Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Song

Here's our opener, from the Lost Lake show, on Sunday...

Hope you like it. (Watch fro the dropped drumstick, at the end!)


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Finally Got The Ti Fatbike Dirty

I went up to Brad's family cabin with him, this weekend, for the annual cabin party/campout/get out of town and into the mountains trip. Yesterday, we took a little jaunt up the Webster's Pass road.

As usual, I forgot to take my camera. I even left my phone in the truck (no cell service in the valley). Brad took some shots, along the way. If he sends them to me, I will post them up.

In the meantime, here are some glamor shots of the mud I picked up on the way back down the hill.

It was nice to get offroad, even on a sustained climb, pushing the humungous tires. I really wanted to get a lot of mountain biking in, this summer, but it just hasn't happened.


Thursday, August 07, 2014


I'm certainly glad that his had moved on by, by the time I left work on the motorbike, today...

Also glad that I resisted the urge to leave early. Torrential rain, and 50 mph winds gave way to 75 dergrees, sunny and calm, by the time I headed out.


Sunday, August 03, 2014

Found A Stem For The Miyata

I rode the Miyata to the coffee shop, and back, today. As I had feared, the reach to the bars was just long enough and low enough to be slightly uncomfortable. No problem, really, on that 5 mile round trip, but nothing I'd want to ride for any distance.

So, I figured that I would probably have to buy a stem. The bar clamp area on this mustache is 26.0mm, and I figured that non of the mountain bike stems I had would work, since mountain bike bar clamps are 25.4mm.

Then, I thought about the original stem from my '86 Bridgestone MB-1, and I seemed to recall that there was something odd about it. I dug it out, and test-fit the bar to it. Sure enough, what was odd about that stem was the 26.0mm clamp.

This brings the mustache bar back and up, to my preferred position. The bike is definitely a keeper, now.

I'll eventually overhaul it, and install a nicer headset and, perhaps, a cartridge bottom bracket. At that point, I'll ditch the reflector hangers.

So far, I have invested a grand total of $75.00 into the bike, if you don't count the value of my parts-bin parts, like the saddle and wheels. Add everything up, and it's about a $300 build, probably. Not too shabby for a Japanese lugged steel frame. Try to buy a comparable, new frameset for that.

Pleased as punch...


Saturday, August 02, 2014

Did A Bit O' Bike Work, Yesterday

I had the day off from work, yesterday, so I decided to get some bike work out of the way. I have a bunch of projects in the works, a couple of which were near-complete. So, I thought I'd finish them up, while I waited for Brad to come over and work on yet another bike.

First up:  The Miyata 310.  I had decided to keep this bike, since I haven't had an actual road bike, for the past few years. While the Funk bike is as much of a road bike as I'll ever need, I missed the aesthetics of an old-school roadie. The lugged steel Miyata, particularly with the stock paint, really is a good-looking bike, to me, and I figure I might as well keep it around, to satisfy that need.

But, I don't want a bike to be just a display piece, so I modified it, just a bit, to make it more rideable for me.

First, the drop bars had to go. I prefer the mustache-style bars on pretty much every bike I ride. I installed some new hoods onto the brake levers, and wrapped the bars with new yellow tape. The stem is just a tad long, but I can live with it until another one comes along. I am keeping this build as low-buck, as possible, so I don't want to order in a new stem just for this bike.

Secondly, I converted the bike to 700c wheels, and installed a wider range, 7-speed cassette to give my tired old legs a bit of break, on the hills. The 35c slick tires seem like racing tires, to me, compared to the tires on all of my other bikes!

Finally, a leather saddle and some platform pedals completed the bike. I had planned on installing bar-end shifters, but I don't have the necessary bolt-on cable stop lying about, at this point. When I find one, I might install the shifters. Or, if I find that the downtube shifters suit me, on this bike, I'll just leave them. They are pretty cool shifters, and I sort of want to leave them on, just for looks.

And so, the complete bike, ready to ride. I love the looks of it, and I plan to ride it a bit, today or tomorrow, to check out the fit on more than an around-the-block test ride.

