Friday, March 30, 2012

Famous Friday

So sometimes you see something that makes you take a second look.

Yesterday the latest Peloton Magazine (A truly awesome magazine by the way.) showed up at my doorstep. As I was perusing the pages and I came upon a small interview with the owner of an Italian bicycle touring company. Nothing terribly unusual there but then I started to look at the pictures that went along with the interview I saw this...

Somehow this photo is very fitting...
 As I looked, I thought for sure that was Graham's (From Scott's Cycle Shop) doppelganger. Well, as it turned out it wasn't his long lost twin. It was him! He has just recently come back from a grand adventure over in Europe and apparently part of that adventure was helping out his friend with a cycle tour. Too funny!

So Graham gets to be part of Famous Friday by the fact that I know him and he's been published in a kick ass periodical.

But I won't stop there! Oh, no. I'll give you a couple celebrity types too.

I'm a giver like that...

Heather Graham looking smashing.

A duo of Brad Pitt.
   I am thinking about participating in a mountain bike race this weekend. I've never done one before (Besides short track.) and while I'm sure I won't do very well it still might be fun to go try something new.

The weather has been absolutely terrible this last, well, forever. So I'm not 100% committed. But I may talk myself into it between now and then. We shall see. Until next time.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Turkey Is On The Platter... With A Flat Spot.

If you look closely. The quick-release is out of the dropouts...
So the tandem saga continues like all good sagas do. With a little drama and eventually a happy ending.

As the above picture depicts. The rear wheel was out of the dropouts when I pulled it out of the box. At the time I didn't really think twice about it. I was just too busy undressing the bike to start to put it together. So once I tore all the crap off of it I noticed that the rear skewer was a little bent. Meh, no big deal...

Well now it's turned into a big deal. You see that hunk of cardboard next to the tire valve on the wheel? Well right beneath that there turned out to be a hop in the wheel. A hop that can't be trued (More of a flat spot really.).


So with this piece of information I had Graham at the shop call Cannondale to see what we needed to do to have the wheel warrantied.

But here's the rub. They can't warranty it. Because Cannondale is no longer making these bikes (Since they shipped production over seas they have discontinued tandem production. So the one's they have left on the shelf are what they have and that's it.) they don't have any surplus of these wheels laying around. So there for they can't warranty it.

The best thing they could do was send a whole new bike. Which to me seemed a little silly considering I could probably build an entirely new rear wheel for the cost of shipping the two bikes back and fourth.

So Graham in his infinite wisdom called the Cannondale rep to see if some other deal could be struck. And what a lovely deal (For me anyway.) it is. It looks like I'll be getting a credit for the wheel. And that credit will go towards a new set of Rolf Prima tandem wheels!

Yes, they cost more than the stock wheels. And yes, I'm going to have to pay more for them. But as the shop has learned over many years of doing business with me. I'm an easy touch. So with the skill and peer pressure of a drug dealer to one of their best addicts it didn't take much to convince me that these wheels would be the bee's knees for our sled.

One more crisis averted in the long, adventurous story of making a dual powered velocipede.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Turkey Is On The Platter.

Quick note: Today Brison went in to get shoulder surgery for the injuries that he incurred from a mountain bike wreck. Please keep him in your thoughts and hope for a quick recovery. Thanks!

And she's a beaut' Clark!
The tandem has arrived and I'm pumped! I haven't felt like a kid at Christmas since, well, Christmas...

Steve had text me earlier in the day to let me know that it was at the shop all snugly in it's box (Huhuhu, I said box...)

So after work I headed down to peer at it. Take some pictures and start to put it together.

A couple things were going to be changed right out of the box. Saddles, a seat post (Only came with one Thomson post. So I traded up to have a matching set.), handlebars (We both really like Bontrager.), and a few other little tiddly bits.

I don't know what's more impressive. The huge chainstays or the size of the pie plate. That thing is impressive.

