Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sorry I have been real behind in my writing with a new book coming out and a couple new web sites I've been real tied up!
Anyway Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone out there has a happy safe Thanksgiving! Enjoy your families!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cyclecrap.com up for sale

The web store http://www.cyclecrap.com is up for sale check out the details on ebay type
380173884217 in the search. Your chance to own a home business with little investment!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Spartons Sold!

The Sparton was sold and is living happily in Key West. Patrick from Fixed Gear Key West bought it and is making it his personal ride. I was sorry to see it go, but I just had too many bikes and no space!

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Book

For all you Fixed Gear Maniac readers I apologize for being somewhat slack the last few months. I had a good excuse... I was finishing a novel, which has now been published and available! For any of you who might be interested you can see and read some of it at the following link http://outskirtspress.com/fetner . You can also purchase it at this link as well. Any purchases would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You
Your Humbly Starving Author

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Awsome Riding

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Red Sparton Bike


I am going to sell the Sparton bike that I built earlier. I just don't have the room or time to enjoy it. It still hasn't been ridden except on a quick ride up the street and back. You will have to ride it brake less unless you use a very small front tire due to clearance. This is a track bike so the fork rides very close to the tire. First $400 takes it.

Been Busy

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I have a novel that should be out in the next few weeks and that has been taking up all my time. I will be back posting soon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Council of Doom

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Weather Blues

This Miami weather is making commuting real difficult. Besides the heat and humidity the thunder storms are unpredictable. I'll ride in the rain, but I shy away from lightening while ridding a steel bike. Fortunately things should get better by the end of July. In the meantime I'm riding when I can and looking forward to cooler dryer weather.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sprints at Keirin Cycle


Thursday July 9th 10 PM

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stash bars



Origin 8 is always at the front for hot new products. Check out their new Stash Bars. Straight bars with removable ends that allow you to hide your money or other paraphernalia inside the bar. The bars are available in 8 colors.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Busway Sprints

Maybe 15 or so people showed up, besides the lousy weather. Mike Terraferma was there with one of his latest creations a beautiful lugged bike with a custom paint job. Also the boys from J&B Wholesale where all the Origin8 stuff comes from. So as you can see the get together was wrought with celebrities!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Busway Sprints

All right folks there will be a gathering at the South bus way route 117 and U.S 1. Across from the Whole Foods Shopping center. Sprinting and chaos will prevail. Come hang out and meet other fixed gear enthusiasts.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sprints at Keirin

Friday, June 5, 2009

Interview with Ines Brunn

Well I thought I' try something different. How about an Interview with the Queen of Fixed Gear Ines Brunn. I'm sure you all have seen her in action! Shes the one who did all those incredible tricks on You Tube while the rest of us were trying to figure out track stands!

1)First Ines where were you born and raised? Is that where you got your
bicycle training?
I was born in Germany, moved to the US (New Jersey) at the age of 3. I
started gymnastics at the age of 6. We moved back to Germany when I was
9 years old and I continued competitive gymnastics till the age of 13.
At that point I by chance found the sport called artistic cycling which
is gymnastics on a bike and started it right away. My gymnastics
background helped me a lot for the balance, the flexibility as well as
the strength.

2) I see you speak English fluently how many other languages do you
speak fluently?
Hard to say. Definitely one other language fluently: German. My Chinese
is pretty good and my French used to be very good (but seems to be
hidden behind all the Chinese words right now)

3) Most everyone's seen your videos on trick riding, where did you learn
to ride like that? you obviously were professionally trained?
I started at the age of 13. The coach in the local club could not show
me anything new after a few months. But I got accepted to the regional
team right away and after 3 years I was on the German National team.
There we had professional training.

4) Where have you worked as a performer?
I have performed in many different countries such as: South Africa,
Russia, Sri Lanka, USA, China, Malaysia, Hong kong, Switzerland, Belgium,
Holland, Germany, Austria...
Some places I did 62 performances in 31 days. I perform for company
events, corporate anniversaries, evening galas, TV shows, bike
competitions, cycling events, parties, festivals...

