Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You're so vain, I bet you think this blog is about you

If you are the type of person who is easily offended by the words that I write, perhaps you are the type person I am writing about. It's easy to get your panties in a twist if someone calls you out on your bullshit. I just want you to know that your sense of entitlement does not give you the right to triple park in front of our door to offload your kid's piece of shit, Walmart bike. 
A bike that he/she could easily have brought to us themselves, like a "big kid," but instead called mom or dad to pick it up with their ginormous fucking SUV which they subsequently use to block the entrance to your store.  
No, the entitled youth had been coddled through life thus far and cannot be bothered to perform menial tasks themselves. 
Indeed parental influences have rubbed off on their offspring, as clearly, the 
Ass does not fall far from the Ass Tree. 

Merry Christmas! And remember if you buy your kid a bike at walmart beware...

But don't waste your time, he doesn't want it anyway. 

Love Queso. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY Tools: Star Nut Setter

Gone are the days where people come to you first to work on their bicycles. Instead, they "watched a You Tube video" which made them an expert in 5 minutes, and now they want to buy the tools so they can do it themselves. Individual tools can be expensive and as they quickly find out, sometimes you need more than one tool to do a job (i.e., you need a cassette lock ring tool, chain whip, and an adjustable wrench just to remove a cassette). 
"Well, I could make one for less than that!" they say. 
Sure, you can, just like you made a roof rack for your car out of 2x4's and your bike fell off and hit the ground. The point is, sometimes you need to pay for the tool, or pay me to use mine (which is a better value as I have the knowledge and experience as well as the proper tools).  
As I blog this, it should be known that I do it from the pro level shop that I work for. Here, we have all the tools you could ever dream of. In my home shop, Lube-A-Chain Bicycles, I have worked hard to build up the tool chest needed to perform all levels of service from home. Yet, I fall short of having them all. Especially the rarely-used tools.
Take for instance, the simple task of setting a star-fangled nut in a steer tube. Sure, carbon forks have taken over and do not use a star nut (for the most part), and complete bikes already have them installed. But when you need to set one, the tool alone can cost $30-$60! 
Yeah, even I won't pay that. 
So, I set out to make one. It took me about 10 minutes and cost less than $20. Rather than hoard this idea for myself, I decided to share it with anyone who is willing to listen. 
Consider this your "you tube video." Only, you don't have to look at me, hear me speak or deal with shitty editing. 

Here is a list of the parts you will need:
-Two (2) 20mm headset spacers
-A long headset bolt (some are longer then others)
-A nut that threads on to the bolt
-A washer for the head of the bolt 
-A slightly larger washer for stiffness
-A headset cap (find one that matches the diameter of the headset spacers for best surface area contact)
-A brake cable
-A roll of electrical tape
-A star-fangled nut 
(You will also need a securely mounted fork trap. If you do not have one, you may damage the fork. But if you are undertaking this task on a regular basis, you should already have one)
To build the "setter," put the smaller washer under the head of the bolt, and the larger washer under that. 
Thread the nut up to them and snug them up with a 5mm allen (common for that style of bolt) and, in this case (as the nut dictates) a 10mm box wrench. 
Like so...

Then slide the top cap up to the nut and place in a vise for support. Grab the bolt from the bottom and hammer the assembly downward into the top cap. This step will secure the parts nicely. 

Then thread the star nut 3/4 of the way on to the bolt. 
That part is done. Now, to build the "sleeve" start with the two spacers and tape them together. 
(This next step may not be needed, but I believe it adds stiffness to the sleeve)
Measure and cut 10-12 peices of brake cable and tape them vertically all the way around the spacers...

To finish the sleeve, tape it generously and at the top and bottom pull hard on the tape so it curls downward leaving a smooth finish. 

