Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Something Impulsive this way comes....

And its going to involve this sweet Sand Canyon tire from Swift (by Panaracer)

For many years I thought the only way to get a 27 x 1 3/8 tire was the Kenda K40 and then someone over at bike forums pointed me to this tire.   They are twice as expensive as the Kenda's but they should have the suppleness of the Panaracer Pasela's.

My impulsive act will also include; a lot of driving, ducks, and Hollywood.

More to come.....

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Salvaging a Hub

I have been going through allot of de-cluttering and one of my goals is to take a bunch of things to the scrap yard.  I have some old wheels that are rusty or bent or otherwise trashed that I was thinking to just load up and then I thought perhaps I can salvage the hubs first.

I did a search on how best to cut spokes and one suggestion was to use an old cable cutter which as I turns out I had!  When the PBK started to dull and not snip cables or housing cleanly I upgraded to a Park cable cutter but the PBK now has life as the slayer of old spokes.  It worked great.

The cable cutter made short work of the spokes,it probably took less that 2 minutes to cut them all.

I was not going to try and rehab this rim, the rust was even worse on the inside, and now its ready for the scrap yard.

After freeing the hub I found it was much easier to get rid of the spoke remnant if I had the "J bend" end of the spoke pointed down.  I got to the point where I could flick them right into the scrap metal tub.

And I am left with the hub, dirty greasy and oxidized but free of the wheel.

It sure is a lot easier to clean this way, and after a bit of work I see its a made in France Normandy hub.  I can rebuild it, sell it, practice my polishing technique, even use it to build a wheel which I have threatened to do in the past, I also have a nice rim I could use....hmmm.

Speaking of selling I have been selling a number of bike bits that have been sitting in boxes and drawers for years doing nothing and a few NIB pieces that aren't going to get used.  I have sold about $500 worth so far on a combination of CL, Ebay and bike forums.  It's been surprising to see what gets sold and what goes wanting.  I no longer try to predict it.

That was the worst wheel of the bunch  I have so I may be done with hub salvaging but it was good to see how easy it was to do with a proper tool.

Until next time, Ride.Smile. Repeat.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Off season Coffeeneuring and a few goodbyes

been a while?
When there is a layer of dust on your saddle it might mean its time to go for a ride.  I have actually ridden in 2018, but its been the Gran Touring and the Passage, so it was time to brush the dust off of the Handsome Devil and take it out.

We've had a string of sunny days in Seattle and I couldn't let another slip by without a ride.  I have been avoiding carbs of late so my regular Sunday ride to the farmers Market and the Beer junction is on temporary hiatus.  I had an errand to run and a new coffee shop to check out so that was reason enough to go enjoy the sun.

I have been going to the post office allot lately, more on that later.  And I had a few things to drop off.

The thing I dread most about the PO is standing in line, however, in the lobby of my PO there is a chute for boxes that have already had postage applied ala ebay/paypal so I never have to stand in line which makes me smile every time.

After the errands it was time for Coffee, I wrote back during the fall Coffeeneuring that I wanted to go to Olympia Coffee, they were going to open in October but didn't, nor November, nor December, and not even in January.  Finally in February I drove by and the paper was off the windows! 

I had a lovely mocha and enjoyed the new space, it has a clean Scandinavian feel and the tall windows were letting lots of lovely sunlight in.  My one nit to pick was the bike parking.  You will notice in the picture above with the store front and sign that waaaaay down the block there is a realtor sign....

 Yep that is where I parked, I am mostly kidding but nearly every other coffee shop in West Seattle has a bike rack right outside their door.

As I walked toward the crosswalk I saw this lovely modern Raleigh Clubman; classic steel frame, TIG not Lugged, nice Brooks dyed dark blue, brifters and disc brakes, flat pedals.  Nice.

Some Good-byes

I have been thinking for nearly a year that I really need to de-clutter, especially on the bike front.  I like to joke that my apartment looks like an episode of Vintage Bike Hoarders, but there is more than a kernel of truth in that joke.

