Wednesday, April 23, 2014

e.trike

All these e.wheels and wood on wheeled things is really getting to me lately.

Totally stoked just looking at the pics. No ugly obtrusive battery pack sticking out. Everything nicely blending together

http://www.bikingculture.com/2014/01/electric-hybrid-tricycle-kaylad-e-by-niavis-design.html


Air shock suspensions too!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

M-Board spiffing

Yet another salvaged  piece... my old Sigma cube that has fallen into the Abyss of Spares bin got rummaged out for a new lease of life permanently affixed on the MBoard now. Simple enough with a a longer M3 screw (taken off an old ODI lock ring), couple of washers to flatten up the countersunk area on the board meant for the original screw.

The tightening plastic cap for the handle lasted like 20 mins on the first test ride before they disappeared into the dark.... Mounted underneath, under constant vibration..... hmmm presto! screw thread was same as a bike 9mm QR. If there is a shitload of spares I have, its QR since most of my bikes are either TA or 10mm bolt-on these days. QR ends with the serrated surface should now be able to bite and  grip to do a proper job here.

Just like my kiddo days... first thing I do is to open up all my toys.... Quick check. all seem ok... no leaking battery. Wires are nicely siliconed at the ends. All I did was to push a few strands further away from the charging connector area (just to be safe)

Ok time to screw the board back... the mess of wires in there looks like Egyptian hieroglyphics... ain't attempting to decipher it in my sinus filled state. Not that I know very much in this department anyway.

Everything seems well waterproofed with the board screwed on. Except the folding hinge, it would need some gap... Not that I'm gonna ride in the pouring rain but this is the only ingress area paranoid me can think off. Should be easy to mod a plastic slot cover with just a cutout for the wire ... Later.


Now comes my biggest rant for most e.kickscooters in the market. Due to the inherent designs, not many are running a proper headset. If at all, those are mostly threaded headsets. Some have an additional arching strut to lock things in place but with usually just one pivot point, it still does not solve the "play" issue.   Few hard rides and play will develop at the strut pivot which in turn translates back to the same irritating fore-aft movement.

Not that its anything particularly wrong with the M-Board but take any e.kickskoot in the market now, press the front brake and rock... almost every one of them will display some fore-aft shakiness.

The M-Board works on a hinge concept to allow rotation.... peering close.. it seems to boil down to the brass(?) washers top and bottom. Top one as shown in pic

I'm thinking if having a slightly thicker and hard wearing bushing (maybe something from Igus?)
might solve the issue....In a way that will act like headset bearings or pivot bushing on bike suspension lnkages.. Will need to maintain and change but at least could solve the "problem"

Ok 99% of people probably aren't bothered with such trifle movements... yea yea yea.. its just me being me forever going with all those tight tolerances of machined parts in my head and giving myself a massive headache for no reason....

Anyway too much to disassemble tonite while nursing a flu to analysze further.... gonna brainstorm more later.










Range >> 36-40km?
Quite likely. On a mix of turbo and econ mode meter says 11km (meter doesnt have decimal point) with a remaining voltage of 38.1. Since it started off with 41.5v fully charge and the cutoff for a battery like this should be at 31v:

Working backward, theoretially it should give (11km/3.4v) x (41.5-31.0) = 33.97km
If its actually nearer to 12km (say 11.9km) then it would be (11.9km/3/4v) x (41.5-31.0) = 36.75km
Anyway more than half was on rough pavement with lots of start-stop. On smoother continuous scooting only on econ mode would probably have been more efficient.

Max speed
On turbo- my max was topping out in a range of 30.2km/h - 30.8km/h
Have to find another long flat stretch to test another couple more times later
But in any case, its quite enough. 99% of the time I would probably not be going that fast especially when out and about running errands with it with lots of human traffic around.




Sunday, April 20, 2014

M-Board


Despite everything going e.this and e.that these days, it's still difficult to bring myself to buy an e.bike, full throttle or pedal assist. However with changes to the landscape on this island, transportation adaptations; trying to give crowded public transport or the usage of a car a miss wherever possible, gravitated  towards the idea of an e.kick scooter.

