I’ve got at home, all things I suspected of course, but pragmatically discovered last night. It’s great for most repairs still though.

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Creature of the night (15" exposure)

As far as the C-dale goes, I’m keeping it mostly stock at this point, but I have already come to the conclusion myself what most people already told me, and that is the brakes suck. Sometimes I like to come to my own opinions though: the brakes suck. And I haven’t even ridden them yet. I’ll see how they operate soon enough, however, it’ll be hard to clear my mind of the already subjective mushiness I feel in the calipers. But it’s all part of the process of what I said: forming my own opinion. Keeping it stock. The wheels have also been deemed “junk” from several third parties, I honestly don’t care for how they look on the bike, but they seem acceptable for the moment, I’ll ride them soon enough to really lay judgement—personally I like my hand-built wheels best.

It looks pretty sweet on the whole though; what’s not stock on it is the Thomson stem and seatpost. Many of you will know I’m not a fan of carbon, and that stock Cannondale seatpost was carbon—and heavy. The stem to match is really just necessary aesthetics and class. I was sorely tempted to run it with Force instead of Rival, but that upgrade at the moment is cost prohibitive for me. For what it’s worth, the tape isn’t stock; I can’t roll white tape, especially factory generic tape. White was replaced by fi’zi:k Microtex, color grey. Looks good I think, feels great too. Soft and suede-y. Beyond that, the saddle will likely not stay stock either, the Prologo Kappa Pas looks good, feels good, but I’ve learned to like another and am not sure I’m ready to test a new saddle line.

All of this however is for nought, as the celebration that a inaugural ride on a spanking new bike is diminished in a sense when the roads are wet and the sky is dark with rain. It’s supposed to clear up though. I’m always a little saddened for a customer when they come to pick up their new bike on a rainy day. Is that silly? Perhaps. I know that I’m going to ride that new bike in the rain some day, and I’m alright with that, but it’s first ride should be bluebird. (Freshly paved streets is likely asking too much of course.) Clear skies and a comfortable temperature for a maiden voyage just seems like the way it should be. It’s only right for the bicycle gods to deliver a sudden 70˚ and dry afternoon.

* (Mileage on the Coppi’s computer: 1,093.7, for those unaware, the CAAD9 described above is a replacement for the Coppi’s demise.)