n6vfp: (Default)
[personal profile] n6vfp
I saw something like this over on LJ and thought I might try the same thing here...so goes the question... what are you riding nowadays?

My latest bike is a repurposed mountain bike, 27 speeds (3X9) with Shimano components. The wheel set is for disk brakes, sealed bearing Formula hubs, with 26X1.25 slicks. I use the same bike as I have an extra pair of wheels when I want to ride dirt. Brakes are Hayes hydraulic. This bike was made from parts found on sale or on Craigslist.



My bike

My other favorite bike is my Kona Ute.. my venture into the realm of cargo bikes.

ute at Carlsbad

Those are my primary bikes right now, but I have a few more...

A Scattante R330 road bike, 27 speed, (3X9) light and fast, with upgraded wheels and 700cX23 tires.

A K2 Zed 3.0 mountain bike, 24 speed, Manitou Minute fork, light and quick. Vintage 2001. Presently have a set on later wheels with Continental Town and Country tires on it.

A Schwinn Cruiser, vintage 1959, with a Sturmey Archer 3 speed rear hub. It is very much original, springer front fork, original 'Schwinn Approved' 3 speed shifter, brake lever, seat and handlebar grips. It is all there, rust and all. I need to give it some much needed attention someday.

I have a few more bikes, that right now I'm preparing to sell. Those include a Scattante Roma 7 speed, small frame (15") and an old Specialized HardRock Sport in an extra small frame (13.5").

Oh, I have a few more bikes in various states of repair, including a Specialized RockHopper comp (1989) and a Gary Fisher Montare (1990).


onlysmallwings: a person holding a sign reading "Free Hug <3" (Default)
[personal profile] onlysmallwings
Hello! I just purchased my first bike as an adult this Saturday, and I'm really jazzed about riding again. As a kid, I rode all over the place, even to places I was technically forbidden from riding. Then I got a car, and my friends got cars, and my bike vanished. Which was fine, I was very happy with my indoor lifestyle.

Then, last year or so, my friends got into biking and other outdoors activities. And started going to Critical Mass here in Houston. And, since they have three bikes for the two of them, they let me borrow a bike to ride as well. And I remembered how much I enjoy biking.

I did a little research, and took my friend shopping with me, and decided on my GT Aerostream. It's a three speed sport cruiser, and it's a really smooth ride. I fell in love at the shop and it's only gotten deeper as I've ridden it. It's the kind of bike I can ride without needing to change into 'biking gear.' Hell, it came with panniers and a rack. It's like I'm meant to run errands on this thing!

I still need a helmet before I venture out of the neighborhood, and lights, of course, but I'm just so excited to have a bike that I love that is mine all mine! I don't care so much about speed, or, like my friends, ruggedness (that's a real word?), so this really seems like it's going to be a wonderful fit.
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
[personal profile] aedifica
http://grist.org/biking/2011-06-20-bicyclings-gender-gap-its-the-economy-stupid/

Pretty neat article. I didn't know there was such a gender gap (I live in a place that doesn't have as much of one) and I definitely hadn't thought about most of these reasons for it.
cpolk: (Default)
[personal profile] cpolk
I bought my first bike last year.

Well, let me try that again, as it wasn't my first bike. it was the first bike I bought. before that I had a heavy green stepthrough with no gears and a coaster brake that was a hand me down, and then I had a late 70's Raleigh Grand Prix that I overhauled down to the ball bearings in 1985 and rode passionately for a few years until it was stolen. I was a cyclist in those days, a creature of lycra and sinew and mashing through traffic because I could get there first, even though my bike was steel.

But last year i went to a bike shop and I bought a Kona Dew Deluxe. I probably shouldn't have, on reflection, as it wasn't the bike that I wanted but I didn't *see* the bike I wanted so I thought that bike wasn't available here. I love Bruce, I do, he's light and zippy and really much more nimble than I need a bike to be and those disc brakes are amazing and i'm glad i have studded tires so I can keep riding all winter even if I didn't actually need them this year, but Bruce isn't the best bike in the world for a woman who wants to be able to ride places and not need to change clothes.

