SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


With Ears Like Wings...

family transport
Originally uploaded by cleverchimp
This one's for Cyclofiend...

What the world needs more of: Racer-bike 650B Conversions!

There is something deliciously perverse about throwing a set of 650B wheels on a former racing bike...

It's kinda painful to look at, but you just can't help it because the concept is too damn cool! Kinda like one of these...


We have ignition!

Last night I rode my 700C Kogswell P/R for the first time. Got the bare essentials installed, chopped the fork down a bit, and up and down the street I pedaled. No pix, sorry, it was 11pm at night. Many things need to be adjusted still, and tonight I shall attempt the installation of the Velo-Orange fenders, which did in fact polish up quite nicely with some elbow grease, Mother's Polish, and about 15 minutes each.



Fork you!

Track-bike-racing crash-tastrophe. Wait for the slow-mo replay at the end of this viddie-oh, at around 35 seconds into it. Note how the dude's bike has no fork. It and that slutty front wheel in the strapless number just decided to leave like they were hooking up at a bad cocktail party. Man, gotta love that carbon-fibber!



Kogswell Update -- Perfection is Hell

So here's the latest goings-on with the Kogswell 700C P/R build.... I've been somewhat stalled the past few days; I was vacationing in Napa over the weekend, and since then just haven't felt like wrenching on bikes. Been in a bit of a funk I guess.

Anyways I threw the seat on, it's a Selle An-Atomica that a friend gave me, it'll be my first trial of a leather saddle. I'm already weirded out by it because just sitting on it with my meager 145lbs, the saddle bottoms out against the top of the seat post in spite of the fact that I've got the tension bolt cranked almost all the way down!

I also spent some time experimenting with the brakes, trying different lengths of brake-straddle cable and the associated height of the straddle-cable carrier...I wanted to see first-hand how that affected the brake's mechanical advantage and lever feel. On the front brake, I started with the carrier near the fork crown, and then tried a couple other positions roughly 2cm and 4cm higher than that, making the straddle cable longer each time to accommodate. While the brake lever feel got progressively firmer with the higher carrier position, it wasn't as dramatic of a change as I'd expected. I ended up mounting the carrier near the lower headset race, which is about 110mm above the canti studs. That makes the angle of the straddle cable a bit tighter than the recommended 90-degrees, but I think it improves the lever feel/travel and the brake pad clearance. There is good info on the web with general recommendations on cantilever brake set up, but no one publishes recommendations with hard numbers (e.g., "for this brake on that bike, make your straddle cable XXcm long"), so canti-brake setup is still a bit of a crap shoot, IMHO.

Furthermore, I had a ~90-degree, 120mm stem mounted, but that felt rather long, so I swapped it with a ~100-degree, 100mm stem. This bike has a HUGE head tube -- 40-50mm longer than my Fuji CX, and on top of that I've got 40mm of spacers. Even though the bars are set 30mm higher than on my Fuji (which sports the highest handlebars of any of my current bikes), they don't feel excessively tall. Just to try it out, I'm going for bars-about-level-with-saddle or thereabouts, but I also don't want to use a decimeter of headset spacers. The facts that I'm using an unfamiliar saddle and that the angles of this frame are quite different than any other bike I've got are conspiring against my finding a good first-guess at the user-interface. I think I'm just going to have to iterate through a few cycles of "bolt some stuff on, go for a ride, tweak" before I do anything brash like cutting down that ungainly steerer tube.

And oh, almost forgot, swapped 'round the tires, too: they're now 700x35 Panaracer Paselas. They measure 34mm on the MA-3 rims; they're new rubber so they might stretch out to the full 35mm, but whatever.

More photos here , here, and here.



Watch It. Learn It. Live It. Love It!

Watch this video:

If you remember nothing else, remember that "cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles." The cyclists demonstrating the techniques in this video make riding in traffic look easy -- and it really is! Generally, just behave on a bike as you would if you were driving a car or a motorcycle. It's really that simple, and I can't understand why the majority of people I see riding a bike can't grok this simple concept!



Kinda looks like a bike now
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Kinda looking like a bike now...still having some issues with the cranks/BB. Thoughts/advice?