Friday, July 3, 2009

Vintage Fuji

I worked on a friend's old Fuji touring bike today and couldn't resist grabbing a photo of the vintage headbadge. Too bad most companies have gone to decals.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Can't remember where I found this photo but it sure makes a nice desktop. It reminds me of the Masi catalogue image I posted about this time last year.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer-Weight Motobecane

I removed the brake, bell and bottle cage for a total of 1.8 pounds which is enough to notice. I'm not a gram counter kinda guy but the bike definitely feels livelier. And I enjoy riding brakeless which I did a lot last year on the Apollo. Of course the bike looks much better stripped down too.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I snapped this photo on Hawthorne Street in Portland. Fixed gear bikes are everywhere in that city but this one caught my eye for a couple of reasons and I'm wondering if any of you have any thoughts on...

1. What do you think about track bars on a road bike conversion?

2. Check the stem (looks like maybe a 130mm) and the height of the seat post. Obviously, this frame is a tad small for it's rider but he/she has made it work by stretching the cockpit. Have any of you taller riders had experience with making a smaller frame fit OK?

I keep looking for a lugged steel track bike or frame in my size (61-62) but I don't find many for sale. Anybody have any suggestions? I can't really afford a custom-built frame and besides I prefer the look of an older bike with some battle scars and patina.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1964 Frejus

This beautiful machine belongs to a lucky fellow named Dan and was posted to the Fixed Gear Gallery today. More photos here

Friday, June 19, 2009

2010 Bianchi Pista Via Brera

Not lugged steel but not bad. I'm looking forward to seeing this bike in person. It's a crying shame Bianchi didn't go all the way and spec it with a nice flat crown fork. The unicrown fork pictured is a glaring eyesore on an otherwise very attractive machine. Imagine it with drop bars (Nitto 123s) and a chrome Soma fork...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summer's Almost Here

This might be taking the whole fixed gear thing a little too far. On the other hand, it beats walking.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bike Burrito

I'd been looking for a trad seat bag for a while and hadn't found anything that really did it for me until I came across the Bike Burrito. They are handmade in Long Beach, CA by a woman named Jayme. She was a pleasure to deal with every step of the way and the bag exceeds my expectations. Prompt replies to emails, quick shipping, if this had been an eBay deal I'd be saying "A+ seller, perfect transaction". It's minimalist to be sure so maybe not for you gearheads and Be Prepared Boy Scouts but it rolls up nicely around a minipump, spare tube, tire levers and a mini-tool which is all I care to lug around. It's attached under your saddle with the provided leather strap and even ships with a surprise miniature sample bottle of Tabasco sauce. You don't get that from corporate America folks! So if you're in the market for this sort of bag and if, like me, you try to support cottage industries, I highly recommend the Bike Burrito. Check 'em out here

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Motobecane Update

Here's my 1974 Motobecane Grand Touring fixed gear conversion. It went up on the Fixed Gear Gallery this week so I thought I'd better do a post with the build details for anyone who might be interested. I got the bike from my buddy Tommy in trade for some guitar lessons. Definitely a win-win situation. Aside from the frame and fork, the only original parts are the bottom bracket and headset. Here's the breakdown

Frame and fork: 1974 Motobecane lugged steel Grand Touring
Paint: Rustoleum rattlecan
Bottom bracket: OEM
Crankset: vintage Sugino w/ 52T chainring
Pedals: generic
Chain: generic
Rear rim: Mavic Open Pro
Hub: Formula, 32h
Cog: Surly 20T
Front rim: Mavic SUP
Hub: Shimano RSX, 32h
Tires: Continental Gatorskins, 700x23 foldable
Tubes: Continental 76g
Headset: OEM
Stem: Nitto Technomic Deluxe
Handlebars: Cinelli 66-44
Bar ends: wine corks
Bar tape: cloth
Bell: Velo Orange
Brake: Gran Compe
Brake lever: Dia-Compe
Bottle cage: generic stainless steel
Seatpost: generic
Saddle: Brooks B-17

Most of the stuff came off my Apollo as I've decided I like the ride of the Motobecane better. So I put all my best goodies on this frame. The trickiest part of the build was the cockpit. I spent an hour or so enlarging the stem clamp from the stock dimension of 26.0 out to 26.4 (with sandpaper) in order to mount the Cinelli bars which I find to be the most comfortable and best-looking road bars I've ever used. Sadly, they're out of production, at least the ones without brake cable grooves. Tried to buy a deep-drop road bar lately? I couldn't find one anywhere. All the new ones are 140mm drop which isn't deep at all. The 66-44s are 160mm deep which looks great and feels nice when you get down there. I then took the stem to a neighbour of mine who is a machinist and had him mill the quill down to 22.0 (22.2 was the stock dimension) in order to fit into the French steerer. It all came together nicely. I plan to add a layer of clearcoat to the paint and shellac the handlebar tape but other than those two things, I think she's done. The longer wheelbase of a touring frame combined with the size (approx 61) and the weight of the non-exotic tubing all add up to a very comfortable and stable machine. Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Retro Brakes

I've redone my '74 Motobecane and will do a full feature post on it very soon but for now, here are the brakes photographed TTV style.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Framebuilders Collective

And speaking of handmade bicycles, you'll want to check these guys out

The Framebuilders' Collective

Monday, March 2, 2009

5th Annual NAHBS

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show is THE event of the year for folks like us. Here's the official website link along with some photo coverage here. You can see more pictures at the Fixed Gear Gallery or just start Googling. Eyecandy abounds.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What It's All About

This is from Marisa Baz' Cyclist Project (click on the image to enlarge for easier reading) and it pretty much sums up how I feel about my wheels. You too probably. Yes?

Friday, February 20, 2009

That's Amore

I don't own one (yet) but I love lugged steel track bikes, especially those of Italian heritage. Here are a few nice ones from my web travels.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I'll be the first to admit that I don't follow cycling news religiously so I was not hip to Shimano's latest silliness, electronic shifting, til my mother-in-law sent me this article from the NY Times. Well low and behold, electronic shifting is now a reality and it will add around $1250 to the cost of a bike. So, let me get this straight...there are actually people out there who are willing to part with over a grand for the privilege of not being able to shift when their battery runs out? What I want to know is who buys this s***?? Yeah, I ride a fixed gear conversion, don't own any lycra or cycling shoes and maybe I might have Luddite tendencies but putting stuff normal people don't need on the market just fuels the whole consumerist thing and doesn't do a damn bit of good for cycling in general. End of rant.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Odd Duck

This isn't lugged steel. And I wouldn't ride it. But I'm glad it exists. If something like this were to be mass produced and it got more people out of cars and pedaling to their destination, I'd be all for it. You can read more about it here. What do you think about this beast?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Velodromo Comunale

Can't remember where I found this but it's a nice poster. Happy new year everybody.