5) How long have you been riding?
20 years (oh know, now you know my age)

6) Have you raced or been involved in any other type of riding?
I did the artistic cycling competitively for 16 years until I moved to
China. I have competed in the Cyclo Cross races last winter and really
enjoyed that. Just 2 weeks ago I did my first road race. That was
interesting too. There is another race next week.

7) Now I see your in China, what are you doing over there?
I came to China for an American company in the telecommunication
industry. Now I am planning on opening a fixed gear bike shop.

8)What type of gearing set up and bike do you use for your trick bike?
I have my original trick bike with a 1 to 1 gear ratio. It is easy to do
tricks on that but you cannot rode it around town. I have a small track
bike that I use for riding and tricks. I have a 45 tooth chain ring and
a 18 tooth cog. I put a smaller front wheel so that I can bar spin.

9) With the type of riding your doing I'm sure you've had some crashes,
anything serious?
Yes, sure I had a quite a few. The worst is falling into the bike. You
should always make sure to fall off (and best roll off) away from the
bike. I had some head first crashes into the bike while practicing the
handstand. It even happened during the German Championship. The worst
fall off my bike while not doing any tricks was a few weeks ago. I was
ghost riding my trick bike and it suddenly started jumping and got
tangled with my fixed gear bike to I did a face first dive over the
handlebars. My wrists are still in pain so I have not done any tricks
lately.

10) Do you have a favorite bike and what is it?
I like different bikes for different purposes. For example for riding
longer distances or to work I love my blue Corima fixed gear bike with
front brake. For playing around I love my small pink Cinelli fixed gear
bike but when it rains or I just go to a nearby restaurant or bar I love
my 1970s old Flying Pigeon converted to fixed gear.

11) Is there anything you'd like to say to all the fixed gear riders out
there?
For all cyclists: Get on your bikes and enjoy life!
For all fixed gear riders doing tricks: Keep being innovative and
playing around! Your children and grandchildren will be proud of you
being the pioneers in fixed gear trick riding
For all fixed gear riders: Mash those urban streets!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roller Sprints

The boys over at Keirin Cycles have their roller sprint setup fixed and ready to go. Two riders mount up and race against the clock. The computer records whose faster. A great way to test your sprint against an opponent. If your up Miami Beach way check them out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Fixed Gear Book

Well it's taken a while to get the kinks out of the system, but it seems to be working now. I wrote an E-Book on Fixed Gears. I tried to cover everything that related to fixed gears. There's a lot of new riders out there looking for general information: How to get a Bike, set it up, How to Ride, Alley Cats, Bike Polo etc...
it's all in there. I've included pictures and plenty of resources and links.
If you want to get into fixed gear riding here's a good place to start.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Macaframa

Yes The Macafarma movie Screening at Keirin has been canceled till further notice. The guys at Keirin appologize it was beyond their control, but they said riders are still welcome to come by and hang out.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Macaframa

The guys at Keirin Cycles are going to have a private screening for the Fixed Gear movie Macaframa on Thursday May 14th 8pm. Then after they're going to race to Shiso Sushi. Try and make it. There location is on South Beach at 235A 9th street or call them at (305)531-6684. Try and support these guys in that they are the only dedicated Fixed Gear Shop in Miami!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is There Hope Out There?

I'll tell you I do think the Critical Mass and Bike Days is helping change the public's view on cycling. I definitely am seeing more friendly drivers then in months past. Don't get me wrong we still have the occasional Asshole, but there seems to be less of them. Let's hope the trend continues!
A few things I try to always do 1) is always wave thank you when someone yields or doesn't cut me off. It's hard to be mad at someone that smiles and waves, plus it makes them feel good like they did their good deed for the day.
2) I try not to flip people off, although not always possible! Flipping someone off or yelling at them just pisses them off more. Now next time they see a cyclist they're more liable to be more aggresive and take out some poor cyclist who had nothing to do with the first altercation. Most of these drivers don't cut you off on purpose, they're just Stupid and don't think before they do things. Once you realize this it's a little easier to be more forgiving! Remember your always more vulnerable on a bike! You may catch up to a driver and beat his ass or mess up his car, but remember he's going to be right back in that car tomorrow and he may come up on you again and remember you!
3) If you can... entertain them at the lights, Track stand. Lots of motorist have never seen that, so they enjoy watching you. Plus it gets them more bike aware. I've had more people wave or yell out positive encouragements when I've done track stands. Try it!
Remember whatever positive actions you take on a bike helps all of us, likewise any negative actions you take can effect all of us!