In short, I wanted a bike that was just like my first bike: heavy, simple, with a step through frame and a rack on the back, a basket in front, a kickstand, a seat with springs. A bike that no one would ever use while wearing lycra. A bike that says "okay" to 20 kmh speed limits on recreational paths. A bike I could wear a skirt with and never catch said skirt on the nose of my saddle while trying to dismount, so I land on my ass. (I'm still choked about that.)

Kona has a bike a lot like that, actually. It's called the africabike three and I'd buy it in a hot minute, but the bike shop that sold me Bruce doesn't keep that style of bike in stock, and they don't want to order one if i'm not going to buy it. (If I decide I don't like how it rides, I'm not going to buy it, so I want them to order one so i can test ride it before buying it or not buying it.)

so okay, not buying a bike there. (Sad. I think kona makes a great bike, and i definitely would have stuck to the brand if it rode well.) There's another bike shop in town that caters to that heavy city bike style, and in my price range they have Linus Dutchi 3 and Bobbin Birdies coming in this spring.

My old Raleigh was a damn heavy bike but it was a tank. So I'm thinking a fully lugged steel bike like the Bobbin is going to be nice and strong, and the built in rack on the back is a major selling point for me. The drawback is the colour range is - well. Red is right out. completely unacceptable. I have an aversion to the colour. The blue is really nice but I wonder if a powdery turquoise isn't too-too, and yellow? Well it's bright and happy? I guess? Is my reluctance clear? Linus has more sedate colours but from what I've read, people complain more about the Linus dutchi than they do about the bobbin birdie. So do I suck it up and learn to love yellow? Or is the Linus more of a gem than I've been led to believe?
sara: photo of a bicyclist (bicycle)
[personal profile] sara
Brooks has a blog, now, where they're covering subjects like how to set up your saddle properly and vintage copywriting methods (from the 1937 catalog, no less.)
giglet: (Default)
[personal profile] giglet
Today is a rare January thaw in Boston, and I'd rreally love to be riding. But I need to do more work on my bike before I can. So I come to you all:


My brother gifted me with a set of used aluminum? fenders for my bike.

Alas, the supports are designed for thinner tires, and my bike doesn't have obvious places to attach the support struts.

The fenders do cover the tires with clearance, and I can attach them to the frame and kickstand thingie (in back) and the fork (in front) without interfering with the tires or brakes. (or at least, I will once I figure out what size bolts to use.)

But that doesn't look secure enough to support the entire fenders while riding. It looks like I'm going to need to build new supports. Also, I'll need to figure out how to attach them to the fork/frame near the wheel hubs.

Is this a problem someone else has solved?
Are there standard sizes for bolts for fenders?

In your collective wisdom, are there other difficulties waiting for me in the process?
pinesandmaples: A cropped image of a black Globe Work bicycle (bike: Globe Work)
[personal profile] pinesandmaples
This post is intentionally open-ended: Tell me about your bike(s).
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
I just spotted a fantastic project on Ravelry: Skirt Guards! (log-in required) and on Etsy: similar skirt guards! (no log-in required).

Colorful and charming, and one of most effective uses of crochet's peculiar strengths (radial openwork, multiple colors) I've seen in a long time.

I thought some of the community might enjoy them. I did.
darkemeralds: Naked woman on a bike, caption "I don't care, I'm still free" (Bike Freedom)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
I hardly ever ride Clyde, my Globe Specialized Carmel hybrid, anymore. It's a fun ride, but inconvenient for commuting (lights need batteries, rear fender doesn't prevent road spatter, rack doesn't hold much, greasy chain has no guard...). I prefer Eleanor O, my Dutch Workcycles Omafiets, for everyday use.

But I was very glad of Clyde when, a couple of weekends ago, I managed to break one tiny little part on Eleanor.

The part was the tensioning bolt in the Brooks saddle. It's a small part with a big job: to lengthen the saddle frame just a hair at a time as the saddle leather begins to stretch, and, incidentally, to fix the saddle onto its undersprings--i.e., to keep it on the bike. I...might have overdone the tensioning just a bit, and snap went the bolt.