(The next pictures do not show the setting process as I already set one succsessfully then took the photos) 

Slide the sleeve down on to the steer tube. 
Sit the star nut on the steer tube and
Then slide the sleeve up to the top cap
This creates a secure "tube" shape that keeps the tool from moving left to right while setting the nut (a common problem with using the traditional Park tool setter)

Hold firmly, and whack the bolt with a hammer. The first time I did this, it took in about two hammer blows. Once the lower portion of the star nut is set, unsrew the top cap a little and repeat until the nut is fully set (approx. 10mm) 
Unscrew and remove the setter
Slide the sleeve off the steer tube. 
The nut is set. Done and done. 
I must admit, I was amazed how easy it worked. I built another one today and will be making more for fun, to give away. 

The total cost:
If you work at a bike shop, these things cost almost nothing. If you are tight with a local bike shop, you can most likely get these things for almost nothing as well. If not, expect to pay retail. And be OKAY with that if it comes down to it, as bike shops need to make some money too. Regardless;

Spacers: $6 
Nut, bolt, washers: $2
Brake cable: $3 
Top cap: $5 (cheap one)
Tape: you probably have laying around. 
Star nut: comes with the headset. 

$16 dollars retail. 
My price: $4 

Will you use it much? No. But you will want to. And it only costs four dollars. 

Enjoy. I will get back to being a dick next time. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Hydrolic Dick Breaks"

Yeah, the title is misspelled, I stole the term from BikesnobNYC. So sue me. (unless Snobby is actually reading this, in which case, please don't sue me.)

There have been some interesting deveolpments as of late in the "technology" sector so it felt like a good time to re visit the discussion about disc brakes. 
If you recall from a previous post, "it's a love hate relationship," I discussed the merits and pitfalls of disc brakes for mountain bike applications. Overall, I believe the idea behind them is sound. Where I take issue is when the industry decided to adapt the technology and apply it to road use. 

To me, the idea was ludicrous to begin with. But the industry ate that shit up! 
(Most of them had this to say.) All sorts of bikes are being spec'd with Hydraulic rim and disc brakes for the 2014 model year. 
This provides a whole host of problems that they address by simply selling you new shit.
To whit; road frames do not have disc brake mounts, so now you need a new frame. 
Unless of course you get hydraulic rim brakes, in which case, you don't need to change the frame or wheels. Then, you only need to get rid of your current rim brakes that work well, and replace them with more expensive ones as well as the shift/brake levers that go with them. 

                                                      ...Seems like a fair trade-off. 

In my opinion, SRAM had the most anticipated product,
(Which appear to have failed) but Shimano was not without fault either. They had been using cable actuated disc brakes which provided the same logistical nightmares, i.e, frame compatibility and the always prevalent brake rub and high pitch squealing...
Then, just like Apple and the cluster-fuck that is iOS7, problems began immediately. 
With a mass roll out, a lot of products quickly saturated the market, and did not even make it to our showroom floor before the product was recalled
Upon further inspection, the recall expanded into other markets. 
At least Shimano had the decency to go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and issued a voluntary recall. Sighting, for the most part, why the product was unsafe. This got the word out almost immediately to both IBD's and consumers. 
SRAM, on the other hand, issued what they are calling a "stop sale"
News broke yesterday on bikeradar.com as a "recall" and the post was quickly removed. It appeared hours later as a "stop sale" with speculation among industry professionals that SRAM asked that it be corrected. 
Regardless of why no one mentioned this to the CPSC, the information was not widely available until later in the day and no further information was given as to why the product was deemed "a safety issue."
Seems a bit sketchy to me. 

It was under the guise of "stopping power" and "heat build up" that the brakes were introduced to the road market anyway. The theory being, carbon and alloy brake tracks heat up under braking forces outside of the realm of normal use, i.e; mountain road descents at higher than normal speeds. 
Heat in a brake track is bad because it can cause the bead of the tire (which holds it on the rim) to deform, then fail. That can cause serious injury, even death. 
Disc brakes do not solve this problem for two reasons;
As most of companies making the components can attest, brake heat is still a real problem on hydraulic disc and rim brakes, 
And, clearly, the "safety issues" they have found after the fact, are the same that plagued them before the introduction of the concept. 
As heat builds up in a brake rotor, it can glaze the surfaces of both the pads and rotor, making it impossible to stop. 
As Hydraulic fluid heats up, it "boils" bringing air to the surface and reducing the fluid's ability to work properly, resulting in failure. 
The manufacturers maintain that "we use this fluid because it doesn't boil." Or "we use this type of pad and rotor because they reduce heat to begin with making it safer." 