Can't we all just get along

Damn nothing like friendly traffic. Nothing feels better then when a kind motorist lets you go by. This morning at the traffic light I'm doing a track stand waiting for the light to change. I think I was the morning entertainment. The light changes and I want to go left which usually means waiting for the other side to go by before I can go. This morning however the first car honks and graciously signals for me to go first. First thought... is it a trap? I decide to go waiting to be run down like a dog, but nothing happens! Driver smiles I smile and wave and continue on. Am I still in Miami or did I wake up somewhere else? Maybe there is hope yet!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why Miami Traffic Sucks

Well if you hadn't heard Florida won the prestigious Title of most bicycle fatalities. Something to be really proud of! The main problem, too many immigrant drivers with poor driving habits and no traffic enforcement. Unfortunately it is way to easy for these drivers to get a license in Florida and especially Miami. There is also corruption within the drivers license testing offices. Money is passed and if you know the right person you can magically pass the test. So now we have all these drivers with little or no proper driving experience all over our roads and on top of that we give them cell phones. Think that may be a problem? Of course!
Now to fix this problem you need an aggresive police force handing out tickets. People get enough tickets they start to understand right from wrong. Unfortunately the local cops only enforce speeding and parking tickets. Wonder why? Because it takes very little work to stockpile impressive numbers that make you look like your busting your ass thus freeing you up for the rest of the day. Now if we enforced running lights, stop signs, illegal turns, stupid cell phone driving and failure to yield right of way we might get somewhere! Plus look how much money it would raise for the State!
Make the laws tough! Throw a beer bottle out of your car $500 and two days public service cleaning glass off the streets. I guarantee you get caught once and you'd never do it again!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Holy Shit! #$##$%%%%#&&Y&

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Legged Messenger

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coconut Grove Bike Day

George Espina the head guy at Sparton Bicycles was in town. He and I go way back when we were starting out as mechanics. We used to have a steady weekend ride, but George moved up to South Carolina, so we haven't ridden together in a couple years. Since I have plenty of bikes I loaned him the yellow KHS Flite and I took the Skull Express. We took off from Coral Gables and rode into Coconut Grove to see the Bike Day promotion. It was nice riders from all levels riding on the streets. The Police had the streets blocked off to normal traffic. There were some display tables and stuff going on in the park there, but we didn't stop. We continued on and went up brickell to Downtown and continued up to Miami Beach. Beautiful day, nice and cool. The wind was killer, but I'll take the wind over a hot humid day anytime! We went up Lincoln Road and then down along Collins to the beach. Then turned around and went back. Early morning Sunday is definitely the best time to ride in Miami. Traffic is light and motorist definitely seemed to be more chilled. All in all it was probably my best ride in a long time. We did about 30 miles which is a nice distance on the fixed gears. I saw a lot more fixed gears on the road then I'd seen in the past which is good. Used to be maybe 5 of us riding track bikes six years ago now there's hundreds!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sprint League

I was thinking how cool would it be to set up a sprint league. Just like the local soccer leagues. 5 or 6 man teams representing a certain area. Each team has it's own jersey. You draw from a hat who you're going to race. The team with the best results wins. You could have 10 to 20 teams around town racing then after a certain time period the two best would face off for the championship. It be pretty easy to do. Set some ground rules 1) length of track 2) fixed gear only 3) how to set up the draw 4) how to start...I'd say from a track stand to make it more interesting and up the skill level.
Get some guys to be accepted officials to oversee it. Pick some accepted strips for tracks and you're there! Anyone interested in setting something up like this in Miami let me know.

