Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Don't Know About This

So today, I was on my merry way, looking to give my new Unobtainable Lightness of Roundness a shake down cruise when I turned the corner and was caught by surprise.
It took a while but it's finally here:

Yes Virginia, the rent a bike kiosk is open for business!
This B cycle thingy was mentioned in the newspaper a while back and they finally got it going.
There's an automatic rent a thingy that takes credit cards:

The bike are made by Trek and they look pretty heavy but they got front baskets and some Grip Shifters and I think Nexus hubs:

Looks like a drum brake up front:

Seems like a heavy duty(boat anchor) bicycle:

The concept seems like a good idea except for a couple of things.
The person in the picture above was going to rent one of them bicycles, until she looked good at how much it cost.
Five bucks gets you a half hour free, with additional half hours going for two fifty.
That's like seven fifty for an hour.
Then the other kiosk, which looked basically the same:

Is only about a quarter of a mile away:

I mean I can walk a quarter of a mile in like ten minutes, maybe faster!
Or, you can just bring the bike back to where you got it.
Which brings me to the I Don't Know About This part.
Let's say I'm a touristy type person, and maybe I want to hit up the World's Greatest Beach, so maybe I want to rent a bicycle so that I can take my beach mat and beach towel and sunscreen and whatever with me.
Do I really want to lay on the burning sand knowing I got a bicycle burning dimes in the parking lot?
How am I supposed to lock that thing up?
Say if I want to check out a store or go and eat or something?
From where that kiosk is, it's only maybe a mile or so to the sand and surf and I gotta say, it's a pretty nice walk.
Okay, there were some bicycles missing, like around ten of them so there must be folks out there riding these things around, right?
Being the curious person I am, instead of heading home after my ride, I decided to go out and do a Quest For the Rent A Bikes!
Which turned out to be fruitless for not one of them was spotted.
I gotta say, it's going to take a lot more than one of them Treks to make me fork up like ten bucks.
I mean for that kind of cash, I better be riding like Cancellara's bike or something:

Hey wait a just a minute!
That one is not for rent!
Well, maybe.

Do You Apply or Leave It Dry?

That is the question.
I've been pondering this question for a while now since it seems that most folks do but all the other folks I know don't.
I've never had the chance to do any real testing until I got this:

It's been sitting there, a nagging and a calling me, but I have resisted the urge to apply.
So far.
I admit it's mostly out of curiosity, since I've never had any chaffing or weirdness on my tush.
So I don't seem to need it.
I keep looking at it.
I mean it says right there: improves performance.
If you've been following along at home, you, the reader, know that I need all the performance improving I can get.
I'm wondering just how much faster that stuff will make me go.
Maybe I should use them on my wheel bearings!
Speaking of wheels, now that I have the Unobtainable Lightness of Roundess, I can see about fixing the spoke on my Campagnolo Protons:

How that spoke got bent like that I dunno, but I've been riding it like that without problem.
Still, it bothers me and the wheel is slightly out of round.
As you can see, it's got a funky flange and the nipples are those ninja types that are hidden in the rim so I don't know if it's something I can do myself.
I'll take the wheel apart today and take a look see.
I figure it's a good time to service the rear hub too.
That'll be a first for me.
What is not a first is my ordering of wrong stuff.
If you recall, I lost an SPD cleat bolt and had to buy a whole new set of cleats to replace it.
Well, me being me, I went on the eVilness and ordered a couple extras, one to replace the one I took out of the new set and one for a spare.
Wouldn't you know it?
I got the wrong size:

What a banana head!
I thought the measurement was for the threaded part only, not the whole bolt!
Boy, I'm accumulating a lot of useless stuff!
Speaking of useless stuff, I added another seat post to my growing collection:

Boy, I wish I had a TIG welder so I could maybe start making some kind of sculpture out them.
I have a college degree in that stuff don't you know.
Sculpture I mean, not seat posts.
Or maybe I should strip them down and make some wind chimes.
Or maybe I could use one of them to prop up that cactus that's growing all funky:

Gee, it sort of reminds me of that bent spoke!
It looks like it could use some 26.8mm support.
Oh, and I got another seat post on the way.
Hopefully this one is the correct size.
So anyways, I got that performance improver stuff sitting there, sort of staring at me.
I sort of want to try it, then again, I sort of don't.
If you know what I mean.
If it ain't broke, don't fixte it.
On the other hand, if I like it, I wonder if it's available in like a Costco size?
I may just let sleeping doggies sleep.
If you know what I mean.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Deux Anniversaire Special! A Look Back

Okay, this is more than a few days late.
I wrote it then forgot about it in the drafts file.