It was down to working out what's best suited for the "last mile" commute. Sure we can take "no. 11 Bus" but what's the fun in walking when you can wheeze by and skip sweaty days to arrive faster ;)

MobilityBoard. That's my latest wheeled infatuation and acquisition. Reckon a number of people on my FB were also interested when they saw the pics but like all toys, it is kind of confusing to sort out the various stuff available in the market. To skip answering the analysis paralysis messages individually... here's the low down of my own "research" and why... the M-board is now in my quiver of wheels around the house.

There are quite a number of facebook pages for each of the brands and a couple of  local forums and blogs... but it would seem many of these are far from being objective.  Ok I won't get into too much  bitch-mode -ve commenting.


The key considerations are usually:
  • range
  • weight
  • portability/ ease of carrying
  • speed

Where the second and third is closely linked, range will be important for those intending to rely it more as a main form of commute, direct from say home to work and back.

Given the traffic these days, be it roads or pavements, I would think it's not a matter of trying to hit maddening speed of 50-60km/h or more. Sure that would be fun but like all things there are always trade offs. You want speed and range- you need a bigger battery/ bigger capacity motor. Things will be heavier. Moreover with small wheels, going too quick would really take quite a bit of focus and control.

On the other hand, if its just something that moves around for a short distance, its lighter in the battery/ motor department and often with lighter weight wheels/ parts to go along. Tradeoff? Harshness from lack of proper wheels and a lack of power in most of those I classify as "still fun but really just a toy-around-your-block" e-scooters.

Fire up a Google search and the options are mind boggling... but paring it off, boils down to a few electric kick-scooters available locally. Yes, most of them are made in China. You can  just see many a time the exact same thing some local shop is selling them with a diff decal slapped on.

While it's always cheaper to buy online but considering the potential hassles of shipping in (these are classified as "controlled items" due to the battery). Possible problem with a unit with all the returns/ warranty going back and forth.... my El Cheapo klaxon started honking a "NO" to cheap this time and decided to go local.

I've separated it loosely by weight/ wheelsize combo but its really overlapping as it depends on type of battery used and construction materials etc. 
  1. The really toy class.. like a Razor E90 running lead-acid batteries
  2. The starting to get serious 6" wheels, ~10-15 kg class like the ZoomAir, E-Thow or the Patgear
  3. 8-10" rollers, ~12.5-15kg category like the one I got here, the Mboard, the Goboard and  MyWay
  4. The big heavy behemoth, 800-1500W, high powered but its really getting away from being an e.kick scooter category for me (and its hardly seen in SG anyway. Some of these are loud racuous gas powered units and not even electric.
With the exception it seems for the MyWay, call it whatever, most of these are just OEM China products. MyWay is produced in China as well but doesn't seem like whoever producing it is mass selling online, well not yet at least ;)

Most are just slightly different variants in each class and stuck with a different decal. eg the ZoomAir and E-thow are basically the same thing with a difference in the wheels and a bit of other specs.

Likewise the M-board and GoBoard are pretty much the same.

But let's get on with why the rest are tossed.

(1) I have gone and test out just about all the above mentioned in the last 2 months with the exception of the Razor but tested another similar one in that category. Basically  these are underpowered and quite useless unless you have a 8-12 year old at home and make this a starter e-kick scooter for the kiddo. Moreover I don't want to have my friends laughing at my back..

(4) Never tried but with all the riser bars huge massive seats and all...not game even from just looking at pics.Those sure as hell pack a lot of power but would also attract a lot of unwanted attention too.

SO (1) and (4) are OUT. Into the DWMT bin (Don't Waste My Time)

(2) The 6" Wheelers
One big Archilles heel for me are those hard plastic wheels. Ok polyurethane, whatever you want to call them. Yea I know, I was rollerblading a lot then to know these material. Going any longer distance you are gonna feel all the knocks and vibes channeled back at you.Marketign hype will tout lightness

In the wet? Good Luck. Ride slow... .really slow ya. Ok the Patgear has wider rubber wheelup front but still the vibrations from the small wheel diameter ( I think it is 6", memory is a little vague after trying that many) does show its effect after awhile and if there is one thing I do not like about small wheels is the sharp turning and and accompanying sketchiness although the turning radius is smaller. Furthermore it is the heaviest of them all in this class. In bikes, its the same reason why I shun foldies.. and prefer normal sized mtb or 700c hoops.

