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.

Monday, July 16, 2007

From our U.S. correspondent...

This is from my Langster Bro in New Jersey...

New York City Single Speed Pictures - July 16, 2007

I had to go into the New York office today and I made sure I brought my camera to get some pictures of some Single Speeders (extra points for fixie!!). I forgot for most of the day but I remembered I wanted to get some pictures when a messenger rode by me. I started looking so hard for bikes that I almost walked out into traffic. I did end up missing one train and I had to take a later one which meant I missed my evening ride window.
This was taken in Little Italy over the weekend but I figured that I would rerun it the way newspapers do. My first attempt at catching a messenger. This one was easy to get. I had already crossed over to the west side of 6th Avenue when I spotted this bike. I ended up crossing back over to the east side to get this picture. I have noticed that the messangers that ride fixie have a lot more pride in ownership. I saw this guy coming but I had to wait for a bus to pass before I could get the picture. By the time the camera reset. After a few minutes I realized I could tell a fixie rider just by the way he was riding. I can not explain the difference but my eye started to pickup on it.The DIY Single Speed method.This kid was walking with his mother and I had the camera on so I snapped the photo. BMX bikes are still single speeds.

Posted by Flametop59.

Well, it has one gear..

Ok, so it's not a mountain bike, but Stevie G's MirraCo Black Pearl is one of the best looking BMX bikes I've seen. It's got all the trick bits on it too, and he can ride it a bit.
The owner of this Ventana El Toro can ride a bit too. It's A-Dub's (Aaron) beast, and he gave me a couple of good kickings on it at the Crater Rim and Karapoti races earlier this year.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dan's candy

Here's Dan's "refreshinglygood" GT singly in all it's glory. I love how he took the time to set the bike gently in position to capture it's true aesthetic beauty... more like just threw it against the wall before giving it a good thrashing. Once again, the red grips are a no-no. The rules boys, the rules....

Monday, July 9, 2007

Lenny's candy

Here we have a fine example of a bitza bike, the best way to get into singlespeeding in my opinion. Mountain bikers always accumulate stuff, and Lenny had some good stuff lying around by the look of it. But dude, the red grips have gotta go... there are rules, you know.
For our non-Newcastle readers, this photo was taken at Killingworth aka Killi, where our local club puts on it's XC and DH races. Apparently there will be an SS class at our club championships in September, just in time for my return....

Blingle speedin

At some point, sometime soon, the plan is to ditch the very ordinary Shimano 525 hub on the rear wheel of my Specialized and replace it with something that has some balls. The question is, which one to choose?

At the moment, I'm considering the Hope Pro2 Singlespeed:

Or the DT Swiss 240 Singlespeed:

But am open to other options, too. Probably not this, though:

Pricing will have some influence on the final decision. Working in a shop helps, but none of these hubs are particularly cheap, retail priced at $499 (Hope), $699 (DT) and approx $849 (King).

I'm liking the Hope option at this point; Owen has one on his trials bike and it works mint. If you're going to ride a bike with a freewheel, it might as well make a satisfying loud clicking sound as you cruise along, and with 48 engagement points the Hope buzzes like an angry hornet and definitely lets people know you're coming.

Have decided to shy away from screw-on freewheel types like the Surly or White industries hubs. Although you can get some awesome screw-on freewheels (like White Industries' offering), the non-adjustable default chainline that you end up with seems like a negative. Maybe I'm just being fussy, but I used to ride a SS that had this sort of hub and sometimes, when you were least in the mood for it, changing freewheels could be a total pain in the arse.

Opinions? Suggestions?

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Short but sweet

Last night I was all primed for a jaunt around the Bays on the Langster. The temperature had dropped a bit by the time I knocked off work, so the 10 minute get dressed ritual was in full swing. Feeling brave, I opted for knee warmers rather than full legs. Locking up the shop and swinging out into the street, I was met with rain. By the time I'd ridden 100 metres, my exposed calves felt like ice. My glasses were rendered useless, and the Bay ride was quickly put on the back burner. But there was one final task... the climb up Carlton Gore Road. Usually I take the longer, not-as-steep option of Maida Vale Road, but the direct route would get me home earlier, but not necessarily drier. Now as any fixie/singlespeed rider knows, you have to attack the climbs or suffer the ignominity of walking. Up ahead I saw a red flashing light and made it my prey. This guy was going up at a good clip, spinning a nice cadence at a good pace. Asd I passed him I offered a cheery 'hi', not wanting to seem like some show-off wanker. That's the conundrum... because you have to stomp it out of the saddle, you can seem to others as some sort of commuting hero. But on the upside, climbing on a fixie is faster, more painful and definately character building. And when you sit down, you have to get 'in the drops' to generate some power, which has the benefit of making you feel like Pantani... forza fixed gear!

And now for today's eye candy

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Eye Candy of the Day 2

A sweet Rocky Mountain fixie from this guy's blog.

And this bike just looks incredible.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Eye Candy of the Day

I miss having my SS here in NZ with me, especially now there's been a bit of rain around, and with Josh having his new beast built up. I took the Langster option rather than the (geared) Stumpy option last night when the crew headed up to Makara. Apparently the SS was the weapon of choice in the slop.When I get back to Aus, I'll be putting on Juicy 7 brakes with a 180mm front rotor, which came off my Stumpy. It also now sports XT cranks, which were put on after this pic was taken (post 2006 Killy 8 hour, where myself, Christian and Tomkinson took second in 3 man team under the SSSS banner). For now I'll just look at it and pine...

And here we have Josh's first Stumpy hardtail SS from a couple of years ago.
The man loves the less gears, more beers approach... can't fault him for that!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Stumpjumper reborn as singlespeed bastard child

I'm back on a singlespeed mountain bike again at long last:

My Specialized Stumpjumper hardtail that I bought during the summer when I worked at On Yer Bike. All of the bits that came with it were transferred across to the i-drive frame I recently bought, leaving just a frame hanging on the wall. I love this frame so much and missed riding singlespeeds, so turning it into one made perfect sense... to me, anyway. Few people outside of the SSSS really get this bike and can't comprehend my excitement over it. Fools!

A DMR tension seeker 2 is holding it all together. I've been out on just one ride so far - in pouring rain through some sloppy trails - and the magic gear of 32x16 is working out well, as is the tensioner... really smooth and quiet.
Makes me wonder how much attention my fully's going to get now. The less the better at this time of year, I guess... the singlespeed's well and truly in its element right now.