100 Years of Volta Catalunya Posters

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, originally uploaded by ENCICLIKA CORPUS FIXIE.

100 years of posters for “The Volta” a (I think) Catalan bicycle race*. Really cool, and surprising – the number on the poster is the edition, not the year. So when it says 67, it means Sixty-Seventh, not 1967. Until I figured that out, I was thinking, “Man, those Catalans were ahead of their time, graphically!”

It looks like missed years were World War One and after, and the Spanish Civil War. Don’t read that entry and then read the news.

*Obviously I know nothing about bicycle racing.

LED replacement light genius

This is such a good idea. I’m impressed.

On his blog, Jan announced the availability of new red LED lights you can screw right into a vintage taillight. Old-style screw mount, new-style LED light, with no rewiring. Wow.

LED light, vintage mount paintingRather than remove the vintage taillight internals and carefully repack the light with modern LED taillight electronics, you simply screw in the new bulb and ride away. It even includes a standlight function, build into the screw mount.

Buy one from Compass Cycles – they’re $20.

Bike-fit geometry relationships

jimmythefly bike geometryMy flickr friend Jimmythefly drew a set of bikes to show how, if you keep the saddle to bottom bracket (BB) relationship the same, seat tube angles can make bikes with the same dimensions (top tube and seat tube lengths) can fit very differently.

Because of the interrelationship of frame angles influencing tube lengths, two bikes in different “sizes” (seat and top tube lengths) can fit exactly the same.

It’s non-intuitive. It’s weird. It needs a picture to really see how it works. For me, I needed to see the drawings overlayed, which is why I made this GIF. Thanks, Jimmy, for the clear illustration and explanation.


In the singlespeed rap song that’s going around (my circles, at least), I totally thought the guy was wearing a Paul Components tee shirt. Makes sense – fine singlespeed hubs, all the bikey goodness. You know, “Paul Components!

paul components logoNope. He was actually wearing a Public Image Limited tee shirt. PiL logoThen I realized that the Paul logo actually looks more like the Black Flag logo than anything else. How did I never notice that?

Black Flag logoPIL + Black Flag = Paul!

Buy These Prints Now

Jon Grant's bike-part prints are for sale at Synaptic CyclesLots of classic bike components in luvverly print form on offer.

Not mine, but my internet friend Jon Grant, who’s a real pro. You might recognize his work from the Rivendell graphics and frame decals he designed. If you like vintage bicycles, beautiful components or good ink drawings, you should buy some.

Kent has more info, and there are some altruistic reasons to purchase four or five of these prints for your den. They’re $25 each, shipping is included, and the artist gets every dime.

newport cruiser

newport-cruiser, originally uploaded by BikeTinker.

At the end of June, I went down to Anaheim for a trade show. My internet friends David and Doug were kind enough to take me on a bike tour of their area – Irvine, Newport, the beach.

I didn’t take my camera, since I didn’t know the bag situation, and drew this beach cruiser from memory. I’ve been around Beach Cruisers my entire life, but never saw them in their natural habitat. I’ve always lived an hour or less from the Pacific, but always where the hills arc out and drop into the ocean. Beaches are colder, windier and foggier, and either back up to cliffs, a highway, or a parking lot. I realized at Newport Beach that this was why beach cruisers are called beach cruisers!

Enough of the epiphany. Everyone else in the world already knew it.

The ride and cameraderie were great! I’d only ever known David and Doug from internet bike forums, but none of us turned out to be axe murderers, and I like them even more in real life.

David loaned me a silvery-blue custom Rivendell All-Rounder for the ride, and Doug is the best tour guide ever. His knowledge of 100 year old scandals and current interest gave great depth and texture to the ride. Why is the surf so awesome at Newport Beach? How much of this will survive a 3 foot rise in ocean level?

We rode the Balboa Ferry, visited FunZone (“There’s always money in the Banana Stand!”), and ate at Charlie’s Chili. The whole time I was thinking “so THIS is why there are Beach Boys songs!”

I got an awesome sunburn (bright red bearded guy remind you of anyone? “Hmmm? Satan, maybe?”) – Portlanders beware the sun! It was completely worth it, and I’d do it again.

All photos courtesy of cyclotourist

New Camera

I’ve been spending my tinkering time playing with my new camera, a Sony Nex 3.

The tinkery bit comes from the two adapters I bought for classic lenses. I’ve been using my Exakta lenses for about a week, and the Canon adapter came yesterday. This is what I’ve actually been spending my time on: researching lens options for the Nex. Idiotic.

I’m going to put the finishing touches on Angelina’s Belleville (old saddle, maybe old grips), and use the new camera to take the photies. In the meantime, I went to a parade and took pictures of people with my 135mm Angenieux (a 203mm lens on the Nex) . Totally unbikerelated, but I did go for a mountain bike ride beforehand.

riding on the shoulders, originally uploaded by BikeTinker.

Brooks Saddle sculpture – after Picasso

Here’s my take on Picasso’s “Toro” bronze sculpture, using the left over pieces from the repair of Angelina’s B72 saddle. I glued the leather back onto the broken frame (Gorilla Glue!), and squeezed a beautifully patinated steel drop bar between the cantle and the rails.

It’s maybe a bit more of a Bighorn Sheep than a bull, but I’m more of an American than a Spaniard.


simpleonesWhat are these shocked twin amphibians staring at, as if to say “Good Lord!” I wonder.

Could it be… the Rivendell Simpleone is approaching? The Simpleone is the rebirth of the Quickbeam – new name, new paint, same geometry.

Why a new name? My theory that Grant and Co. have a big bag of awesome names they’d like to use up, was, apparently, wrong. The story goes that, at the request of the Tolkein rights holders (not the film company),  Rivendell agreed (in a non-legally-non-binding way) to stop using certain Lord of the Rings names, including Quickbeam, Baggins and Legolas.

Also, these bikes are made in Taiwan, not in Japan by Panasonic, and they have fancy headtubes and plainer graphics.

I would like a 62cm, please.

Simpleone frame on Rivbike.com

DIY bike lanes – paint them yourself!

Art, graffitti, or infrastructure? Cyclists in Guadalajara made their own bicycle lane!

Read more here: Takeapart.com – guadalaraja-diy-bike-lane

They say in the movie that they made a mile and a half long bike lane for $1000. It costs their government a million dollars to do the same job. I had an epiphany a little while ago, where I realized that wherever you find ‘government waste,’ you also find private enterprise taking the money.

gloveless fingers – bike gloves

It was frosty cold this morning, and the backs and tips of my fingers and thumbs hurt like crazy on the bike.

Finger Warmers!

Really painful, and my right thumb still feels burnt. So I’m going to make some reverse-o bike gloves with just the fingers and thumb. An elastic strip will connect the thumb and pinkie together, and each finger-end will have a short section of elastic connecting to the next one.

Soon to be all the rage. You saw it here first!

Yes, this is kind of a joke, but it’s a lot like short sleeve jerseys and arm warmers, right? Fingerless bike gloves… and finger warmers! Shorts and knee warmers. Those weird sock-shoes with the toes built in…