The other bike which got completed, yesterday, was the 29er singlespeed conversion. I decided that, since I have the 29er wheels to slot into the fat bike, when I want, that the old Bikes Direct Motobecane was redundant. I haven't had a 29er singlespeed since I sold the Raleigh XXIX, a couple of years ago, and I've missed it.

Plus, I had this handlebar sitting around, and needed something on which to use it. It is the Surly Open Bar, which is the same bar I have on the fat bike. I love the width, and the bend on the big bike, and it just seemed like it would be appropriate for a singlespeed.

I actually had a set of dedicated one-speed wheels sitting around, so that was an added incentive to do the conversion.

The seat and seatpost were already on the bike, and the Deore crank was on the Funk, until I swapped the XT triple back to it, from this bike. I had been running the Deore as a double, on the Funk, so it was a simple job to just remove the big ring, replace the chainring bolts, and turn it into a single-ring crank.

I utilized this rigid steel fork, which was once on one of my commuter bikes. It is lively enough to absorb quite a bit of chatter and small bumps, and it's fairly light (at least, in comparison to the suspension fork it replaced). I like the Pacenti crown lug, a lot, too. The lug is actually why I bought this fork, in the first place.

The suspension fork is in the shop building, with a fork crown race which matches the headset on the fat bike. If I decide to run a suspension 29er, I only have to swap the fork out, on the fat bike, and slot in the appropriate wheels.

I rode this one to the coffee shop, this morning. I have it geared a little too high, so i will swap out to a larger cog, on the rear. It's fine around town, but I want to actually do some mountain biking with it on trails such as the Greenland Open Space trail, or Parmalee Gulch (on top of Mt. Falcon), and the 38/18 gear is just too high for me to climb even the relatively easy hills on those trails.

That's the problem with singlespeeding, in Colorado, for me. I am not one of those monstrously fit riders who can push a 65-inch gear up an 25-degree incline for 2 miles, so that I can then ride 20 mph on the flats. I have to gear a bike low enough for the climbs, and then just poke along, spinning my legs off, on the flats. But, I still enjoy it.

Completing these two bikes brings my count down to 3 major projects (not counting such minor things as swapping out brake levers on the fat bike). Hopefully, I can get a couple of those done and get some return on them, since a couple of them are builds I plan to sell, once they are complete.

In the meantime, I think I'll get out and ride, today, after I mow my jungle of a back yard!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Why Is This So Amusing, To Me?

Go here.

You're welcome.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bikes, Bikes, Bikes!

Today, I decided to get some bike projects done. I started the day with 7 unfinished projects, and ended with five. I would have liked to get another one, or two, done. But, two is better than none, I suppose.

 First, I built up my 1985 Schwinn Sierra as a townie/commuter bike for a gal who works at CDOT.

 I had built this as a 650b conversion fixed-gear, but I wasn't riding it. So, when Nicole asked about building up a bike for getting around town, I suggested the Sierra. She liked the look of it, and gave me a list of features that she was looking for, including fat, semi-slick tires. (I might have influenced that choice of rubber, a little bit.)

 One of the things she didn't necessarily want was a triple crank, so I installed a 38/50 crankset. Oddly enough, the Sierra was originally spec'd with a double (the High Sierra had a triple crank), and was sold as a city bike. Circle of life...

I'll take it to work with me, tomorrow, and make sure it suits.

 Once the Sierra was complete, I moved on to this little number. This is a late-80s Specialized RockHopper that I had converted to 700c, a few years ago. It ended up donating its parts to another build, and languished on the back porch for quite a while.

I decided to build it up as a 26" wheel, fixed-gear mountain bike. Some of the parts are left over from the RockCombo, the frameset of which I sold, last year. Some were just sitting around the shop, looking to be used.

The rear wheel is set up as a flip/flop, so that I can freewheel, if need be. I have another set of wheels, in the shop, shod with studded tires. Icy days should be no problem, this winter...

 This On-One Mungo handlebar has been in the quiver for quite a while. I think this might be the 5th or 6th bike I've had it on. I just got those red pedals from the Returns/Clearance table down at Performance, yesterday.

Nothing looks quite as purposeful as a single-speed bike; Especially one with 2.2-inch tires!