Powder Coating

Hey if you got an old frame and you want to get it looking good just powder coat it. You'll have a frame that looks brand new! Frame and fork will run you around $120. My black bike the Skull Express was a mess when I got it. It was brush painted white with traces of previous paint jobs. You can see from the pictures that the frame looks really sharp now. If you live in Miami or Orlando I know powder coaters in both cities, just shoot me an email if you need the info.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Friday Sprints

Unfortunately I wasn't able to go do to a prior engagement I couldn't get out of. From what some of the people told me it was kinda disorganized. First the information on where it was, was wrong. It was 112 st not 104 st. There was no beer or music! The sprints were sporadic and unorganized. 15 minute lag time between sprints, but then again this ain't no sanctioned race.
The busway definitely works, no traffic, few busses and lit streets. Everybody got to hang out which was good. Hopefully we can make it a regular thing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miami Sprints

Tonight's the night! Street sprints! Now's the time for all you guys who couldn't make it to the beach the sprint. The sprints are coming South. Tonight at 9:00 pm on the bus path and SW 104 Street. This is right at US1 where the Kmart is and the old Fuddruckers. The bus path is well lit with no traffic minus an occassional bus. This is going to be big! Word is riders from the North are coming to show their Southern neighbors how it's done. There should be plenty of bikes and fixie chicks to check out so come watch the action!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Well I'm back to my old routine commuting to work again. I took a few days off after the kidney stone debaucle and I needed the car for a few errands. Anyway I'm back. The ride in this morning couldn't have been better! Nice and cool no humidity. Traffic was light and I did a nice long track stand at a red light. I also got a new pair of shoes that make a big difference as well. The old ones had split across the bottom making it hard to get in and out of the toe clips....a dangerous situation. I'd been riding like that for months not to smart, so I broke down and bought some shoes. I have some old classic leather Vittoria track shoes that I'll use on weekend rides, but I don't like them for work cause you can't really walk in them very well. I usually try to find some thin trainer type sneakers like Pumas. Payless had some that fit the bill for $14 perfect! Now if I can find my other toe clip bolts I may ride the Sparton into work tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kidney Stones

Sorry I've been slack on the writing. I got hit with a bout of kidney stones that landed me in the ER. Believe me not something you want to experience! The Doctor told me it's the closest thing a male will experience to child birth. Nice words of encouragement. Anyway I spit that baby out Saturday and was back riding Sunday! Nice to be back in the saddle again! (Aerosmith 1975)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sparton brake installation



I found a brake that would work with the Sparton so I went ahead and installed it. You can see the close clearance in the picture. I've never ridden this set up with the lever on the top so I figured I'd try it.

KHS


This was my first fixed gear. I set it up for a long distance commuter for now. I'm going to try the power grip toe straps so I will let you know how I like them. Since I'm a sales rep in the industry I have access to all kinds of stuff, so you never know what you'll find on one of my bikes.

Skull Express photos











Here's the Skull Express. This is my daily transportation for commuting thus the lights and rear view. If you look real careful on the lower frame you'll see the fiber flare light I had written about in an earlier post. These are now available

