Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Religious Conversion


That's 700C to 650B for all y'all. I recently bought a used Salsa La Cruz specifically with this project in mind. With disc brakes and a high-ish (68mm drop) bottom bracket, it looks like the perfect bike to do a quick and easy conversion on. Inspired by this, http://www.bikeman.com/bikeman-blogs/650blog/1888-salsa-la-cruz-650b-conversion I knew I was good to go.

I found a used Velocity Blunt wheelset on Craigslist, and was able to get a pair of Vee Rubber Speedsters (I know, hard to make out the name on them) from my friend Mike. So far the entire investment is under $1000 which is where I wanted to be in this experiment.

You can see the comparison between the two wheelsets below. The 700C is about 10mm taller at the top. Five mm at the axle. Imperceptible ride height difference.

Salsa La Cruz 650B Conversion

But what a difference in ride quality! Riding off-road with the 700X31C stock tires was miserable on this bike. I don't know if it was the tire or an extremely rigid fork, but my hands and arms would ache after riding. Really disappointed about that. I might play around with some different 700C tires and see if it can be improved. Probably some SOMA C Lines in the future.

The Vee Rubber Speedsters measure 47mm, and are slower on the road, but excel in the dirt. Especially on hardpack fire road type riding that I do a lot of here in Inland Southern California. They're not so great on singletrack, but everything in life is a compromise! The hand pain I mentioned above is eliminated. The bike just flies over irregularities in the trail now.

There is a weight penalty with the 650B wheels though.  About 225grams/8oz. per wheel. That's with disc and skewers installed. The 700C does have a lighter disc. Hubs are both XT M756, 32 butted spokes, Velocity Blunt 650B and Salsa Delgado 29er rims.

I'm going to raise the bars and bring them closer, as a stretched out road position doesn't work so well in the dirt. Other than that and maybe eventually putting some knobbier tires on, this bike is a dream to ride in the dirt!

One final look:

Salsa La Cruz 650B Conversion

Monday, November 4, 2013

Travelling with friends

Travelling with friends by cyclotourist

Travelling with friends, a photo by cyclotourist on Flickr.
Just noticed that these are the stills used in this great video:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coffee Outside

Coffee Outside by rperks1
Coffee Outside, a photo by rperks1 on Flickr.

The perfect outing!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Resist Nomads - 300 miles in

Untitled by cyclotourist
Untitled, a photo by cyclotourist on Flickr.
I reported to the internet earlier on these, and stand by my very positive initial impression. These are some great tires. Actually fantastic tires when you consider the street price they go for. If your bike can fit them, go for it! The float over sand, hook up for climbing, are incredibly supple for bump absorption without slowing you down. All good!

Well, yes, almost all good I suppose. The only downsides are potential clearance issues (they are 41mm wide on 23mm rims), excessive squishiness at low pressure, and something I never experienced before, produce increased wheel flop.

The first two negatives are pretty obvious, but the third was unexpected. It wasn't awful, just a lack of stability from the extra mass or circumference (or both!). This caused some slight handling issues that I didn't really like the feeling of. I didn't have this problem with the Ritchey Zeds of the same size, so don't know why it was pronounced with these tires. Maybe because the knobbies on the Zeds change the feel so much that wheel flop isn't even noticed?

Anyway, these are great tires, go out and buy some!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ramble On!

Looking for a new bike? You could do worse than this one! Seriously, it's a damn fine bike, made in the States, designed by good people (Rob). Something to consider at least!


