Look KG381 Team

August 25, 2011

Picked up my new (well second-hand but in excellent condition) Look KG381 Team with full Dura-Ace 7800 groupset and new Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels. Can hardly wait to get out for a decent ride on this full-carbon weapon and see what it can do.

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It’s been almost two months since I last updated this blog. Damn. My excuse is that I’ve been doing other things, like building a flat tray for my new townie.

“New townie?” you ask. Yes, the Claud Butler is getting a makeover. You might remember it from my earlier classic-inspired build, which funnily enough I posted up a year tomorrow. That build never really worked out, the geometry was really lax 60s roadie and no good for a fixed ride. The frame, with its 53cm top tube, was also on the small side for me which meant running a tall seat post and a ridiculously high saddle to bar height; cool on a true track or pursuit frame, not so cool on an old road frame with a shallow rake. In the end I stripped the frame and mounted it on the wall in my room where it stayed until now.

I’m going to run a set of box section wheels with a coaster brake on the rear. I’ll be ordering this wheelset from the States soon. Other than that the bike’s almost good to go. I have a spare set of low-end Sugino cranks where the driveside arm, spider and ring are all one piece. Not so good for high-stress fixed drive trains, but perfect for this townie build and coaster brake setup. The front rack is my own design with parts bought from my local hardware store. It’s a bit of a work in progress but will hopefully be strong enough to hold a 12 pack when finished.

More pics to come once this build it rolling, watch this space.

This is my friend Roei. I met him during my South Island ride. He’s near the end of a 64,000km round-the-world adventure.

He’s seen some amazing things and met some very interesting people along the way, to be expected when travelling through six continents and 39 countries on a bicycle.

You can follow his journey on his blog and read my story in The Aucklander here.

Roei is riding the length of New Zealand with his friend Etamar. They arrived in Auckland last week and stayed a couple of nights at mine before making their way up to Cape Reinga.

To talk to them about their home – Israel – is to have an eye-opening insight into how complex Middle Eastern tensions are. These two young men show a wisdom and understanding (although they say they’re no experts on the politics) beyond their age. Speaking to them made me realise how lucky we are to live in the relative peace of New Zealand. I think this is easy to take for granted.

Roei and Etamar seem resigned (perhaps realistic is a better word?) but certainly not cynical that there will be a World War III in their lifetimes and that their country will be involved. Although quite possible, the idea still scares me. Roei recalled an interesting saying that I’ve never heard before:

“We don’t know what weapons will be used in World War III, but we do know World War IV will be fought with sticks.”

 

Haulin’

January 22, 2011

 

I’ve been in hunting mode, on the lookout for a large riding backpack to haul big loads. Think I’m set on Chrome‘s new Brigadier roll-top bag. It looks super smart and doubles as a duffel bag. A whopping 49 litres of bullet and waterproof goodness, well so Chrome says, but I’ve no reason to doubt the claim having bought Chrome’s Citizen satchel last year. During my usual in-depth online research I stumbled across this cool video. Check it out.

The professional photographers snapped a few great shots of me in action at Taupo. It doesn’t look that steep, but the top shot shows the infamous Hatepe Hill. You can see people in the background who’ve hopped off their bike to walk it; it’s that steep. It felt great to power up this hill passing people the whole way up. It was tough on the legs, though. Bring on the Rotorua Flyer in April, might even have a team of fixed riders doing it by then.

I’ve created a new page where I’ll be keeping a log of all my training rides in preparation for some road races come summer.

You can find it next to the ‘About’ page up top.

In other news, my shiny, chrome high-flange Phil Wood hubs are on their way from the States. In the past I’ve not been a fan of mirror finishes but I admit they’re growing on me, quickly. I bit of well-placed chrome is unbeatable. I’m planning on lacing these hubs to a set of bright silver Deep Vs with silver double butted spokes. They’ll probably live on the Miyata, but will no doubt see some action on the Coltello. Watch this space.

On Wednesday evening I was heading down Symonds St when some asshole pulled out of City Rd taking me out.

I clipped the right back corner of the car and went down. All very well, people make mistakes and I’m used to cars pulling out on me, but this joker didn’t stop and just drove on up Symonds. I got up and ran after him in the bus lane, dragging my Coltello in along with me. He got stuck behind a bus waiting at a red light at the K Rd / Grafton Bridge intersection. Google maps tells me I ran 150m before catching up to him at the lights. Damn right. He gestured that he’d pull over up ahead but screw that, he was probably just wanting to drive off again. I stood in front of his car’s bonnet with my bike refusing to move. Only when I said I was calling the police did he get out of his car and begin apologising profusely, pleading with me not to call the cops. Tough luck buddy, you reap what you sow. I bet you’ll  suddenly see a lot more bikes on the road from now on.

DON’T DRIVE OFF WHEN YOU HIT SOMEONE; that shit’s just not on.

The cops turned up and took our statements, but it’s pretty black and white; there’s no grey here. Three witnesses also stopped and supplied me and the cops with their details. Big  ups to these three people, you rock. The cops were also great to deal with, too.

Thankfully the bike and myself are fine. The bike’s up at T Whites getting looked over by the Supersonic Brian. But they reckon it’s all good, just a couple of tiny scratches and a minor clearcoat chip out of my carbon forks. They build ’em tough.

So kids, the moral of the story is don’t pull out in front of bikes, and if you do stuff up, don’t run.

Tall gearing trial

August 8, 2010

I took the Miyata for a 33km training ride this afternoon. Ignoring the brief shower and the gusts – which always seemed to be a damn headwind – the ride went well. My legs feel better for it but the 50/13 ratio’s not for me, thank you very much. Theoretically, this gearing should see me doing 50kph on the flat easy, however, in reality this isn’t quite the case. I usually run the ‘perfect’  48/17 but have found myself spinning out with more left in the tank lately. Admittedly, the 50/13 is a massive jump up, but it was an interesting trial that cost me nothing as the wheelset with the 13t cog was the set that came with the bike.

I’ve done a few calculations and I’m going to give 52/17 a go. This will give me a rollout of 6.4m, according to Sheldon Brown’s useful calculator.

So how does this compare? Well with 48/17 I’m looking at a rollout of 5.9m, whereas today’s 50/13 had me riding with a whopping 8.1m rollout!

I made it through my Tamaki Drive/St Heliers loop but steep Roberta Ave killed me. I was also disappointed to see that my I’ve replaced one problem with another, both leaving me feeling like I could go faster. With 50/13 I found that although my legs could turn faster, I don’t have the power to push the pedals as fast as I’d like. I averaged 26.6kph on today’s ride – pulled down plenty by the hills. There is no point being fast on the flat if it just means I get killed on the climbs.  So everything’s pointed to the 52/17 ratio, so I’ve ordered a 52t chainring from Fyxomatosis. It’ll be sent off tomorrow so I’ll hopefully have my hands on it before next weekend. They’re supposedly awesome. I’ll do a write-up once it arrives to see if they’re worthy of their cred.

The funny thing is before the ride I spoke to a fellow fixed rider who usually cruises on 51/14, dunno how he can do it but he reckons it’s great.

Bicycle bedroom

August 7, 2010

This is my bedroom, and why my girlfriend is awesome.