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?

Really, I Could Stop Anytime

So here I am, homeless, sitting in my parent's basement, most of our worldly goods boxed up elsewhere as we squeeze seven people and ten cats into one house... but I don't let that slow my daily Craigslist scanning down. Not me. I've had an itch for another vintagey mountain bike, and ended up getting this for just $50:

It looks to be from '98 or so. Not "vintage" in terms of long chainstays and slack angles, or vintage in terms of pre-suspension, but a nice XC bike from before full suspension took over. By this point, Specialized had moved their Stumpjumpers to all aluminum, so this RH has a pretty nice Ritchey Logic "Nitanium" steel frame. I'm hoping it will ride nicely. I can't really tell, because the rear derailer is twisted and the chain is shot. It will bide its time here in my dad's shop until we can move into our new place.

I'm also kind of looking for a tandem. Good thing the new garage is big.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Henry Meets John Bryan

Henry has been showing a lot more interest in mountain biking this summer, warming my fatherly heart. He's had a bit of experience riding off road in the past, but he's getting old enough and big enough that he's capable of more trail riding.

Of course, me being me, the first order of business was getting his bike in order. I had dreamed of building him up a rigid 26+ bike made around an XS Surly 1x1 frame or something similar, but in the end we just pulled the fenders off his/Jodi's Trek and mounted up some knobbies in place of the slicks:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Bike Update: Jones

Five months in, and I figure it's time for an update on the Jones. I haven't ridden it as much as I would like--moving has kept me busy this spring--but I'm well beyond the happy new bike stage. So what's it like?

Really, really good... but not perfect. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first, shall we?

Billie Bar Review, with bonus Pine Tar Soap review

I placed a Rivendell order the other day to try out a few new products. My main purchase was a new bar for my Fuji. The Billie bar is an evo...