Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Check out this Share the Damn Road website. they have some interesting jerseys used to communicate a message to car drivers.

It is a novel approach. Will it work? Dunno but I like the 3 Feet version.

Which is your fav?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do you ever enter a contest, get busy and forget all about it?

Me too. I entered one from PBK, Pro Bike Kit for a simple T-Shirt design. Who knew, I must have been having a good day or got really lucky. Either way I must have struck a cord with other riders, because I got the second highest number of votes.  My blog comment was turned into this...

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Podium!

Granted I only won a T-shirt, but the feeling was much more valuable. It was like the first time I won back more money than my entry fee at a Cat. 4 criterium. $12 wasn't much, but that day I got paid to ride my bike.

Simple things.

As for PBK, if you haven't shopped with them yet, let me tell you they are great. They are much better than most of the US online retailers. They can tell you what is in stock before you order and have email notifications for when stuff comes back in stock. Right now they have free US shipping. and their prices are great too. I don't gush over online retailers much, but these guys are setting a high bar for others to aspire to.

Feeling lucky this year too?

I have run this blog without advertisers since I started it.  Pro Bike Kit.com is one of my new favs and you will see their banners on my blog as I am now an affilate.  They are worth the try, as I have used lots of online retailers over the years and these guys get it right and are running one of the best out there.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wheel building with Mavic Tubeless Rims

I recently had wheel building request which was new experience for me. I normally do not build UST tubeless rims. All of the wheelbuilding I have done in past were for people that were going to use a Conversion kit, like Stans to ride tubeless. This MTB wheelset was to be a unique blend.
  • Phil Wood MTB hubs in fresh Red Anno
  • Sapim Race double butted spokes in black
  • Sapim 16mm black brass nipples
  • Mavic 819 UST rims black with machined sidewalls

Make sure you have the tools you need. The Park Tool-SW13 is a must have. This allows you to get the steel eyelets into the rim and hold the nipples in place. I test fit all the eyelets first then backed them out of the rim to apply 242 Loctite. After that I secured them to the rim with the Park tool. A Mavic tool is also available, but don't bother with the plastic version and best of luck finding it.

Now I laced both wheels. The key is having the 16mm nipples that Mavic recommends. This long nipple emerges enough from the eyelet that you can get it threaded on the spoke by hand when you use gravity to allow the nipple fall down into the eyelet, with spoke pointing to the sky. This is the point were it gets interesting. No nipple drivers can help you and you need to get to turning the 60+ spokes either with spoke wrench or by hand until significant tension exists. Fun stuff, that will work your fingers till they are raw.

Finishing the wheel is just as easy as standard wheel. Final product is nice if I do say so myself. Enjoy the new wheels, Steve!




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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1982-3 Campagnolo Nuovo Record components

I found that I was not willing to experiment with repairing the small amount of frame damage on the Guerciotti. So if you are looking to restore an 80's bike with Campagnolo, I might be able to help. Email Me at mailto:brazen.cycleworks@gmail.com .

The List:
Rear Derailleur
Rear Hub
Right Crank with rings and Campy ring bolts, 52/42T
Shift levers without pressure washers and screws with yellow pantographed lettering.
Brake Calipers set Front and Rear with yellow pantographed lettering.
Rear skewer


Non Campy parts include:
100mm Cinelli Stem
64-40 Cinelli Criterium bar
Mundaliata leather Italia seat


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Monday, October 12, 2009

1983 Guerciotti -Paolo Guerciotti with Campagnolo Record

This is my newest acquisition. It is 53cm square Columbus SLX tubed race bike from back in the day. It had some a front end collision in its life and I am debating a downtube replacement and restoration. Front wheel is gone, left crank and both pedals gone, friction plates for the shifters gone. This bike had some nice touches you don't see any more. The blue bike had yellow pantographed accents everywhere on the frame and fork. Even the Campagnolo components had the pantographed parts highlighted with yellow to match, that is just too cool.

