30 July 2009

The Making of a Cycling Cap

I have been searching the web for cycling caps and found a few sites where people where making custom cycling caps. It seems this comes from the urban velo type of rider and thats cool. A lot of the caps are made from recycled material.

I have a Team Army cycling kit but I do not have a team/club cap. So I have been thinking what could I do. Just my luck that the Velcro on my ACU top is unserviceable. That's an Army term..So I was thinking it would be cool to make a custom cycling cap out of my ACU top. There's that recycling material thing.

Here's a picture of the top after getting washed. There is a lot of Velcro and pockets on this top. Let's see how much usable material that I can get out of this top.

The above picture shows the amount of material I could get out of the top. Not bad, this should work. Next I found a pattern for a four panel cycling cap online. I had to make some adjustment on the size of the pattern after printing it off. In all this took about 2 hours. Next I had to cut the patterns out of the material. The side panels ate-up the bulk of my material. I was able to get 8 panels to make 2 caps and 8 sets of visors. I hoped I would have been able to make 3 caps out of this top, oh well. Here's a picture of all the panels.

I have enlisted my mom to sew the panels together for me. We are waiting for parts to come in for her sewing machine. This should take a few days. I hope to have the finished product by the end of next week

29 July 2009

Andrew's Bike

This is a Andrew's 1996 Specialized Stumpjumper that I have been working on. When he gave it to me to work on all the parts where in a plastic bag. This bike is in good shape and just needed a good cleaning. The drive train started out as bad as my Bridgestone. I have no idea what some people use as chain oil.

There have been a couple of issues with the bike. First was the housing at the fixing bolt on the 800 X-ray shifters was cracked. They came off OK, but came apart when I went to put them back on. I just so happen to have a spare set that I used. I was able to save the gray grips. I have seen black,red,yellow,green & purple grip covers but never gray. It would be cool to find some NOS ones. I bet they would go for some serious bucks!The next issue that I have are the brakes. This bike did not come with V-brakes it came with cantilever brakes. I know you say whats the problem? Well there is no cable stop on the rear of the top tube. There is a cable guide that runs around the side of the seat tube and comes out the middle of the seat tube. This would have lined up the brake cable to the cable pull. I think that's what it was called. Because of this I can not get a good routing of the cable to the rear V-brake.

I think the only way to solve the issue is to go back to a cantilever brake. I guest he could ebay for an old set of LX brakes, but I think a new set of Avid Shorty 4's would look great on this bike. A new modern brake that still has a retro look. I need some brakes Andrew!!

A set of Ritchey grips would help keep it old school, but if it was my bike I would have to go with a set of Ergon grips. The Ergon grips are the best grips that you can use with a rigid fork. I have some on my Bontrager.

28 July 2009

Not Much!

I don't have a lot to post at this time but I have some stuff in the works. I have two beer reviews that I will be posting and I am working on making my own cycling caps. I have been reading some posts on how to do this and it does not seem that hard. I will let you know about that.

I haven't done anything with the Bridgestone in the last couple of weeks. I have about 50-100 miles to go before I will have to do some work on my Bontrager. Nothing major, just replacing a rear tire, brake pads and a chain.

That's it for now.

25 July 2009

Coffee & Ride

I am a week behind on this ride report, but since I will not be able to ride any this weekend I will relive last weekends ride. I was able to talk my friend G into doing an early morning ride starting out with some coffee. Our start point was the local Starbucks which is just a couple miles from our houses.

Pictured about are our road rides. G is still sporting around on a Marin San Marco out fitted with Campy. I think this is a 1999 model year with a pretty cool euro paint job.Everything on his bike is still original! My bike is a 1996 Trek 5000 OCLV. Last year I updated the wheels and drive train. One of my shifters broke and I went from 8 speed 105 to 10 speed 105. I updated/upgraded my wheels to a set of Mavic Aksium. The wheels are the best money I spent on the bike.

After getting a cup of coffee we set out on the road. Now I have to say that G is one of the best riding partners that I have ridden with on the road. I know what he is doing and where he is riding. I can take a quick look and find me on my wheel. If he is pulling I know I can get close on his wheel and noting crazy is going to happen. We where able to get in about 35 miles before traffic started getting a little heavy.

