Thursday, June 30, 2011

It Was Teeny Weeny

Or Teeny Tiny.
Or Itsy bitsy.
Or something.
Spring like.
That got stuck in my tire.
So I got a flat.
In my living room.
Lucky I found it:

I used some pliers.
Been a while.
Since I had a flat.
Last time.
It was this:

Glass on the road.
Not a good thing.
Before that.
It was this:

Burst of air.
I got scared.
Then another spring.
From a clothes pin.
I threw it in the bushes.
I kept this:

I don't know why.
Maybe because.
I kept this too:

Fork tine.
I think.
Sort of big.
This was bigger:

The Big One.
Makes me wonder.
Just bad luck.
Knock on wood.

Thanks to The Flat Tire Museum of Deflation.
The Permanent Collection.
Visit us soon.
Okay, not really.
If you know what I mean.


The Flat Tire Staff

Kailua - A chicken today lost her car in the parking lot at the supermarket.
"All these cars look alike," the chicken said as she continued to wander from stall to stall. "I'm sure I parked it right here."
Supermarket security personnel declined comment.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to the Goofy

I don't know if this is going to work out.
Leading a double life.
It seems like the same, but it's not.
There are subtle differences that well, make things different.
The first thing you notice going from the Celeste Devil to Yellow Devil is the ride.
The Celeste Devil is water bed while the Yellow Devil is like concrete.
Okay, not really that bad.
Sort of.
I tried to dial in both bicycles dimension wise as close as I could.
I measured out the seat height, length to bars etc. but seeing as how the frames are a size apart, it's not exact.
The bars are also different as are the stems, so I just did the best I could.
Still, there are small differences that make jumping from one bicycle to the other feel like jumping into another time zone.
Once I get one to feel sort of fit good, I change stuff up to try and make both the same, but it ends up all goofy.
I thought having two bicycles was going to be a good thing.
This may take a while.
So anyways, the stuff I read about the COM 12.5 is correct.
The frame is stiff.
Bumps the Bianchi rolls over the Ciocc sort of plows over.
The word "tank" kept coming to mind.
For some reason the Ciocc feels heavy, although side by side picking up and guesstimating would beg to differ.
At first I attributed it to the taller gears, but a 34/15 is about the same as a 39/17.
Sure feels like I'm pushing a heavier bicycle though.
Road vibrations come straight up to the bars and seat and you better hang on when going over manhole covers.
Okay, the thing is I'm running 25s on the Celeste Devil and 23s on the Yellow Devil so that may have something to do with it.
Next week I'll make back to back runs with the same wheel set and get a better idea of what's going on.
I also made today's run with the Egg Beater 3 pedals.
That may have had something to do with today's goofyness.
The optimus prime seat height I thought I found is now lost, somewhere in millimeter land.
I had to mount the cleats on my shoes a bit forward for the Shoe Shields won't let me go all the way back.
I need to trim them a bit to fit my shoes:

You can see there on the bottom where the corners of the Shoe Shields are pressed up against the raised portion of sole.
A little Dremelizing and I should be able to move the cleats all the way back again.
Getting in and out of the Egg Beaters was a problem at first, but by the end of the ride I was sort of getting it.
Still having a bit of a problem clipping back in.
I think I'm sticking with them if only because the Shimano SPDs were starting to eat into the carbon layer on my shoe.
Not a good thing.
I'm not sure how this two bicycle thing is going to work out.
I sort of like getting on one bicycle, knowing that the fit is the same.
I mean your body sort of gets used to it, then you jump on another bicycle and things are all different and your body gets used to that, then it's back to the other bicycle and well, I'm not sure it's good for cycling zen.
It's sort of like wearing two different shoes, neither one feels right.
If you know what I mean.
Throw in the new pedals, and it's like I'm fitting myself all over again.
To two different bikes.
Or something.
I guess I'll just have to see how all this pans out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bigger is Better

At least in the this case.
Or box.
Or Man Bling Receptacle.
A while back I unwisely invested in a new tool box.
The one I had, a sort of tackle/hobby/craft/stuffs box just wasn't doing the job and my newly acquired bicycle related tools were at the point of overflow.
I've also begun to accumulate back up tools to my regala tools, I have a roll cab and top chest in the garage but it's a pain to go out there every time I need to work on the bicycles, which I do mostly inside.
Besides, I didn't think the whole tool box thing through.
Bicycle tools aren't like normal tools, they are shaped kinda goofy and they wouldn't fit in the top tray of the inside tool box and the lid wouldn't close:

So off to the Man Store I went in search of stuff.
Okay, the priority of the Man Store mission was not to get a new box, it was to get some water bottle cage bolts, which I have someplace around here, I just can't find them.
I guess organization was sort on my mind.
The thing about these tool boxes, is that most of them have these trays with unbicycle tool molded compartments.
Actually I'm not really sure what kind of tools exactly are supposed to fit them compartments, maybe some scissors or something.
Wonder of wonders I found a box with removable sliding thingys in the top tray so all my unusual goofy tools fit and are now accessible right in the top tray:

Oh happy days!
I can actually close the freakin lid!
It's also bigger so that means I got room for more stuff!