I have also been feeling a bit overwhelmed by half-completed and stagnating projects and perhaps most importantly I need some cold hard cash.  So I have been spending time on Craigslist, eBay and the Bike Forums sales page.

The first to go was the 1984 Nishiki Cascade, this was a pretty easy choice in that I originally got this bike for the bull moose bars, and didn't pay much.  The guy who bought it showed himself to be an experienced re-builder as he cast a critical eye over the box of parts and looked carefully to be sure of what was there.  He mentioned he was going to build a bike for his daughter so that made me smile as well.  One less project haunting my porch and it went to a good home and it put some cash in my pocket.

Then I said so long to the 1986 Miyata Trail Runner, sigh, I really would have liked to hang onto it but it really needed a complete tear down before it was ready to be a regular rider.  I had a guy about my age come from 80 miles away to get this bike, turns out he works at a bike shop, and is an old MTB enthusiast,  he actually wanted the bike just for the wheels!  I had a fun bike conversation with him.  While I was a bit sad to see it go, it's cash in hand and my daughter has one fewer bike cluttering up her room.  

The last, so far, was the Torpado Alpha, this frameset has been languishing on my porch for years and the box of parts was sitting forlornly in the laundry room, so I offered it up on CL as a project and threw in new; tires, tubes, rim-strips, brake pads, bar tape, toe straps cotter pins etc. and a nice young lady pinged me about it and actually followed up.  She was a bit taken aback by how many pieces there were (despite my CL description and pictures) but to her credit she bought it.  I swallowed my fatherly urge to ask "do you really want to take this on?" and figured hey she's an adult, she knew what Bike Works was when I was mentioning shops that might have old parts, and everyone has to start someplace.   Passing this on was a catharsis.

I have also sold a number of parts lately:

  • Two Brooks saddles that were on bikes that weren't getting ridden and/or I was thinking of selling
  • New in packing bike planet SpeedEZ fenders
  • Some RSX100 downtube shifters that I have no idea where/when/why I got them
  • Some touring bike shoes that had never made it out of the box
  • A set of mismatched but functional and sturdy 700c wheels with an 8 speed cassette that have been collecting dust in my laundry room for 6 years - when you don't bike commute you don't need a back up wheel-set!
  • A Carradice saddle bag that was still in the packaging, ironically this the second time in 4 years I've done this with a barley bag (sad trombone).
One eye opener for me in going through boxes and drawers and closets is all the things I FORGOT I EVEN HAD!  Its pretty easy to sell on things you haven't used or looked at in so long that you have forgotten about them.

I started with the easy stuff, so now I need to do some actual work to put a few more bikes on the market.  More to come.  In the meantime, cherish those sunny winter days!  

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

This one is for you Phil

Later today I will be going to a Memorial held at my favorite coffee shop for a fellow regular, Phil Yates, who passed away in December after a long battle with cancer.   I met Phil about 12 years ago as our paths crossed regularly at C&P.  I found out he was an ex-Marine, had worked on the Alaska pipeline, was a excellent finish carpenter, that's how he made his living, and most importantly he was an avid cyclist.

Phil and his lovely partner Jennifer
Besides having excellent taste in coffee shops we bonded over cycling.  From Spring to Fall we had races to discuss and in his younger days he had been an amateur racer so I would get stories about training on a fixie in the winter, racing at the velodrome, and he knew just about anyone who was anybody in the Seattle cycling scene over that last 40 years.  He wrote a pamphlet on training back in the 70's and toured shops in the west giving talks about it.  He was a serious enough Roadie that his last frame was Titanium.

Phil was a lovable curmudgeon, he could discuss a wide range of topics and didn't put up with any BS, while still being kind to dogs and children.   In the face of cancer he was positive, fought hard and even managed to be stylish.  He used a walking stick in lieu of a cane and it looked like Gandalf's staff and to keep his head warm he wore a Basque beret that a Spanish ex-pat and C&P regular had shipped to him,

He was well loved at C&P so its fitting that is where his friends will gather today to say goodbye.  When the weather broke earlier today and the sun peaked out I took it as a sign I should go for a ride and honor Phil by doing something we both loved.   This ride is for you Phil.