Monday, February 28, 2011

The thrill of music

Sometimes a piece of music lifts you off the ground, like a C130 on jump run...............

Whatever you do, play it loud

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Never under-estimate locals, singlespeeders and old riders, particularly if they are on a steel bike.
                                                                                                              el jefe DC

Monday, February 7, 2011

Liam's Bike Build

About a month ago, my cousin Karen asked if I could help her son, Liam put a bike together.  On condition that Liam paid for everything and that he could do pretty much all of the work himself. OK.

I pulled out an old Gert Visser frame, handed it to Liam and said "Sand". Lots of water paper and even more elbow-grease later, he produced a well-prepped frame. Some time to get the primer in place and then we were ready for the matt black. Black, particularly matt black is a good first colour for a spray job.

At this stage Liam had to head back to school for a few weeks ( Rev Dick- See what I mean?) In the interim I was able to collect some bits, in fact quite a pile of pretty decent bits. (Big thanks Steven and Fiona )

When Liam and Karen returned, we were ready for the final big build, not sure who was the most excited. By this stage the frame had acquired a coat of clear matt lacquer and most of the gubbins were pre-prepped, this is not the time to discover that something doesn't fit.
.....a bit like Lego, but you can eventually  ride it!
It's important to note that Liam has saved and worked to earn the money to put this baby together.

Early on the Saturday morning, things looked like this...
This is it, let's get started!
Getting that headset in where it belongs

Lubed seatpost

Stripped thread
Reverse the frame into the workstand and get the fork in, headset adjusted, and the stem in place. At this stage we discovered that the "B" on the stem stood for "Buggered"  (It had ended up in the parts box because the threads in the bar clamp were stripped..) Fortunately there was another stem in the box. My entire credibility had been hanging by a stripped thread........

Turn the bike around in the workstand so that real work can start.

Crank bolts

No low-end chain lubes in here please....

Liam had by now installed every component himself, I only supplied the intelligent use of brute force (like shoving the grips on). Putting a bike together like this can be a tiring experience, so we stopped for a break before the final assault, but not before Liam had put his wheels together (rim tape, tyres, tubes, valve lined up with the tyre logo) I am also a detail person ;)

While polishing the rims and spokes (every spoke), Liam noticed that one of the rims was knackered, so I'd replaced it. That's why you clean your bike by hand, because that's how you get to know it. Personally. If the bike really means anything to you, that is.

Then that magical moment!  It works!
The clicker clicks and the gorilla does what it's meant to do. (And what's that I hear someone chirp? The gorilla, my friend climbs up and down the cluster )


On yer bike!

For the record

The dangerous realisation that these bitchin' machines can take you anywhere................

Karen, Liam and I will be doing a 230km fundraising ride from Prince Albert to Plettenberg Bay. Fundraising for a science teacher at his school.

Special thanks to:
Photo Credits: All photographs by Karen Rissik

The Route

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't mix your blends

No doubt many of you have converted to tubeless (on mtb at least) and possibly even some on road.

We all have our funny stories about various tubeless conversions and probably even some war stories about tubeless gone wrong gone wrong.....Stans on the windows, the ceiling, the floor ?

The tyre  in questionhas been on my Peace 9r since 2007, first on the front, and later, when the rear Bontrager delaminated in spectacular fashion, on the back. I have no idea how many thousand kilometres it has on it, but plenty anyway.

It developed a slow leak the other day, so I took the liberty of a deep cavity inspection.......a not very pretty sight. A mix of dried Stans and some other blue stuff (also dry) and who knows what else. Prognosis not positive :(

Most people would have put the tyre out for recycling, but not me. No ways, there must be a good few clicks left on that airplane-like tyre tyre. My current favourite sealant is CaffeLatex, so I slopped in a good dose of that. (I've been having a very good run with Caffelatex recently, particularly with a recent "homeless choobless conversion on the Extrabike). So why not up the ante?)

Fit and forget.  Until it happens. A fair-sized sidewall hole far from home...made it back, but only just.

Ever hopeful, I pumped it up and did the usual shake and rattle number. It eventually sealed, but not after first depositing this (below) on my workshop table. And some more elsewhere, but let's stay focussed.

Tubeless DNA

Lots of very old white Stans  plus some arbitrary blue goo plus some off-white Caffelatex = light frothy green. Looked a bit like something out of a gangrenous wound.

It sealed, and is still sealed, but I think it's time for a tubeless renovation, pull 'er up into the dry dock, scrape it all off and start again. With a new tyre.

OK, so I'm biased, but it seems like Caffelatex IS the business. Well, for me it is anyway.

Sheldon Brown

Sheldon Brown Day today.

I owe much to the great man.

**Correction: Thanks to Gunnar I now know that Sheldon Brown Day is April 1st.