Why A Rambler

The Rambler is a true Cyclotouring bike, steeped in traditional French design, but brought forward to work with modern components and fittings.  It is the kind of bike that once dominated the market, but went away as racing came to the forefront.
7.25 blue GP WP-1140094
As we, the cycling tribe, move back to a cycling style that is more practical, able to function as transportation, take the load off our back, yet handle well and with a lively ride, the Rambler is there to fill that need.
The larger market is slower to move, has longer design cycles due to their economic scale, and may have generally different motivations.  I decided it was time to take my dream bike, and bring it to the market as a fully developed product and the Rambler was born.  In many ways it is unique in the market, the only production bike of its kind.  All of the details are there to build out a functional sport bicycle, that also serves as practical every day transportation.
Rambler Specs:
  •  TIG welded, double butted CroMo tubes, custom matched to the frame size for optimized performance.
  • Room for 42mm tires and fenders on all bicycle sizes
  • Designed with the provision for Paul Racer brakes, mounted with braze-on bosses.  These provide unparalleled power and modulation in a rim brake.
  • Paul Racer brakes are included in the frame set package.
  • Double eyelets for rack and fender mounts at the front and rear dropouts.
  • The fork has an investment cast crown with cast and machined rack mounting bosses, with provisions for small upper and low rider racks, & fenders.
  • Lighting wire guides on the right fork leg. Reinforced entry and exit ports for internal routing of lighting wires, from front to rear of the frame.
  • Columbine Quickchainger braze-on, for easy rear wheel changes without having to touch the chain.
  • Braze-on fender mounting points placed so installation is simple and results in even fender line.
  • 130mm rear spacing to work with modern road bike components.
  • Color options: American Blue , Orange Soda and Sunflower Yellow
Partnering with an US engineering and fabrication team, the Rambler delivers on all levels of build accuracy, quality, hand-built craftsmanship, as well as looks and performance.  Unique in the marketplace, it serves as the backbone for the custom-built bike you have been dreaming of.
7.25 Y Rambler2 WP-1100711Ocean Air Cycles is the embodiment of my passion for cycling in a form that shares what I know to be a better alternative with you.  It is my work, and my dream, to apply my skills as an engineer and an entrepreneur to deliver a bicycle that can change the way people see local transportation and recreation.  Using the Rambler as a tool for travel, transport, running errands, getting to work, etc.  Getting out and around under your own power will transform you, your family, and community.  Having the best tools available will make the transformation more lasting.  Adding to the function is color, function with flair, because color choices make thing more fun
7.18 email -1140196
Our first large production run of Ramblers is currently in the powder coating phase.  They will be going final QC and prep over the next two weeks, then distribution begins.  I need your help, spreading the word, or better yet buying a Rambler of your own.  You can start with a frame set and build up your own, or we can facilitate custom builds for your ready to roll custom dream bike.  You can click-through any of the Rambler links or photos in this post to place your deposit today, reserving you place in this batch.  The next run will not be here until next Spring, and this is your chance to get rolling before Summer passes by.
7.25 blue bch WP-1010362Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, we will make sure you are getting exactly what you want.
We are in this for the long haul, but can not do it without your support, Thank you.  We provide the tools, but you make the wheels go round and round.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sold --> Co-Motion Double Espresso Tandem For Sale <-- Sold

This great tandem has been sold, thanks for looking!!!

Pictures below. The Double Espresso was Co-Motion's beautiful go-fast tandem. And it's best named tandem ever! It has extra marathon style lateral supports to reduce frame flex from a powerful team. The frame is beautifully fillet brazed and has an amazing deep metallic garnet paint. Made in Eugene, Oregon. Like most tandems, it has low miles on it. Probably ridden at most 20 miles per year over the last 10 years, and then prior to that, probably less than 200 miles per year. I will guesstimate it has less than 3,000 miles on it.

Exceptional drivetrain built around Phil Wood and Shimano XTR components. There is no need to change any of the drivetrain components out on this.

Fit was designed to get bars level with a 79cm seat height, although seat is lower than that as pictured.  A long and steep stem was used to accomplish that. Easy to swap out if you want lower/closer bars. Frame geometry is designed to accommodate a wide range of riders and is flexible.

Paint is not flawless, but nicks have been touched up with close match. No dings/dents on any tubes. Wheels are fantastic and very true. Phil Wood hubs and bottom brackets are barely to the point of just breaking in.

Asking $1,250. Basing that on similar era Santanas, but asking more as it's a Co-Mo which was hand fillet brazed and all the Phil Wood drivetrain upgrades on it. Feel free to let me know if that's out of line.

Tandem is located in Inland Southern California, and for the cost of gas, delivery can be arranged anywhere between San Diego, Santa Barbara and Blythe. I can also ship, but don't like the option of it. It would need to be in two OS2 boxes, and will probably be around $200.

