Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Mary Winkler Bike

On March 22, 2006 Mary Winkler shot her preacher husband with a shotgun while he lay sleeping. The reason she said was he made her dress up in slutty clothes for undesirable sex acts. The following bike is the functional equivalent of Mary Winkler.

Hi There,
This is my 30 year old Trek sport/touring frame that I finally fixed. I tried converting it to a single-speed with a tensioner kit a year ago, but that was horrible. Finally bit the bullet and fixed it proper. Now it's rock-steady fabulous!
The frame is one of Trek's early efforts - a double-butted 25.5in Reynolds 531 from 1977 or '78, with a 531 replacement fork that I got after I bent the original T-boning a dog that ran in front of me. Didn't hurt the dog at all. This frame was too tall for me when I bought it, but tall was normal back then. Stretch to fit, you disco punk!

Hey Baby, I know you're not NOS and after 30 years you’re more like yesterdays news. But in your day you were one hot mama; 531 and Campy, man I couldn’t keep my hands off you. But I’ve been thinking, you know that single speed thing we tried a while ago? Ya, I know you felt cheap and all, but this is different. It’s all about feelings and getting back to basics; back to what we were when we started.

I gave it a lousy sand-down and spray-can touch-up paint job because I wanted to keep the original decals. The tubes look fatter in these flash photos, but they're all about 1&1/8in and very spidery with nice lugs. It actually looks pretty sexy in the daylight.
It's ridiculously tall (we're talkin' near-zero standover clearance for my 6ft+ bod) with a long wheelbase and 23.5in (57.7cm) top tube. I still have a crappy 27in front wheel on it so I can use my Ultegra 600 brake. Some day I'll build a matching front wheel if I can find a 700c fork with a long enough 1in steerer. Or maybe I'll just get a long-reach brake.

Okay, so maybe we weren’t the perfect fit when we started. You were always head and shoulders above me and my big ideas just didn’t measure up. But I told you I’d make it work, I’d change the parts that didn’t fit. But now I’m asking you to freshen up a little. I’m thinking black stockings, it will give you that "spidery" look. You know I don’t want to change what that beautiful frame says about you, but something that going to hide the cellulite and look sexy in the daylight. No, No, you don't look fat. That's just the camera; you know it adds a 1/2 inch of tube diameter.

Parts include my original Campy Strada triple crank with a 42 Stronglight chainring, Soma 15 1/8 cog filed down to fit a 3/32 chain. Ritchey MTB pedals. Mavic Open Sport rim w/Nashbar flip-flop fixed 32 spoke hub (huge thanks to Peter @ Performance in Cary for the refresher course in wheel building!). Front wheel is aforementioned Genuine POS 27incher with custom black and green paint job to cover up rust and oxidation. Campy headset, SR stem and Sakae Custom Road Champion bar. Ultegra 600 front brake. Ugly but solid-alloy generic seatpost with my well-worn Selle San Marco blue USPS saddle. Nice and cheap Hutchinson Excel kevlar rear tire. Nearly dead generic 27in front tire will hopefully last until I build the new wheel.

Look at this baby; Nashbar! Yeah the real thing! Laced to Mavic Open Sport! Almost a really good rim. And you know that rust under your front spokes? Green polish baby! Oh Yeah! Oh you know what turns me on. You know how I like it. Don’t worry about all those old parts, its patina baby, it’s what sells. Like that fat ring I got you that didn't fit with your other ring and chain, I just filed it down to make it fit; I'm so darned good with my hands. I’m ready to ride you all the way.

I finished it in time for day-1 of the MS-150 ride on Sep 9, where I rode it for the first 15 miles before switching to my geared bike. I wish I'd ridden it the whole 100 miles, it was so fun. But this is my first fix and I didn't want to be a menace to the pace line. No worries, it feels wonderfully solid and precise, though a little noodley in the front end, probably because of the crappy front wheel. And I'm sprinting and climbing with old narrow bars, dragging along my 200lbs of old wide geezer flesh.

Oh baby that was the best. Sorry I didn’t last as long as you would have liked but I'm not the man I used to be and face it, no matter how I dress you up, you're still my same old girl. And Gearie, oh you know she means nothing to me. The only reason I spend any time with here is because she’s easy. You’re my first love and you’ve done so much to try and keep the magic alive. It’s you and me baby, forever.

