Thursday, December 20, 2007

Menage a trois

Check out Declan Cox from Valley Cycle's bike:

So much potential. So tastelessly executed. Sorry Dec, but putting neon green Lizard Skins grips, Titec carbon bars and an SDG I-Beam saddle on a vintage Merlin Titanium frame that deserves something classy from vaguely the same era is just wrong.

Fashion gripes aside, I've ridden this bike offroad and it's super sweet. I've yet to come across a rigid singlespeed that handles as well as this baby.

Here's my Cross Check after the transformation that was blogged a few posts ago:

This is yet to be taken to the trails, but if the way it feels on the streets is anything to go by it should be a ripper. 700x32 Smallblock Eight tyres, EA50 riser bars, 38x18 (free) and38x16 (fixed) gearing. Bummer that I didn't get the time off to go to Vegas for the SS nationals. Brett might get the chance to hurt himself on this bike instead.

Last up, check out what you can get from Surly, fully built, fixed and ready to go:

The Steamroller complete. Pretty well specced with Surly 1x1 hubs and a Surly sprocket, and great value at around $1300. My flatmate Karen plans to use this as a round town bike, having ridden my cross check in one of its previous fixed-wheel incarnations and loved it. I'm looking forward to putting a few miles on it too. These guys must be taking the piss with the included owner's manual though:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Converting the converted

Preparations are underway for NZ's first singlespeed National Champs next April in the magical singletrack of Rotorua's Whakarewarewa forest. Well, Josh and my preparations are underway, first trying to secure the weekend off work, then picking a suitable (or unsuitable) steed on which to compete... na, make that participate. I dug out an old, old Giant Iguana from the pile of bikes that have been traded in at work for a promotion, but after an hour of trying to extract a jammed solid seatpost, gave up and returned it to it's home in the corner of the workshop.

Josh, meanwhile, is putting his Surly Crosscheck through it's umpteenth transformation in the last few months, this time adding riser bars and and cross tyres but keeping the wheel in fixed mode, although there is talk of free-ing the wheel in the name of sanity.

With my SS back in Aus, and the pile of crap for conversion just too much to cope with, I'm thinking of pony-ing up for one of these babies.
I can get it pretty cheap, and I can sell it off at the race afterwards... or will the 29 bug bite me and inspire me to more upgrades in the name of cool? Time will tell. We'll keep you posted on the Surly's surgery and our beer-drinking training (mine's going pretty well so far).

Friday, November 30, 2007

BMX Bandits

BMX bikes aren't just for kids, right? No, but maybe the adults who ride them never lose their 'sense of youth', as evidenced by the following graphic examples of bike molestation purveyed by our twisted workmate James. We apologise in advance for the lack of subtlety, but hey, singlespeeders aren't exactly known for decorum either.

Apparently the owner of the bike is a huge man with some anger issues... could this push him over the edge?

Ned Flanders would be proud of the use of Spokey Dokeys.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cool bike goes to uncool home...

We get a lot of old shitters coming through the doors here at the shop, most of them uninspiring 'racing bikes' from the 70's and 80's. But last week this one was wheeled in by a kinda cute young lass with her hipster douchebag accomplice.

This really is a cool old bike, a BSA Stronglight, God knows where the young lady dug it up from (I'm sure she told us, but we were too amused by her weird little friend).

I'll let Josh loose on the poor fella's 'dress sense' or lack thereof.

People like this annoy me immensely; it's becoming increasingly difficult to hold back from verbally whipping them down in public. It's not enough that I have no appreciation whatsoever of their dress sense. It bewilders me that people have created a style out of looking as ridiculous as possible and go about their business thinking that they're cutting edge. The douchebag referred to above was wearing girls jeans that were too big for him, required braces (a 19 year old wearing suspenders? give me a break!) and tapered adsurdly from the knee down to his skinny ankles; his shirt was buttoned all the way to the collar and accentuated his lack of any apparent muscle tone; he was wearing shoes that were obviously bought at an op shop because they would go with his look, although in real life a 90 year old had probably owned them all his life and recently died in them; worst of all, his foppish hair poked out from beneath a blue beret worn at a jaunty angle.

This crap truly sickens me. Brett politely asked the girl how her bike was running, to which she replied that it was great, although the brakes didn't work very well at all; this wasn't seen to be a serious problem though, since the bike was only getting ridden around slowly on the flat. Come on. This is tantamount to admitting that it's just another accessory to be seen posing with. I could rant till my fingers cramp up on this one, but lunchtime's over and I have to get back to the freak show. Back to you, Brett.


