Monday, December 10, 2012


Just some quickie tinkers. I've been under the weather recently and trying to stay off the bike until I'm sure I'm in the clear so tinkering will have to feed my hankering.
 The Basso with it's "new" compact crank. It's a sugino XD2 triple that  I recently got and removed the inner ring. The gearing is much more useful now and more suited to my riding style in the surrounding hills. This set up is 46/36 and feels faster than the old 52/39 with a higher cadence. The Brazed on front der mount is a bit too high for this set up, but setting it a tiny bit askew did the trick. I use a campy triple ergo shifter for this anyway so the indexing has always been wacky, but the campy shifter has a ton of micro clicks and feels like it would work for almost any set up. I'm open to janky fixes...
 Here's a grimy close up of the crank and TIGHT bb fit. I just left the old bb in and gave it a shot and it works. Might change this in the future, but I just didn't have any Italian threaded bbs sitting around.

Also took Brian's advice and ground off the little tab on my old Superbe Pro pedals. I left it slightly high so that it would still be strong(ish) but it is a marked improvement for my wide feet.
 Speaking of pedals, I also messed with the old XC2's on the Stumpy. I got these radiused spacers from the pedals on the Ridgerunner that were holding the reflectors on. I decided to try running toeclips using the spacers. It does work, but I would need size 15 feet to have my foot in the right position over the axle. I may try to mount them on the inside where the nuts are now to shrink the length. Either way, I prefere to have clips in the dirt so that my foot stays anchored to the bike and can't get jiggled off. I'm gonna try it like this in the mean time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Stumpy is almost fully "modernized," with the most recent change being the Dynamo hub and light. I've only taken it on a few night rides so far, but one of those included a section of trail, and I am amazed. I heard a lot of noise about these hubs for years but the cost of setting one up always scared me off. Even with my cheapie Sanyo hub set up here the light is super bright and feels like I'm opening up a whole new world of night riding.

 the modern stumpy

Above and below my solution to mounting the light. I didn't want to use the tab on the rack because it placed the light too far out over the wheel, and mostly looked goofy.
This is a bracket that was left over from some Italian shelving that I installed for a job. It was threaded M6 in both directions and I figured it would have a bike use one day, and viola! I ended up drilling out the threads in the top bolt so that I could get it tighter to the rack. As you can see here, the wiring is a little funky and those tail light stub outs need to be fixed but I was anxious to try it and threw aesthetics to the wind.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Some times

We got out and bounced around on some trails and then ended up in Canyon for a snack. I never remember to get the action when we are in the dirt, so these sleepy bikes will have to suffice. Even though the short days of winter bum me out I can't deny this kind of seasonal beauty.

Monday, November 19, 2012

quick pic

A buddy was recently in town and we had the chance to head out to Hawk camp for a night in a torrential downpour. It was so windy I was sure the tent poles were going to snap, or at least collapse, but it made it through the crazy night. Anyway, this is the head out the next morning, beauty and a porta potty. Hard to tell here but I'm on my 84 Grizzly with it's new albatross bars that I am growing to love.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Recent things in no specific order.

 Below is a buddy's busted High Sierra fork; the bike was on top of a car and got crashed into a parking garage. Now it is a dancing fork... but the bike survived!
Gnarly lugged fork crown
Speaking of busted, you can see how a pointy braze-on dug in on this Freschi in a crash.
I've had my Nitto post just a tiny bit too high on my Atlantis, but just scored this Paul Tall and Handsome at the Riv garage sale. A little fancy pants for me but the setback thing is no joke.
Phone pic of Diablo from Vollmer peak
Mudballin down
last weekend... Steven's Prairie Breaker is radical. Also I love the early 80's nature-domination themed name, it's not just jumping, hopping, or running, no, it's breaking it.
Tamar gave me these. Killer brushed metal cardboard box. Ancient technology or something.

Chromed plastic
future project with constellation
Bicycle Quarterly did a little spread on generator hubs recently and I've been curious about them forever, so I decided to just give it a go with a cheapie hub to see if I like the light output. Now that we have entered the "dark early" part of the year it seemed like a good time to do it.
More projects to come, including some really interesting problems to solve.......