Case in point: Racers have been battling steep mountains of France for 100 years, 
From the time Tulio Campagnolo invented the quick release skewer to the advent of electronic shifting, most innovations have been met with gratitude and acceptance as a true improvement to the quality of racing in those types of environments.
There never was, nor is there now, a need for disc brakes on road bikes. 
The UCI (the same sanctioning body that told Lance Armstrong to take a hike) has not, and will not approve the use of disc brakes in competition until further testing is done. 

...because clearly it is needed.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Small Business and The Interwebs

Normally I would just say "hey, if you want to buy your shit on Amazon or Ebay, Great! Knock yourself out!"
As a mechanic at a struggling "Mom and Pop" bike shop, I have to look at it a different way.

See, the problem that small businesses face because of the internet's ability to out-price us is nothing new. It is however, a growing trend. Online retailers have a remarkable opportunity to undercut IBD's (independent bike dealers) due to the lack of sales taxes and free shipping. Not to say that they are making a lot of money by doing so, as they often sell items at or near the cost of the items wholesale price. One thing they do do (ha... "Do Do") is buy larger quantities from the wholesalers, and sell all of it. This allows them the opportunity to buy even more, at an even better price. If I buy 1 turd taco at x amount if dollars, but they buy 100, they get a better price. Therefore, they make at least some money on each unit. Even after free shipping.
The problem will always exist, so it is up to us to find creative ways to bring parts of that market share back to our stores. For now though, on a day to day basis, this happens.

Let say, this guy walks in to the shop, we'll call him "douchebag."
Mr. Bag wants to upgrade his components, to Ultegra Di2. He seems pretty serious about it too.
He asks for a quote on several options (including 11 speed mechanical groups), and I oblige.
A few days later I discuss these options and a price that is all inclusive i.e. parts and labor.
Together, we land on Di2 at a price of $2,530 installed (by me, a Di2 certified Mechanic).
Then the conversation quickly changes to, "how much if I install it myself?"

Ok, dick. I see where this is going, but I will throw you a bone anyway...  $2,280.

"well what if I buy it online and bring it to you, how much?"

Seriously douche, knock it off.

Well, Mr. Bag did not 'knock it off' and takes the next ten minutes of my time asking silly questions about compatibility issues..."if I get so-and-so chainrings, what cassette should I get?" "how long do my crank arms need to be?" "What 'e-Tubes' do I need?'" "Which is the right battery mount?"
I don't know, did you ask Ebay or Amazon? What did they say?
"Well, no."
...Oh, then why would you buy it from them?
"because I can get a deal."

Yeah? Well I could have given you a deal as well, but
A) you never asked and
B) if you give a mouse a cookie, he will want a glass of milk.

While I understand the value of a good deal, and certainly have capitalized on one or two myself, the "deal" is not where I hold issue with Mr. Frodo Douche-Baggins.

See, the industry can only survive if the consumer is willing to provide for it. Meaning, the customer has to spend money in our stores to keep them open. This requires us to show that we can add value to what they need by providing goods and services at a good price, with knowledge and expertise. Still this begs the question: If I am good enough to provide a douchebag with knowledge and service, why not parts also?
Why does he feel it is fair to take that from me?

To some extent, it is our fault. A large problem for the industry of late has been the fear that we "can't compete with online retailers!" True, unless you consider that we could compete, if we only wanted to provide a better price. The resistance to that logic is sound: "if we lower prices, we lose money."
But do we really? I'm am not advocating that we give shit away, but seriously,
Is it better to sell 50 shit sandwiches at 20% off, or sell none at all because your "price is too high?"
Then you are left with 50 shit sandwiches you can't sell, which become overhead in your store. With the 2014 shit sandwiches being shipped to your store soon, what do you do then?
Now you don't have the room and have to unload them at or below cost.
Guess what? ...you just "ate" 50 shit sandwiches.