21 July 2009

Made in America! Part 2 Cycling Caps

This is the second installment in the Made in America series. Today it's about cycling caps, old school or just being a dork? Over the last year the cycling cap has become part of my riding kit. It doesn't matter if I am riding road or on the dirt I am going to sport a cycling cap under my helmet.

Here's the reason why! I sweat from my head like nobodies business. No matter the type of helmet and the design of pads the sweat will always find it's way into my eyes or all over my sun glasses. Using a cycling cap allows the sweat to run off the visor and it does not get in my eyes or on my sun glasses.

Normally I only have one helmet and if it is a mountain bike helmet I will take the visor off when I am riding on the road. It just does not look right to wear a visor on your helmet while riding on the road. But that's me.

Pace Sportwear,Inc. http://www.pacesportswear.com celebrating 30 years of U.S. made cycling apparel. The following caps that I have are made by Pace. The Clif Bar Euro Cycling Cap is a lightweight cotton twill 4 panel dome with traditional flip up visor
5/8 in twill tape sewn inside with elastic back one size fits all.The other two are lightweight cotton twill 3 panel dome with traditional flip up visor KoolFit® elastic sweatband and one size fits all.

I like the 4 panel design better than the 3 panel. Bottom line they are a good product and they work.

20 July 2009

Made in America! I think?

I know I am going on a rant that will not make any since to anybody but here I go. Over the last two years I have done a lot of research on major brand bicycles, components, accessories, outdoor gear, and custom bicycles. I am amazed of all the U.S. brand bicycles, components, accessories, and outdoor gear that is made overseas and what is still made here in the Good Old U.S.A. or what seems to be made here or what part is made here or it is designed here but made there... Get my point!

I know what you are saying right now, " Everything on a bicycle is made in Taiwan, China, Japan". Well for the most part this is true. But we can fine stuff made right here in the Good Old U.S.A. Matter of fact we can find stuff that is at or near the same price point as the goods that are made overseas and shipped here.

So, why is this in my crawl? I don't know! Maybe it is because mountain biking was born here, or maybe I am on part of this living green thing, or maybe it's about keeping U.S. jobs or maybe it's a lot of things that I don't understand.

I plan to have Blog post on my picks of Bicycles, components, accessories, outdoor gear that is Made in America. Some that I have used and some that I will think about purchasing. But I will need your help! If you have bought something that fits the scope of this project then I would like to here from you.

Here you go with the first component: Vuelta USA Chainrings.

Vuelta USA chainring are made of aerospace-grade 6061-T6 aluminum alloy for the middle and outer rings and 7075-T6 for the granny gears.Chainrings are made in all popular sizes for mountain and road bikes, including MTB Compact, LX/XT/XTR-Compatible, Standard MTB, Standard Road, and Campagnolo-Compatible.

I had to replace the outer ring on my 8 speed Bontrager Cranks. I could not find a Bontrager ring as an replace so I dropped by my LBS and found Vuelta USA rings in black. I think I paid around $22-25 for the ring. So far I have put about 600 miles on the ring without any problems.I would buy their chainrings again. I would like to see how well a middle ring would whole up. Their site gives all the information about their rings,http://www.vueltausa.com

I think Vuelta USA is an Italian company. But they have a USA Headquarters in Pacoima, CA. They also carry ALLOY CHAINRING BOLTS that are made in the U.S.

16 July 2009

Quick Ride in the Morning

For the last month I have been hitting the dirt before going to work. I have a short 9.1 mile course that is a mix of road, fire road and single track.Since I am limited to this course for those morning rides, I try either ride it clean or fast as I can. Yesterday I rode my fastest time, 43:25 that was and avg 12.6 mph. I hope to be able to claim a couple more seconds off that time.

12 July 2009

A Beer Review- Hopback

Troegs Hopback Ale, Troegs Brewing Company, Harrisburg PA. This is Troegs flagship beer

Appearance: Deep Amber in color with light creamy head

Smell: Floral

Taste: A Hint of a Floral Taste with caramel

Mouthfeel: dryness

Drinkability: Cold this beer is a little bitter, but after warming up this goes away. Light and refreshing

More Recycled Parts

Made a trip back to Richmond Recycle http://www.richmondre-cycles.com to find some more parts. I did OK! I did find a Dia Compe brake lever that had the correct barrel adjuster and I found some pump straps that I think will work for holding on my Zefal fender on my Bontrager. I will try to get some pictures up later. I am not having any luck right now get a picture load.