Boy, I make that sound like I've been doing this for years!
Well, it has been years, two to be exact.
To tell you truth, I didn't think I'd last this long.
Especially when you don't have that much to say.
Which means I have to make a lot of stuff up.
Active imagination and all that.
Okay, not really.
About the making stuff up part.
So anyways, what better way to document the blog but to take a look back at all the bikes I've had.
Interesting to note that none of the bicycles I started with are in my possession.
All have gone on to hopefully better places.
Except my first bike:

Yes sport fans, the bicycle that started it all!
My first Rockhopper.
I didn't know any better and a bicycle was just a bicycle.
A way to get out of the house and get some exercise.
The beginning of the self torture.
I started off going like three miles to the store, then coming home and having a hard time walking down the stairs.
I did do half the Honolulu Century Ride on this bike though.
As far as I know, it's oxidizing in my brother's patio.
I may have to rescue it.
Then came the upgrade and some big wheels:

From Rockhopper to Rockcrusher!
Or something.
Fully hybrided out for speed!
Changed everything possible for that custom look.
Here's where I started to get serious!
Sort of.
Did last year's Haleiwa Metric Century on it.
I thought I'd miss that bike, since I put some miles on it, but now that it's gone, well, it's gone.
Actually I miss riding on my Chris King wheels.
Frameset resides someplace in San Antonio Texas.
Around that same time, I got this:

Honestly, I think I put maybe a hundred miles on it.
It sat mostly on display in my living room.
I never got comfortable on it and it served only to confirm my unfounded aversion to all things roadie.
My first glimpse at the dark side.
So much has changed!
I believe that bike is on the other side of the island.
The Allez did serve a purpose though, it allowed me to acquire this:

Actually there one was one bicycle before this one, the same thing just one size smaller.
I traded it in for one size larger.
Now I missed this bike.
Oh the convenience!
I still have the front basket.
I'd take it out to the store and end up doing twenty miles.
Just for fun.
Still, there was something about it that just didn't grow on me.
If you know what I mean.
So I salvaged this from the local co-op:

Ah yes, the beach bike.
Destined to never take me to the beach.
The Lanikai Express.
It now resides in My Friend Marc's garage.
Come to think about it, that bike was like Linus' blanket.
It was my Just in Case bicycle.
I miss having it around.
At least I can visit.
Which brings us to the Celeste Devil:

Nuff said.
Get it? road bike? enlighten?
Then there is the current project, pieces of which occupy the floor of the living room:

Will it capture my soul?
It certainly has captured my wallet.
What will the future bring?
More steel?
Carbon fibre?
Stay tuned.
And thank you, the reader, for coming along for the ride.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

All Done!

Or pau as they say around these parts.
Yes, the UPS man redeemed himself today from the scalping I took in shipping off my frame by dropping this off at my front door:

Boy, those boxes are really light!
I wonder what they could be.
A gift from the gods perhaps?
Could it be?

The Unobtainable Lightness of Roundness!
My blingalicious semi-poseur wheels!
Oh thank you thank you thank you!
I went looking at a whole lot o'wheels before deciding on these puppies.
It finally came down to Campagnolo Neutrons, Williams, Reynolds and these.
I went with these hand built jobs because of the hubs:

White Industries clickity clackity goodness!
Not Chris King buzzy bees, but still enough to let folks know you're coming.
I also wanted silver hubs with a low spoke count and some semi-aero rims.
To match the aero seat post don't you know.
Anyways, I've been reading up on this fellow named Psimet who does this sort of wheel thing.
Okay, his name isn't really Psimet, it's just what his venture goes by.
His specialty of sorts are wheels built from an alloy called Niobium. I have no clue what exactly they are but they are pretty darn light.
The Kinlin wheels he sells are available in a couple of different sizes from 19mm to 30mm. He does up carbon fibre wheels too, if that's your thing.
Psimet also has besides White Industries, Alchemy hubs, which have been creating some buzz recently.
Get it, buzz? hubs?
The rears are WI H3 hubs, 24 spokes, Sapim CXrays, two crossed.
The fronts are WI H2, 20 spokes, radial laced.
I went with brass nipples instead of alloy.
The White Industries hubs are nice:

The pukas for the spokes are counter sunk so they sit flush on the flange.
You can also see the CXray aero goodness there.
I could have saved a ton by going with DT Swiss Comp spokes, but them CXrays are supposed to make me faster.
If you know what I mean.
The rims are 27mm in front and 30mm in back.
Total weight comes in just a smidgen over 1500 grams.
The way I figure it, I've lost almost a pound of rolling weight and gained about a GAGILLION miles per hour in speed!
I'm gonna be like super duper fast now!
Women and small children watch out!
Yes, that celeste blur that just blew past you was me!
Psimet does a pretty good job with these wheels and they are priced comparably, if not less expensive than factory wheels of similar weight.
The White Industries hubs and Sapim spokes make his wheels a real deal!
Like anything custom or hand built though, there is a waiting period. From order to delivery, these wheels took two months.
Mr. Psimet has a very long queue so keep that in mind if you order.
Despite the wait, he is Flat Tire Recommended!
So the last part of the Celeste Devil Project is in place.
I wanted some wheels that were light, and strong so of course I didn't get cheap.
I think I got the sort of classic but updated look I was going for.
Of course I could have gone really blingalicious and super poseur, deep carbon wheels, but in the end I though these would be nicer and more practical.
Maybe on the next bike.
The carbon blingaliciousness and full poseurness I mean.
As far as the Celeste Devil is concerned, I'm all pau.
I don't think there's anything left to change out or replace.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Stuff

My Law & Order watching is finally paying off.
Okay, not really.
About the watching part.
More like the mentioning part.
I mean I'm getting these crazy hits from a Law & Order post I did back in May of last year.
Last year!
I thought the olive oil chain thing was crazy!
Actually, it's kinda nice to know there are other Law & Order obsessors out there, you know, I'm not alone.
In fact, if you have taken a look see at my linkys on the bottom of the page, you'll notice a blog devoted to all things Law & Order.
That's what the blog is called I mean.
All Things Law & Order.
Actually, the folks over there are way more into Law & Order than I am.
Even if I have seen every episode of Law & Order, Law & Order CI, and Law & Order SVU like five times.
It's not really Law & Order that's getting the hits, it's more like someone on Law & Order that the search engines are picking up.
Although I enjoy the hits, I won't name that person.
Besides, that's not what this post is all about.
I sort of forget what it was going to be all about.
Oh yeah, devising something devilishly evil to remove that stubborn stem on the Bike With The Funny Name.
Something involving a vise and some two by fours.
Maybe even some locking pliers.
Oh my!
I'm getting a warm fuzzy!
Okay, not really.
About the locking pliers.
It will probably involve The Flat Tire Bottom Bracket tool, which recently did double duty as The Flat Tire Brake Piston tool when I changed out the front pads on my car:

Okay, that's not really my car, but a rod I saw parked across the street from the burrito joint on Sunday.
I have to admit, that burrito has been on my mind lately. Going back to sample the goods may be in my near future.
I also got this:

That's right sports fans!
Bianchi refrigerator door magnet!
Just in case you, the reader, thought I had forgotten about the Celeste Devil!
Speaking of the Celeste Devil, something wonderful is about to happen.
The last piece of the puzzle.
The thing we have all been waiting for.
Well, at least I've been waiting for.
For what seems like forever.
I mean it's been so long I almost forgot about it.
I honestly can't believe I've exercised this much patience!
Some kind o'personal record here.
What is it Mr. Flat Tire?
Something wonderful.
Right out of Dave Bowman's mouth.
On to your computer screen.
I promise.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I need help!
In distress here.
Little help!
Little help!
The distress call MAYDAY is derived from the French(what else?) venez m'aider which means come help me.
Which is what I need.
Help, I mean.
To save me from myself.
Let me start from the beginning, s'il vous plait.
If you've been following along at home, you, the reader, know that I'm accumulating parts to get the Bike With The Funny Name on the road.
Well, the yesterday, I got me some stem shifters, which is a good thing, but I can't get the stem off the bike which is a bad thing.
Temporarily bad, I hope.
So anyways, me being me, I figure I should get me some down tube shifters just in case so I put out a distress signal on CL asking for anyone who has down tube clamp type shifters.
Well one person responds and I agree to meet him today.
So I figure, let me go to the LBS and get me some cables.
Then I remember I gave my cable housings away to the dude who bought my shifters so I figure I need some housings too.
Now usually I would just head on over to the eVilness and order some, but I figure I got almost everything I need, I should just get em from the LBS:

The housings and cables cost me like twenty bucks!
The housings were like $2.70 a foot!
Maybe I'm cheap but that disturbed me.
A bit distressed did I feel a little.
I mean for what I spent I could have ordered me a Dura Ace cable set with ferrules and everything!
Okay, damage done.
I meet up with the kind gentleman and examine his goods:

Looks good to me.
Wait he says, didn't you also need a seat post?
26.8 says I.
Here it is he says:

Well, it's a bit short but it's a Sugino so okay! I says.
So off I go, headed for home thinking I can at least cable up the BWTFN and see what I got.
Little did I know, but I was in for more distress.
The so called down tube shifters are not down tube shifters but stem shifters, just like the ones I already got!
I thought the clamp looked a bit small, but I figured I could squeeze them on.
I don't think so.
Then, seat post did not fit.
Okay, I've been reading up on this BWTFN goodness and 26.8 seems to be the seat post of choice for early Japanese bikes.
I mean it's the smallest post they make, right?
Absolutely, positively, unmistakably WRONG!
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Capital W wrong!
I don't get it Mr. Flat Tire, didn't you measure the diameter with a caliper?
I wish you hadn't brought that up for that is exactly what I did:

When I read the caliper, I figured since it was seven dollars and all, it was allowed to be off just a little.
I mean all I needed was confirmation that it was not 27mm, but 26 and some change.
Apparently, in the seat post aisle, there's a section for "other sizes."
Like sizes from 26.0 to 27.0 in 2mm increments.
So I decided to make this post sort of interactive.
You Make The Call!
What size do I order next?
You Make The Call!
It appears to be less than 26.5, so do I go 26.4 or 26.2?
You Make The Call!
What do I do with these other seat posts that I can't use?
You Make The Call!
Anyone need some stem shifters?
You Make The Call!
I was feeling a bit down for a while there, but now I'm feeling a little better since Law & Order is on and I got me some Sour Cream and Onion Potato chips:

I mean I've expended all my idiot powers for one day.
Time to recharge and get ready for tomorrow.
If you know what I mean.
Meanwhile I'll be waiting.
You Make The Call!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Niagara Falls

Slowly I turn.
Step by step.
Inch by inch.
Oh wait.
This is not about Niagara Falls:

Stuff is trickling in.
Stuff for the Bike With The Funny Name.
One by one.
Step by step.
Inch by inch.
Oh wait.
This is about my new to me stem shifters:

I'm also tracking down a set of down tube clamp on friction shifters.
I dunno.
Just in case.
Slowly I turned.
Step by step.
Inch by inch.
As in new brake levers:

The nice thing is that they came with new brake cables.
They look like MTB shifters but they are supposed to be long pull roadie type levers.
I hope they work out okay.
This also arrived:

Another addition to the parts box.
Wrong size.
I ordered a 27.0 instead of a 26.8 post.
Right size on the way.
Speaking of wrong sizes:

Okay actually it's the right size.
Sort of.
The Campagnolo seat post binder was going to be one of the last parts of my Celeste Devil build.
I don't really need a new one, I just thought it would be a nice touch.
Which brings me to the next step in the BWTFN.
Step by step.
Inch by inch.
Hold on!
As in handle bars.
I still haven't decided on what type to get and I need to make a decision soon.
Like tonight or tomorrow.
Soon I'll have all the parts I need to get the BWTFN on the road.
On the road to-
Niagara Falls!
Okay, that was pretty lame.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Final

First of all, that Fizik Arione worked out pretty well.
There's no cut out, so at first it feels like you're sitting on a hump or something, but after a while you get used to it.
The cover, I don't know if it's real or imitation leather, is a little slippery, the leather on the Selle Italia grips well in comparison.
Despite feeling like I was sitting on a well, saddle, I experienced very little discomfort.
Flat Tire Approved!
Oh, and that seat bag stayed put even with the rough roads I was on today.
Speaking of roads, I went out did what I was going to do last Sunday, which was head out the other way, over into Waimanalo.
The Garmin don't lie is here.
I was on my way, when some dude on the other side of road called out to me.
The Flat Tire Rescue Team(FTRT) responded:

I fixed his flat and was on my way, good deed for the day done.
I didn't bother taking pictures on the outbound leg, for it was into the wind and getting there was half the torture.
Okay, it wasn't that bad, in fact it seemed to go faster than when I did it on my mountain bike.
Finally, the turn around point:

Boy, it was gorgeous!
The Makapu'u Lighthouse is just to the right.
I mean I see this all the time and well, today I had to just sort of admire the view for twenty minutes or so.
I mean the water was crystal clear.