We can all admit that we all live in a culture of instant gratification.
If you get it from Amazon, even with free shipping, you have to wait. So, if I have it in my store would you buy it? Price too high? What if I give you a better deal, will you buy it then?
Or is that still not good enough?
At some point, they have to decide what we are worth to them.
Honestly, if I have to coddle you to get your business, you might as well move on, because it never stops there. If you give a moose a milkshake, he will want a straw. In fact, he will expect a straw, every time, at a better price, until you have nothing left to give him.
Perhaps a poor attitude on my part, but for every douche bag, there are at least 5 people* who genuinely value your knowledge and skill, who appreciate what value you bring to the table.
Those are the customers I want to deal with. 

Please support your IBDs and
Please don't be a douche bag.

*80% of all statistics are made up on-the-spot.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Save a Cow, Ride a Cambium. Short-Term Review

Fresh off the Italian assembly line, the Brooks C-17 is a huge departure from the English saddle maker's trade mark standard. The newest product (so new it's not even available on Ebay...Yet.), is in very limited supply and has not yet been experienced by most consumers.
I was lucky enough to get one early, and (for those interested in purchasing one when they become available) I wanted to share with you my personal experiences with this latest innovation.

First, here is what Brooks England has to say about the Cambium 

Cambium C17 Ltd Edition
 Brooks Cambium is a range of saddles made from vulcanized natural rubber and organic cotton enhanced by a thin layer of structural textile for added resilience and legendary Brooks longevity.  The uniquely flexible, maintenance-free, waterproof top is designed to follow the rider's movements for immediate comfort and ease of use.

I have tried many, many ass pedastals over the years and have, many times, failed to find one that did not beat my scranus into oblivion. I can't remember the exact model of the first Brooks to grace my taint, but I remember riding a friends Peugeot with a Brooks and it changed the way I thought about where I put my  ass. Even though his saddles always lean a little to the right, as I always joke, his right ass cheek was heavier than his left. Still, I fell hopelessly in love with the comfort and support offered to me by a Brooks.
Now I own 5.  

My initial impression was that it was sexy as hell.

The cotton top is beautiful and is held to the frame with torx bits and faux rivets. This makes the saddle completely serviceable for a "lifetime" of use. 

Out-of-the-box it was indeed, flexible. So much in fact that I feared it would flex too much, making it "bouncy."
I was pleasantly surprised however, to find that while flexible as it was, it was still very supportive, which is exactly what a good saddle should be.

See, the industry is currently rife with saddles that work for only very specific types/shapes of people, and saturated with overly huge saddles full of gel for "added comfort." What these saddles really do is allow your "sit bones" to sink into the saddle, causing the rest of the saddle to basically, rise into the perineum pinching the delicate nerves that inhabit that part of your anatomy.
On the other side of that coin, high-end saddles with all the fancy carbon rails and measuring devices (so you can choose the saddle that is right for you) do nothing but muddy the waters when it comes to selecting what's best for you. 
Granted, "to each his own," as I too have found comfort in other high-end types of saddles (very expensive ones, that is), but I find it so funny that when I tell people that I choose Brooks, they look at me and ask "why?" 
Well, for the same reason you like your fancy saddles, they are "lateraly stiff" and "vertically compliant." Sure they at first may look like tourture devices, but leather is unique in the fact that no other material can mold itself to your own particular shape and no other saddle can last you almost a lifetime. Of course, there is always an exception...
This guy deserves a good ass kicking. I mean, I have a 25 year old B-5N that is in bad shape (granted I got it second hand), but not that bad. I can still ride mine without the fear of the seatpost cornholing the shit out of me when the leather finally decides it has had enough. 

This is the first saddle from the legendary English maker that is plant based. 
Also a first, this saddle is made in Italy

If there is any other nation that I can trust my ass to, it's Italy. So I am okay with that. 