Now the debate on restoring this bike begins, it is a big job but I do have 80% of what I need.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Check out my effort to recognize US Servicemen and raise charitable contributions for the Marine League Charities. I could use all the help I can get. It is very worthy cause and only requires me to ride 65 miles off-road in single day, Flagstaff to Grand Canyon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Club Fuji - Retro Mod
I am nearly done building this bike for myself. This bike reminded me of a bike that I might have bought used as a first road bike. It is a 1987 Club Fuji and I enjoyed the fit and road feel the first time I rode it. It reminded me of my first "real" road bike which was a Tig welded Specialized Allez. This road bike project goal was to bring the classic look of the Club Fuji with some modern components to make a sweet sleeper of road bike.

Retro Features include:
Downtube shifting
Aero brake levers
Square taper crankset
Original Nitto Quill and B115 Nitto Handlebar
Original Club Fuji Frame and fork, spaced at 126mm, first year Fuji made a TIG welded front triangle
Original Hatta Versa headset
Original Sugino fluted and measured seatpost

Modern Features include:
Campy Mirage Crank with compact gearing 50/34
Miche Primato square taper bottom bracket
Campy Mirage 9 speed drivetrain with stainless Wipperman Connex chain
SRAM 9 speed cassette 11-21
Dura Ace 7700 downtube shifters
8/9 speed freehub body on 126mm spaced rear wheel
Campy Dual Pivot brake calipers
Campy Profit clipless pedals

Sneak Peek photo.
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Vermilion, sometimes spelled vermillion, when found naturally occurring, is an opaque orangish red pigment, used since antiquity, originally derived from the powdered mineral cinnabar. Chemically, the pigment is mercuric sulfide, HgS, and like all mercury compounds it is toxic.

This bike 'Cinnbar' is not toxic, it's a rocket. I worked with Dan, the new owner, on this creation. When he first saw the frame this color he was sold. Dan imagined the all bike details in his mind and I used that vision to create this fixed gear. 1Off took care of the powder coating and with a custom Brazen Cycleworks wheelset the bike was born.

If you have a vision and want my help to make it a reality, hit me on email. I do one project at a time, but that project could be yours.


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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Put it together Fool!

This is part three of the three part series on converting your classic road bike into a fixed gear bike.
  • It goes without saying that you need to have a minimum amount of mechanical skills and bike tools to complete this conversion.
  • If you really need help understanding the components or assembly then go to the source of all things cycling
  • The late great Sheldon Brown's website
  • The illustrated guides provided by Park bicycle tools.
  1. Start with installing your bottom bracket, then your assembled crank and chainring to make sure your chainring is close to the chainstay without running the risk of touching the stay.
  2. Now you need to respace your rear wheel hub, then redish the wheel. Respacing the rear wheel means removing the large one sided spacer on the drive side and replacing it with equal length individual spacers that are approximately equal on both the drive and non drive sides of the axle. Redishing requires spoke adjustments on both the left and right sides. The Right nipples will need to be loosened 2 full turns and the Left nipples will need to be tightened 2 full turns. Don't do this all at once. Do a max of 1/2 turn on each nipple, one side at a time until you get there. If you are not comfortable with this get a wheelbuilder to do this for you. Remember that since the nipples are threaded through the rim, they appear to need be turned the opposite way to tighten them. They are regular threaded but the perspective used when using a spoke wrench is the opposite. Just memorize this easy to remember saying for wheel building, "Lefty Tighty, Rightly Loosely".
  3. Now you can turn on the Track cog and use grease on the threads, then reuse the old Bottom Bracket Lockring to snug the cog to the hub. This is referred to as a suicide hub or faux lockring setup. This is appropriate for a budget fixed gear, but if your girlfriend or boyfriend will not be impressed without you rocking a block long skid, then just buy a rear track wheel and a classic cycling cap from the 80's. Viva La Claire!
  4. Set your chain by starting with the wheel all the way back in the frame. Then line up the chainlinks that will allow the next longest chain. Re-connect the chain with the wheel moved forward, and pull the wheel back to marvel at your new drivetrain with chain tensioned, with only a slight amount of movement.
  5. Get that seat attached to the post, post attached to frame. Bar attached to the stem, hip bone connected to steerer tube and button that ride up. Get your pedals installed and bolts secured for safety, drink a Red Bull and get your wings.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fixed Gear Conversion Gear Selection Guide

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This is the second part of the three part series on how to convert a bike into a fixed gear. Now you have the bike disassembled and separated with parts you intend to reuse and the parts you can then recycle. Now it comes time to go shopping, you need to buy a couple of things.