How great is that?
Of course the first thing I did when I got this new Man Bling Receptacle was hit up the eVilness in search of tools I may or may not need.
Like yet another allen key set that I bought with the new tool box.
You know, just in case.
I mean you never know.
Unfortunately I didn't find any tools I really need right now, but I did find this:

That's right shiny stuff fans!
Bar ends embedded with Swarovski crystals!
I'm giddy with excitement!
How looking for pedal wrenches led me to this is one of the mysteries of the eVilness.
Or maybe they found me.
Just think, bar ends to match my Ultimate Blingness of Valve Stem Capness!
Now that right there, that's larger than life!
If only those crystals were a bit larger.
Bigger is better.
Don't you know.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Creakyness of Bottom Bracketness: A Banana Head Adventure

So if you, the reader, have been following along at home, you know that I found a creak in the Yellow Jacket.
Seems it only happened when the drive side cranks were under load, meaning when cruising along, I didn't really hear it, but when hitting the gas or climbing rollers, the creak became obviously disturbing.
So when I came home after my ride, one of things on my list was to find and eliminate that creakyness.
It was not your typical creak, not a click or warble or anything like that.
This creak reminded me of an old rocking chair that had been sitting out on the porch for a bit and the wood had gotten all dried up and every time someone sat on it and began rocking those wooden joints would start a squeaking and a creaking.
It was that kind of creak.
Every time I loaded up the drive side crank arm.
So the first thing I did was take off the bottom bracket cups.
On Campagnolo the bearings are pressed onto the crank spindles so the cups are just there to hold the bearings.
There is a bolt that holds the cranks together so all you got to do is take that off and unravel the cups.
Luckily for me, I had ordered another set of cups anticipating that the frame would be bare nekkid, but wonders of wonders it came with some cups installed.
Not knowing exactly where them used cups had been, I thought it the first place to try.
So I take them off, clean up the inside of the bottom bracket a bit, grease the new cups up and put everything back together again.
Creakamundo fantasical.
Okay, not the cups.
I wonder if maybe the cassette?
So off comes the rear wheel and I give the cassette lock ring a good twist and head back out to my hill to grind back up.
Not the cassette.
Then I start thinking maybe it's the wheel!
Off comes the old wheel and I take the rear wheel off of the Celeste Devil and put that on and go out and see what happens.
Creaky, creaky, creaky.
Sort of getting frustrated here.
So I flip the bike over and taking both crank arms in hand, I put some downwards pressure on them and hey! there's that creak!
Could it be?
Could it be that my new to me frame has a broken weld?
On the bottom bracket?
Creak, creak, creak.
I'm sort of besides myself at this point.
So I get some Triflo and squirt that stuff all over the bottom bracket.
I take off the cranks again and look inside the shell to see if I can see any cracks or anything.
I squirt up all the chainring bolts just in case it might be that.
Put everything back together and head out on the hill and-
Creak, creak, creak.
Now I'm really worried.
I'm thinking maybe I should take off my Centaur cranks and swap them out then I can start to isolate the offending noise.
I even check my pedals to make sure they are on tight!
I remember reading something on one of them forums about some dude who had a bad creaking problem with Campagnolo's Ultra Torque cranks.
Hit up the webs and I start searching, but I cannot find the thread.
So I post up on my friendly forum explaining my problem and wait for an answer.
Mean while, I'm sitting on the couch and looking at my upsidedowm bicycle, rather forlornly at this point.
I mean now I'm really sad.
Lemme try one more thing.
One more act of desperation.
Can you guess what I found?
Okay, I'll give you minute.

Okay so what I decided to do was check all the chain ring bolts and wouldn't you know it?
The chain ring bolt that attaches to the crank arm was loose!
Loose I tell you!