Another thing is that the brushless hub motor on some is on the front wheel... hence when braking you need to exercise a little more care. Keep the weight back before braking to avoid the "throw". Not a big issue but still worth mentioning.

(3) 8-10" Wheels
The biggest and baddest of them all, Myway, is no doubt the Rolls Royce in terms of comfort but for its size and all that can still be considered an e.kick scooter by my definition. Lacking a bit in the power and battery department in my opinion though (based on  printed spec). It does claim to be able to climb steeper stuff.. not too sure how this pans out with a heavier unit with less power. Test ride was on smooth flat surface. Very impressed I must say.

To boost it any further will mean adding more weight to its hefty ~15kg, which is already quite an inconvenience to be lugging around should that be one of your concern. Boosting it may not necessarily be ramping up speed but more to increase the usable range. Apart from weight this is the biggest of them all, dimension wise. I love the "long tail" roomy feel, turning radius, great construction, finishing and overall performance for sure but carrying the thing around would be ugh...!!! Imagine hauling it into the supermarket on a grocery run....

So it boils down to the slightly smaller 8" GoBoard and MBoard. I tried the GoBoard as I didn't know of the MBoard at that time. Ok.. my mind was set even though really hoping the GOboard could really do just a little better in speed and range... was already looking at after market option of batt pack etc to boost but that would mean forking out additional sum which makes it not really worthwhile.

 Maybe I should elaborate what's on my mind in order to understand the eventual choice
 Ideal Board with my weight is something like this and all the order of priority:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Range: >32km/ charge, actual usage.

Speed: Hit 25km in actual ride with my weight (not claimed specs that are subjective ). Anything above is a bonus

Weight/ Dimension: 12 - 13kg. Folded length ~80-90 cm (for ease of carrying)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tracing back, both these have its design roots in the original and much talked about (but failed) Roth Motorboard. It was lighter and runs those dreaded plastic wheels which was a large factor to its demise with many cracks at folding area due to repeated stress partially but no doubt due to the hard wheels. But these were the early days where trials and experimenting was taking place in the designs of these things.... 2007 seems  like a long time ago now.

I really dig the whole wooden board thingie... Black, polish silver and wood-- combo that can't go wrong eh!



The M and Goboards have evolved from there to be more rugged.
This class of board is the best option after juggling weight vs speed vs distance per charge. Not the biggest most cushy feel like the 10" MyWay but still very rugged. The bigger MyWay runs 250W but the Goboard and Mboard packs 350-360W.


Now the real gist....


Why the Mboard
After chancing upon and comparing, it was an easy decision but then I have to take the words that whatever was enhanced in the MBoard is really what it is said to be

Well the only way is to see the actual differences..
  
Ok I'm not gonna trash other products but basically here is the "aftermarket differences" if you choose to get the higher end model of the Mboard which apart from some better stock diff also have additional machining done locally to soup things up.

MBoard Hi end  $1480 vs GOBoard Pro @ $1300

What justifies the $180 difference then? (Some of the stock spec on the GoBoard might have changed by now and similar to the MBoard but those are the stock changes, info is taken from their listed specs.)

If you can't be bothered to read here's a quick and dirty on some of the stock specs that help me decide which was a better bang $$.



 Now the long of it...

(1) Retrofitted foldable handle with bar end safety light.
I was at first skeptical of any folding bar as one tried on another model wasn't really up to par. Spoiled by all the CNC machining parts of my mountain bikes with tight tolerances.. any movable part that has significant play is not acceptable by my standards.. Don't you just hate the feeling when you are supposed to get a stiff feel but get those 2-3mm of wobbling coming in from bad design and machining.

Have to say this part was well thought out in the folding sections. The safety bar end blinkers stuff is not uber expensive but a nice touch to round things off. These are all additional machining upgrade over the stock on the MBoard.

Clockwise from top left: Snapped in place & tightened. Pulled out showing inside spring mechanism latch
Locking screw that goes through the 3 layers of tubing to put things firmly in place.

Front suspension & Mud guard.
Don't start expecting hi lo compression and rebound damping. It's meant to take the hit off some unexpected bumps while cruising. And don't be stupid like me trying to compress it as like a mtb suspension fork.