How can I possibly top that? And here I was thinking that I was the king of intolerance... hail to the new king, Josh!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Welcome to Hell...

...Population, Casio! He being the man who stated "brakes are a sin" found himself knelt in the confessional box. Said box being On Yer Bike, where his deemed penance was purchase one front road brake, install on fixie, eat own words. The unfortunate heathen was struck down from above on the motorway by a motorist of the apocalypse, and salvation was sought at the altar of the Church of OYB. Holding limp, shredded tubulars in his stigmata-scarred hands, he bowed his head in shame and dragged his cloven hooves out of there. Your soul is ours, Casey. Look over your shoulder out there.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mikey fixes up

Our workmate Mike finally got off his old Sakae SS roady and plumped for a 07 Langster, same as the one I ride but ten sizes smaller! So far he's lovin the fixed gear experience, after he remembered he couldn't coast down Nevay Road and nearly got pitched over the bars on his maiden voyage. He even cranked it up Brooklyn Hill on his way home one day, something that I haven't had the energy to attempt as yet. But if Owen can get up there in 48/17 after Friday night beers every week, then I should at least have a crack. Keep pedalling, Mikey!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Casio and Jeremiah fuckin' boo-ba.

Sorry boys, the title was Brett's idea, not mine. For most people riding a fixie, the progression goes something like this: curiosity is aroused, gears come off bike, bike is ridden as singlespeed for sometime, courage builds up, freewheel is swapped for fixed cog, and viola! a fixed gear convert is born. These two bought some second hand track bikes off trade me and in doing so took the direct route to the dark path of hardcore of fixed gear riding. Twitchy track geometry and strictly brake-free (you couldn't fit one if you wanted to), their bikes are as purist fixed wheel as you get. These guys make regular appearances at On Yer Bike now, so while they're still alive Bretto figured we should post some pictures of their bikes. Here's Casey's Colnago:

And a below the nipples view of Jermiah and his as yet unknown ride:

I'll leave you with a quote from Casey, which seems to have become the pair's motto: "brakes are a sin". Nice work fellas. Stay alive.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Big Steve B gets Surly

One of our good customers here at On Yer Bike, Big Steve B, has built up this nice new Surly 1x1 as a "training, mud, ride with the kids" bike. He though that cruising the cycleways with the juniors on his Stumpy Carbon Pro was a little overkill, so he's joined the ranks of the busted knees. Which will match nicely with his busted shoulder, which he's been nursing for a few months.

Welcome to the jungle, Steve.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Check out this film I found on youtube, it features some pretty awesome skating and riding, with a wicked, dirty breakbeat track over the top. Gritty.

Friday, October 5, 2007


Ok, so the ol blog has suffered a bit lately, so this should keep you going for a while..... Johnny K emailed me this a few years ago, and I just re-discovered it, and it's pretty cool.

The Tao of Singlespeeding

Adapted from the Tao Te Ching, the following verses are meant to inspire and enlighten. Ride. Enjoy. Live.

The ride that can be finished is not the perfect ride.
The frame that can be broken is not the perfect frame.
The ride is the beginning of sky and dirt.
The singlespeed is the mother of the ten thousand gears.
Ever desireless, one can see the trail.
Ever desiring, one can see the bike.
The two spring from the same source, but differ in name;
this appears as riding.
The gate to all mystery.

Sky and dirt are ruthless;
They see the ten thousand gears as useless.
The wise are ruthless;
They see the riders as fools.

The space between sky and dirt is like a tire.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More gears count less.
Hold fast to the trail.

Sky and dirt last forever.
Why do sky and dirt last forever?
They are unborn,
So ever living.
The singlespeeder is behind on the downhill, and ahead on the climb.
He is unencumbered, thus at one with all.
Through flow, he attains fulfillment.

Better stop short than fill to the brim.
Make the bike too light, and the handling will suffer.
Adorn your frame with XTR, and no lock can protect it.
Claim medals and podiums, and drug tests will follow.
Drink beer when the ride is done.
This is the way of singlespeeding.

Thirty-two spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape latex into a tube;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Drill eyelets in a rim;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness comes from what is not there.

Accept difficulty willingly.
Accept pain as the human condition.

What do you mean by "Accept difficulty willingly"?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with your heart rate.
This is called "accepting difficulty willingly."

What do you mean by "Accept pain as the human condition"?
Pain comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be pain?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to ride any trail.
Love your bike as your own self; then you can truly ride anywhere.

