Saturday, December 6, 2014

New Tires and Cupcakes

Sparked by some black Friday madness, I've been on a tire buying binge lately. A place in Indianapolis had 25% off and free shipping, so I loaded up my order with tires. Starting at the front, I picked up a 26" Dirt Wizard, because... I'm not sure why, but I put it on the front of the ERB:

No ride report yet, since it's been raining pretty much non stop for the last 24 hours, but I'm always happy for a chance to use my swanky Bontrager scandium wheels.

I also picked up a fix--hopefully--for the ERB's perpetually slipping seat post:

The Surly Constrictor clamp in a 31.8mm clamp size has held on well for my short test ride, which is better than my previous 32.0mm clamp could do. With a big, 6mm bolt for clamping, it darn well better hold tight. The Surly clamp slipped on pretty easily, reinforcing my conclusion that ERB's stated 32.0mm spec for the seat post clamp is out of whack.

My Razzo got a fancy new Maxxis Ikon for the rear:

It measures about 2.25 vs. it's claimed size of 2.35, which isn't nearly as off as the other tires I bought:

The tire on the left is a new Vittoria Randonnuer 37mm, which I'd hoped to replace the 55mm Big Bens on my Camargue with. Alas, the Vittoria actually only measured out to 32mm on my rather beefy Sun CR18 rim. That's not the cush I was hoping for, so I've contacted to see if they will let me return these.

Lastly, a poster on raves about a Gravity 29+ tire on Amazon for only $40, so I went ahead and ordered one. My hope was that it would be undersized relative to the Knard, allowing me to look for a "normal" 29er with great tire clearance that I could squeeze it into. Unfortunately, it measured out pretty close to the Knard:

The Gravity tire (on the left above and on the right below, sorry), measured on a Blunt 35mm rim, measured out to:

71.6mm at the knobs and 68.5mm at the casing (freshly mounted with a tube).

The Knard, by comparison, is:

77.6mm at the outermost knob and 71.5mm at the casing (mounted tubeless for several weeks)

The Gravity tires also looks to be ~5mm taller. 

Now I'm faced with a situation where I have three 29+ tires, and only one piece of hardware that fits them (my Fargo fork). The only reasonable direction here is to start looking (again) at a custom Chinese titanium 29+ frame. I may actually do it this time, I've been spending a few happy hours on BikeCAD drinking beer and creating my frame model:

Tall headtube, short stays, quick steering... it all looks pretty good so far. About $800 delivered to my door, which is about what a Karate Monkey costs these days.


Last trash day, Henry found me standing by a bike in our neighbor's trash pile across the street. It didn't take much convincing for me to roll it home:

Flat tires, non working brakes, broken saddle, missing a grip... but with a little help from my parts bin and some elbow grease, it cleaned up pretty well:

With the saddle slammed down, Henry can actually ride it, but we'll probably donate it to the Columbus bike co-op. Henry is pretty excited about it being someone's Christmas present, and I've been looking for a reason to visit the co-op.


The kids get a library day at school once a week, and lately Sam has been bringing home... cookbooks. After he brought home one cookbook for the third time, he finally pointed out that he wanted to make some brownie cupcakes that were in there. The "recipe" was:

- make a brownie mix according to the instructions
- pour it into small cupcake tins
- add a Hershey kiss on top

Well, we can handle that level of baking:

Maybe we'll deliver some to the neighbors on our new bike.

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