Monday, January 31, 2011


Today is my birthday, 30 years old. People make a big deal about turning 30, I am embracing it.
But I want to show some of my presents.
A sweet Brooks saddle, my first Brooks.
I already find it more comfortable than my previous saddle.
A decent lock, a lot better than my dollar store cable!
My Wife also got some film developed for me, so I am going to post some more pics to A Quick Hike

Saturday, January 22, 2011

10 Speed to 3 Speed Conversion

For those of you who follow me I have converted an old ten speed to a three speed.
The Beater  as I call it has had its transfiguration.
I needed a replacement for my beloved "Victor"

I searched Craigslist and the dump to no avail, my friend Jon the Archeologist  was doing a site survey on some land and told me about a bike. Curious I walked the grounds until I had found it. This bike was a Huffy Timberline 3 speed missing the shifter, it had been ran over by a log skidder. I brought it home removed the decent parts and scrapped the rest. Next my frequent Craigslist searches had paid off, listed as a mens and womens comfort bikes the pics told another story. I found an old ten speed Free Spirit Greenbriar, not a great bike by any means but it is a lugged steel frame with fenders. Here it is in its original ten speed glory.

After trying to ride it as a ten speed I realized that it sucked and I missed my "Victor".
Having spare parts around is a good thing, I put a cheap crankset ( the old one weighed a ton!)
and built a rear wheel with the Huffy parts cold set the rear spacing. Now I had a single
 speed bike (no shifter)I didn't have a chainguard, I did have one for a little pixie bike. So I rode it like that

Then the brakes got changed, to old school center pulls, and I found another Huffy Timberline three speed and scored it for $20 just for the shifter and bellcrank, and added a UN-54 bottom bracket, now this thing is fun to ride. Here it is as I ride it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Finishing Touches

Last night I put the finishing touches on the beater which involved some more butchery.
I also put in the Shimano UN-54 bottom bracket that I ordered from Harris Cyclery. If you are one of those repack-the-bearings-on-your-old-school-bottom-bracket people this is definitely a lot easier, also this thing is smoooooooth! It made the ride quality a lot better, pick one up you won't regret it. I think Harris Cyclery is the best deal ( no I am not affiliated with them other than when my L.B.S. is stupid). you get the bottom bracket, plastic cup, and bolts for at the time of writing this $24.95 plus shipping. My bill came to $33.-- go ahead and compare.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Am Finished ( with the book) Part 2

Today I finished Bike Snob the book.
I don't know what compelled me to want this book, but I bought it.( Well it was actually an early birthday present)
Most of you know the blog, if not find it here. Sometimes inappropriate, funny, and the comments are a whole other topic but I enjoy it.
 Like this guy I know that is from Brooklyn said " It's like a train-wreck, ugly but you can't help but look." although he did not say it about him.
The book however is written in a similar tone as the blog and I was shocked by the writing.
Eben Weiss is definitely a cyclist and writer, and the whole book also shows how observant he is.

Without spoiling the book I will say that this is a must have for any cyclist, it's a What To Expect When Expecting for cyclists or would be cyclists The undercurrent of this book is cycling is a way of life and that the best advocacy/awareness we can provide is getting out there more often and not to buy into marketing hype, I tend to agree. Eben also admits to me being irrelevant on page 72.
What better way to read, than a Yehuda mug full of hot coco?
My one gripe about the book is the stickers in the back are the same as the cover, I would prefer a sticker with the Bike Snob NYC Seal Of Disapproval like this.
Does this mean that I am not approved, heard that plenty of times.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Refining The Beater

Well the snow storm we got dumped nearly 10" of the stuff, yes I rode my bike.
One good thing about winter is that I am not outside as much (also the bad thing) so I do more inside repairs, maintenance, read, crochet, brew stuff, cook, etc. Riding the beater (no name yet) has been educational thus far.
The beater started out as a 10 speed as seen here , finding out I absolutely hate 10 speeds I embarked on an adventure. To see if I can make this bike ride more like an English 3 speed or better. See previous posts for other mods I have done. All these parts except the brakes and fabricated stuff came off a old Huffy Timberline found craigslist for $18(early birthday present). Total investment so far as you see it $38

From old school crap
To old school center pulls 
Finally a shifter
The bellcrank
This is a D.I.Y. wheel thing, I made it from a Shinamo Ultegra front derailer (Sheldon spelling) notice all of the salt.  Observant people will notice my overly rusted chain, and that my chainline is totally screwed up.
The chainline is messed up because the old bottom bracket was loosening every day, that became old hat so I put in this sealed deal. This sealed bottom bracket is a 110mm so it is too short (I managed to flip my rear sprocket to line it up though) no biggie have one on its way from Harris Cyclery after my L.B.S. ( Local Bike Shop) said they did not carry one.
P.S. I got the Bike Snob book as an early birthday present I will let you know how it is.
If you don't know who he is check his blog here WARNING: It is not for everybody

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Am Finished ( with the book)

I completed the book " The Lost Cyclist " by Dave Herlihy.
I found the book mildly inspirational, and filled with brilliant research, research so deep,
that I got thinking maybe this guy should do something more important with his time.
I figure the F.B.I. or the C.I.A. , don't get me wrong it is great that somebody put the effort in.
I would also like to mention that I love research too, and I am looking forward to reading his other book
Bicycle The History

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thoughts On Cat6 Racing

Cat 6 racing defined, ( Cyclists have a joke about “racing in cat 6,” which, despite the name, is not exactly a race nor does it refer to an official category of cyclists. Cat 6 refers to commuter cyclists, and racing each other to work is their sport. Also called “the great commuter race” and “hipster racing,” cat-6 racing is the unspoken urban tradition of trying to go faster than, and not get passed by, a stranger on your bike. )

I would tend to agree with Rivendell Bicycle Works article Tips for Happy Riding  " If you see another rider approaching you from the rear and trying to catch you, let it happen. Fun is more important than fast."

Truth is that we should not be strangers and there is a place to race, I have had an experience like this here 

Check out more of the list here , I personally copied it into a document and checked off what I have done/know.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What To Do When (you don't have the little cable stops)

Another little hack, if you are like me then you have a spare parts lying around.
I used  a spoke nut (nipple) as a cable stop.
the cable
a spoke nut ( nipple )
crimping with a Leatherman
the finished product!
If you don't have spares you could always buy this gem that seems to be 
for sale everyday

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Few Modifications

Over the last week I discovered a few things I already knew
Fact 1
I like 1700mm cranks, they're perfect
Fact 2 
I don't like multi-speed bicycles, except for internally geared
Fact 3 
I need to post more D.I.Y. stuff

Without further Mt.Dew some mods I have done to the beater.

P.S. I started reading The Lost Cyclist by Dave Herlihy and will give a short review when I am finished.

3 speed, originally uploaded by lukeofny.
I also built this wheel around a Shimano 3 speed ( found in woods)
I don't have a spare bellcrank so I have a cone nut partially on with a steel rod in the axle.
I unscrew the derailer bolt to change gears ( It works for now)

chainguard, originally uploaded by lukeofny.
Here is my chainguard ( taken of a freebie NEXT "pixie" bike) ,
also featuring my 1700mm aluminium crankset

bracket, originally uploaded by lukeofny.
Welded this bracket on to mount a chainguard

light bracket, originally uploaded by lukeofny.
This is made by pounding a handlebar flat, bending, then drilling a hole