The masters are subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
The skill of their riding is unfathomable.
Because it is unfathomable,
All we can do is describe their appearance.
Delicate, like riders crossing a winter stream.
Alert, as if on tight singletrack.
Balanced, as if negotiating a switchback.
Focused, as if on a long climb.
Yielding, like fine steel.
Simple, like track hubs.
Smooth, like machined bearings.

Who can wait quietly for the ride to begin?
Who can remain still until the moment of action?
Followers of singlespeeding do not seek advantage.
Not seeking advantage, they are not swayed by a desire for change.

Do you think you can take my bike and improve it?
I do not believe it can be done.

My singlespeed is sacred.
You cannot improve it.
If you try to change it, you will lose it.
If you add a suspension fork, you will ruin it.

So sometimes I am ahead and sometimes I am behind;
Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily;
Sometimes there is strength and sometimes weakness;
Sometimes the trail goes up and sometimes down.

Therefore the singlespeeder avoids extremes, complacency, and heavy traffic on climbs.

Give up gears, and put an end to your troubles.

Is there a difference between the granny and the big ring?
Is there a difference between uphill and downhill?
Must I ride what others ride? What nonsense!
Other people are contented, enjoying their full suspension.
In spring some go to the trails and descend the mountain.
But I alone am riding, not knowing where I am.
Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile,
I am alone, without a place to go.

Everyone else is busy,
But I alone am aimless and wandering.
I am different.
I am nourished by the trail.

To ride one gear is natural.
Sprints do not last all morning,
Descents do not last all day.

The follower of singlespeeding
is at one with his bike.
He who rides smoothly
Experiences flow.
He who loses the trail
Becomes confused.
When you are at one with your bike,
The trail welcomes you.
When you conserve your momentum,
The flow is always there.
When you are at one with pain,
The pain is experienced willingly.

He who does not get out of the saddle
Will not make it to the top of the hill.

He who has his weight forward is not steady.
He who sprints cannot maintain the pace.
He who makes a show is not enlightened.
He who is self-righteous is not respected.
He who boasts achieves nothing.
He who brags will not endure.
According to the followers of singlespeeding,
"These are extra gears and unnecessary weight,"
They do not bring happiness.
Therefore followers of singlespeeding avoid them.

Spinning is the motion of the singlespeed.
Flow is the way of the singlespeed.
The ten thousand gears are born of singlespeeding.
Singlespeeding is born of not riding.

The wise rider hears of singlespeeding and practices it diligently.
The average rider hears of singlespeeding and thinks of it now and again.
The foolish rider hears of singlespeeding and laughs aloud.
If there were no laughter, singlespeeding would not be what it is.

Hence it is said:
The smooth trail seems rough.
Going forward seems like retreat.
The easy climb seems hard.
Singlespeeding is quiet and without artifice.
One gear alone nourishes and brings the ride to completion.


Adapted by Corvus Corvax from The Tao Te Ching, translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, Random House, Inc., New York (1972), with apologies to Lao Tsu.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Asking for trouble

Some people just have no idea. "Lets get a blowtorch, twist and flatten all the tubing on this bike, then ride the sucker!" I hope these collapsed catastrophically and gave the riders what they deserved. Pics courtesy of Dan.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Skid row

Skidding on the trail is bad, okay? But skidding on a fixie is only harmful to your tyres, and leaves some cool marks on the tarmac. This is the run down to my flat's front gate, the green one there. I practice my skid stops here rather than in the traffic. I've just discovered that having your pedal at 6 O'clock, rather than 9, is easier on the knees and produces a longer lock up. Now, back to work on those track stands.

Chop job

Mikey's SS commuting sled was giving him some grief, being a bit to stretched and low for the little fella. Now we can't have that, can we? So taking a cue from pics of fixies on the net, I offered to do some modifications for him, which he stupidly agreed to all too willingly.

After a couple of hours of sawing, filing, experimenting with different levers, taping, un-taping, re-taping again and again, we had success. Except minion Nigel thought it was sacriledge to chop a Japanese Nitto bar, but who listens to him anyway? They're sellin 'em for twenty bucks, forgodsake! And if Mikey's happy, everyone's happy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Freaky fixed

Most fixie riders are a little out there, and their bikes usually reflect that fact. Here's a few sourced from the bible of fixed, fixedgeargallery.

Aero bars? On a fixie? Asking for trouble...

Looks like it came straight from an alleycat.

The pimpin big brother of the Langster, all dressed up and no brakes to slow.

What can you say about this?
Interesting brake lever placement, but cool mixte frame.