Friday, April 3, 2009

Close Calls

I was trying to load pictures of my bikes from the previous article, but due to camera problems I will have to delay that much anticipated supplement. So here's my most recent 2 cents worth.
If you're going to ride the streets you need to bring your awareness level up to 110%. You need to pay attention like your the lead man on a search and destroy mission in the jungles of Vietnam. If you can maintain this awareness and keep from doing any stupid things your survival chances will be very good!
Today I almost got hit twice, but since I'm always looking for it I was able to avoid both. The first was a lady backing out of a driveway. I was on the sidewalk. Whenever I'm on a sidewalk my main concern is someone backing out of their driveway. I never ride fast on the sidewalks and I always keep my eyes peeled to the driveways as I approach them. Here I listen for the sound of an engine and look for smoke coming out of a tail pipe. I spotted this lady just as she started to pull out and stopped within a foot of her door.
Second encounter is another common hazard. Crossing an intersection cars on the opposite side with the same green light waiting to turn left. I always try to get to the front of the line at a light so everyone will see me, but I don't always make it. Today was one of those days. The last place you want to be is last, because you're scrambling to make the light and the opposite traffic wants to make their turn before the light changes. If I'm last I try to stay on the rear bumper on the left where the turning car will hopefully see me or I stay on the last cars right side using this car as a blocker for any turning traffic. Today I was on the right side of a car crossing he sped up unexpectedly leaving me exposed. The turning car didn't see me and made his turn. I was still close enough to the first car and going fast enough to avoid the hit. I was also aware of the turning car at all times so I was prepared to avoid him.
Be aware of your surroundings look at each car and think what would he need to do to hit me and keep this in mind. Always think ahead to which route is best and how to avoid the tight traffic. I have spots at intersections that are bad that I just hop the sidewalk to get past them then drop back on the street, but even sidewalks aren't safe. I had a lady go up onto the sidewalk in front of me apparently she went to reach for a dropped cell phone or something and lost it.
So heads up and be careful out there.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Skull Stable

You ain't a player if you don't have more than one bike! Baby I'm a player! Four bikes in the living room....one bike in the bedroom and two or three more in storage. You say what? Yeah I be bad! My main three...(this can change,) but right now...
1) The Skull Express- Lean classic lugged British track frame. Originally when I got it used it was painted white with a hand brush, but I saw a hidden beauty under that crappy paint job, so I picked her up for a $100 bucks. I stripped her down and had her powder coated jet black. Threw on some black SINZ Bmx cranks, traditional campy pedals and a classic Selle Italia Trans am leather saddle now you with me baby? Took some road bars and did the chop and drop thing...presto..cheap bull horns! I installed a black Mavic road brake on the front with a tri brake lever in the end of the bull horn.The fork that came with the bike was good. I put a completely black Wienmann DP-18 wheel on the back and a completely black road wheel I had on the front. With that she was ready to roll .ohh I forgot the tell tale Skull decal on the head tube to complete it. This is my everyday commute bike. I'm running a 46 x 17 gear ratio.
2) Ride number two. KHS Flite 100 I think the 2006 model yellow with blue decals. I've changed this bike around several times. Right now as she sits she's set up for long distance. A RIDO saddle for comfort. I put some Tri bars without the extensions so they look like deformed bull horns, but because they're longer they allow for more hand positions. Tri brake lever on the right side for the front brake. An old Mavic aero wheel on the front, the KHS factory wheel on the back. A bike rack for when I need to tote a cooler and she was ready to go.
3) The newest edition to my stable the Sparton classic lugged track frame that I just built. Pictures below. I put a new Origin8 red anodized crank on it. I found some old NITTO classic track bars that I cleaned up and installed on a classic Cinelli Titaniaum stem. Red Selle Italia saddle. For now this bike is brakeless. I'm going to leave an easy gear ratio for tricks and skidding. This will be my play bike.

What is it I like in a Fixed Gear?

If you asked me what I liked in a fixed gear I'd tell you the simplicity. My fixed gear is always ready to go. It's quiet and it sticks to the essentials.... simplicity! I still have a road bike but I rarely ride it and when I do it usually needs an adjustment or it's making an irritating noise that I usually have to tweak. Ask me what kind of frame I like...Classic lugged track frame hands down! There is an artistic beauty to a hand lugged frame. The look and ride of steel can't be beat! Now don't get me wrong I like the custom look of the bikes coming out now. I like seeing everyone putting their personal touch to their bikes it's one of the things that keeps the fixed gear scene fresh and exciting. For me personally I just like the look of the lugged frame.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finished Sparton

Finished Sparton in all her splendor!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sparton

Well I got the alignment problem fixed. I just had to touch up the dropout a little. Wheels and chain are installed. Handlebar and stem are on. I went to put the seat on and I don't have the right seat post. I figured it would be a 27.2 or 26.2 it's not. Probably a 26.0 which I don't have so I'll have to pick one up. The bike is definitely looking nice. The track fork has a very close clearance over the wheel. The brake that I had that I had a short reach won't work...damn. The brake was sweet a Campy Delta. Anyway for now I'll keep it brakeless. Once I get the seatpost it's pretty much ready to go. Sparton offers two different forks so if your going to use a front brake make sure to tell them.

