Tag Archive: “bike”

Time for a New Front Wheel

Twelve years and some 16,000+ miles later, my new bike is still going strong – but it is finally time for a new front wheel. Lots of riding means lots of stopping, and all that brake wear was beginning to erode holes in the rim.

Ordered a new wheel through a local bike shop today. I am absolutely satisfied with the original Bike Wheel Warehouse Pure Tour rims – they’ve taken a lot of abuse and carried all kinds of loads.

Posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2023.

Clipboard Case Pannier Hooks

Found this clipboard document case at Staples and turned it into a compact clamshell pannier.

Photo Aug 18, 5 11 42 PM

Find the printable STL files for the green hooks as well as a few more photos and details at Thingiverse. Alternatively, fork or view the parametric model at Onshape.

Photo Aug 18, 1 50 24 PM

Bonus image: sketching a stronger clasp, using a scanned paper trace of the original as an admittedly not very useful reference:


Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2015.

9000 mile bike check

I recently hit 9000 miles on my bike. I get more fun and function out of it than ever these days. In the spirit of acknowledging good gear, here are a few notes on noteworthy components.

Photo Jul 30, 5 17 25 PM

It’s built around a Nashbar aluminum touring frame, which sadly no longer seems to be sold. It was only $99! People ask what makes it a touring frame. Two things, in my experience: first, lots of hardpoints for mounting useful stuff like racks, fenders, and bottle cages, and second, it’s got a slightly longer wheelbase than a “racing” road bike. The stretch is subtle but easiest to see if you look at the gap between the wheels and the seattube/downtube. The extra length provides plenty of clearance for accessories and baggage.

Photo Jul 30, 5 18 55 PM Photo Jul 30, 5 18 03 PM

Tires are venerable Schwalbe Marathons in 700c x 32. They’re not cheap but they are bulletproof. These tires have absorbed hits that would burst lesser tires and have chewed up and spit out debris would that perforate lesser tires. I know: the first set of tires I had on this bike lasted less than a thousand miles and suffered constant punctures in city riding. I think I’ve only had four or five flats in the remaining 8000 with these (and some of those were due to valve stem issues).

The wheels are Pure Tour 700s from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. They are built for durability with 36 spokes and deceptively deep and beefy rims. No broken spokes and still perfectly true.

The saddle receives a lot of comments. It resembles a vintage Brooks but is in fact a Velo Orange Model 3. What’s the deal with leather saddles, you ask? (Many people do.) True, the surface does not feel as soft as the foam coating conventional bike seats, but unlike those seats, there is no rigid platform beneath the surface: the leather is strung like a hammock between the front and back. It fully conforms to your butt and grows increasingly supple over the course of a long ride.

Photo Jul 30, 5 20 11 PM

Cockpit levers! Cyclocross-style inline brake levers on the top of the bars maintain control even in relaxed upright riding. Old school friction shifters are not gonna win any drag races but are endlessly adjustable and provide the bicycle equivalent of stick shift street cred (or so I suppose). The one fault with this setup is that the bar-end shifter location is subject to the occasional inadvertent bump. I dig the Gevenalle (née Retroshift) solution of mounting friction shifters on the brake levers – something I still consider for the future of this bike.

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2015.

Five Thousand Miles

5000 miles

Posted on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013.

Truck Bed Pannier Racks

A few weeks ago I put a bike rack in my truck bed. Today I added a pair of pannier racks!

Truck Bed Pannier Racks

Posted on Saturday, July 13th, 2013.

Truck Bed Bike Rack

Truck bed bike rack construction


I turned a pair of old roof rack bike trays into a truck bed bike rack. More photos here.

Posted on Thursday, June 20th, 2013.

Folding Bike

Dahon folding bike

Earlier this year I picked up an older Dahon folding bike for cheap. It worked, but needed some TLC: the wheels were lopsided, the rotating parts (hubs, pedals, crank) needed lubrication, and the folding mechanisms were all a bit sticky. I had the wheels trued at the bike shop. I greased all the bearings and replaced the gummy old pedals. Today I freed the seized-up seatpost and re-adjusted the brakes with newer pads. It’s still a bit of a rattletrap compared to the precision standards set by my main bike, but now it is ready to ride!

Posted on Friday, May 31st, 2013.

Derailleur Guard

Sunlite Derailleur Bash Guard

Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2013.

Park Pavillion


Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012.

Bike Check

Readiness procedures require periodic test-fit of touring gear.

Gear Check

I worked out a new way to carry a foam bedroll perched on the back of my trunk bag. I like this arrangement because most of the bag’s compartments remain accessible without removing the bedroll. Perhaps this sort of packing minutiae hardly seems worthy of report, but I think it’s fun to figure out clever ways to carry things.

Posted on Sunday, October 14th, 2012.