Note to self: unload shotgun in closet tomorrow.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

The NJS starts

Yes, I decided to go for it. More than the Hipster draw, which is very strong by the way, it's the Retro-grouch part me that wants one. Most, if not all the bike will come from the internet/ebay. First we start @ Rider Paradise an ebay case store in Japan; I will be getting most the parts from here.

NEW NITTO PEARL Stem 25.4mm clamp 100mm NJS TRACK
NITTO TRACK BAR B125 Steel 25.4 clamp 400mm NJS B-125

The choices here were based on use; I'm actually going to ride this thing, probably do a Century on it. Very few folks can maintain the classic kerin drop for very long. The Nitto 123 bar drops 180mm and the 58deg stem gonna take it down another 2 inches. The Nitto 125 bar combined with the Pearl 71 deg stem is going to raise the bar 5 inches!! Oh yah.

Now, how about some wheels. First I got one of the best wheel men in the business. Combine that with Japan's traditional cheap spokes and nipples; this is one place I'm not going all NJS
World Class Cycles

Suzue deluxe pro max high flange 36 loose ball bearings no lockring 36 NJS

Traditional high flange loose ball hubs. I've got a set of the Campy loose ball hubs on my fixie and they are tits; but they require some attention. I'm going to be using a lot of Shimano Dura Ace track parts so I decided to go with the Suzues. The company closed it's doors in 2006 but they had a lot of stock. That stock is just now starting to dry up with these 36h Pro Max and the price is up to $275 a pair most places (one place has then @ $199).

NEW ARAYA Tubular rim 16B Gold NJS 36H 335g Keirin

Again from Rider Paradise. Here I had to make the jump to tubulars. I consdiered some Araya clicnchers I found on ebay; they were the old 20A hard anodized variety, but the history of bike racing was made on tubulars, and this was to be a retro-bike, so I decided to go for it. However this is where the NJS stamp stopped. DT Swiss spokes and nipples. These are them; very shiny indeed.
Viittoria Corsa tires, the best made.

Pedals, we are going to need pedals and clips; back to Rider Paradise

NEW MKS Alpha Sport toe straps NJS keirin track Black

MKS toe clips are as good as I have ever seen (of course I had to buy them somewhere else but that's beside the point), but $45 for straps! Damn. Okay, they run about the same as Campy, but the Campy's aren't made any more. The Ale's are only $14 for christ sakes.

Now how about a crank. Checked ebay and found a NOS Suntour Suberbe 165mm Track NJS Crank; but just the right crank. It was so beautiful that I bought it. Now I need a left crank arm. This may be a year long quest, but most 165mm left cranks should work. There is the issue of ISO vs JIS. Most track components are ISO and most Japanese/American parts are JIS. The difference in the square taper is minimal, especially if it's new. I find NOS Dura Ace 165mm left arm for $24. When it arrived it I found it sat about 2 mm deeper on an ISO square taper axle than the Suntour crank; it should work fine.

Now how am I going to pay for all this stuff. Well, the Suzue hubs went on the credit card, but most the other parts are Paypal. I have dug through a lot of my parts bin and have been auctioning them off on ebay. So far the other stuff net cost has been about $100.

Just sold a bunch of stuff so it's time to go Rider Paradise again.

Currently I am riding with a 48:18 gear ratio. I expect that once I play around on the track I am going to want to increase the ratio but I still want to ride on the street. The Dura Ace Track cogs are pretty cheap @ $15@, but they only go up to 16T. I decided to start with a 46 tooth CR and 16T cog; I can drop down to 13T or anywhere in between later.


FTF (further to Follow)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The 33 hole rim

I saw this on ebay today and it took me about a minute to get it:

Campagnolo 700C Clincher Rims USED

Campagnolo 700C
Clincher Rims

Label: Moskva 80

Question & Answer :

Q:How many holes are these rims drilled for
A:There are 33 holes

Q:How many holes?
A:There are 33 holes

Have you got it yet??

