Sunday, September 28, 2008


The Tricross has had a transformation back to how it should be. Peeved after attempting to copy MASH, where I aborted after previewing what is essentially a wanky scene designed for poseurs who are more into the image than the ride, I dragged out the 'cross tyres and mounted those babies. Josh caught wind of the impending mods, and being the tinkerer that he is, was soon digging out a set of cantis from his box of mystery, citing "ya gotta keep it authentic" as a reason to sacrifice the braking power of V-brakes for a more traditional set-up.
Of course he's right, and the knobbies don't roll fast enough on my commute to warrant needing any brakes anyway! Now, to get it off-road again...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The new Anger Management tool

Someone once commented to me that trackies all have anger issues. Really? Brett often tells me that I have deep-seated hate issues, so this could be quite an appropriate venture (although he's usually half joking, there is some truth in that statement, since I do find everything about him utterly repulsive and am not usually shy about sharing this sentiment with him in public). Anyway, last week my new Avanti Pista track bike turned up. I've swapped out the more boring stock parts for some nicer bits that I had lying around. The finished bike looks like this:

I'm looking forward to getting it into the Hataitai Velodrome and racing on it once track season starts in a month or so. I've only ever ridden track a couple of times. I turned up on my Surly Cross Check with a bigger gear and gave it a go last year; good fun, but the Surly is definitely more of a street cruiser. The Pista couldn't be more different; it's plenty stiff and way tighter and steeper (uh, like a track bike, I guess...). Anyway, once the track dries out (it's outdoors and it's raining a lot today) I'll be out there for a trial run. To exorcise some of the hate.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Season Single Speed Steeds Steal Show.

As reported over at bikes, beer, beats we got up to Auckland for the Avanti/Specialized 2009 release. Both makes had several SS's on display, with the big S only bringing in one of the Langster range again this year. This time it's the hideous Las Vegas model, which replaces last year's equally uninspiring London. I didn't get a picture, I must've been more disgusted than I thought at the time. Here's some of the other machines sans shifters.
Josh checks out the Avanti Pista Pro and gets the ridiculous idea that he might do some track racing this year (I hope I don't suffer the same delusions). No doubt he was inspired by the huge success of the NZ track team at the Olympics, where it was a Bronze-rush! Ok, and a silver too.
Pista Solo, basically a entry-level Pista with some brakes and a dodgy 'cityscape' paint job. Still looked better than the Las Vegas Langster though.
Avanti K.I.S.S. (Kylie Is So Slutty) 29er. Actually looks pretty good, a way better colour than last year. Cheap but not too nasty (unlike Kylie).
And the 26" version. I think this one stands for Kevin Is Slightly Stoned. Just like any good singlespeeder (well, fixie rider anyway.)
Tricross Singlecross... I'm not gonna say anything bad about this one, because I wish mine had this paintjob. One of the best looking bikes there in my opinion (which counts for nothing really).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

NZ SS Video

Check out this vid from the NZ SS titles earlier this year... if you blink you'll miss the cameos by Chris The Courier and yours truly.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Museum

Johnny Klink is a bikophile of the highest, and most disturbing order. He turned up for a ride at Killi on saturday with this beast, his latest build project which shal from now be known as 'The Museum'. If you can remember any of the components on this bike, then you've been around mountain biking for a long time. JK will be giving us his take on the project soon, but for now bask in the glory of 'The Museum'.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

SSSS S's (the extra s is for stickers)

Johnny Klink had an idea. He wanted to ditch his KHS softail frame which had been utilsed as his SSer for awhile. My SS was sitting in Aus doing nothing, so he hatched a plan to swap his bits onto my frame and sell the leftovers and give me the money. He got the bike stripped down and ready to swap over, so I decided I wanted to keep it being the good bloke that he is, he rebuilt the bike for me. He'd taken off the faux Indy Fab stickers and was going to get new ones made. I suggested he get Scared Shiftless instead, and the lad did a smashing job, don't you agree?
We're thinking of getting a batch made up, but they ain't cheap, so if there's any interest in them we'll get 'em in circulation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My first taste

of a 29er, riding the Kman's Salsa El Mariachi around Glenrock yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised I must say, I don't know if it was just the buzz of riding a singlespeed again, or the big wheels rolling so well, the rigid fork transmitting the trail to me, or what, but it was a blast. I felt I could push it into corners with confidence, and even in tight, twisty singletrack through close-together trees, it still felt nimble and responsive.This thing would rock with a Fox F29 fork on it, I think it would just fly through rough stuff. Although the rigid fork does look way cool, as does the Salsa CrMo stem.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More carnage

This time from Dan back in Aussie, he's been mashimg the 34/16 a bit too much by the look of this... settle down there, big fella! Can any chainring stand up to the power? Between him and Chris, drivetrains are shaking in their proverbial boots...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Some Welly fixies

These local fixies are from Oli's blog... he gets to work on all the nice shit!
An old AS Gillott... as old school as you can get.
This Langster was bought from us, but has been through a remarkable blinging process... Campy Record cranks and levers, carbon tubulars...oww.
A Koga Miyata... there's a name I havent heard for a long time. Apparently ridden by someone named Jenny... where are you, fixie riding ladies?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Flying the flag

There's been little to blog on the SS front lately, what with Josh's resurrection stalling, selling all his single chainrings, tensioners and other bits, and me only riding the Tricros to and from work.
Luckily, there's always Chris The Courier to rely on, out there day in day out delivering parcels either on his cobbled-together-piece-of-crap or the Langster. Today he dropped by with this bit of carnage, which happened during a wheelie down one of Wellington's busiest streets. A nice ball-slapper was the result, followed by a quick change tho the Langster, and off he went, flying the SS flag for us other slackers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The resurrection is... not!