A black and white Dutch bike with its saddle removed

I had to order a replacement from SJS Cycles in Bridgwater, Somerset, UK (about 6000 miles from home for me) because nobody in the US seems to carry it. It cost a whopping five bucks, I think, and three times for shipping it.

The imported part

Cheaper than a new Brooks saddle, but I've really missed riding my sturdy, reliable, no-fuss Oma.

The part came today, so I hope to be back in the saddle tomorrow, and good old Clyde can return to collecting spiderwebs on the front porch.

On goggles

Nov. 21st, 2011 12:01 pm
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
[personal profile] aedifica
I did get some goggles for winter biking, and I've been liking them a lot! I got a pair of Smith Monashee OTG (over the glasses) goggles. They fit nicely with or without my glasses, they don't fog up (though my glasses do fog up inside them sometimes), and my eyes have been comfortably NOT watering when I wear them. I've even started wearing them on days when I'm taking the bus instead of biking.

I hadn't realized what a versatile accessory goggles can be, though! When I wear them with my rounded, white bike helmet and my black facemask, I look somewhat like a stormtrooper (albeit a stormtrooper who's missing their breathmask). Without the helmet, but with the thin black hat I use as a helmet liner, I look more like a scuba diver (though again without the breathing gear). And with the knit cap I wear sometimes when I'm not biking, I look vaguely like I ought to be going out driving in an open car. :-)

(edited to fix the date)
lizcommotion: silhouette of a female bicyclist riding with a helmet (biker woman)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I just learned how to knit (woo) and bicycle (woo) this year. I'm thinking about doing some winter riding and have been looking into knitting merino gear to keep me warm.

My dad is uber-randonneur-bicyclist, and has not-so-subtly hinted that he'd like a knitted balaclava if I'm up for it. He's looking for thin yarn (say, sock yarn or fingering weight) in black, and he wants it to cover his head except for his eyes/glasses. You know, the balaclava thing. I'm also thinking superwash is a necessity.

Just wondering if anyone here has experience with good bicycling balaclava patterns, pitfalls, etc. Also, if anyone has good/bad experiences with particular yarns that would be great.

Since this is a cross-community sort of thing, I'm crossposting to [community profile] knitting  .
aedifica: Drawing of a bicycle with the logo "Put the fun between your legs." (Bike fun)
[personal profile] aedifica
This year I'm planning to bike farther into the winter than I've done before. One thing I'm thinking is that it might be convenient to get a different lock, one that's easier to open and close with gloved or mittened hands. (Right now I'm using a combination U-lock, one of the ones with four dials that each need to be turned to the right setting before it will open. I like not having to carry a key, but it's hard to turn individual dials with gloves on.) Do you have any suggestions for easy-to-work U-locks?

I'm also thinking of getting some goggles I can wear over my glasses--lately my eyes have been tearing up when I ride, and I don't want to have tears freezing on my face this winter. :-) Any advice you have there beyond "try some on at REI" (my current plan) is welcome.

Trainers!

Oct. 28th, 2011 12:15 am
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
It is coming on winter for those of us in the northern hemisphere, and I'm not too interested in biking in snow and cold. Further, my mountain bike fits me perfectly; the bike fitter said he couldn't do anything to improve it for me. So I'm thinking of getting a trainer.

Has anyone used them? Thoughts, opinions, reviews, warnings?
giglet: (Default)
[personal profile] giglet
Hi! I've had a bike since I was a teen (which was a few decades ago), but didn't use it much and eventually gave it to a friend gathering bikes for "Bikes Not Bombs". But one day this summer, I couldn't face getting on the bus to go to work, and pulled out a bike abandoned by a former housemate, walked to the corner gas station to pump up the tires, and set off.