Step on the front and the thing will sag and give a slight springy feel. It does make a slight difference to take the edge off as compared to a dead stiff feel.
Haven't bumped into anything hard so can't comment more. While simple and just a straight forward spring inside with bushing to hold the stanchions in place, it would also mean if need be to DIY, getting the bushings should not be too difficult. All of this is local re-machining by the seller as well.


The mud guard is another extra add-on that comes with the MBoard. Designed and 3D printed stuff. Actually this is my first ever 3D printed thingie.. looks pretty solid and nice, thoughtful as this is one area that will throw up lots of grit over time.. Would be a biatch to start poking fingers around trying to clean it often.

Front axle and bearing
Bearing should be stock and similar across both boards. Looks simple enough to change.
Need to ascertain which class of bearing later. Kinda dark to make out the markings on the seal.
I suspect it should be hi-speed compatible bearing and that means its a minus in terms of load bearing capacity... which then makes sense to have the suspension help take off some of the stress on the bearing (just armchair-theorizing here though).


Power and Battery
I have not opened up to see the internal batt-pack yet. But a quick check on the net says 36v 10 Ah LiPo are common enough for these kind of applications. So I have no reason to doubt what's listed.

On the display meter here at first full charge it says 41.5 volts..Just doingthe standard thing with any Li batteries to leave it on 6-8 hours. But not something to be repeatedly done for every charge as that kills batteries fast.

As with all LiPo/ Li Ion batt- -there will be a cut off after a certain voltage drop (~31-32v in this case). A fully charged 36v Li Ion would go up to 41-42v. Not quite sure if same applies to LiPo but looks ok here.

Supplied charger unit.

Some battery info and reading for those interested in all the relationships between Voltage/ Current and stuff in a similar capacity battery.  I'm pretty retarded in this area beyond the simplest of things electrical...

Braking
Can't remember if there is a 3rd e.regenerative braking wired on the Goboard but the Mboard actually has 3 brakes including this on top of the 2 mech disc. Nothing much to shout about but gets the job done. In fact I'm already looking at how I might be able reconfig my spare XT hydro to bling this up a bit-- not that the kind of braking power is really needed here ;)

E.regenerative braking behind mech disc on the left side

Mech disc on rear. Looks to be std 51mm IS mounting but need to check again.
My old XT 4 pot spare might finally see the light of day again if it all fits :)


Speed,  Range and Weight
The MBoard seems better based on listed spec alone. If specs are correct on both count, it's faster, travels further per charge and lighter (I will need to verify the claimed 12.6kg weight). One key thing I was looking for was the range... really wanted something that goes at least ~35km. The MBoard by far is the only one now to fulfill that requirement. Of course the 38km/h  turbo mode was a bonus. I would have been happy with something that can hit ~30km/h occasionally.



Overall
Maybe the GOboard spec was just being a little conservative. I can understand putting out a high number for top speed might not be a good thing in attracting "unwanted" attention. However the range was the thing that did it for me..

Stock diff  seems to be a rear tire pneumatic tubeless vs tubeless, rear disc vs drum  brake and the original wooden board vs the black alu. Matter of preference in the last.

The rest boils down to the aftermarket mod of a front suspension, front mud guard and folding handle.. whether that is worth the $$ diff is for anyone to decide for themselves

Ok fully charged. Time to go scoooooooooooooooooot. More FR on actual speed and range later.


.......
Quick Update after some zipping around last nite.
Econ Mode: max speed reached at my weight of 73kg @ 20.5km/h (spec = 22km/h)
Turbo Mode: hit up to 27 km/h before I throttle off due lack of space..
Will hit faster but would take longer distance to run up to speed.. To be continued  

The Marrakesh Express -1


Test ride after the makeover to test out any rattle 'n' shakes that need adjustments and tuneup
I'm a big fan of CSNY even though all their hits were before my time or at most while I was still in diaper-land. Not my favorite song, but somehow listening to Marrkesh Express, it somehow resonate with a change and intended use on the Stanyan.. easy-going,  observing the world around me while out pedaling, like Nash leaving his seat on the train to explore the surrounding around him...