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Not a bike but a project nonetheless

I just spent the evening gathering the parts and making this little dude.  I've needed a ipod dock for work forever but I'm a cheapo and I can never quite bring myself to buy one. I decided to just kind of hack one together out of some cheapie(30$) computer speakers, an Ipod charger that I already had, and a extension cord that splits to two outlets. Inside the box the charger and speakers are plugged in so that only one cord comes out. The speakers are held in place by the screws that are on all sides. The wood is some scrap resawn redwood that I believe was part of a old water tower and stood in water for years, hence the black stains. Anyway, it's not fine furniture or anything but I'm stoked about it and  it seems like it's part of the same tinker spirit as wrenching on bikes.
I was also thinking about old bike parts recently. I was specifically thinking about how they often suck despite collector hype. There are a lot of folks who want to collect old parts, but in truth many 25+ year old parts just don't work that well. I suppose that I'm mostly talking about derailleurs. I saw an ebay auction recently for one of those old Superbe Tech rear ders, there were a bunch of bids on it, and it was up to 40 something bucks. It's kinda crazy unless it's for a museum bike that never gets ridden because those are/were terrible derailleurs. Both front and rear derailleurs need strong springs and tight non-flexy pivots to work well, and mostly those super old parts just don't cut it. I was thinking about it because I have been going through my Stumpy and just replacing almost all of the old "collectible"stuff. I changed the entire cockpit to some thing that works better (slinshot stem and super wide bars weren't comfy and tomaselli levers are overkill), the brakes (old ones have no spring tension adjustment and are crummy to balance), rear der (for better springs/better shifts), and recently the rear wheel (because there are no really good 5 speed freewheels, not even IRD, and the rim had a dent in it that caused uneven braking). I have kept some things: the original Specialized crankset is great, it's 110/94 bcd (I think it is anyway), the loose ball bottom bracket is at least serviceable, and surprisingly the old "high normal" front der still has strong springs, at least for the moment.
I guess I was also thinking about it because of that Ridgerunner I recently found.  It was neat to document it in it's original condition because it frees me up to now take off all the funky old parts and make it work right.
Anyway don't get me wrong, there are a bunch of great old parts that are still really functional, sometimes better than most new stuff, like old Suntour power ratchet thumb shifters. But many of the "rare" collectible parts are mostly on bikes that collect dust, and not the good kind that comes from riding trails!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Some developments

I recently picked up this little gem, it's in pretty amazing condition and was obviously rarely ridden. I got the bike from a really nice guy who had a long history of involvement in Bay Area bike stuff. It turned out that he had run a foundry that had made fork crowns for early Ritcheys and even had a few knocking around in boxes. I should have snapped a cell phone pic... Anyway it was neat to meet someone who knew a bunch and had some good stories to tell.

1983 Ridgerunner (as best I can date, I don't understand DB's serial #s but parts are correct for that year) This bike was supposed to be real competition for the Stumpjumper. The whole build includes some of the best parts available at the time. I took a lot of pics just to document the original condition before some changes are made to make it a more practical bike.
It came to e with these tires, unoriginal I was told, but I love these old basic tread patterns. These have a pretty heavy rolling resistance.
Front and rear cartridge bearing Suzue hubs. Unfortunately it's got chromed spokes, looking a bit funky.
Great fork with the mid fork braze on.
Kind of funny finishing on the fork crown, lots of casting texture on the middle of the crown and crusty edges.
Fakey Nervex lugs too, which I'm pumped on. These are a bit smarter than the Stumpjumper as the undersides are a bit more rounded.

I love these old Dia Compe yoke rollers. Who else made a roller other than Rene Herse?

This bent bullmoose was specific to DB
A pleasing detail on the stem cap.

So many nice details

I always say it but I love those super long stays.
All the good stuff from the era.
The Mountech rear ders are lousy, but the fronts are pretty cool, even campyish

The Superbe Tech rear der, so weird, so awesome, but such a crappy derailleur...The guy who I got the bike from commented on the bad shifting and he was right on; this set up is one of the slowest clunkiest shifts I've felt in a long time.
This bike was optimized for this der. Check the cable stop!

Just a better drop out shot

The Centurian Anatomic, looks a little like the bananatomic...
A camera fits where my head won't.

Ok well on a different note, I decided to replace my rear wheel on my Stumpy. The IRD 5 speed freewheel turned out to be a real piece of bummer; probably only a few hundred miles on it and the pawls were not engaging properly. The only other options are cheapo Shimano ones that tend to have a limited range. So I decided to build up this old 8 speed 600 hub with a Sun Rhynolite rim. I chose a road hub because the Stumpy is spaced 126 and I'm hoping that the 4mm more on the road hub will be a work around for a re-spacing.
Also there is this book I got in France. Great cover shot!
Not too much of note inside (that I can read) but I liked this Passoni ti number. Is that a drilled to hell Brooks?
Also, some random french (Japanese) Stumpjumer knock off.
Lastly, a recent pick of my Ridgerunner with it's new knobbies. The rear is a 2.4 and the front is sadly a 2.2 as the replacement fork would only handle a small guy. This set up works great and feels rowdy in the dirt.