On another note, I did treat the Bridgestone frame with Frame Saver. I also cleaned and put some wax on the front fork and it looks a lot better. After looking that the frame I am thinking I am going to have to have it resprayed. But I will clean it up and wax it before I make that call.

08 July 2009

A Visit to Farmville- A Beer review

Last weekend my wife and I made a trip to Farmville to buy some furnture. Our first stop in down was The Bakery for lunch. A small place with a european feel to it. I had the standard ham & cheese and my wife had some type of roasted egg plant. The bread is baked on site and is great! One item that will catch your eye is all the european beers. Most are sold by the bottle and are not cheap. So what did I get???

Delirium Nocturnum by The Huyghe Brewery, Belgian since 1654. This is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale that comes in a stone ceramic looking 11.2 fl oz bottle.

Appearance: Minimal coffee colored head with a cloudy dark body

Smell: Sweet & creamy

Taste : A creamy and alcoholic that has a sharpeness that quickly fades

Mouthfeel: Soft carbonation with little bubbles

Drinkability: For a dark beer this is smooth. I would call this a fall or winter beer great for the cross season!

07 July 2009

Everything But the Headset

I got everything off the frame other than the headset. Now I am going to give it a good cleaning treat it with frame saver. I am thing about respraying frame but I will wait until I have waxed the frame to see.

05 July 2009

One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure

I hope you are as luck as I am to have a recycle bicycle shop near you. I figured I would drop in to see if I could find some brake-caliper cable adjusting barrels for one my Dia Compe break levers. After about an hour I came out with the following. Two barrel adjusters (Almost the same, but wrong size), one side Sun Tour XC brake, one side Sun Tour XC roller cam brake, one rightside Sram 800 shifter, and one set of WTB brakes.

Other than the barrel adjusters, everything I got is just pieces. But that's ok! All that for $10.50. I might never do anything with the stuff, but where can you go and have fun for an hour for $10.50 ? Now I can start to built a spare parts box. Just a little cleaning and most of the stuff will look like new!

I still have the issue of finding the right size adjusting barrel. I think the adjusting barrels I found are 17mm and the are about 2mm to big. I found online that the adjusting barrels are about $19.00 plus shipping. So I will just hang-on two what I found.

I still need to do some more research to find out what type of brake levers I have. I guest one of two things will happen. One I will find the adjusting barrels or two I will have to

01 July 2009

Time To Get Dirty

Well it's time to get a little dirty. No, I am going to get dirty with this drive train. I have know idea what type of chain lube that was used on this bike. But there must be a pound of dirt on the rear D, chain and crank. One thing that is a plus, it comes off real easy.

The cable housing for the rear D is some type of spring. I have never seen this before. This one is damaged. The jockey pulleys have seen better days, but I will have to see what I got after a good cleaning.
On to the cranks! This was a little different. I had to use a screwdriver to take the dust cap off. The dust cap has slit in the face that you stick the tip of a flat head screwdriver in. Behind the dust cap was a nut that I used a socket to get of the spindle. The rings on the crank are big... The small ring is a 28 and the large is a 50.

As I was taking the cranks off the BB, the BB locked up. I figure that I was going to have a hard time with the BB. At first I could not figure how to get the BB out. I was thinking that I would have to make a trip to the LBS and buy a special BB tool. But then I remembered that a friend gave me two pin spanners years ago. I guest I am a bit of a pack rat. But I was lucky to have the right one.This was the first time that I ever used them.

After getting one of the cones out and the spindle I could see that some water had made it's way into the BB. The grease is a nice brown. I will totally take the cone apart and degrease and repack it. The spindle must weight a pound. I don't think a sealed BB weights this much!

Just from the couple of post that I have put up, you can tell that I have a few issues with the bike. None that are show stoppers.

The other night I was reading an article on Grant Peterson, that was originally published in the California Bicyclist and was posted on the adventurecorps.com website. GP said " I think parts should be repairable and there should be interchangeability. People should not be encouraged to throw a part and replace it with a whole new one in the name of helping the economy".

I sure hope that I find that is true with this bike!