Gear Ratio:
With all the added weight and setup changes, 53/16 training mode ratio would be brutal. It will either raise a brow from others thinking is that a show off or some real masochist on a ride. Remembered my old dodgy trek commuter with fenders, racks and all was running 44/16 on 26" hoops. Quick calculation shows with what I have in the spares bin, I could just use the stock Sugino 48t ring that came with the crank and YES! The White Industry 18t freewheel with 72 poe. My all time favorite freewheel of course.

Sold my repair stand and never bothered to get a replacement.. this afternoon sure brings back memories of working on an upside down bike on the floor!

The Gilles Berthoud fenders and new 32c rando-tires finally came on Thursday. Was trying to test my Zen patience training anticipating those some nice mounting hardware to arrive but just couldn't wait anymore.  Guess they''ll just end up in the bolt-bin later....till who knows when it might get to be used, like so many of my bike stuff.

Front Fender mounting
Struts provided and the plastic p-clips were pretty straight forward but there's nothing included for mounting to the caliper
As luck would have it. I was actually able to fit a L-bracket underneath the fork hole.. The fenders themselves needed a little wiggling as the lug on the fork made the area a little smaller. Overall it resulted in a rather neat end-result with no ugly bits of a cheap bracket sticking out. Tucked behind the caliper, whatever exposed section is hardly noticeable.
Most of the bracker and nut hidden under fork hole, out of sight.

Not as neat as a fork crown daruma installation but looking at it, the fenders might not have cleared the brake caliper if a daruma was used.


Rear fender I had equal luck like the front.. the Stanyan actually had a screw hole on the rear brake's mounting  underside which I never really paid attention to before. The tricky part was to make sure to mark the fender right before drilling.

Almost.. somehow and luckily it was just slightly off centered. Enlarging it with a bit of side drilling plus a couple of wider spacers sandwiching the bolt did the job. So, again no more bracket or the need for a fender bridge and best of all no need to mount to the caliper.  Clean look.



Final step... back on with the rack. No way in hell is the existing dog-ugly piece of mounting bracket going back on. Already had the foresight to grab a piece of stainless steel one from my favorite $2-store earlier in the day.

One thing I've learned, bending the doggedly rigid old one was to choose something that can still be slightly shaped by hand off the vice.


Alright, everything that should shine is now shining in their rightful places.

Not exactly the neatest due to the rack's mounting design. Would have preferred if it uses struts and the bike does have the necessary eyelets.. but then it means the eyelets can be be used for other things now... will see what can be plonked in there to add to functionality of the bike.



Test ride... with the major parts in place, twas time for a test ride today to sort our and shakes, rattles and niggles... poop goes the chain and I felt the eccentic ENO slipped. In the enthused smug state of looking at my own handiwork installing the shiny bits..  the most basic of things like tightening of bolts are overlooked!
Would have been a decent pic with nice natural lighting if it weren't for the glaring slackened chain! Arrrghh
Oops! didn't have a size 19 wrench with me. Well.. picked up another neat little trick on tightening the eccentric hub without having a wrench to hold it in place when cranking the bolts in. Pull it against the fender with one hand and lock down the 10mm bolts on both sides. Just be careful not to pull too hard and have it slanted to one side... And it was the easiest tightening of an ENO hub ever...and one less tool to bring out as well.


....at the shop
Cool looking seat. But 5kg! No fxxking way that's ever going on the bike

Ah another one of those new lifestyle bikeshop, Creed Cycle.. seems pretty cool on Facebook so I decided to make the way down and take a look. Nice place and few minutes later, an old friend pop out of the workshop area and I got myself a neat little tail light to go with the bike

More shiny stainless steel. Matched to the hilt.

And the new tires that came? The Gille's Berthoud site says the 40mm wide would fit 23-32c tires.. Honestly I just wasn't too sure. .with the internal measuring only 32mm worth of clearance, even if the Vittoria Randonneur Croxx Pro is smaller than 32... it will still be a tight fit. Will probably doodle again tomorrow. X-fingers things will work.

Oops... Forgot I was supposed to buy roast duck for dinner... Time to scoot




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SS reborn... continues

More parts trickling in.. things were starting to look good after the last post on the Stanyan's transformation... but dashed were the porteur bike dreams when I realized there's no eyelets for racks on the fork.. Well, there's ways to go about it but aesthetics would be compromised. Besides DIY with P-clips for non load bearing attachment like fenders are probably alright but with a rack...hmmm. Anyway after  further thoughts I reckon an appropriate rear pannier rack wouldn't be all that bad either.