The Large/Small seemed to be the best fit for us.
One of the weird things about Cannondale's tandem geometry is that unless you purchase the Jumbo (Equivalent of a 63cm frame.) captain cockpit. You can't get a Medium stoker cockpit. Which would really be ideal for my lovely wife. Evidently the only way a guy would have a tall stoker is if he's a giant. It's a strange logic...  Meh, what do you do? We can make the Small stoker fit her really close. It just won't be a perfect reach to the bars.

It's not the only reason that I like the bike a lot. But it dose make me feel all patriotic inside.

Somehow with a guy named Big E, this fork seems appropriate.
And of course its Famous Friday as well. So I wouldn't want to disappoint.

The only real James Bond.

In between salvia hits Miley Cyrus found time to cruise around a bit. That's always nice.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Hath Sprung!

Poor Giuseppe here looks as confused as the rest of us. 

Yesterday was the first day of spring. Although it would be tough to tell that by looking out the window.  Waking up this morning to a couple inches of snow on the back deck and then spending my workday clearing said snow off of everything.  Leads me to long for more sunny locales like.... Anywhere else in the USA apparently. While the mid-west and east coast are inundated with hot weather we seem to be getting the last dregs of winter here. Fail.

So I guess I'm off to spin away like a hamster in wheel (Or one of those cool plastic ball things. Which would probably be more fun than the trainer.). Only I'll be on top of my wheels, which will be attached to a trainer. And I'm (At least a little.) less hairy than a hamster. So maybe it's a bad analogy. Meh, never mind.

I'll probably just eat food and drink beer and come up with excuses for my lack of fitness later in the year.

Can you all tell that I'm tired of this weather? I just need a couple days in a row of dry, possibly sunny weather. Where I could go out on a long(ish) bike ride with just leg and arm warmers and maybe a vest. That would be sweet! Let me think about that for a second.... Mmmmm. Me likey.

I know that's not the most earth shaking thing in the world. But it would make me really happy.

Okay. Enough self pity. I'll be more positive and uplifting tomorrow.

Rubber side down,

Big E

Friday, March 16, 2012

The New Kits Are Here!

Kurt's little girl modeling...
So the new kits are finally in. And all said and told they look pretty damn cool.

Lewis, Mark and Jim rocking the new colors.

The blue is pretty blue. The design is tight and so are the bibs...

Between the Cap and Velo is my grand canyon.

Not as in bitchin'. But more in a if I bend over into an aero tuck position I'll be showing everyone the crack at half moon bay.

On the plus side my better half told me that if I did rock the smaller bibs at a race that she would gladly come and spectate. Which I think is a compliment...
So I guess when the team store opens up again I'll have to go with the extra large bibs instead of the large. Meh, what do you do? The one's I already purchased won't go to waste at least since they should be the perfect fit for Brison.

The large jersey and vest fit fantastic. They are well made and have lovely little reflective acent features that I enjoy. It might put me a little higher on the Fred scale but I honestly didn't notice them until I took a picture. So perhaps that makes me a subconscious or closet Fred. Hmmm....

So today is also Famous Friday. And since I missed it last week and I said I would make it up to you I'm doubling up! (I'm a giver like that.)

Katy Perry wearing the proper riding attire.

Sophia Loren. Mmmm....
 Hope you all have a great weekend!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Two For The Price Of One!

So say hello to my little friend!

My better half and I decided to get a tandem.  We've borrowed one from some friend's before and had a jolly good time on it. But the funds were always a little on the steep side. So we put the purchase off for a day in which we had said funds. And while all said funds aren't funded. Most of them are. So we decided to have fun with the funds. And what better fun can funds be than on a bicycle!? Not much fun, that's what....

 So after doing some hunting and talking to the Steve down at Scott's Cycle we decided to pull the trigger.

And me being me. I've spent pretty much every extra moment I have pouring over different tandem's on the interwebs. Along with figuring out what I'd like to change, do differently, or just plain lust after.