Quick Release and hub info

A young lady sent me an email on using a quick release on a fixed. I wrote her back and thought maybe some other people could use the info so I copied it. Below:

The flip flop hub is a hub that has threading on both sides. Meaning you can have a different gear on either side of the wheel. To change your gear you just need to take your wheel off and flip sides. Now you can get a hub that is fixed/ fixed which means you would have to use a track cog on both sides or you can get a hub that is fixed/free, which is threaded on one side for a cog and the other side for a freewheel.
The cog and freewheel threads are not the same. The cog side will have two rings of threads the first which is closest to the spokes is where the track cog spins on. The second threads are smaller and tighten in reverse so you go left to tighten. This is for your lock ring which locks down the track cog.
Your freewheel side will only have one set of threads. So you want a fixed/ free hub. You put a freewheel on one side and a track cog on the other. You can switch back and forth as you like.
Now reference the quick release hub as far as I know nobody makes this type of hub with a quick release. They will either use a standard bolt or an allen bolt.
On a derailleur bike you don't put that much torque on the rear wheel because the derailleur keeps the chain tight. On a fixed gear the chain is direct drive so it has to be locked down super tight. A quick release was not designed for this type of application.
Let me know if this helps. If your buying a commercial/new fixed gear bike it will be set up this way. If your buying something used or converted then there's no telling.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Super Hero Cyclist

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sparton


I should of had the Sparton frame finished this weekend, but I ran into a snag. I finished the bottom bracket. Everything went smooth, the threads and facing were finished nicely, so all that was left was to slap wheels and a chain on it and it was ready to go. I put a rear wheel in the rear dropout and the wheel lines up crooked. I suspect the frames out of alignment. I'm going to throw another wheel in there just to make sure the wheels not off, but I suspect the frame. I was rushed for time, so I just put everything aside till I had some more time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sparton Up Date

Sorry I didn't work on the frame this weekend. I had a bottom bracket at the house that I had planned to use, but when I got ready to install it I noticed the threads were damaged. I will try and pick up a new bottom bracket in the next couple of days. However, I did find some chrome track bars and an old Cinelli stem. I picked up some ORIGIN 8 red annodized cranks that should look trick. I also have a nice red Selle Italia leather saddle that will be going on the bike. Talking about frames check out the Pinarello time trial frame at http://cyclecrap.com Dropped curved frame with a 650c front wheel 700c rear.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Origin 8 Del Pasado



A new fixed gear frame is on the horizon. Origin8 the guys that came out with the UNO have a new frame set coming out the Del Pasado. Full treated 4130 chromoly frame and fork.


Ovalized 28mm tall chainstays


Custom machined horizontal dropouts


25.4 seat post


120mm rear spacing


1 1/8 threadless headset


room for 35c tires and fenders


integrated seat collar


Straight blade fork


This frame has a really cool look. It will be available in black or white. A perfect frame for bike polo or tricks. Now the best thing this frame set should retail for $180 dollars!

Monday, March 2, 2009

NAHBS Winner

Best Track Bike
Shin-Ichi Konno is continuing a family business that has made Cherubim one of the most respected handmade bicycle brands in Japan and a builder for keirin racers there. According to Shin-Ichi, the current design of track/keirin racing frames has been in place since the 1960s. The award-winning Cherubim Pista is made with due respect to the long tradition of track bicycle frame building.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The finished photo

Headset and fork finished and ready to go!










Above photo fork locked into vice with saw guide. Right photo showing threaded cup on fork before putting it in saw press. This saves you if the threads are damaged when cutting. When you unscrew it, it will straighten the threads so you can re-install the headset.










First photo showing headset press. Second photo installed headset with marked fork before cutting.