As luck would have it.. some one was selling a Wald piece with the wooden base. Long story short, it became mine..

Gotta luv vee-brakes parts.. bits of these old leftovers just
became spacers to clear the rack's mounting tabs. and I'm still saving
some of those vee's funny convex and concave spacers that might just
come in handy for fenders installation ;)
Shiny stainless steel (heavy!) hece not much re-work needed but at some point of completing, I'll probably remove to touch up the wood piece which has certainly seen some weathering.

The thing I couldn't get over with is the front mounting bracket.. looks like something right off a trainer wheel bracket dull and rough against everything that is spit polish shine on the bike. Well, not critical-- will figure what to do with this later...



As usual, have a few snaps after the parts are up,. Scrutinize from a distance and see what needs further work or changes...

The initial idea of having wooden fenders were scrapped. "Overkill".. was pinging fast and furious from my neurons. From the way things evolved.. wood stuff should just be highlights, not big chunks here on the build. Plus, if the occasion do call for me to plonk on my bread tray on the rear-- having those woodie fenders... Ugh.


:)


Well, I still want fenders of course... and so the hunt continues... into a subject that I have little knowledge of but this time key word switched from "wooden" to "high polish" in the little Google search box in the corner of the browser.

Short of getting custom or obscure little things on kickstarter or etsy... it pretty much boils down to three I found:- Velo, Honjo or Gilles Berthoud...

The first is a little too fattie looking for my liking at 45mm width. The Honjo seems to need quite a bit of fidgeting just from reading about the product online and had a little too much profiling to it I didn't care for the hammered dimple option one at all.

The Gilles B. fenders looks to be the one I like.. 40mm wide but all the US online sites were rather expensive with shipping Until... yup-- "Cheaperer" option- as always found by your Venerable El Cheapo, yours truly here...  and on its way now.


One of the thing that irks me to no end are the crappy bottle cages..  and it wasn't easy to find nice looking ones to match.. Ok stainless steel has gotta be one criteria.. Well there is the Chris King one , no wait its King's Cage if I remembered correctly and also one from errrr.. Nitto? Ok forget the custom ones from Ahearnes-- it will probably take too long to get it here.. already dying in anticipation for the finish build.

Let's go LBS shopping this time.. well there's only a few shops I can recall by now that might fit the bill of carrying such stuff.. Bingo! Found!
No brand taiwan stainless steel cage that grips really well.
as it expands out at the bottom to fit bottles being pushed down into it that looks
Just ALMOST like the Iris King's Cage.
Click on the link and go spot the diff ;)
Casually enquired about the availability of a Brooks Cambium...something I always wanted ever since I saw a pic of it. Not knowing whether it would fit my butt- it is just a "want", really , a desire more than ever a need..

Arriving in May but as luck would have it again... saw one chucked into a forlorn corner of the shop half hidden in some mangy cardboard box of almost the same color... It has red fonts over it-- Hmmm that's probably a marketing/display piece.

"Eh boss.. how much arh?"

The price sounds good compared to the $200++ ones that will arrive next month, so with typical Singaporean "buy buy buy" attitude...mai tu liao lor (aka don't hesitate anymore) ... :)


Looks a little off at first glance after mounting.. the black old cheapo Glute saddle actually seemed more at home on this bike.

Then again the color of the Cambium, either the one I got here or the other option spotting a darker grey aren't exactly hues found on other bike components. Reckon Brooks had intended this on purpose.. Its a saddle to stand out by itself... Ok so be it. But anyway I already have some ideas how to "match" it up with tiny functional bits needed elsewhere on the bike with materials that aren't traditionally associated with bikes.  Shhhhh...

Truth be told.. my sensor filled butt didn't really register much of  a diff from the Glute after a short test ride with this saddle even though this is wider and theoretically more comfy. Maybe a longer ride might elude more later on.

By the way, there's things wood that has caught my eyes since a while back.. Hmmmm--toying with more ideas


Fenders, fenders, come quick...


Saturday, March 22, 2014

SS reborn


Thou shall not start nor end bar wraps ever with sticky adhesive tapes. Same goes for cheap plastic stock plugs.