Once I got my head back together, I took the Yellow Jacket out on the hill to confirm my problem was solved.
Boy, if this wasn't a Banana Headed story, I don't know what is.
Now that I've tightened up my pedals and my chain ring bolts my rides should be silent, silent, silent.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Final

It's been raining off and on here for the past couple of days.
Very unlike summer weather.
It will go from blue to grey in a matter of minutes, tempting me to get out, then spoiling my plans.
So I went to the Man Store this morning.
More on that later.
I did manage to get out for short ride, here's an invading flotilla banana boats:

That's got to be the most kayaks I've ever seen together.
I mean the places here rent a lot of them, but for the most part they are scattered all over the ocean.
These folks looked like they were together, like some landing party or something.
So anyways, I've got some work to do on the Yellow Jacket, the unofficial name for the black and yellow thingy, for I'm getting some squeaks and creaks when under load.
I'm hoping it's the bottom bracket for I got some new cups and it's only a matter of changing them out.
I tried to get some pics of the tubes, it was overcast but here you go.
The top tube is diamond shaped, sort of:

Maybe tear drop is a better description.
Same as the downtube:

Not sure yet how I'm digging the oversized tubes.
Since we're looking at the bottom bracket, let's take a closer look at the paint:

There are a few places on the frame where there is this "crackle" effect.
I call it crackle for that's what we ceramic arteests call it, a glaze that shrinks so it crackles all over.
The paint on the frame is thick.
I mean thick!
So I suppose these crackles are from flex.
Or maybe it was just the paint shrinking over time, but I sort of like it for it reminds of raku.
Besides fixing the bottom bracket, I've also got to find me a new seat post.
I'm over the stop> thingy on the rails:

I think I'd be okay with 5mm less setback, but I think I'm going to a straight post just to be safe.
I only went out for 15 miles or so, but I'm left with these impressions.
The bike feels nicer in the turns.
Could be the Schwalbes, but it just feels more stable, like I'm not steering at all.
The ride seems harsher, could be the frame with them goofy tubes is a bit stiffer.
The regala kine chain rings will take some getting used to.
Jumping up to the Big Ring feels like the chain got stuck or someone grabbed me from behind.
Gotta work on my Constant Velocity Thighs(CVT).
Oh, and them regala kine wheels are a blessing in the wind!
No more being blown about like a fallen leaf.
Some food for thought when ordering my next set of Unobtainable Lightness of Roundess.
For you Mr. JRA, bathroom scale says the bicycle weighs in right at twenty pounds.
I hope to take the Ciocc out tomorrow for a full run, as long as the weather permits.
I should have a better idea of what it's all about then.
So far so good.

Sunday Early Edition

It's all in the bag.
Almost all of it.
I've had to take out some of it, but most of it fit.
In my new seat bag.
I forget where I saw this, but it looked pretty good so I thought I'd try it.
The Lezyne Micro Caddy M:

Whoa! that's a goofy lookin seat bag!
That's what I thought too, but I think I'm sold.
First of all, them flaps you see on the sides are how the bag attaches to your seat rails.
I sort of like that word.
Flap, flap, flap.
So anyways, the bag itself is much smaller than my old Planet Bike bag:

I was able to however, stuff most of the stuff I had in my old bag into the new bag.
Well okay, my Park Tools I-Beam didn't fit, so I had use a small mini tool instead which leaves me without a chain breaker, but I'm working on that.
Still sort of amazing to me all this stuff fit:

If you squint yer eyeballs at the the flappy image, you can also see a small outer pouch near the zipper where there is another compartment for a multi tool, I just stuck the tool in the bag with the rest of the stuff so I can use the compartment for something else like keys.
So anyways, you take them flap, flap, flaps, which are made of neoprene or some other stretchy stuff and wrap them around your seat rails and voila!

Much better to show off the seat post goodness!
It's also much more secure and not well, flapping around like a regular bag.
The bad news is that there's no strap thingy to hang a light on in back, so I'll have to mount one on the stays.
I like it for it's very compact and clean looking.
Well worth the twenty bucks or so to have it shipped to your door.
Okay, there you go, Lezyne Micro Caddy M.
Oh, the M is for medium, they make a smaller one, but I really don't know what you'd be able to stuff in there.
Well, maybe you don't carry as much stuff as me so the S might work out for you.
I'm trying to reduce the amount of stuff I ride around with and put it well, all in the bag.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Drops pt. V

Okay, here we go again.
This time, Cinelli 64-40 bars, otherwise known as Giro d'Italia bars.
The 64 in the model number is supposed to be the reach, but get this, apparently somewhere along the line Cinelli changes the bends in the bars depending on the year.
This bar I think is newer, it doesn't have the regular Giro star badge, it's just marked Cinelli on both sides of the bar with the model number stamped in:

Yes, I know I have to trim them cables, I'm letting them go until I figure out my final handle bar configuration.
Side by side against the 3T bars, you can see that the 3Ts actually have a shorter reach, though not by much:

That's sort of a funky image for the 3Ts are grooved while the Cinellis are not.
The reach did seem shorter to me though.
On the 3Ts I mean.
This is strange for the Cinellis are supposed to be 13mm shorter than the 3T bars, something you'd think I could see with the nekkid eyeball.
Maybe it has something to do with the vintage of the Cinelli bars.
The top bends seem about the same, except the Cinellis seem to be a bit steeper off the front.
One thing I have to mention.
That 80mm Cinelli stem I've been using has always seemed a bit wide in the clamp, taking a lot of turns to secure the bar.
My suspicions were confirmed when the Cinelli bars arrived.
I've actually been using a 26.4 stem on 26.0 bars!
From what I've been reading, not really recommended.
So anyways, I spent some time looking at the Cinellis mounted on the Celeste Devil.
I wasn't sure I liked them, especially since I was pretty happy with the way the 3T bars were working out.
The thing is, that 80mm stem and them Giro bars are mates now, I'm not using that stem on the 26.0 3Ts.
Have I lost you?
Don't worry, I'm pretty lost myself when it comes to this stuff.
Very confusing.
Here's the Cinellis on the Celeste Devil:

Here are the 3Ts on the Ciocc:

Pretty darn close if I do say so myself.
Funny thing is, now the controls are below the seat line; they used to be about the same height.
For whatever reason, it doesn't feel real stretched out like before, maybe I'm getting used to the aero crouch.
Or something.
I'll ride the Cinellis for a bit, see how I take to them.
If not, I can always go back to the 3T bars.
Oh and one more thing.
The 3T bars are flared in the drops meaning the tops are not as wide as the bottoms. This means that although my bars are 40cm, on the hoods they are actually 39cm.
I sort of like them like that.
So, was it worth it going through the trouble of finding all these different bars?
Of course.
I learned some stuff about handle bars I didn't know and I also learned that what you think is good is not always what's best.
Fitting bars on your bike really is a game of inches.
Or make that millimeters.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ciocc Com 12.5

First of all, let's get this out of the way:

Giovanni Pelizzoli, the man himself showing us all how to pronounce the name.
Sounds like something Chewbacca might call his kid.
So anyways some background.
This bicycle is not a real Ciocc.
Pelizzoli sold the name back in the '80s.
He's still making bicycles, his new stuff, along with some history can be found here.
In other words, the New Bike With The Funny Name is a Ciocc in well, name only.
Okay, let's take a look:

Groupset of choice was Campagnolo Veloce.
I got a good deal on a used set, sold my Mirage to help pay for it.
The Dark Side:

The Veloce.
This stuff gave me some fits setting it up.
For one thing, I couldn't get it to shift correctly.
I must have been fooling around with the rear derailleur for an hour, adjusting the cable, adjusting the stops.
Finally I got it going.
This stuff needs to start off with an absolutely slack cable.
Usually, I pull the cables hand tight, then I use some pliers to get them really tight, then I start adjusting.
A couple of back turns on the derailleur adjuster and things are good to go.
Not this stuff. I had to back off on the cable two times until it finally started to shift correctly.
Very strange.
Or maybe the spring in the derailleur is just weak.
Okay, the bike is large.
Larger I mean.
Top tube measured to 53cm and the seat tube, depending on how you measure it is either a 50 or a 51.
The Celeste Devil is a 49.
The top tube is not round, it's sort of triangulated, same as the down tube:

Okay, it's sort of hard to see there, I'll get some better pics later.
The bars I put on were the anatomic Ritcheys I had on hand, so those will be changed out later to traditional drops.
If things work out, I may use the bars I'm running on the Celeste Devil.
I'm using a handle bar spacer to use the 26.0 Ritchey bars:

There's also 28mm of stack under the stem, I may also drop it down a bit.
Not sure I like the Chris King mango and gold bits, but I don't think I'm changing that stuff out until later, if I do at all.
The group also came with standard rings with 172.5 cranks; I haven't been able to find a compact set in my size so I may just leave that also.
Besides the size, there are some differences in the Celeste Devil and this frame.
If you look at the front end, the head tube looks really slack, but I think it's just an illusion since the HT is taller.
I'll do some comparisons tonight when I get home.
I went out for a short ride to get the pics and I can't really say I feel a difference.
Maybe it seems to corner a bit better, but I'll see on Sunday when I take it out for a shakedown cruise.
What ever happened to Jay Ferguson?

