Tuesday, 26 November 2013

This is one for Twich

That is from Kickstarter.  Somehow I'm just not convinced, the box is too high causing instability and its open to the elements.  Panniers are just a better solution!

this is more promising

Monday, 25 November 2013

New Home Required for Bicycle Workshop

We heard this week that our application to use the Methuen Centre play ground has been rejected due the fact that Wiltshire College run courses on a weekend there, 'sometimes'.  We are therefore still after a new home: workshop, garage, old barn, anything that can be made into a bike workshop.  The space we have defines what we can do.  We currently occupy the snooker room the community centre which is a great space for a bike shop that will be demolished in 6 months time.

With half that space we could not offer a range of reconditioned bikes and would be much more 'picky' about what we would take on.  Our ever growing collection of wheels would need culling and the work bench would have to go.

The recent cold is bringing back memories of previous years trying to work outside with numb fingers on the verge of frost bite.   At lease this year we can be inside this year and stay warm and dry.

The red bike is looking good with its new coat of paint see below.  There are a number of gear issues to overcome but it should be ready in a couple of weeks.  My trawl of stems and bars for this bike turned up some Cinelli models I didn't know we had as well as some red Schwalbe Blizzard tyres, one of which is fitted.

Red Raleigh Touring Bike
The Sirius that we acquired has a hole in the right chain stay where there shouldn't be one.  It looks like its been caused by the chainset rubbing on the metal.  How the rider did not notice this is just impossible to imagine.  It can be repaired but we will not sell it as the possibility of it collapsing is just too great.  No wonder it was binned.

There were recent cycling fatalities in London (6 in two weeks) and closer to home in Bath and Bristol in the last few days.  I don't want to say anything about 'answers' as there are too many opinions already out there.  I would like to morn their passing and empathise with their families and the people who were driving.

Just for the record I don't drive

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

I was intrigued by this bike helmet design, yes they are wearing a helmet.  watch the film.  The cost is £350.

Marketing blurb from the website http://www.hovding.com/en/

Hövding is a revolutionary bicycle helmet, a new innovation designed for the modern cyclist. Not only one of the safest helmets on the market, but also a discrete chameleon that easily becomes part of your outfit using the changeable shell.

Unlike other cycle helmets, Hövding is worn as a collar around your neck. The collar contains an airbag that will inflate and protect the head in the event of an accident. Compared to ordinary cycle helmets, Hövding provides the best shock absorption in the world.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Did you know a bike must have a reflector by law!

It was cold and wet when I arrived this morning at Spindles.  Twitch was there as usual and for the first time there were no customers.  November is the month were cycling seems to tail off, its permanently dark and cold.   Josh arrived and started to sand down the frame I had been working on.  The theory in that a couple of coats of oxide primer should fill any pitting and sanding the oxide to a smooth finish is good prep for a top coat.

A kids bike came in that had FAILED the basic safety test at the school Bikeability meaning the the respective student could not taken part in the classes.  This was a traumatic experience all around however an examination of the BMX bike in question revealed sloppy brakes, a loose head set and crank.  The BMX required new gyro cables, which are a bit fiddly to insert, plus some minor adjustments and the bike was good to go.  Hold on - the fatal flaw in this job was the missing reflector and after checking almost every bike we managed to bolt a 1970s model reflector to a modern BMX.  I wish I had a photo.

The kids road bike (built from an MB frame) is a great success as the kid in question is getting up at 6 in the morning just to go riding.  Well done Josh for keeping going on that one and also for developing the Spindles font which is soon to make an appearance on the web site. The font is based on bike chain and is currently being turned into a true type font.

Watching Paint dry on the Raleigh

Sunday, 3 November 2013

An Experimental Road Bike

Josh  has finally finished the experimental road bike made from of a Trek mountain bike frame, for a 12yr old.  The standard kids road bike that are available on-line do not have good gears or components.  The challenge was to make a kids road bike from a MB frame with STI shifters for £200.
With 8/3 STI Sora shifters and a new drive train its turned out really well.  The big problem was getting the STI to shift the MB front changer, it took hours of fettling with different mechs and adjusters but he finally cracked it.  There's the result complete with Kojak tyres.  There will be some tests and a fitting before its finally accepted.

The onset of winter means fewer customers however we have sold a large number of kids bikes over the last couple of weeks.  I have started stripping down the Raleigh 531 frame ready for painting you can see the pitting on the steel in the following detailed photos.  I have so far used a rotary steel brush to get at the areas of rust then various grades of sand paper and emery cloth to get it smooth.   I'm hoping that the primer acts as a filler in these areas, it may take a little bit of work but I'm hoping for a reasonably smooth finish.

One of the tricks I'm going to try is to encase the Raleigh badge in wax before I start the painting process.

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