So how does this saddle stack up to the timeless classics?

To the eye, the C17 may appear quite racy in its shape and lines, which indeed it is. A saddle you can really settle into, the geometry and dimensions are based closely on that of our most recognizable model, the B17, ensuring the same timeless comfort mile after mile. 

To illustrate, I give you an, illustration...

It is clear that they are similar. The B-17 has skirts which facilitate control and flex in the top. The right one is my mountain bike saddle after 300+miles this year.
The left is the Cambium on my badass left-side drive/fixed gear/26" mountain bike I built for the winter commute. (Pictured before I added racks, bags, fenders and a Brooks)

                                                              (R.I.P. Sheldon Brown)

The reach is ridiculous, and the drop, for me anyway, is deep. 11 cm deep. Needles to say, bent over like that, your junk is gonna hurt. It's a given. I started with this gel saddle and could not get comfortable, at all. So I tried another, wide sitting area, closed cell foam...
Pain-us in the Scranus. 

Having to sit on the nose of a saddle means you do not have a proper fit on the bike (with the exception of Time Trial bikes), and you should always try to ride a bike that fits you best.

That said; I spend so much time working on everyone elses stuff, I rarely have time to perfect my own machines, as I have many. So when I installed this saddle on my daily commuter, I must say I was impressed with this saddle's ability to blend seamlessly into the component spec on this bike. I love that it moves with me, while it also allowed me sit further up the nose with a tremendous amount of control, and comfort. For some reason, it also allowed me to sit "in the drops" with my sit bones where they should be. 
It really changes the way I ride this bike. 
I cannot overstate the amount of comfort in the nose of this saddle. I have every intention of one day putting this on my Doug Fattic TT bike. 
(Once owned by Tom Doughty, pictured with B-5N)

In the end, it is not about the nose of the saddle, but where the sit bones lie. If i do my due diligence, and set this thing up right, it will prove to be reliable and comfortable. It really is about fit. So,
This is a short term review, in the fact that I have less than 50 miles on my Cambium. On a bike that is set up improperly, yet I still find my C-17 to be as comfortable as my other trusted Brooks Products, and with potential (given the right bike fit) to serve me a lifetime.
In summation, I will gladly continue to ride this ass chariot into the Mad Maxx times if it will alow me. Only then will I write the long-term review describing its loyalty to me. 

Unless I go off the deep-end first. Like this guy ...

Deuces bitch. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

If I were your bike, I would hate you

So this next jem is brought to you by a big old helping of "I don't give a shit."
(If you have small children in the room, cover their eyes) 
So the best I can figure, this guy did not get the memo that said, "steel is real, and so is rust." 
After a second glance, my best guess is that the guy either;
A) rode it hard and put it away wet, or
B) pissed all over his bike for the last 5 years and did NOTHING other than that. 

I'm gonna go with "B." 

So after pissing down the side of the bike, not only did he not clean it, he decided that the chain needed more lube. 
...and so did the stays,
...as well as the wheels. 
I mean, maybe it was stopping too well, and decided if he used enough lube, he could avoid stopping at all and keep his chain from rusting at the same time. 
That's sound logic. 
So nedless to say, the frame is turbo fucked and is now in a scrap yard somewhere. 
So what next for that dude? 
He bought another steel frame. 
What a shame.
I can hear it already, sobbing heavily as the dude yells, "it puts the lube on its chain or else it gets pissed on again!"

In other news from the land of thoughless neglect...

"It doesn't shift any more."
You don't say...

"It keeps breaking spokes too."
Really? I can't see any reason why that would happen (I said with heavy sarcasm). 

"I know, right?!"

I don't have time for this. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's a love hate relationship.

Normaly, my retro-grouchery would kick in and I would be all, "back in the day, we used V-brakes, and they were great!"
I spent many years avoiding the inevitable switch to disc brakes. Evey one was saying that disc brakes were "the future." But one day I gave in, and now I hate myself. (Just kidding, but seriously).