Progress on the Sparton

I wish I had had a video camera. Filming this would have been more helpful, but since I was on the clock I didn't want to be to obvious. Anyway these were the final steps to mounting the fork. 1)First I needed to press the cups into the frame. I used a headset press which is a tool designed just for this. It basically applies pressure from both sides forcing the cups into the frame. 2) Next I needed to measure where to cut the fork off. Usually this is done at the factory for you, but if you ever need to replace a fork you will need to know how to do it. Put your headset on and screw it down. Mark where you need to cut the fork, just under the locking nut. Once the fork is marked remove it from the frame. 3) Now screw the threaded upper cup down the fork past your mark and put the fork in a saw guide and lock it into the vice. The reason you install the upper cup is if you damage the threads when sawing, when you remove the threaded cup it will fix the threads. Make sure you line the mark on the fork with the saw before you start sawing. If you cut it to short you will not be able to use the fork! 4) Once the fork is cut remove it from the saw guide. Touch up the cut area with a file then unscrew the threaded cup. 5) Now re-install the fork and headset. Grease the cups and bearings and tighten it down.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


A shot after the rear hole has been drilled and the recessed nut installed.

Fork Pictures











A view of the fork before drilling. Drilling the front hole.
Notice the smaller drill mark from
the factory to help your bit from moving.

Drilling the Fork

I drilled the fork for a front brake over the weekend. Basically I measured an old fork to find the correct bit size. I used a 13/64 for the small hole and a 5/16 on the rear. The front hole is smaller so you drill through both sides of the crown. Then you change bits and flip the fork over. Then after measuring and getting the right bit you drill the hole bigger on the backside of the fork. Remember the recessed brake nut goes in the rear side thus the bigger hole. You can also do it with a regular nut and keep both holes the same. I like the look of the recessed nut better. Sparton has forks already pre-drilled so request these if they're available. Don't try and drill this without a drill press or you stand a chance of drilling your hole crooked and your brakes won't set properly. Once I finished drilling I reamed the hole with a hand ream and a rat tail file to expand the hole slightly on the backside hole.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Encounter with an Asshole

Oh don't you love them. The poor ignorant bastards that don't know traffic law and yell at you when your in the right! I'm parked in the middle lane at a red light because the right lane is a turning lane. The guy behind me gets pissed because he wants to make an illegal right turn from the middle lane on a red light. Now he doesn't say anything the whole time were at the light. However, when the light changes he yells out 'Get on the sidewalk ASSHOLE' as I pulled away. I turned sharply and caught his bumper pulling myself up into the bed of the truck. I then reached around the drivers cab and grabbed the driver by the throat bringing his pick up truck to an abrupt stop. I jumped out of the bed opened the door and pulled the driver out and proceeded to beat the crap out of him with my bicycle pump. I left him there unconscious at the side of the road, grabbed my bike and peddaled away as the other motorist clapped and cheered as I rode off in the sunset.
I decided to dress this story up a little and bring a little fiction to the blog. What really happened he cursed me out I responded with an appropriate response and we each drove away pissed off.
Now I did notice he had a Dominican Flag hanging from his rear view mirror probably explaining why he wasn't familiar with our traffic laws. Also it's illegal for cyclist to ride the sidewalks even though we do it anyway. So, if that ignorant motorist happens to read this I would recomend if your from another country and your going to drive over here you might want to familiarize your self with the local traffic laws. This ain't no Dominican Republic buddy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Riding on a Holiday

Wow how nice! No traffic! If only every day's ride was like this! The roads were mine! I took up a whole lane and nobody challenged me. If Miami Traffic was like this everyday we would be the cycling capital of the world instead of the most miserable city to live in. It's ashamed it takes a holiday to experience what could be and tomorrow it will be back to reality of what is. Oh well maybe some day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009



