Friday, June 15, 2018

Clem Again

Regular reader(s) may recall that I journeyed up to Ann Arbor to buy a Rivendell Clem Smith Jr last summer. That particular bike ride didn't end particularly well--I didn't care for the Clem's bars, hated the tires, found the saddle too painful to ride, and was frustrated by the poor shifting. At the end of a summer of biking and tinkering, I was too fatigued to deal with rebuilding the Clem to my specs, so I shipped it off to the distant land of my birth (Oregon).

I still had a thing for Clem, though. After selling my Stache, my bike fund was again flush. I was half heartedly looking at a Chinese carbon frame (again), but couldn't find the motivation to order anything. But when a Clem frame popped up on ebay, my bidding finger flew into action without hesitation. And that's how I ended up with Clem #2, in a color not as nice as my previous Clem's mustard gold, in paint that is significantly more beat up... but with part picks that are my own.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

City Bike Update

One post in, and my Fuji America has already gotten a pretty major update. A wave of bike changes cascaded down to it:

- I sold my Trek Stache (yes, the one I just bought). 29+ wheels are really just too much for me. Too slow to turn; not agile enough. A fellow down in Dayton is really enjoying it, so it has found a good home.

- That left me with just one mountain bike, my Niner ROS9 B+. That's all well and simple, but I like to have a second mountain bike to give me some variety on the trails I've been riding for 20 years. I rebuilt the KM from a city bike back to what Surly intended, a rigid single speed 29er. One of my favorite bike types.

- I still needed a practical bike for running errands and pulling the kids around. My first thought was to convert my Black Mountain Monstercross over, as I had done in the past.  I took it for one last ride as a fixed gear drop bar road bike:

Sunday, April 15, 2018

New Bike: 1981 Fuji America

Part Two of my good mail day is almost exactly opposite of Part One. Part One, if you look back a post, was my 2016 Trek Stache, a fairly modern mountain bike: formed aluminum frame, tapered head tube holding onto a suspension fork, dropper post, through axles, and plus sized tubeless wheels.

Part Two is nearly as old as I am:

It's a 1981 (I think) Fuji America frameset, non-aero brake levers, Nitto stem, and Grand Bois Hetre 650b tires. Yes, I'm trying yet another 650b conversion, on a bike that came out when I was nine years old.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

New Bike: Trek Stache

In my last post, I showed three bike boxes in my garage. Two of those contained my newest mountain bike, a '16 Trek Stache (one box for frameset, one for the big wheels). I demo'd this bike when it was new, and while I wasn't blown away by it, I was impressed by the great job Trek did in packaging a big rear wheel in a short frame. When I came across this bike on (Boston's) Craiglist for a very reasonable price, I didn't hesitate much.

Since I first demo'd the Stache almost three years ago, my riding has been slowly moving in a more modern direction. On a trail with a lot of downhills (for Ohio...), like Chestnut Ridge, I now prefer my slack ROS 9 B+ over my KM. My hope is the Trek can build on the strengths of the Niner.

My Stache was a custom build with mostly Bontrager components. The original owner had some Trek connections, clearly:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Good Mail Day

City Bike Churn, More Sam

Of all my fleet, the role that probably gets the most turnover is my city bike. This is the bike I ride the most often, if not always the most miles. It's my trailer puller, family rider, grocery getter, and occasional camper. Many times, I end up using a bike that just got bumped from it's main job: an old mountain or cross bike, pressed into civic duty.

My latest city bike was my old Raleigh Technium. With no luck selling it, I invested in some new bars:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sam at the Pinewood Derby

Sam started up Cub Scouts this year, and he's been enjoying the variety of activities they offer. This Saturday was his first Pinewood derby race.

Sam spent one scout meeting and a few evenings getting his car ready, and we arrived bright and early Saturday morning for the weigh in:

We were a bit under weight, so a bit of extra weight and hot melt glue had Sam right at the five ounce limit.

Clem Again

Regular reader(s) may recall that I journeyed up to Ann Arbor to buy a Rivendell Clem Smith Jr last summer. That particular bike ride didn&#...