And the winner is....

The Cannondale Tandem 2 (Which I think is interesting because there is no Tandem 1... Maybe they skipped over one because two is better than one. At least in tandem speak.) seamed like a perfect choice. Not only because it is far and away the best value of any tandem out there. But because it's practically one of the only tandems out there. Seriously, unless you want to go with a Co-motion, Santana, Calfee, or another uber custom job. You are pretty much shit out of luck.  And those choices (While completely bitchin'.) are WAY out of our price range. Like twice as much out of our price range.  So it made my choice pretty easy.

For Cannondale's bargain basement price you get a full Ultegra groupo (Minus the cranks), White Industry disc hubs (Front and rear.), Thomson seatposts and Fizik saddles. That's pretty awesome in my book. Couple that with the fact that these are the last "Made in the USA" Cannondale's. I think that's pretty special. Call me patriotic or a retro grouch but I really like the idea of having something that was made here by a company that really knows aluminum (Or as the British say, Al-oooo-minium. Whatever that is...).

Poor aluminum has really gotten a bad rap in the carbon-crazy cycling world. And it's too bad. Sure it can be harsh. Sure it can be not as light. But if you really look into it. There are plenty of aluminum bikes and components out there that are as light or lighter than their carbon compatriots. Go ahead, check, I'll wait.... See I told you. 

So that's the big news for the day.  I'm sure everyone will get tired of my blathering on about it. But what can you do? It's my blog and I can if I wanna.

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bike Porn: NAHBS 2012

Quick note: Sorry for not having a famous Friday post up. I'll make it up to you I promise. All the bike porn I've been looking at coupled with sickness has made my motivation for all but the shear necessities in life almost nil. But here is a freshly baked new post for you. Thanks for waiting! 

Well it is that time again. That time of year when all of us bike geeks need to draw the curtains and grab some tissues. Lock the door and warm up the computer. Because the North American Hand built Bicycle Show (NAHBS) has once again come to fruition. And once again I wanted to grab a hand full of bikes and design ideas to talk about.

This year seems to be the year of the go-anywhere road bike with big tires and clearance for fenders. The kind you would want to take on a gravel road or a smooth piece of single track. Along with monochromatic color schemes with hints of stainless steal. It's also a fairly big comeback of a fillet brazed joint versus sculpted lugs. And as per usual there is also a phenomenal amount brilliant custom solutions to custom problems. All in all a pretty bang up year!

So ease the seat back and get comfortable. Here we go.

This MAP Bicycles townie was one of our favorites for its unabashed industrial style.
This bike from MAP is probably the heaviest and simultaneously the coolest bike in my opinion.

MAP Bicycles is based in Portland, Oregon so they know a thing or two about riding in the wet. Check out the awesome coverage of these custom wraparound fenders.
The awesome custom fenders and the disc brakes glide between retro and modern flawlessly.

Framebuilders have started moving the rear triangle split away from the dropout on belt-equipped bikes such as this Shamrock Cycles city bike.
These integrated fender mounts and bolts to allow the replacement of a belt drive on this Shamrock Cycle are great examples of custom solutions to custom problems.

Shamrock Cycles integrates a lock holder into the back of the rear rack on its awesome city bike.
As well as a U-lock holder and a beautiful "tiger" maple insert on the rear rack.

Internal routing cleans up the lines on this Shamrock Cycles city bike.
The internal cable routing on this bike made it look exceptionally clean. If it weren't for the lime green paint job this would probably been my favorite...

Ira Ryan says this bike-and-trailer combo was built for a Portland-area restauranteur who wanted to use pedal power to transport groceries and supplies.
Portland's own Ira Ryan had some particularly sweet bikes at this years show. One of them with the nicest trailer I've ever seen. You know it's a custom job when it has waxed canvas and leather.