Well, well, well... they said it wouldn't last. And they were right. I gave it three weeks, Big Nath estimated two, but we were both way off the mark.

Josh's Stumpy singlespeed conversion actually saw the light of day, getting fitted first with a rigid fork and the wheels and cranks from his Turner, and some new bars, stem and tensioner to top it off. Then the hand of death, our inept bike builer James, decided that the tensioner needed a tension check, pushing it down hard until the spring bent. Josh cursed him and all that he stands for, but forged on like the little soldier he is, before deciding the rigid fork left the front end too low.

Cue the Marzocchi fork from the Turner... alright, blinglespeed. And then, the maiden voyage, up to Makara, in the mud, perfect conditions for a no-frills machine to excell. Or so you'd think...
Until, of course, the hand of death comes back to haunt you.

The tensioner decided to shit itself halfway up to the peak, leaving an angry soldier to scooter his way back down the hill, tail between legs. Well, I presume that's how it would've looked, as I actually wasn't there, but hey, I'll improvise.

Now, you'd expect that after putting so much time and effort, and some dollars, into a bike that was going to be "ridden all winter", that he'd be looking at alternatives for the job of tensioning the chain, and getting that SS groove back on ASAP, right? Nosireebob, it was in the stand and being stripped before you could say "Surly Crosscheck conversion", with the Turner regaining it's missing bits pronto. Total time in existence: A week (and that's being generous)... Anyone want to buy a Stumpy frame, hardly used?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The resurrection is nigh...

I'll admit it: I went soft this summer, taking the easy path and doing all of my mountain bike riding on a fully suspended geared bike. Although I flirted with the single speed thing late last year (briefly), technology lured me back to the "all the bells and whistles" fold. I'm not ashamed of that; even on my light and speedy Turner I was still coming home completely fucked from the mammoth suffer fests that Carl calls bike rides.

If any of you were wondering about what happened to the plans to ride the Surly off-road, that modification didn't last out the week - that bike's place really is on the streets, and it just feels strange setting it up any other way. Ho-hum. In the end I wasn't too beat up about not making it to the nationals; I still hadn't shaken a chest infection I'd picked up a few weeks before, and the SSSS was well represented by Bretto showing up on his crazy single-cross bike.

The need to faff with all of my bikes, complete and otherwise, combined with fond (and probably inaccurate) memories of my summer of single speeding glory in 2006 on this bike, has driven me to pull out the old Stumpy hardtail again for a makeover. Pictures to come soon, but for now I can reveal that this bike will be bringing the pain (and exorcising some of my softness) fully-rigid style; the cro-mo fork's just been fitted and the rest is nearing completion...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Single in Vegas

What a weekend! I'm broken, from being abused by a rigid cyclocross bike for three hours, and the requisite drinking before and after the race. And a brutal race it was, 45km through the awesome Redwoods, which just got harder with each lap. Everyone who rode it, includding SS animal and winner Garth Weinberg, declared it as one of the toughest races ever. I declared it one of the toughest drinking sessions ever...
The course wasn't revealed until we actually got into the forest, and it was a cool figure-8 layout, nothing too long and steep but plenty of technical challenges to punish the tired and/or unattentive.

Chris The Courier got a good start and rode with the big guns for awhile, and finished in 6th place... awesome ride CTC! He would fade later that night in the drinking stakes though, proving once again that the young guys just don't have the endurance.

Kah just about to put a move on me into the first corner, followed by me putting a move on him into the second corner. My bike got plenty of attention and cheers, probably for the "why the hell are you riding that?" aspect of it.

Cabin and Garth were like this for almost the whole race, with Cabin pulling the lead after a beer stop, then Garth re-taking him on the last lap, both doing a final beer-slam to finish off in true SS style. I was doing my beer stop when Cabin came in, and I was still there struggling to get down the Speights as he flew off back onto the course resplendent in his beige skinsuit (a la the NZ cricket team of the 80's).

The first two laps I was on auto-vision when light rain rendered my glasses useless.... I stopped and removed the tinted lenses after lap two, the rain stopped, and I could see clearly now.
Didn't stop me from crashing a couple of times though, the skinny tyres, rigid fork, beer-goggles and fatigue teaming up to slam me to the ground.

