cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

December 2006
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Early Present
Filed under: general, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 11:51 pm

Got a call late yesterday from the shop, saying that my Lemond Poprad replacement frame was ready for me to come pick it up.  That was a bit of a shock, as last I heard, things were “in process.”  That’s one of those safe-but-loaded retail phrases I toss around a little too glibly to cover a time frame which can range from weeks to months and so figured that it would be the longer end of the period.  I had the First Polite Follow Up Call on this week’s to-do list and was reasonably suprised to have had results this fast.

Grabbed a little time in the day’s schedule and dropped by the shop - and just to clarify it, this frame has not been purchased there, and they didn’t know me as a regular customer. To bring you up to date, I’d nabbed the frame towards the end of my tenure with Pacific, and as such was pretty much at this shop’s mercy in this little episode.

There’s also been one variable in this whole thing - the changes which Lemond made to the frame from the time I’d purchased it. The biggest issue is the headtube, which changed to a 1 1/8″ within a couple years of mine. Since the 1″ threadless fork I had was in fine shape, I’d held onto that, and wanted to see if Lemond would send a full frame/fork, or just the frame.

So, upon meeting the service manager and chatting a bit, he called over another mechanic and the two of them started digging into a box behind the counter. He was talking, and there was this interesting vibe in the air - luckily I recognized it. It’s the uneasiness of standing behind the retail counter, about to break what could be construed as Bad News.  As they didn’t know me, they had no idea if I terrorized retail folks for fun, or had been already banned from every other bike shop in the county as a retail creech.

“There’s no fork,” I helpfully pointed out.

One beat. Two.

“There’s no fork,” the service manager agreed.  This was the crux move. Would I snap?

“Inch and an eighth headtube?” High noon.

“Yep” There was a frame alignment tool within the Service Manager’s easy reach. His kung-fu was good.

“Cool.  What do you think they can do about that?”  Everybody breathes again. 

I didn’t really expect anything else to happen, and honestly would’ve been floored if Lemond had included a fork. The Service Manager said he’d give them a call tomorrow and see if they could work something out so I’d have a fork that fit the frame.  In the scheme of things, it would be nice if Lemond(Trek) figured that since they didn’t make the bikes out of 853 anymore and had changed a rather key dimension of the design, the least they could do would be kick down a basic fork for it. We’ll see what happens.

As the wrench tapped off the crown race from my fork, he laughed at it as he hefted it.

“This thing weighs a ton!”

“Keeps the front end on the ground…”

“This must weigh like 1100 grams - you could get one that’s like 400.”

Briefly I have this image of the steep run up at the White’s Hill CX race, or the double barriers right before the finish stretch at Gold Gate Park, where my tires felt filled with water and my legs encased in lead…that’d be saving 6 to 7 hundred grams…my eyes lose focus briefly…

…oh the lure of lightweight parts is a patient illness.

Incompatible Fonts

853 No More

New Lemond Headbadge

It’s actually quite a nice looking frame.  I’ll get some photos inside the head tube, but they definitely did a much cleaner job of cutting the vent holes, and the welds look reasonably even. They did also move the shifter cable stops to a downtube position, which is a much needed design change over the original. My first model had a pair of threaded adjuster bosses on the headtube, and they just seemed to cause repeated cracking in the adjusters and housing.

Tried and Liked 2006
Filed under: general
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 12:30 am

This is sort of an annual sharing of items tried by iBob folks and enjoyed - here’s my entry:

Tried & Liked - 2006

Rivendell Quickbeam -
My Orange QB arrived at RBWHQ&L in early February and I had it set up and out on the roads by the weekend.  Long fixed-gear rides and singlespeed trail work - plus it even raced. From the time that bicycle was first announced, it just seemed right - I like CX, I like singlespeed mtb, I like fixed, and here’s a bicycle that lets me put all that together.  Plus, it’s comfy as heck and just seems to do everything pretty darned well.  You can trace some further blatherings looking for UCQT’s on the RBW list.

Showing up for Boring Meetings -
Mostly for the MCBC, an it’s interesting how much stuff gets done by those who just show up. Someday, those train tunnels will be open.

Getting Out for Mixed-Terrain Rambles -
Excellent company with Carlos D and JimG. If I’m not careful, I’ll end up doing a brevet yet…

650B -
Zeus project completed in 12/03/05, but then refined to its current state this year. Don’t want to appear as too much of a zealot, but try it if you can.  The Zeus has some limitations, but is a screamer on the commute route.

North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show -
If you can get there, see it. Really. Photos.

Racing Cross Again -
For various reasons, it had been about 3 or 4 years without toeing the line during winter. Too many damned excuses, and I’m glad to have gotten out there finally to remind myself what great fun you can have while trying to remember how to breathe.

Racing Cross on a Singlespeed -
Thank you Tarik - I have seen the light… Now if I can just turn the pedals over…

Pencam -
Before the pencam, I would bring a camera, but rarely take it out and use it due to worry about it. But, JimG (and I think Kent’s) enthusiasm pushed me to send off a couple burritos worth of money for the thing. It allows on-the-fly documentation which is fun for online applications, and has even held up for smaller prints. Plus, there’s no crying if I send it through the wash or run it through the fixed-gear drivetrain. 

Flickr -
Another thanks to JimG item.  Needed somewhere to stash all that digital ephemera and this really exceeded all expectations. I’d sworn off online photo storage as pretty hassle-filled, overly laden with visual noise and reasonably klunky.  Flickr passes the clean interface test, but gives enough flexibility to let you interact and relate things in a variety of ways.  Plus, you can dabble for free until you figure whether it’s for you.

Blogging: Reading and Doing -
Finished my first full year, and it’s certainly not much yet. But it has caused me to read more blogs around the virtual newstand, and there are some fine writers tapping into their keyboards - if I mention Kent’s, Tarik’s regular and enlightening blogging, please don’t take that to mean I don’t enjoy others - those are just two good examples to start reading, then let your interests tangent you along.

Bicycle Quarterly -
(VBQ was on last year’s, but since it’s got a new name, I get to add it again) Thank you Jan!

Music, Shows & Events -
Watching “The Minutemen: We Jam Econo” on DVD with my brother, then heading over to see Joan Jett live at the County Fair.
KT Tunstall Live in a KFOG-limited preshow
On the big screen: “World’s Fastest Indian”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Walk The Line”, “Brokeback Mountain”
Madeleine Peyroux live & her newest album
Gettting “The Triplets of Belleville” on DVD

Hall of Famers -
RBW & Rivendell Reader
everyone who took the time to send in photos and words to the cyclofiend galleries
Sheldon Brown
iBob List Members
and of course, alex, for hosting this non-traveling roadshow of lists & archives.

some links for above -
Marin County Bicycle Coalition
The Zeus 650B Project
Aiptek Pencams
Flickr Photo Pages
Kent’s Blog - http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/
Tarik’s Blog - http://tsaleh.blogspot.com/

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