Check out the size of that plate!
Looks like a bike a prisoner would ride. There's a Langster under there somewhere, apparently.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back from the dead

Dan sent a link to these fixies, being sold in Australia for $1950! They are old 1960's Speedwell frames done up with new parts. My dad has one hanging up in bits in his shed, original one owner! I might have to resurrect that sucker.
Check out more pics here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Big O's (and little Mike's) candy

Could this be NZ's most abused fixie? Owen certainly gives his Langster a good workout, riding it everywhere from the city streets to some off-road jaunts! He just added the retro-stylee fenders, with some modifications to make them fit, i.e. filing off the lawyer tabs on the fork and spacing the axle to allow the gaurd to fit under the brake, and leaving enough room at the back to get the wheel out in case of a flat (which happens a bit from his skid stops). Check out the seatpost height... how tall are you now Owen, 7'2", 7'3"?
Mike has just started working with us, and he commutes on this retro SS roady. He didn't know it's origin, but I recognised the frame from the earkly 90's as a SR Sakae Litage.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Josh's candy (and Bretto's too)

This is a cool bike. It's Josh's Surly CrossCheck, not sure what size, but he's a midget so pretty small. Good ol' 4130 steel frame and fork, DT rims on Surly hubs, Ultegra crank, Thomson post, ITM stem and sweet Campy Record carbon levers (only one in operation). Running 45/16 man's gearing. Bretto's Langster. 58cm alloy frame, carbon fork and post, bog standard wheelset that came on it, 105 crank with FSA ring. Running 44/16 ladies gearing.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Sums it up really...

The following is Dan's answer to a question posed by a geared rider on the Glenrock Trail Alliance forums. The question was "Gears weren't invented for nothing, why does everyone on this forum choose this primitive form of MTB?"

Dan, take the pulpit, word to my brother!

"I am like many other riders. Love flicking through the mags, looking at manufacturers web sites, and also love to look at the new bike a mate has bought. I, like many other riders believe in the hype that we are fed about what we need to enjoy the sport.

Then I got an SS.

I very quickly realized that I do not NEED 5 inches of travel at each end, I do not NEED super light componentry, I do not NEED top end bits and bobs to enjoy a ride.

I NEED 2 wheels, handle bars, a suspension fork for a little comfort and control (don't even really NEED that) some pedals, and some trail, that's it. SS can teach you that you don't NEED all this other crap to enjoy the ride.

SSing saved me from riding boredom. It saved me from NEEDING all that crap that I don't really NEED.

Every one will ride SS for a different reason.

The above is mine. "

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Alta'd images

This is a cool ad from Norwegian SS/fixed bike manufacturer ALTA. Their bikes look awesome too, simple, clean and functional. Like all good SS's should be.

Some Welly fixies

Here's a couple of fixies found on Wheelworks' website, where Josh got his rear wheel built by Tristan (see previous post). This is Tristans personal bike, a steel framed job in a huuuge size. Having not met him, I can only assume he's a man mountain!

Giant's aren't my favourite bikes, but this is an interesting conversion of an alloy TCR to fixie. I've been toying with the idea of converting my Tarmac to a singlespeed recently, maybe not fixed so I can coast downhill on long rides, and also still be able to use my pimp DT Oro wheels. But then again, I'll probably just use the Langster.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

You'll hear me coming...

Tristan delivered my newly built up rear wheel yesterday. In the end I settled on the Hope Pro II singlespeed hub option, which he laced onto a DT 4.2 disc rim using DT revolution spokes. It came out lighter than I expected, considering how the rear hub is such a beefcake.

I've only ridden it around the block so far, but it feels lighter and stiffer already than my old wheel. Tristan is a product development and design student, and has made numerous tools which he uses in his workshop. One of these is the torsional stiffness jig:

Which measures the lateral stiffness of wheels. Research shows that non-dished wheels are significantly stiffer than dished ones (ie, wheels which use a standard 8-10spd cassette body), making a great case for singlespeed specific, non-dished hubs. Tristan also built the wheels on my Surly Cross Check fixie (which I need to get around to posting a picture of on this site), which are lightweight DT road rims on Surly track hubs. These non-dished wheels have been hammered and haven't seen a spoke key near them since the day they were built. They still run true.

This ratchet on this hub is louder than any that I've ever heard... you'll hear me coming.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A gaggle of Langsters

Specialized has added a range of city-themed Langsters for 08. Some look hot, others not. The Boston.
New York.

Plus a new singlespeed TriCross, which is on my shopping list for sure. Definately hot.