skate deck color check

I had a skate deck color request for “not quite chartreuse, not quite olive-y acid green.” I thought all my decks were black (with a sexy black band around them), but I had a rasta deck hidden away as well.

This seems more “not quite Juaritos limon soda,” but I really like the stickers.


I think I can make matched pedals by using pieces that match diagonally. Usually a pair is directly attached, where the left side of the deck becomes the right pedal deck, and vice versa.  Just have to be a little more careful in the measuring…

Update: Success – the diagonal matching works! This whole deck is getting that treatment. I’m prepping more decks even now. They’ll go on Etsy, with cleats, at a dramatically inflated price.

recycled wooden platforms for clipless pedals skatedecks for clipless pedals

White ENO hub with a cog, lockring and no spokes

how will I get that cog off? Or build a wheel?

This was an impulse buy. I should regret it, but I don’t. I’ve wanted an ENO hub for a long time, partly because it’s useful for fixing (“turning into fixies”) bikes with vertical dropouts, but mostly because it’s such a cool idea. I have a goal of putting White hubs on a couple of my bikes, but haven’t yet. I love hubs. I’m attracted to the shiny blingy ones, but I really like the ones that do weird things.

This hub has a center of rotation that is non-congruent with the axle ends. This feature lets you run a singlespeed or fixed wheel on a bike with vertical dropouts, because you can swing the hub backwards to tighten the chain. Before the ENO Eccentric, you would have needed to calculate a Magic Gear, in order to have a decent chain tension with a vertical dropout. So it’s cool, and extremely niche. In fact, secret knowledge is the essence of cool.


This one has 135mm rear spacing, so it could be built into a 26″ wheel for the Bontrager, or a 29er wheel for the Gravel Roadster. I like the Bontrager as it is, and I just geared up the Gravel Roadster with a derailleur and cassette.

So I have a hub that’s begging for a new bike to be built around it. Oops. Maybe a Legolas or Black Mountain Cycles cyclocross bike? A Jones doesn’t need this, since it comes with an eccentric bottom bracket that does the same thing. Those are all unlikely choices, since I already spent my discretionary funds on this hub… oops.

shiny silver ENO hub

The other “oops” is that it was cut out of its wheel before the cog and lockring were removed. I figured I’d lace it to a rim, to get some leverage on the cog, but it’s going to be hard to weasel spokes past the cog and into the spoke holes in the first place.

awful 1/8" cog tooth

I won’t keep the cog on there. I don’t think I can build a wheel without removing the cog, and I don’t use 1/8″ cogs, anyway. Or lockrings (the Rotafix Method is fine). So… what’s the best method to remove a cog from a hub, if you can’t use the rim for leverage?


Four clicks on a 7 speed shifter

I bought a used 7 speed set of bar-end shifters in preparation for gearing up the Gravel Roadster. I also got a nice set of clamp-on downtube shifters for the Ross at the same time, but realized that I don’t have a cassette-able wheel that will work with the 120mm spacing it has now, after 13 years as a fixed gear. The Kogswell singlespeed hub I’ve got on there is only suitable for fixed use (and offroad fixed, at that), because the nut (or something) makes it unpossible to remove a freewheel with our normal Earth tools.

I digress, but the gist is, “hey I might have zero single-geared bikes by the end of the summer.” Unlikely, but possible. I might do it just to freak myself out. I have an automatic Sachs two speed coaster brake wheel and a Sturmey-Archer S3X three speed fixed I can put on the Quickbeam in about four minutes (that’s half an hour in biketinker time).

Back to the matter at hand. I did indeed install the cassette and (just the right) shifter on the Gravel Roadster, and I rode it 10 miles with some friends from work, on their normal road loop (Lakeville, Stage Gulch, Adobe Rd). If we were to judge on tire size, I was the clear winner, with 54mm Big Apples, to their 25mm whatevers (volume increases by the cube, too, so… yeah). If we were to judge on usable gears, though, I was by far the loser. I had two chainrings, but no front mech (that’s English for “derailleur,” which is French for “derailer“), they were only 4 teeth apart, and of the nine cogs in back, I had maybe 5, since I could only get 4 clicks out of the indexing. The smallest cog (biggest gear), and the top three (easiest) cogs were unreachable with the shifter. My hardest available gear was about perfect for the ride leader’s pace, which was steady, just shy of brisk. The cassette is by no means a tourist’s friend, or a mountain bike cluster. It might even be a straight-block (it’s not). The limited range cog set is the funniest thing about the bike, even counting the Cyclone derailleur and the pink fenders. It is a roadster, though, not a jeep.

So I was rolling along Lakeville, getting parched on Stage Gulch and spinning out on Adobe Road, with cogs ranging from 13 to 18 teeth on a 32 tooth ring. About 72″ to 54″ of development, WHICH IS THE SAME RANGE I HAVE ON MY FIXED BIKES.