This will go down as a classic!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

NJS -The Vanity Hipster

Japan Report: Fixed Gear Bicycles I'm starting this Blog off with a very well written article on "Bike Messenger Culture". Included is the following:

"Companies like Kalavinka, Nitto and Suzue, that produce relatively low-tech bicycle parts in today's high-tech bicycle world must realize that something's up because their products are selling out when normally they wouldn't be. The fact that these brands are enjoying success is definitely because of this latest trend sweeping Japan, but also because they hold the official NJS certification meaning that their bike parts are good to go on the Japanese Keirin circuit.

This NJS acronym has also enjoyed a newfound surge in popularity as they seem to be the gold standard for fixed gear riders; if it's good enough for Keirin riders, it's good enough for me, plus it's rare. You won't find a single NJS piece on Lance Armstrong's bike, or even keirin world champion Theo Bos's bike, but you will find it on every major street corner in Japan (as well as in SF and NYC), usually hooked up to a Kalavinka frame (also NJS and apparently one of the more popular frames), or on a Keirin track in Japan."

From my previous Blog "Why Single Speed #1":

In Japan they know how to be fanatics. They make rituals and religions about almost everything. There they have track bike racing called Keirin. It’s kind of a cross between horse racing and sumo wrestling. Check it out Every single part of the bike, every component, frame, wheels, spokes, chain, everything has to be approved with N.J.S. (Nihon Jitensha Shinkokai), the Japanese Bicycling Association, stamp of approval. The standard is almost the same as the Campagnolo ISO Track parts standard. There is another standard used by Shimano called JIS (Japanese Industrial standard). This standard has minor differences from ISO in the square taper interface between bottom brackets and cranks, and the frames have different size headtubes and fork races. This is different from the English/US Standard of ISO that Shimano builds for biikes here in the US. One of the primary reasons for NJS is so all the parts will fit together without concern for any discrepancies between standards. What a concept. Unfortunately it falls too short of this, but it does maintain a large margin of safety.

But NJS is so close. Imagine the holy grail of standards, where if the component has the standard stamp of approval, then interchangeability is assured. One seatpost size; 27.2 mm. Its the universal standard, why do you need 26.8 and 27. Seat rail distance, the universal standard is 44 mm and Keirin is 30mm, but NJS allows for both; choose one! But the worse is Shimano Octalink. It seems that Shimano no longer makes square taper DuraAce track cranks, they only come in Octalink; so now Octalink is NJS approved. Never mind that almost no Keirin will use Octalink, it just shows that even NJS has it's price. Still imagine NJS without these discrepancies(from Sheldon Brown).

1" x 24 tpi headset thread with loose ball bearings
1" (25.4 mm) handlebar/stem clamp diameter
1.375" x 24 tpi bottom bracket thread (left-hand on the fixed cup)
56 TPI spoke thread
1 mm axle thread
36 spoke loose ball bearing hubs
ISO square taper axles and cranks
144mm 1/8" chain rings
1/8" chains
1/8" cogs
9/16" pedal axle diameter
Loose ball bearing track pedals with toe clips
(27.7mm seatpost with 44mm seat rails)
(steel frame and fork).

Parenthetical added by me. There is of course alot more to NJS than interchangeability, but none the less it would be awful nice

From a couple of postings from fixedgeargallery; these were random photos taken in Tokoyo.

The next two are classic Vanity NJS bikes.

The Riddle Bike??

Quick rundown for the gear enthusiasts: 59cm c-c Jonny Cycles frame fork with a mix of Dedaccai OS steel tubing, Kalavinka lugs, fork crown and BB shell, and Jonny's signature track dropouts; Chris King 1" threaded headset, anodized Nitto Pearl stem (110mm) and Jaguar seatpost; Syntace Stratos 200 TT bars, Kashimax 5 Gold 4P Keirin saddle; Sugino 75 cranks (170mm) and 52t chainring; EAI 14t cog for the fixed/fixed rear hub (12t? or 16t? for the other side); MKS Custom Nuevo Pedals with Cinelli Toe Clips and Toshi Double toe straps; Izumi Model V chain; Blood Red 36h Phil Wood High-Flange track hubs laced to 700c Velocity Deep V's, rolling on 700c/23 Continental GP4000 clinchers; to top it all off the very elusive Green Tressostar cloth tape...

and the Jesse's Nagasawa

Nagasawa 56 cm all NJS except Velocitys, Campy BB spindle Phils and saddle. Seat post was signed by the Keirin rider. (Oooo!)

But this is what I want; an NJS Vanity is my next bike.