Sunday, September 25, 2016

Raleigh Technium 650b conversion

After my relatively successful third try into the world of 650b road bike conversions, I had to try out my new wheels on my 1986 Raleigh Technium. The Technium, as students of dead end bike technologies are apt tell you, has the three main tubes made of aluminum and bonded into steel lugs, which connect to a steel rear triangle and steel head tube. The hope was to get the lively feel of 531 steel with the light weight of aluminum. I can't speak to the weight--the complete bike has always felt rather hefty--but it is a lovely, flexy bike to ride. How would that match up with fat 650b wheels?

Very nicely, as it turns out:

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fleet Update

My reader(s) have surely been clamoring for an updated overview of my bike fleet, so let's jump right in, shall we?

As always, bikes are posted in descending order of how much I like them at this moment:

1. Surly Karate Monkey (2012, XL):

"Wait," you sputter, "where is THE JONES?"

Not even top three.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

650B, Third Time the Charm?

For a wheel size that has been around for decades, rim makers have struggled to make a decent 650B rim. 650B has many attractions: it may allow you to squeeze fatter tires into a racing or sport frame, and there are some fine tires in that size. But it seems there are issues making a rim that fits easily with 650B tires.

My first attempt at 650B was with my Rawland rSogn. It was a great frame, both lively riding and practical, but both the rims and the tires were mediocre to bad. The Panaracer Col de Vie tires were somewhat sluggish, but the Velocity Synergy rims were downright bad: with a bead well that was too deep, it was almost impossible to get the tire evenly seated and rolling true (by the way, if you have an XL rSogn you want to sell, let me know).

650B try 2 was on my old Trek 620. This time, I had lovely, supple Compass Loup Loup Pass tires, but the rims were even worse. The Pacenti PL23 rims were nearly impossible to get a tire mounted onto. I pinched the front tube five times trying to get the damn tire bead over the rim. This was frustrating enough in my garage, but not something I'll live with on the road.

Is the third time the charm?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My New Workshop

The downside of buying a new house is an additional six years of grinding debt. The upside is my bike workshop has noticeably improved. Our garage has a nice bumpout in the back that makes a great shop area. We had to add some electrical outlets to the garage (it turns out the one outlet that Pulte provided wasn't quite enough), so after repairing and mudding that drywall patch, I painted it blank white and enlisted some help to liven up my shop area even more.

I told the kids they could paint what they liked. They thought for a moment and got to work:

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Down on Jones Street

After a month of moving related activities, I had a free Sunday morning to head out mountain biking. Alas, Saturday night rains soaked the trails, so I hit the road on my Jones early Sunday morning for a library run:

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Just before we moved, I picked up a '98 Rockhopper off CL. It was so:

Not a bad find overall for $50, but there were clearly some issues that needed addressing:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Road Bike Update: New Albion Privateer and Raleigh Technium

I had intended to do a post updating my thoughts on each of my bikes. I got the Jones update done, but now I'm already deviating from that plan by combining two bikes into one post. But, as I rode my New Albion Privateer and Raleigh Technium this spring, I couldn't help comparing and contrasting them:

Living (temporarily) with my parents has many nice features beyond free rent and inter-generational quality time: they live close enough to my work that I can easily bike commute. The (non-drive side!) shots above are from my "long" route to work, just eight or so miles of quiet country roads. Besides commuting time, I'm finding more quality road time than mountain biking time lately. The roads around here are new to me, and better than around Dublin: hillier, for one. And, it takes about 20 extra minutes to drive to any mountain biking trail I usually go to. So I've been pulling out each of these bikes almost in turn for road duties. How do they compare?