Category Archives: Wrenching

Sometimes I’m Dr. Jekyll…

…and sometimes I’m Mr. Hyde.

All hail the Bio-Pacer.

The MB-2, reborn

I’m channeling Grant Petersen and Charlie Cunningham at the same time.  On the same bike.

Not long ago I found a 1987 Bridgestone MB-2, 58cm (just my size!).  It was in a pile of other cast-off bicycle frames, undoubtedly put there because its previous owner didn’t want to deal with the roller-cam brake under the chain stays.  The original front cantilever and rear roller-cam (sans cam) were both intact, and the fork was held in place with a zip tie from the crown to the down tube, and all the other parts missing-in-action.  Gray and black and calling my name.  I had forgotten Christie’s rule about bringing home more bikes.

Once home I went to work assessing what she needed and what I had.  The stock specifications were compared to pictures of Jacquie Phelan riding Otto and the gaps were filled with parts I thought I could sneak in under the radar.

The handlebars were described in a previous blog entry.  They’re now appointed with old Dia-compe levers, Suntour bar end shifters and blue tape.

The wheels were cast-off cheapies, probably the same age as the frame.  They’re shod with new Kenda knobbies and a 14-28 freewheel.  Alpha-5000 derailers guide the chain.

The Suntour XC Expert cranks came from a fellow iBOB and the MKS Sylvan Track pedals from a dumpster bike.

I gave up on the roller-cam brake and installed a U-brake from Tektro.  It works surprisingly well, providing not only plenty of modulation, but also the ability to lock up the rear wheel.

Top it off with a WTB saddle.

She and I went for an inaugural ride yesterday through mud, water, ice and slush.

I think I’ll keep her.

Tried and liked – 2010

Per the annual iBOB tradition, it’s the Tried-and-Liked list for 2010.

  1. Geocaching – The engineer got me into this.  It’s all his fault.  Then he went and gave me a premium membership.  And the wife gave me a snazzy new GPS device for Christmas with a handlebar mount.  It’s like they don’t want me to stay home.
  2. Low trail geometry – I’ve had front loads on bikes before.  I’ve had relatively heavy front loads on bikes.  Case of beer, etc.  I’ve wrestled poor handling bikes home from the liquor store.  Then I put a VO Porteur rack on a Nishiki International.  72 degree head angle and 63mm fork offset.  This translates to about 40mm of geometric trail, or whatever it’s called.  Heavy loads no longer require wrestling.
  3. Park TS-8 – This replaced a borrowed Performance truing stand.  The TS-8 only does one side of the wheel at a time, but it’s accurate and build quality is top notch.
  4. Bicycle Quarterly and “The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles”.  Jan Heine has outdone himself.  Bravo!
  5. Tree Fort Bikes.  They have, more or less, replaced Jenbar as my go-to online bike parts supplier.
  6. Motorcycling.  After a 5 year absence, I’m back, baby!  Hide your teenage daughters.
  7. Toplight Line Plus dynamo taillight.  This is, by far, the best taillight I’ve ever used.  Seriously, if you don’t have a dynamo lighting system, get one.  Batteries are for suckers.
  8. Schwalbe Delta Cruisers.  I haven’t really put too many miles on these yet, but who doesn’t like creme tires?

Not a bad year.  Nothing spectacular, but not bad.