Geometry (all approx):
  • Front Top Tube (c-c): 59cm effective
  • Rear Top Tube (c-c): 69.5cm effective
  • Front Seat Tube: 55.5 (c-c)/59 (c-t) (tall extension)
  • Rear Seat Tube: 51 (c-c)/53 (c-t)
  • Wheelbase: 173.5cm
  • Chainstays: 44cm
  • Head Tube: 15.2cm
  • Stoker Stem: 12cm/10deg rise

  • Front Hub - Phil Wood
  • Front Rim - Velocity Dyad, 40h, double butted spokes
  • Rear Hub - Phil Wood Tandem hub (threaded for drag-brake)
  • Rear Rim - Mavic T217, 40h, double butted spokes 
  • Freewheel - Sunrace Seven Speed (13-28)
  • Bottom Brackets - Phil Wood
  • Front (Captain's) Handlebars - Specialized 44cm
  • Rear (Stoker's) Handlebars - 3TTT Form 42cm
  • Front Seatpost - American Classic
  • Rear Seatpost - Suntour XC
  • Brake Levers - Dia Compe 287 (rear) 287-V (front)
  • Front Stem - 12 cm/45 deg (approx), 1-1/8 quill
  • Rear (Stoker) Stem 12 cm/10 deg (approx)
  • Shimano Bar-End Shifters
  • Seats - Avocet M30/W30
  • Front Brake - Shimano XT V-Brake
  • Rear Brake - Shimano LX Cantilever
  •  Front Derailer - Shimano XTR FD M950
  • Rear Derailer - Shimano XTR RD M950
  • Crankset - Specilized (low Q) tandem 175mm/170mm 54/44/32 
  • Tires - Panaracer Pasela Tourguard 32mm (80% tread, sides drying out).
  • Avocet 45tt Computer (works, needs battery)
  • Bullhorn stem (option for stoker)
  • 12cm original flat steel stem (quill is quite rusty)
  • Matching halves of Dia Compe 287/287V Brake Levers (NIB)
  • Suspension Seatpost (option for stoker)
  • Suntour Superbe Brake Levers
Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Co-Motion Double Espresso for sale

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bike for Life

Great sentiment (but someone please break that bell for me)!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Resist Nomads - They Should be Part of Your Future Tire Plans

Resist Nomad

I've had these tires for one week, and have put on approximately 50 miles. And so far I love them. Very plush, low rolling resistance. These are marked as 700X45C and they measure 41mm on Sun CR18 rims. I didn't weigh them, but they're not heavy. They're a touch thinner than 35mm Paselas, so probably won't wear super long. Sidewalls feel a bit delicate as Paselas can be.

Resist Nomad

I immediately had to take them on a mixed surface ride in Ventura. Front pumped up to 30psi, rear 50. Zero flats, total float the whole time! Coming down a paved section, the low pressure slowed me down a bit as they felt "squishy" and shifting weight for corner transitions was a bit unnerving. Have had the same problem with underinflated 33mm Jack Browns.  But that was only five minutes of a seven hour ride, so not a complaint on the tire.


The rest of the ride was typical Southern California fire road, and that's where these tires excelled. No flats as mentioned above, plenty of traction, very comfortable. No drama whatsoever.

wide view of the world

Coming back down the mountain on meandering asphalt felt very fast. I could tuck in and keep up with any of the other riders no problem. These definitely don't slow you down unless you want to be slow!

I saved the best part till last: These retail for less than $25!!! So if your bike can fit these, get out there and purchase a set! I'll report back after some miles have been put on, but I'm expecting good things!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Versatile Bicycle

I bought my Rivendell in 2001. It's officially 12 years old now and going strong. The beauty of the bike design is that it can do so many things. In less than 20 minutes, I transformed it from an fendered & racked utility bike, to a knobbie-tired trail runner.

From this:
Barnes & Noble bike parking leaves
 a lot to be desired

To this:
Mountain Bike!

My bike isn't unique in this ability, but there are a LOT of bikes that are sold that can't do it. Whether their tire clearances limit them to 28mm, or full suspension bruisers, the are purpose built. It's hard to find bikes that can get close to both. A Surly Crosscheck and Black Mountain Cycles MonsterCross are great examples, but they are pretty niche market machines.

So take a peek and see what a well-designed bike can do for you:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclotourist/sets/72157602592825848/with/8587829042/ 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Go check this out right now!

If you know what's good for you, you'll take a few moments to check this out.


Then you'll be hooked and there goes the afternoon!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We've Reached A Turning Point!

Alas, this was forwarded to me & I don't know who to give credit to...

