Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wildcats, rack hacks, and six packs

Spent the weekend riding out to Wildcat camp in Point Reyes, here are some highlights in no particular order:

 Shifting to granny the hard way

 Best blackberry bramble of the summer

 Found a little gravy too

 Then there's this funny thing. The night before I was getting the bike loaded and figeting with my faux Carradice seat bag. (note: It's a terrible idea to buy an imitation Carradice) Anyway, I've never been happy with the Bagman support and wanted something I could strap more things to. I had some time that night and some stainless tube around so I fired up the torch and made this thing. This has pretty much no finish work done and even has flux left on it but I was happy with how it came out.

I was inspired to make my little rack partially from helping Steven modify this VO  Randonneur rack a few nights before.  It's hard to make out here, but these racks don't work on old mtbs because the stays have a fixed angle and they land right on the canti studs area. We just cut off the VO stays and brazed on new longer ones a little forward of where the old ones were and with an angle that gets the stays below the brakes.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ben's Rad Maruishi

 I hung out with a bud today while he readied his early 80's Maruishi Mountace MT18 for an upcoming tour. He got the bike as a frame/fork and did a nice job building it up with a bit of a Rivy style. Looks good to me. This frame has the semi dreaded 21.1mm stem/fork but Ben managed to find a nice Nitto stem for the job. I poked around a bit and it seems that Maruishi is still around and that they rebranded at some point for the US market and sold as Jamis. The bike is lugged and well made. Closer examination of the lugs and other details makes me wonder if Maruishi (or whoever made bikes for Maruishi) also made my 84 Bianchi Grizzly. The lugs/fork crown/cable stop/braze ons seem to be the same on the two bikes. The fork crown is no suprise because many Japanese bikes of that era used the same fake bi-plane crown but the other details really make me wonder. Whatever the case it's a cool bike with some unique details.

Just a better shot of the fast back style stay attachment.

Double dimple
Bad pic here but these babies were crazy long. I measured the chainstays at 480mm.
Nice long horizontal dropout.

And for reference the rack mount and cable stop on the Grizz.
more grizz
more grizz

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I'm not dead

 It's been a while old blog buds, but I'm not dead. I've been using instagram more these days for quick ride pics, which you can find at macadamian devil. Below I've got a few pics some recent tinkering projects and such.

Actually this has nothing to do with me except that I use it. It's the most recent iteration of the Superpac made by my bud Mark at Heavy bags. I use this thing on every ride. I had to go without one of these bags for a while recently and was lost when trying to pack everything I needed for an all day adventure. This version has the improved feature of having the main strap pass behind the side pockets keeping everything pretty accessable.  Mark also updated and beefed up the seat post strap and made it so that multiple straps could be used, great for when you take your rigid bike down a real kidney jiggler.

 Also, Tamar's bike was in the shop recently and I got the chance to take a pic of this radical Nitto stem. Too cool.

 These are kinda lame pics of something that I'm pretty pumped about. A couple of months back I got this new old bike and put an old campy 8 speed mirage kit on it. The new frame felt great but the campy cassette was a bummer; geared too high with a max low of 26t. I had heard that there were folks who used campy shifters and shimano cassettes but had never tried it myself. Turns out that Campy 8speed cassettes have the same cog spacing as shimano 7 speed. So I laced up a shimano 105 hub I had sitting around to a nice polished sun cr18, popped a spacer and Sram 7speed 12-32t cassette on, and voila Shimergo! It works nearly as well as the original, and might be perfect if I had the derailleur hanger in more perfect alignment.

 I also got a generator hub for my wifes bike recently and tried my hand at making a dyno powered light. With help from fellow Dirt Owl Nick I got this funky old LED fashlight to work as a dyno light. I have a few little snags to work out before it's done but here are some progress shots.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Old Objects

Found a few old things recently.

 like this: a massive 16" bastard file

 This I didn't find. It's pretty jankedy, and good chance it won't work for long, still, I had fun making it. This is on my first ever mtb, a 90's Trek 930 with True Temper tubes. I'm finally giving it away to a friend after 15 awesome years!
 Since I have a new baby, I have to do a lot of walking, she seems to dig it. I found this on the ground in a small park near where a stream daylights.  Best I can tell, it's 30's Raleigh stem. It's almost like a fancy lugged stem but takes a funny size bar, something like a 23mm clamp area. Cool anyway and I may have bars that fit.
 Then there's this thing. For the past couple of years I've been riding an old Basso. It's a neat bike but it never fit quite right, didn't fit big (32mm) tires, and the brazed on front der mount never worked well with a compact double. I chanced upon this Griffon recently. There's not much info on the web about this thing, but it seems that it was made in Santa Monica by a guy named Jim Holly. Can't be sure on the date but the frame came with a 7 speed rear wheel and was spaced 128mm so I'm guessing 80's. The build here was just everything from the old bike. Anyway I took it out for a decent ride today and was really stoked. I'm looking forward to getting some bigger tires on it though.
Just some details. Simple elegant lug work. Not sure what lugs they are, but best guess is Prugnat - any lugnuts out there know?

Also, understated fork crown.
Rad font!
Tire clearance with a 28mm tire, not bad.

The filing finish work on the campy long dropouts is nice.
Still room here too...

Clamp on cable guides are classy but not my favorite when running new cable housing. If this thing had a pump peg and another water bottle boss, it'd be near perfect.
It's fun to oggle beautiful bikes but in the end they are meant to be ridden! Here are a few from a rainy Sunday.
I currently have a funny set-up on my old Ridegrunner. Switching back to Jitensha bars and two thumb shifters soon.