When it was all over, the real event began at the Pig N Whistle, where I performed a lot better than I had earlier in the day. The night ended up (in the morning) with some shenanigans involving some of the local wildlife, bourbon, and a spa pool... enough said. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Thanks to Chris The Courier's mum Robyn for taking the pics.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Langster gets cross'd out

Musical bikes knows no bounds. I've sold off my faithful Langster to Chris The Courier, and gained a new Tricross Singlecross. This bike kills two birds with the one stone... it'll do most duty as my commuter, running fixed, and as my singlespeed 'mountain bike', perfect for the upcoming NZ SS Champs in Vegas.

I've always wanted a cyclocross bike, and this was the perfect introduction, at the right price. Those tyres aren't as scary as they look. I took it on it's first off-road jaunt today at Makara, and it handled the singletrack with aplomb, and put the biggest smile on my face since Jesus rode a ProFlex. My back ached on the climbs and my hands went numb on the descents, but man it's fun. (I double-wrapped the bars as soon as I got back!)

And the looks and comments you get from mountain bikers is priceless. I'm running 38-18 gearing for off-road, and will revert to 44-16 fixed for the road, probably with smoother, narrower tyres. But then again, it could see a lot more dirt than tar this winter...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Any dentists in the house?

Big O's Langster, the most abused fixie in NZ, has suffered horribly again at the hands of the lanky one. He said, in all seriousness, "it was making a bit of a grinding noise..."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The bikes of Wellycats 2

The second installment of Wellycats was run tonight, on short notice and with a small but enthusiastic turnout. The concept was a little different too, with the first checkpoint at one of four choices, all gyms where we had to locate Jim. From there you would be pointed to the next check, and so on. Chris the courier used his streetwise-ness to full effect and took the win, five minutes(!) ahead of yours truly, taking a sprint-of-sorts from damn-I-can't-remember-his-name-Giant-rep. Once again my navigational skills (or lack thereof) let me down, when at the third check and with Chris just leaving, I thought I'd take a shortcut and not follow the courier, thinking in my head "Tinakori Rd" instead of the actual "The Terrace" which I'd been instructed. Lesson; always follow the courier. Second bad decision; I was going to zip-tie my camera to my bars and get some pics and video, but gave it to Mark instead, who was marshalling and took ZERO pics.

Here are some of the weird and wonderful steeds on show.

Paul's (the mastermind behind Wellycats) On-One.

The young fella who's name escapes me's Pinarello, with Chorus goodies... nice.

Jim's Cotic simple... does everything that machine.

Chris the courier's winning piece of cobbled together crap! Just proves that it's not really about the bike at all...

Kah's thing...not sure what is going on there!

More Kah-razyness.

Damn-I-can't-remember-his-name-Giant-rep's Giant TCR, lookin pretty good (for a Giant!).

And my trusty Langster, which copped a good rogering down two flights of stairs at Parliament.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wellycats 2 is ON!

If you're in Welly on Wednesday 2nd (tomorrow) and you have a fixie or singlespeed, get to Emporio (behind it, in Walter St) at 6 for some fun.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Voodoo Guru

Dan has a nice new Voodoo frame that he's SS'ed, which I just discovered buried in the Scared Shiftless inbox (I keep forgetting that it's there!). Still got those dodgy red grips though. Do your mates say "what a Wanga" to you, Dan?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One BIG wheel

Forget your 29ers, this is where it's at, at least as far as unicycling goes. A 36 incher! This young dude gets around town on this beast, drawing plenty of attention along the way, and cruises the Makara trails on his 29er.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Alleycat racing is a big part of bike messenger culture in the States, and Wellington now has it's own little race around the city streets: Wellycats! The best thing about it was there wasn't a bike messenger in sight, just a bunch of mountain bikers on whatever singlespeeds or fixies they could cobble together. Of course, the best place to start an alleycat is in an alley, and behind Emporio was the gathering spot. The rubbish skips and broken beer bottles added to the authenticity.
The rules are simple; get to the checkpoints in any way you please, first one back with all the points stamped on his card wins. Then drink beer. There were time bonuses for the first rider to each checkpoint, and I picked up the one at the SPOKE office (only about 200 metres from the start, and no-one else went there!).

And they're off! Owen and me almost didn't make it out of the street, trying to go in opposite directions on the wrong side of each other. Most went to the Basin Reserve first, Mark headed to the Beehive for the sprint win, then it was a heinous climb up to the Met Service.

Benji got a flat down near Parliament and ended up running his 50c dumpster-special back to the finish, proving that you should spend at least a dollar on a bike.

I show off my unco-ordinated running dismount skills. A couple of monumental navigational errors had me riding up Cuba Mall, like a salmon swimming against the current, pissing off a few pedestrians.

And the winner is.... Ricky stomped around the course on his brakeless ghetto fixie in 20 minutes, then made us all feel ill with this unbuttoned shirt victory salute. Thanks to Paul for putting this on, it was a blast and I can't wait for the next one (last Wednesday of each month is touted).

*For some real hairy Alleycat action in London and New York, plus other stuff, check this site out.