*Nov 20, 2012: Panetta: We are at a turning point after 10 years of war -- over 10 years of war.
*Sep 27, 2012: Panetta: We did turn a very important corner.
*Sep 17, 2012: Panetta: Let me just say a few things. As I've said before, I think we're at a turning point, certainly after 10 years of war,
*June 7, 2012: Panetta: We are, as I said, at a turning point after 10 years of war.
*May 3, 2012: Panetta: 2011 was really a turning point. In 2011 the Taliban was weakened significantly. They couldn’t organize the kind of attacks to regain territory that they had lost, which is something they have done in the past. So they’ve been weakened.
* April 18, 2012: Panetta: As I've said, 2011 was a real turning point. It was the first time in five years that we saw a drop in the number of enemy attacks.
* April 17, 2012: Panetta: NATO at ‘Pivotal Point’ in Afghan Mission
* December 14, 2011: Panetta was less than 34 miles from the Pakistan border when he told U.S. troops they have reached a turning point in the war.
* April 21, 2011: Gates: " I think it’s possible that by the end of this year we will have turned a corner just because of the Taliban being driven out, and, more importantly, kept out."
* March 15, 2011: "FOB DELHI: International troops in Afghanistan face the prospect of a spring offensive by the Taliban every year – but this time the US-led alliance believes it could mark a real turning point in its favour."
* February 20, 2010: “Western officials believe that a turning point has been reached in the war against the Taliban, with a series of breakthroughs suggesting that the insurgents are on the back foot for the first time since their resurgence four years ago.”
* August 31, 2009: “Monday marks the end of August, a month with both good and bad news out of Afghanistan — and the approach of a key turning point.“
* February 6, 2008: “But the ties that bind NATO are fraying badly – and publicly – over just how much each member state wants to commit to turning Afghanistan around. ‘It’s starting to get to a turning point about what is this alliance about,’ says Michael Williams, director of the transatlantic program at the Royal United Services Institute in London.”
* July 23, 2007: “Taken together these may reflect a turning point in how the war in Afghanistan is to be waged.”
* September 12, 2006: “The Afghan front is at a critical turning point that imperils many of the hard-fought successes of the early phase of the conflict and the prospects for snaring bin Laden.”
* September 22, 2005: “Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s foreign minister, called the recent parliamentary elections ‘a major turning point‘ on his country’s path to democracy.”
* January 27, 2004: “A statement from U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad called the enactment of the constitution a ‘turning point for the Afghan nation.’”
* February 26, 2003: “The growing aggressiveness by guerrillas is a relief for US forces, who greet the possibility of a real engagement with the Taliban as a possible turning point in the war. ‘We want them to attack us, so we can engage them and destroy them,’ says one Special Forces soldier from the US firebase at Spin Boldak, who took part in the initial firefight that led to Operation Mongoose.
* December 2, 2002: “But in ‘Bush at War’ there’s a glaring omission. Woodward misses the turning point in the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda forces. It’s as though the most important scene had been left out of a movie, say, where Clark Kent turns into Superman.”

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Best Bike, or Best Bike Ever?

I can't say enough how enamored I am with my wife's Rivendell Glorius. It just gets better the longer we have it. It's been six years since I was able to get it (used) for Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Baby!

Since that time, it has been used for transportation, utility and recreational riding. All the while looking good! It is in fact a screaming pink that neither of us would have chosen, but it's never been a negative. In fact it's girly-ness has really grown us and is fully enjoyed!

Her shirt almost matches the bike!

 The details throughout the frame are absolutely stunning. It's understandable that Rivendell had to pull back from the Baroqueness of it and produce the more moderately detailed yet still lovely Betty Foy.

This last week I was able to complete the final piece in it's build with some Honjo fenders. They're 700C fenders, so took a bit of massaging to get to fit the 650B wheels. Plus the mixte stays are a touch different. In the end, the fenders add so much visually to the bike. It just looks complete and correct now while previously there was just a little something missing. I'm sure they even work well when it rains!

Rivendell Glorius

It came with a real nice build, Rich Lesnik wheels, Nitto and Sugino components, Brooks B67, and Paul Racer brakes that I couldn't find fault with. The only updates other than the fenders was going to a 1X9 drivetrain with a wide-range cassette. I think I changed the stem to a shorter Dirt Drop one, but can't swear to it. The Peterboro basket up front is the only other addition and a highly recommended one to any bike!

The bike is quite a joy to ride. There is something really special in the design. Maybe it's the seating and handlebar combination that works so well. Or the 650B puffy tires that are still lightweight. Plus the step-through frame is amazing to hop on and off. I don't know, but it all just works!

So there you have it... a tribute page to an awesome pink bike! I am always on the lookout for a Wilbury in my size to match this one! It'll happen some day!

Rivendell Glorius (updated photo)