I recently switched to disc because my newest bike (2001 Gary Fisher Super Caliber) had disc and V brake mounts. Plus, building wheels nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find non-disc hubs that would be worth a damn. 

So I built these, 
For this,

And they were great! ...at least I thought. 

We recently raced in a local series and had a blast doing so. 
The most popular race got canelled due to 3" of standing water on the trail. 
That is understandable. You should NEVER ride a trail in those conditions, you can do serious damage to the trail. 
That said...
The last race of the year was at the same trail and we would be damned if we would call that one off on account of rain.
(Only because we all volunteer to fix them after we trash them if need be)

But It rained...

The two days leading up to the race we Probably got 3" of "liquid sunshine"

I rode the trail early the morning of raceday. It was spectacular!  It was drizzly, but not too bad out. 

Then the Experts took off, it started raining heavily.  
After the first lap they were riding by us covered in mud saying "I got no brakes!" And "There won't be a trail left when you get out there!" 
It continued to rain...

As the experts were starting the 3rd lap (at which point there were already 6 DNF's), Sport and Beginner cats were heading off. One and two lap journeys that would bring the strongest man to his knees. 

It rained harder. 

1.5 miles is all it took. My brakes failed me going into a turn and I went down a hill. Managed to stay on the bike, but lost 8 places! (This cost me the series points championship. I lost by a margin of 5 points!) 
I had absolutely no brakes for the last 
5 miles and had to "Flinstone" it thereafter to slow down enough not to die.  

There were many DNF's but those of us who charged on hung out after the race drinking beers and retelling the stories of our epic adventures...
We almost all had disc brakes. 

In the end, My bike looked like this. 
My brake pads, looked even worse. 
The next day at work, the bikes started rolling in. On Monday alone, we changed all of these...
For reference, this is an old and new pad side-by-side. 
(The new one is on the right. ;)
Needless to say, this person spent the next 6 miles in what she called "30 minutes of terror." 

The events of that day were the most ridiculous yet memorable moments of my life. 

But here is where I digress...
Back in the day, V-brakes were all we had and they did work well. 
On the other hand, they were prone to high-pitch squealing if; 
A) they were not aligned properly, and,
B) if they got wet. 
Unfourtunately, they almost always got wet, and if they picked up sand and mud, would damage the shit out or your braking surface. 
Brands like Shimano fixed this with the introduction of XTR linear pull brakes that worked really well and eliminated (most of) the noise. However, to further the point i made about bottom bracket standards (in an earlier blog), technology of course found a way to fix a perfectly sound component. 
Under the guise of "stopping power" disc brakes came upon on the scene and appeared to work. 
If disc brakes had one flaw, it was that they too, squealed. Lets face it, metal on metal makes noise. Period. 
Did rubber pads make noise? Sure. 
Did they wear out in ten minutes? 
No fucking way. 
So what did they do? Made cable actuated disc brakes, hydraulic instead. In theory, they would provide more even stopping power and adjusted themselves automatically which reduced issues brought to the surface by poor set up of cable actuated disc brakes. 

They still squealed...

So what then? 
"Let's make the pads out of organic materials! That should reduce the squealing!" (Insert sound of dorks jumping in the air as they high five, for again, solving a problem that did not exist)

Sure. That reduced the squealing. But then the rain came. 
Now, other, abrasive, organic materials (dirt, mud, water...)
get forced into the pads and Voila! 
No fucking brakes in the first two miles of the most important race of my life (thus far). 
(Just ask the dudes that raced in the cyclocross World Championships earlier this year how I feel. The Belgians won becuase they were running cantilever rim brakes. We, on the other hand, did not fair so well). 

( this is the part where I spare you the details of how I personally feel about disc brakes on cyclocross and {God forbid} road bikes, until the appropriate blog is reached)

Now here is the part in the story, as the life cycle of brakes came full-cirlce right before my eyes, BAM! 
 I rounded a turn in the last half mile and someone yelled, "you should get V brakes!" 