It felt wonderful. It felt even more wonderful once I got a helmet and a wider seat. And then lights and a safety vest and a bungee cord to hold stuff on the rack. I've been biking to work about twice a week since then, and I'm hoping to keep going into the winter (here in Boston), although I expect to stop once snow covers the bike lanes. My philosophy is to get to work (and home) alive. Neither speed nor style is particularly important to me.

Money is kinda tight, however, so while I'd love to get a lot of things for the bike, I'm either living without or making it myself. The list changes every couple days, but the things I'd like include:

a chain guard (the chain ate my last pair of jeans yesterday)
fenders
a rear bike lever that doesn't require me to stretch really awkwardly to grab it.
a better front light mount. Mine broke the day I bought it. I've wired it on, but it's ugly.
panniers
one of those bags that hangs off the back of the seat
pump
spare tube and the knowledge to use it

Some of those things seem like I should be able to make them myself. Any words of wisdom?
lizcommotion: silhouette of a female bicyclist riding with a helmet (biker woman)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I learned how to ride a bike this year (in my mid-20s), and have been uber-excited about it. Then I had some health problems this summer (namely, unexplained dizziness while doing cardio) that made riding really difficult. I did not want to get a dizzy  spell while on my bike.

Things have been gradually improving, but I was hesitant to ride my bike. I've heard lots of stories about people "never forgetting how to ride," but I had just learned. All of the fear I'd carried about bicycling for years started to creep back in. What if I fell? I didn't want another injury.

Today is beautiful, and I finally decided, "Frell it, if I fall then I fall."

I was able to start correctly (i.e. not sitting on the saddle while starting) on the first try, and it was even better than when I last rode. Shifting gears, making fiddly turns, stopping, all of it.

Now I just have to squeeze in as much riding as I can before the weather turns foul.

(crossposted to my own journal)

dragonfly: stained glass dragonfly in iridescent colors (Default)
[personal profile] dragonfly
An electric bicycle hybrid, the Sanyo Eneloop

http://sanyo.com/news/2008/12/01-1.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5holuDwsCU0&noredirect=1

My friend has one and let me ride it the other day. *sob* Now I covet one sooooo much.

Aaaaargh!

Sep. 26th, 2011 05:42 pm
daedala: line drawing of a picture of a bicycle by the awesome Vom Marlowe (Default)
[personal profile] daedala
When you get panniers? Remember to wrangle some kind of secondary attachment, in case the built-in hooks fail. Carabiners are good for this.

This post brought to you by my missing pannier, which disappeared on my first ride with it! Fortunately, the only thing in there was my bike lock, which isn't has hard to replace as the stuff in the other pannier. Grr.
damerell: (booze)
[personal profile] damerell
Did I mention cargo trailers? I have a Carry Freedom Y-Frame Large (rated to 90kg) and a Y-Frame Small (rated to 45kg and "better if you like going through doors") and the frob to connect one to the other.

http://p.twimg.com/AXNp7imCMAEqNxS.jpg shows me leaving the local Milton Brewery with three full 72-pint (British pints, so just over 40 litres) firkins of beer.
damerell: (cycling)
[personal profile] damerell
Hello. My name's David, I never travel by car, I own too many bicycles, I build all my own wheels, and this is way too long.

The bike I got first (bought for me as a teenager in about '91) is what I now think of as my audax bike:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~damerell/bikes/audax.jpeg

About a decade ago I started commuting 22 miles a day on that bike. I was pretty fit while I was doing that, but largely stopped when I broke my jaw a few years later. I've replaced bent forks and had three cracked downtubes mended on it - the third time, I sent it to a different framebuilder and also had the lower headtube lug replace, and it hasn't happened again - and essentially there is nothing left of the original bike save 2/3 of the frame, two brake levers, and one of the gear shifters.

I still think of it as the audax bike even though I've stopped riding audax for the time being. I've ridden a 300; I've ridden four 200s in the same month; but I'm not actually convinced I enjoy it... apart from the 100km London Sightseer, which is like nothing else (the routesheet is longer than that for the 1400km London-Edinburgh-London). My friend [personal profile] tajasel likes to ride tandem, and the main reason I don't like riding audaxes is riding alone and going quietly mad (mp3 player notwithstanding), so perhaps that'll pick up again.

