Monday, February 11, 2008

The ugliest hipster bike; rattle-can stolen

This is the ugliest hipster bicycle I have ever seen posted on the Internet. I don’t remember where I found it but the photo is called criticalmasstheultimateweapon. I have actually lobbied in the City of Santa Cruz to make this bike illegal! That’s right ILLEGAL!. If you were found in possession of a bike that looked like this the bike would be seized for destruction and owner jailed. I am not kidding here. I work for the police department and run a web site that is a clearinghouse for bike stolen in the county. The most common form of bike thievery is when someone steals a bike and paints it haphazardly in order to disguise it true identity. About 80% of the homeless and criminals in Santa Cruz are riding on bicycles that either have had the brand decals scrapped off in an obvious attempt to disguise the bike, or the bike has been haphazardly painted (over the bearing and seals and spokes) for the same reason.

Due to the above I presented to the City Council a proposed law, the would first, make it illegal to possess a bicycle, where someone has specifically scrapped of the identifying marking on a bicycle, with the obvious intent to obscure the make. The law would also outlaw the haphazard painting of a bicycle for the same reasons; bikes where someone had shown due care, such as masking off the headset, bottom brackets, seatpost, stem, cranks or wheels would be excepted.

Now look at this bike. The owner has painted over the seat tube and seat clamp! Further, it appears he painted over the bottom bracket, he painted over the headset (upper and lower), and there appears to be over spray on the stem! This bike should be illegal to own! Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t risk arrest because you have no concept on how to repaint a bike to improve the aesthetics. This guy is hiding something. I don’t know what it is. I am trying to resist accusing this guy of trying to cover up the fact that he might have met Pedro on the levy and bought the bike for $20. Regardless. Everyone has a roll of masking tape in their junk drawer. If you must rattle can your bike. Mask it! Don’t paint over the seat post clamp, you may have to adjust it some day. Don’t spray paint over the bottom bracket and headset bearings. You need to do periodic maintenance on the bearings. But finally take some pride in your bike. A hipster bike is supposed to look, well hip; not rattle-can stolen.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Soma Bike is Done!

Frame: Soma Rush (55cm); Fork: Threaded Tange steel; Headset: Tange Levin engraved; Bottom Bracket: Shimano Dura Ace (NJS) cups/bearings, Campagnolo spindle; Crank: Shimano Track (NJS); Pedals: MKS (NJS); Toeclips: Soma; Straps: Toshi; Handlebars: Nitto (NJS); Stem: Nitto (NJS); Rims: Tubular Araya (NJS); Spokes/Nipples: DT 15g; Hubs: Suzue Pro Max (NJS)Tires: Vittoria CX; Wheels: 3 cross front/ 4 cross rear; Cogs:18T (Soma), 16T (Shimano)(NJS); Seat post: Soma; Seat: Brooks; Brake caliper: Tektro; Brake lever: Soma.

The bike is sleek, smooth and white. If using a NJS part made sense I used it, otherwise I went with Soma or Tange. I have a few more NJS parts but I perferred the bike this way. The saddle is a wonder. My best friend and riding buddy handed over this beautiful Brooks B17 Sprinter. For those of you that don't know, the Sprinter was the defacto saddle for track racers in the 50's. The saddle was introduced in the 1925 and was produced for 30 years. Brooks is now making a collectors version of the saddle with a Ti frame. It's a very cool saddle.

Is a bike really ever done? This post is over 4 months old and I'm still tweaking it. If you remember back @ I said a $160 seatpost was over the top; and I still agree. However, what if you can get the $160 seatpost for say $60? and here it is! A Nitto SP72; considered by many the nicest seatpost ever made. Unless you are holding this seatpost in your hand, you can't imagine how nice it really is. The minor marks you see is the result of the seat post being inserted into a seat tube a couple of times. I bought it used from Japan for $67.20 shipped.