How many Chris King headsets are required to provide the necessary degrees of freedom on Ira Ryan's bike-plus-trailer combo?
And you can't forget about Chris King hubs. Gotta have those...

The 1888 Whippet was an incredibly complex design with seven suspension pivots in total. The seat tube, top tube, and upper head tube all move as one unit. This remarkable recreation was built by Paul Brodie, who teaches Frame Building 101 at the University of the Fraser Valley in Canada.
This replica of an 1888 Whippet by Paul Brodie deserves an award for the most work put into a single machine category.
Bishop Bikes won 'Best Lugged Bike' at NAHBS with randonneur machine.
Here is a classic example of a go-anywhere bike. Although I would think them a fool if the owner took this on a gravel decent.

The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wire is fed into the Eriksen tandem frame just behind the head tube.
The thing that gets me about Eriksen's titanium work are the welds... They look like a role of dimes on their sides. Just beautiful.

Cyfac showed off this ultralight carbon fiber road tandem at this year's NAHBS.
It's probably because my better half and I are going to be purchasing a tandem soon. But this Cyfac carbon tandem with the Enve wheels made me have an accident in my pants.

Dave Wages built this impossibly shiny KVA stainless steel travel randonneur frame for himself.
This stainless steel Dave Wages randonneur bike is something I wouldn't kick out of bed for eating crackers. Di2, generator front hub and pretty polish everywhere.

This Cielo road bike boasts a timeless aesthetic.

This Cielo is classic and beautiful.

If 29ers are faster, then 36ers must be way faster, right? Whether or not that's true, this Black Sheep sure is stunning.
29'ers are sooooo 2011. 36'ers are whats in now.

Rob English says he actually regularly races this ultralight steel road bike. How light, you ask? Try 4.9kg (10.8lb, claimed).
Anyone feel like riding an 11 lbs steel bike? I would but I'm afraid of what Rob English would do to me after I took it off some sweet jumps.

Yet another gorgeous themed head tube badge from Black Sheep Bikes, this time adorning the front of a snow bike.
I'll give you one guess on what type of bike this awesome head badge is on...

This welded-on hydraulic splitter allows a single lever to actuate both front calipers.
This is another necessity is the mother of invention kind of things. A hydraulic splitter for a Sycip utility bike. Very slick.

The Enve Composites tapered 'cross disc fork is painted to match on this Independent Fabrications rig.
Can I have this for next cross season please? Please!?

Check out the details on this custom painted Independent Fabrications hardtail.
This paint design is on a rigid mountain bike by Independent Fabrication. I somehow doubt this will ever see any real hard trail use. Just sayin'....

Japanese builder Cherubim never fails to impress at NAHBS and this year was no different.
Cherubim brought this track concept bike to the show.
That's it! I can't take anymore. My hands are chapped. The computer screen is starting to look all blurry. And my ass fell asleep long ago.

I hope you all enjoyed looking at this together. I know it feels kinda dirty. But don't worry. A couple showers, some good scrubbing and you'll be right as rain.

Thanks for reading!

Rubber side down,

Big E

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Capitol Velo Video

Mr Brison just pulled out a hot fesh video out of the oven for all our enjoyment. Thank you!

Rubber side down,
Big E

Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm Going Off The Rails On The Sick Train

So basically these last two days I've been trying my level best NOT to get sick. And I've met it with mediocre success. I don't feel like I'm on deaths door. But I don't feel great either. Meh, what do you do?

I've been pumping so much vitamin C into myself that when I pee at night it's like having a night light in the bowl. And as soon as I flush I'm in some sort of rave party (Where are my glo sticks!?)

So hopefully this will be going away soon. But until then, it's famous Friday...

I was told by a lovely lady that there should be some for the women too. Soooo, I'll do two today. I'm all about equal opportunity.

Thanks for reading and happy Friday!

Scarlett Johansson contemplating the world.

Hunka, hunka baby...
Rubber side down,
Big E