I don't know what to do with this bike, short of getting another job 11 miles away. It's fast (not like some carbon-fibre confection, but like a practical gentleman's light tourer) and a pleasure to ride, but too precious to take 2 miles and lock up when I could just use my oldest bike...

... my oldest bike is the Triumph, a Raleigh back from when Raleigh had bought up a number of other names and released bikes with their names on. It's probably from about 1970, but who knows? I've had a chainguard put on it since this photo, but:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~damerell/bikes/triumph.jpg

The original hub was shot, so I stuck on a Sturmey-Archer S5; the original BB was shot, but the late great Sheldon Brown suggested you could have it rethreaded to modern spacing, and it worked; the original front brake bolt wouldn't fit a headlight, but I bought a newer bolt from a bike shop in spite of them insisting it wouldn't fit, and it did. I did the Dunwich Dynamo (overnight 180km ride to a sunken village on the coast) on this bike with an acquaintance on her penny-farthing (made for her by the great and not-late Joff Summerfield of round-the-world penny-farthing fame) and I also got a bucket of rivets and studded some tyres up to ride in the ice and snow:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~clareb/intrepid-david.jpg

However, mostly I ride a Brompton - given the difficulty of taking non-folding bikes on trains in the UK and that I have a partner halfway across London, I suspect I ride more on the folder than every other bike combined. I don't have a photo of that but hell, it's a Brompton, they all look the same. Mine is only unusual in that when the seatpost used to slip down (as they do) [personal profile] ses spilled a lot of stout on it, and even after every trace of the sticky coating was gone, it didn't slip anymore. Years later I bent the seatpost riding down a slope that turned out to be stairs-slope-stairs-slope and so forth (it caught me by surprise and there was nothing to do but point the bike down the centre, get off the saddle, and try not to have a prang) and I immediately coated the replacement with stout.

The only bike I've had stolen is a Brompton. Since then (insurance replaced it) I never take a lock with me if I'm on the Brompton. If you do, you might be tempted to lock it up and not take it with you. I've done a 200km audax on the Brompton - at 150km or so, I said "fucking hell, never again" - and I was beyond thaxted [1] afterward. Later that year I did the Dunwich Dynamo on the Brompton and at 150km or so said to myself "a) fucking hell, never again b) remember this time, David". I also took it touring this year in Switzerland - via the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig - but since I was with my parents who are a tad older, the distances were not excessive, although I was a bit alarmed to find myself doing 38mph downhill on a clown's bike _and_ being dropped by my dad.

I also own a tandem. My friend Robin and I bought it on ebay for 350 quid in 2004 from a chap who lived 2 miles away; we literally went over there after work and handed him a brown envelope full of money as if we were bribing a Tory. We got it to do the Land's End to John O'Groats, and I've never regretted it:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~damerell/bikes/e2e.txt

Since then I've had it fitted with S&S couplings and repainted (in British Racing Green, obviously), but I've got no photos of that. I use it a bit these days; one of my inamorata has a bad back, and her pain per unit time is roughly constant whether she's walking at 2.5mph, riding her bike at 10mph, or riding the tandem at 20mph.

Oh, and there's a frame and parts and a back wheel in the bedroom (presently there are also two bikes in the bedroom) with "fixed gear?" written on them, but I'm too lazy to put them together.

[1] All audax rides in Essex go through the village of Thaxted, which is obviously therefore at the top of a hill. Ben and I came to use "thaxted" to describe an intermediate state of tiredness, more tired than tired but less tired than...

... well, the story has it that a British and a French rider were riding together in the Paris-Brest-Paris, and the Brit enquired of the other chap if there was a more emphatic expression for tiredness than "tres fatiguee" - the normal idiom is "crevee" but that also means "punctured" so is no use in a cycling event.

The Frenchman turns to him and says "Oui, monsieur! C'est 'fuerked'!".

So "thaxted" is between "tired" and "fuerked".
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