Okay, there's the Ciocc COM 12.5, submitted for your approval.
More changes are coming of course.
Stay tuned.

On the Eighteenth Day

More on this later.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tools for Fools

Or something.
I didn't quite know what to title this post seeing as how it's sort of a repeat of what goes on around here.
Well I do have a lot of tools, in fact I bought some today:

It's now official.
I own every size of metric allen wrench known in the Western Hemisphere.
I also happen to be quite the fool
Or banana head if you will.
If you, the reader, have been following along at home, you know that I've been looking for some pedals for I have/had a mean case of clunk, clunk, clunk.
Well, I changed out the cleats and the clunk, clunk, clunk persisted so I went ahead and ordered me some Eggbeaters.
Blue spring bling.
Well, I got to thinking, after I ordered the pedals don't you know, that I have two sets of SPDs so why don't I try changing out that one side pedal, you know, just to be sure.
So I got me my trusty Park Tool combination chain whip and pedal wrench and proceeded to take off-
The pedal is already loose!
Boy, I wanted to clunk, clunk, clunk, my head with the pedal wrench!
Or flail myself with the chain whip!
Okay, that's sort of kinky.
So instead I tightened up the pedals and voila!
Silent, silent, silent.
Well the good news is I only got a hundred and eighty seven more transactions until I get my new eVil eBay purple star.
Probably next month.
So anyways, I got some real good news.
The other day, as I was riding around I was sort of checking my position.
I moved the seat forwards just a bit, a couple of millimeters and if you remember with all of this pedal thing I also moved my cleats back all the way on my shoes.
Well, I thought hey! maybe I should move my seat up a tad too.
I swear, promise and hope to be slower, three millimeters or so made a humungasoid difference!
Really, not more than half a centimeter and my pedal stroke feels way better, my position on the seat feels way better and my position over the bars feels like guess what? way better!
So much better that I managed to huff and puff an average of 15mph over my usual route.
Okay, maybe Rocking the Big Ring has something to do with that too, and maybe the new cleat position helped, but boy for the first time in a while my position is actually close to comfortable.
Not that I've been riding around in pain or anything, it's just that now my body feels a bit more balanced.
If you know what I mean.
In keeping with the theme of this post, the bad news, sorta, is that I already ordered me some Cinelli bars, so all that will change.
Now for some odd reason, there doesn't seem to be any Cinelli stems up for sale on the eVilness, not any with a 26.4 clamp and in the size I need/want.
More on that later.
So anyways, I sitting here wondering what kind of banana headedness I can get myself into next.
I may just recline on the couch and eat some Sour Cream and Onion potato chips.
That seems safe.
Sort of.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pedal to the Metal

Not to be confused with Petal to the Metal, which is how I ride all the time.
Okay, not really.
Can't be going warp nine all the time less the dilithium crystals burn out or something.
No I'm talking about the pedals, and how they are attached to my feet.
Via shoes of course.
For the last couple of weeks, the right pedal shoe interface has been getting a bit clunky.
Clunk, clunk, clunk!
Very annoying.
It's okay when I put the petal to the metal, but when just cruising around, which happens very rarely, clunk, clunk, clunk.
Must be the massive amount of wattage my Constant Velocity Thighs(CVT) produce.
3.5 GAGILLION watts don't you know.
Okay, my pedals are sort of old:

I got them used, for free, and I have no idea how many miles were put on before, but I figure I got around four thousand on them myself.
Now I've been reading that SPDs last like forever.
Been found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs and all that.
Good for a GAGALLION miles or more.
So I figured it's the cleats so I decided to change those out:

When looking at the old cleats and the new cleats, I couldn't find any noticeable wear.
Well okay, maybe a little, but nothing that would cause some clunk, clunk, clunk.
So I started looking at new pedals.
Should I stay with SPDs?
Or should I try these:

Or maybe these:

I've been reading up on Crank Bros. and so far so good, as long as you stay with the higher end stuff.
I also like that they have a shoe protector thingy that goes under the cleats:

I've had those in my box o'stuff for a couple of years now, they don't fit under SPD cleats.
If you look at my shoes, you can see where the pedal is wearing away the bottom. Only on one side, I dunno why.
Actually I've been contemplating new pedals for a while and the clunk, clunk, clunk has brought the issue back to the top of the list.
If the new cleats don't work out, I think I'm gonna make a change.
Besides, losing about a hundred grams should make me faster right?
Clunk, clunk, clunk.