I had a good time, and my only embarrassment was failing to call out a black foam-wrapped 2×4 laying across the bike lane. “It looked like asphalt! I never ride with people! Ride fatter tires! Geez… ”

But. For all the fun, and the adequacy of the gear, it wasn’t working like it ought, which irks my OCD, and I don’t see the point of having shifters if they don’t give you more range than you can get with a dingle setup.

Why didn’t the Shimano 7 speed shifters give me a full derailleur’s swing of travel? My full friction Suntours on the Bontrager give me all 9 cogs. My friends on the RBW (Rivendell) list told me how to fix it (and more interestingly, why it was broken), which is a post for another day.

(I’m learning a bit from Paul McGowan, not just about musical reproduction, but about blog posting. Set the stage., String the punters along, and give ’em their money’s worth…) ;^)



Spoke replacement with a disc wheel

I rigged up the Gravel Roadster with a 9-speed cluster, a Suntour Cyclone derailleur, and a 7-speed bar-end shifter. So gears. I put gears on the old Big Apple one-speed.


I’m setting it up for my brother, who’s moving out here in August, after 20 years in the Navy. He ought to have a bike to ride, and I’m doing the shakedown cruise by riding it with roadies on the lunchtime ride at work.

One of them noticed my rear wheel was out of true, and when I went to fix it (after not finding my truing stand anywhere), I saw that a spoke was broken. There are a few silver spokes mixed in with the black already, so the wheel probably took some damage at one point, and other spokes may fail.



The downside of the disc brake, is that you can’t really get a new spoke in there without pulling the rotor. I poked at it, then just pulled out the DeWalt and the Torx bit and started dismantling.

disc-whee-2lThe new spoke went in easily, and I thumbed it down to into the hub flange to angle it correctly, and peeled up the rim tape to drop in the new nipple.


A few turns with the spoke wrench (and a little slipping and rounding – what’s up with that?), and the wheel is now acceptably true. I failed to mount the tire in the “correct” direction again, though.

47mm Marathon Supremes on a Quickbeam

47mm Marathon Supreme measures 43mm

Here’s a 47mm Schwalbe Marathon Supreme measuring 43mm actual width on a wide-ish rim.

Yes, those are my calipers.

I like the Marathon Supreme on the front. Cushy, and fast. I put in my best commute time after installing it. Not scientific, but it’s a nice-feeling tire.

quickbeam-fork-clearance-marathon quickbeam-stay-clearance-marathon quickbeam-chainstay-marathon

I took the Marathon Supreme off the back, due to clearance issues, but I may try again with a 19mm rim. The Kwest I have on there now looks anemic next to the giant Supreme on the front. I also plan to go back to the S3X, in order to ride some climbing loops at lunchtime.

STOLEN BIKE – Valiensi

MR3C9442, originally uploaded by JamesPatrickValiensi.

One of James Valiensi’s bikes was stolen today at CSU Northridge. Yes, that’s his name on the down tube.
If you see it on Craigslist or around Northridge, please email him (through Flickr?), or let me know and I’ll pass the lead on to him.

Yellow JP Valiensi bike.
Hammered metal fenders
Wald Giant Basket on the front rack.
Unique Bosco Bars with cork grips
A bell.
Leather Brooks saddle.
Tweed seat bag.

Dang, what a loss.

** Stolen Bike ** New Dove bars

** Stolen Bike ** Dove bars, originally uploaded by BikeTinker.

This bike was stolen out of my back yard near the end of last week March 4 or 5, near downtown Santa Rosa CA.

Luckily, they left much nicer bikes behind, but unluckily, this is a friend’s bike!

I’d JUST finished the new bar setup for her, with new shifters (courtesy of super nice internet friends), new Dove bars from the Rivendell Garage Sale, and new cables bought at retail from the Bike Peddler.


Santa Rosa makes it super-easy to file a report online, and I encouraged my neighbor to report the bike he’d had stolen the week before.

Quick release basket

Quick release basket, originally uploaded by treefire_1.

Total genius! A tongue on the front of the basket slips under the front of the rack, and… A snapping toolbox latch attached to the rear of the basket hooks onto the back of the rack.

Snap the latch down, and the basket is firmly attached to the rack. The tongue in the front provides the tension in the system, since it doesn’t let the basket sit flat by itself. You have to use the latch to pull everything tight.

Lion brass bell. From England

Lion brass bell. From England, originally uploaded by BikeTinker.

I got this for free, for being a moderately… something… bike blogger. In the course of moving, getting a new job in California, fooling around, letting drift, I kept moving it around, thinking, “I’ll put it on a bike any day now.” Well, after realizing I had a bell need, since there are 100x as many people in California as Oregon, and I’d sure like them to get out of my way, I tossed it in the car, to mount at work.
Two weeks later, I found it in my driveway, thoroughly run over. The stainless hardware easily bent back into shape, and the patina… you can’t buy that kind of authenticity. Really, it’s a sweet little bell.