Obligatory road side shot:

I've really got to get me a polarized lens cause them pictures just ain't doing the water justice. Conditions were perfect.
Well, I couldn't exactly dawdle there all day, so off I went!
Saying good bye to Makapu'u:

For some odd reason, the beaches weren't very crowded today. Okay, it's Easter Sunday and all, but still there were many spots were you could have your own little private beach:

Most of the beach parks have their own canoe houses. The State, or maybe its the City and County, I'm not sure, built all these places for the local folks to store their canoes.
The Waimanalo canoe hale:

By this time, I was getting sort of hungry.
You know, I was getting pretty sick and tired of seeing everyone else post all of them pictures of Tex-Mex and such so I stopped here:

I packed my stuff up and back tracked about a quarter mile or so and settled down to eat my lunch here:

That's right sports fans!
Steak burrito!
Fit very nicely in my jersey pocket thank you.
Anyways, after inhaling that thing, I figured it was time to head on back to The Flat Tire Central.
I could feel a nap coming on.
I'm thinking of doing this every weekend, it's not as flat as my usual ride and I need the practice on the inclines.
Knowing that burrito is on the way back sort of helps too.
Now, I need to see about that bottom bracket on the Bike With The Funny Name(BWTFN).

Sunday Early Edition

A day of adjustments.
Of sortes.
I am of the if it ain't broke don't fixte it camp, so much so that I have been accused of not fixting anything until it's brokte.
The Selle Italia SLK Gel seat I got is doing great, making my back side all comfy and such so it was tough taking it off to try another seat.
Still, I heard great things about the Phisique Arione so off the SLK came and on the Arione went.
Or something like that.
The seats are surprising close in specs, the tips and rail placement are almost identical:

Not so same looking at them from the fronte:

As you can see the Arione sits a bit closer to the rails. This presented a bit of a problem as it was sort of a pain to get the top plate of the seat clamp in there.
Okay, not really to get it in there, but to hold it there as the rails were just a bit narrow so I had to hold it down in order to get the bolt in.
The Arione also has a down slopte.
More on this later.
The Campagnolo Aero post is groovy:

Meaning there are directional grooves on the clamp to adjust for angle.
This whole thing makes setting up the seat a challenge.
Of course I rose to the occasion!
Anyways, here's the Selle Italia:

The nose down angle was needed for the seat has a lot of flexte so I believe when weighted it is actually straight.
The Arione:

I'm going to try it like this for now.
The Arione seems a bit stiffer, though it seems to have more padding. I'm thinking I may have to do a mid ride adjustment.
I measured the seat from the nose to the stem since they are pretty close in size.
I forgot to take a height measurement, from the pics it seems I'll need to raise the post a bit which is okay since I've been feeling like I need to raise it just a tad anyways.
Surprisingly, all the crapte that was in the Planet Bike seat bag fit into the Phisique bag despite it being smaller.
The Phisique bag that is.
Is smaller I mean:

A tube, two tanks of air, patch kit, lever and multi-tool all fit in there.
The thing is, it's on the heavy side and the clip that holds it all in looks a little flimsy.
I'm thinking of putting a zipte tie on there to anchor it to a rail.
Just in case.
The other day I also moved back the cleats on my shoes:

You can see the new bolt I had to get.
Since I had the cleat off, I figured I might as well see how moving it back goes.
I had already moved them back once, from the front holes to the rear, and with the Celeste Devil, I've been feeling like they needed to be adjusted one more time.
I gotta say, I like it.
Makes pedaling circles seem easier.
Little rollers also seem easier to get over.
Maybe it's all in my head, but I guess that's where it counts.
Okay, I'll be off soon to see how all this works out.
Stay tuned.