Must have broken a record in shuttling to bike shops this week... 4 times to be exact.
The inverse SOMA Urban Pursuit lever just didn't fit with the VO Porteur bar and with some after thought that I might lace up a geared hub later on, the bar end would be good for a barcon shifter.

Made the swap today for a pair of SOMA Urban CX instead.

Fretting over the cables as the old but still very good Goretex might not be long enough! Guess what...both front and rear was in perfect symmetry once installed, crossing right at the centerline of the bike. Much better than when they were on the old rando bar.


OK, maybe it lacks the retro "big arc" look that would go with such a setup, but then I'm never a fan of excessive cabling on a bike.

The Tange lugged stem has always presented a problem in that the 26mm bar clamp is a single bolt utilizing a pinch to grip the bar. The old Randonneur and the current VO are both 25.4mm. On clamping hard-- the metal piece on the stem will ovalize and never clamp sufficiently. With these kind of bars where the weight is pressing forward and down... it would just keep rotating forward.

Bad idea when u have to suddenly stand up and punch your way out of a situation and suddenly your bar start having ideas on its own!

Time to apply good old Coke can shimming. Gave me the excuse to get a can... Haven't drank that toilet cleaner shat for the longest time...

Works? Yup, nice and tight. Nuthin moving whatsover...


If there is one thing that really makes my analness shine... it has to be bar-wrapping. It can never have any of those disgusting adhesive tape provided with every bar wrap purchase usually emblazoned with the brand's logo... and we all know, that poo never last. It will start unwinding itself and next would be the wrap itself coming loose. And oh... what's with all those crappy plastic end plugs. . I mean here you have some $60 leather wrap (ok the ones bought today was $5 a pop cork tape on a firesale at Entro) and you round up your product with a piece of plastic. Hello to the brands out there...yooo hooo ya you... if those tapes look anything half decent- -the damn plugs will be screaming MIC from a mile away.

No I'll have none of that and before the leather Brooks end plug arrive-- I'll make do with some DIY wine cork instead. Maybe even just keep them there...


All's finished for now... short ride, feels good and back to Google to search for the right racks and fenders...

Back from morning test ride to "test-drive" an e.kickscooter



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Porteuring....



Been contemplating to sell off the Stanyan lately. But for one reason or another... decided to give it another shot.

Started to look again at various kind of commuting builds and somehow found myself gravitating again and again to pictures that shows porteur racks and bars...


It must have been years ago when I first saw this particular bike from....errr, Ahearnes Cycle ??? With full custom porteur racks which at that time I didn't even know that's what they were called and the coolest tricked out shifters that incorporated wooden beer keg tap!. Can't seem to find that pic again... but the image has been etched into my grey matter all these while.  No, I won't try to replicate the same thing as a respect to both the owner or bike builder.

Original pic is from here
http://gomeansgo.org/2012/01/20/review-pelican-porteur-bag/
Anyway... I think my Stanyan will probably end up looking closer to something like this. What started as a latent fixation culminating into last week's search for all things with the word "porteur" resulted in my OCD kicking into overdrive this week. Good thing TR Bikes had just what I needed to stop those convulsions.... now all that's needed are wooden fenders, bar tapes and ...hmm I'm still mulling over the necessity of a porteur rack actually.


23.8mm ... VO Porteur bar and SOMA Pursuit in blinkety blink polish silver
15 psi gauge....arhhh... must not forget other bikes in the quiver. This one is for TUFA...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Every pic tells a mistake...



Thought of adding a second piece after the last post below when upon a closer look...

Have always been looking at photos of myself riding... not Adonis admiring fashion but rather to try and spot where mistakes are. Shots in earlier days were glaring enough to have pointed out the mistakes easy but with more pedal time under the belt...



Yup... can definitely recall I was squashing it on the way out of the berm and holding it there... guess it explains why the tabletop always seems difficult to clear in this ending section.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lighter side of mid week

Wear lycra and ride road bikes? Nah... gimme a chessboard

While reading SRAM's new 7s DH gruppo and housekeeping my blog's pics. Can't help but make a comparison...
Conclusion: diff parts of the world, diff level of riding skills... but pattern always same same lah!
 

Happy Wednesday Folks
Glossary: bolas = balls, 
                CMI = Cannot Make It