  • Narrower Bottom Bracket
  • Axle Spacers
  • Single Chainring bolts
  • New Track Cog
  • New Chain that matches the width of Track Cog

Gear selection is a personal choice like clothing. Many combinations will work but well fitting clothes work much better than ill fitting clothes. If you are focused on a budget fixed gear you need to reuse the maximum amount of your existing stash o'parts. Let's start with counting the number of teeth on your current large chainring. Why the large ring? Well in my opinion the larger ring looks better, runs quieter, and feels smoother. You can choose either so I have written the guide to cover both situations.

So if you are using a,

  • 53T-49T chainring start with a 17T cog, average ratio 3.0
  • 48T-45T chainring start with a 16T cog, average ratio 2.9
  • 44T-39T chainring start with a 15T cog, average ratio 2.8

If you have a chainring not listed go for a cog that represents a Ring: Cog Ratio closest to 2.9:1.

The second step is how to customize this guideline to your particular cog size given personal factors. See if any below fit your situation.

  • Weak Legs-add a tooth
  • Weak Character- add one
  • Ride above 20mph average- take away one
  • Flat Terrain- leave it alone
  • Moderate Terrain- add one
  • Demanding Terrain- add two
  • Running 27" wheels- add one
  • Running 650c or 26" wheels-take away one

Got your own add one, take away one criteria? Hit me with your comments.

In celebration of Earth Day, I am writing a 3 part guide on how to save an unused bicycle and convert it into a Fixed Gear that someone will ride.

  1. Find a suitable donor bike, dust is good, rust is bad. Make sure the rear of the bike frame will allow you to reposition the rear wheel forward and back, this frame feature is called horizontal dropouts, check the wheels, they should be generally straight and true with no rim dents and have a freewheel(5-8 speed), not a cassette.
  2. Clean the bike, not a super clean detailing but enough to get 80% of the grime off.
  3. Remove the chain.
  4. Cut gear cables, remove derailleurs and shifters.
  5. Remove wheels then disconnect brake cables and remove brake calipers.
  6. Remove all accessories(seat bags, bar bag, bottle cages, reflectors, kick stands, lights, computers, etc.)
  7. Remove pedals by putting a 15mm wrench on them and spinning cranks forward, then remove the cranks. (special instruction: If you want to do this without bike shop help you need to know your mechanical limits and the limits of your tools. DON'T TAKE APART ANYTHING YOU DON'T HAVE THE TOOLS TO REASSEMBLE.
  8. Select the parts you want to/need to re-use. I recommend those with wanting to recycle the maximum to REUSE ALL PARTS in good condition. Recommendations include recycling the wheels, cranks, chainring, pedals, seat, post, headset, handlebar, stem, front brake caliper and lever.
  9. Note the fit and size of the seat post. Older 80's steel bikes trend around 26.8 but have a high variability compared with the more common 27.2 size for new steel bikes. Make sure the fit is appropriate and that the previous owner did not replace the post with one too small and then overtighten binder bolt.
  10. Remove freewheel from the rear wheel and pie plate spoke protector.
  11. Clean the frame and fork again, now you can reach all the difficult areas and go about removing offensive stickers from the previous owner.
  12. Rinse and Repeat

Here are some pics of a small 50cm Raleigh Technium Tri-Lite. This will make my 4th or 5th Technium conversion. I usually don't do before and after pictures, but here you go. The remaining steps on conversion of classic bike into your own fixed gear will follow in upcoming post.



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Friday, April 17, 2009

Transparent Red is the new white.

I love how the ways color trends seem to wander around bikes. Black and getting your bike completely black was fun. Then, it was white and the ghost bike was born. Then bold colors that were opaque hit. Now it seems transparents and candies will again rule the earth. Here is the latest XL frame to come from 1Off . If you are interesting in building a bike with your own vision, hit me up I am only available one bike at a time, but that one bike might be yours.


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