Sure asshole. 
I'll get right on that. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Engineers...The devil's henchmen

That's right, I said it. Every year the "industry" comes up with a new way to make an old thing.
Some engineer designs it, and sells it to the brand saying, "it's this much more stiff, and still really comfortable..." "Or, lighter..." or "more aero." 
Oh yeah? I call bullshit.
Back in the day, we had products that worked great and lasted for fucking ever. Sure they were a little heavier, but they stood the test of time. Now, we are left with "creaky" bottom brackets because those same engineers decided they could make shit lighter by removing what was proven to have worked, and replacing it with shit like with nylon cups glued into a frame.
I got news for ya Jack, when a dude spends 10k on a fucking "top-of-the-line what have you" and has to bring it back in a week because his bottom bracket is making noise, it was a bad design. When I have to call your warranty department and you tell me to use "a stronger loctite," then indeed, the design was a stupid one to begin with. Sure it's stiffer, but what good is it if you can't use it?
A.) That's what she said
B.) Not very good at all,dipshit

Once upon a time, there was this dude...
Tougher than a coffin nail, and a pretty snazzy dresser. He invented a lot of shit, and was really good at it too. He founded his company 80 years ago with the mindset of "...there has got to be a better way."

Among his many contributions to our world, was this...

The threaded, square-taper bottom bracket. It was (and still is) amazing.
The frame had to have threads, and once installed, it had to be adjusted by hand. It spun for days.

Then this happened...
Which, honestly, was not that bad. I mean, it spun like shit, but the bearings were sealed, meaning it had to be worked on less. It also moved the bearings to the outside of the frame, giving a stiffer pedaling platform.
But this is the beginning of the end for "standards." As far as the history of bottom brackets go, this is the part on the timeline where the creaking begins.
Carbon frame, aluminum insert with threads, cups threaded into them. Would have been a great idea if you didn't have to use large amounts of teflon tape on the threads to keep the materials from touching, otherwise making it sound like your frame is breaking in half.
...because it is.
(This would not have happened mind you, if the frame had been made of aluminum or steel, but they want carbon.  They all want carbon)

"But if we widen the carbon bottom bracket shell, we can just press bearings into the frame. Now it'll be stiffer!"
(In this moment of sheer dorktitude, the engineers high five for having solved a problem which should not have existed.)

But then I digress...

This $2,000 frame is in the trash now because the Carbon shell went egg-shaped, and with no threads and only loctite holding it in, the cup came right out with just my fingers, after one year.
The white spot in the picture shows the amount of seperation between the cups and the frame. 
Doesn't look that bad, but bad enough that it was replaced. 
Carbon is not recycleable. It is bullshit that an entire frame is wasted due to failure. 

I spent as much as that bike was worth on a handbuilt steel bike, and this happened...
A small crack above the bottom bracket due to a flaw in the tube. But guess fucking what, 
They cut that bitch out, and welded in another one for FREE. 
Now it looks like this
And I will ride this bitch into the Mad Max times. 
External bearings and all... 

Sorry about your carbon frame. 
"Your bottom bracket creaks?!"

"...needs more glue I guess."

Friday, September 27, 2013

I'm not always angry though...

This is not meant to be a bitch fest, I mean, no one wants to hear someone whine all the time. I also hope to share why I love what I do. 

So here's some bike porn for ya. 

This is a top of the line Waterford that I got to build the other day. 

Complete with beautiful Velo Orange hammered fenders, and Campagnolo Chorus. 

The most beautiful hand filed stainless lugs you will ever see

 This bicycle will not sit on display. It will likely see hundreds of thousands of miles as a loaded touring bike. 

"Price tag?" You say... $10,000 

Still not the biggest ticket item I have built, but easily my favorite. 

Stay tuned for some other great builds:
-Bianchi Oltre Super Record EPS
-1942 Bates with a Sturmey Archer ASC 
3 spees Fixed gear hub
And more. 

Like I said, it's things like this that make me love what I do. It's the other things that make it insufferable. 

I will spare you the details for tonight, but after that, no one is safe.