Frame Pictures


Sparton Frame

Well here it is the frame set I'm going to build. My first bike was red so I was in the mood to get another red bike since it's been years. I have some fond memories of that red Benotto! Anyway, the Sparton frame is real nice! I'm partial to lugged steel frames. If you want a new lugged frame Sparton's the best deal out there. Most of the other lugged frames are made by custom builders and have a big price tag attached. Anyway, I'll tell you a little about Sparton. My good friend George Espina who I've known since I was still a teenager, we worked in the same bike shop as mechanics. He had come up from Chile after being a junior olympic cyclist for Chile. Well back to the story anyway many years latter we decide to do this bike trip in Chile and climb all the mountains on road bikes. Which we did. If you want to see some Google Portillo ski resort in Chile.
Well while were in Chile we go visit an old bike shop that still builds frames the traditional way. We were so captured by the quality and value we bought a few and brought them back with us. We showed them around and there seemed to be a demand for classic bike frames, so George got in touch with the frame builder and made arrangements to start importing frames. Thus Sparton U.S.A was born!
So, back to this frame. It's steel tubing, nothing light, but who cares it's a fixed gear frame for the street. The forks are semi sloping which has a cool look. These forks are not drilled for brakes, but you can get them drilled. I'm going to drill these myself.
The head tube lug has an S cutout part of the Sparton touch to detail. You could paint this to really make it stand out if you wanted. Also on the rear seat stay Sparton is pressed into the metal. This can be seen in the pictures. The decals are old school which I like. If you don't like them they can be easily removed since they are applied after the frame is finished. This is how bikes used to be done. Most companies throw a couple coats of clearcoat over the decals now which prevents them from being removed. You can also buy the Sparton frame without decals if you like. This frame will use an English threaded bottom bracket with a 109 length axle. The headset is a 1 inch threaded.
First thing I'm going to do is install the headset and cut the fork. I'll have to go slow on this since I'm a little tapped out for cash right now, but I do have the headset so I will be able to complete this step over the weekend. When I finish this step I'll add some photos.

Riding in the Rain

Riding in the rain has its challenges. I carry a light cycling rain jacket on my commute just in case. My pack is waterproof...thank you Banjo Brothers! Everything else gets wet. The one thing to remember is every one's visibility is cut! So don't assume the drivers see you.... they don't! They usually have their heads up their ass anyway so when it's raining multiply that by two! Use your lights! Where they can't see you your lights stand out. Ride conservatively as the roads get wet all the oil on the roads floats to the surface making things slippery. If you ride over any of the metal draw bridges that are scattered throughout Florida use extreme caution. Keep a straight line go slow and do not stand up on the pedals! That metal gets extremely slippery! A few years back we were riding over one of the bridges that was wet. One of the girls in the group that was less experienced got up on her pedals. Her front wheel slipped and turned throwing her face first into the metal grating! It wasn't pretty, it knocked her out, huge bump on the forehead, broken teeth, cut on face hole in the lip, all requiring stiches. When rescue got there and she grabbed my hand and asked if it looked bad? I lied through my teeth and told her it was nothing.

So just remember that next time you cross a wet bridge and if you can ride the sidewalk over, do it!

Once you get home dry off your bike. If you have some GT 85 which every rider should have or another silicone spray, spray your whole bike, then lightly wipe it down with a rag. Re-lube your chain and your ready to go!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beware of Zombies


Regards
Transportation officials in Texas are scrambling to prevent hackers from changing messages on digital road signs after one sign in Austin was altered to read, “Zombies Ahead.”

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Classic GT Bike porn

Here's a bike that belongs to an ex pro racer Alex Gutierrez who works with me. This bike had a 650c front wheel and a 700c rear wheel. Below is the info he sent me
This is not a production bike. It was a USA Cycling national team bike. GT was their bike supplier. Remember the GT Superbike 1 and II from the 1996 Olympics? Well......this was the predecessor to that bike. In around 1998 or 1999 the UCI changed the rules, and bikes had to have same size wheels, so this bike became obsolete and unuseable in UCI International events. I bought it from Jonas Carney, a former US National Team rider. He won the US National Kilo championship 2 years in a row on it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Viva Durex!

Bike Porn




Here's a gem of a custom build! Dolan Track frame powder coated white. Kinisis Airfoil carbon fork. Origin8 pedals and saddle. Vintage cateye green toeclips. Thompson x 4 stem 50mm, FSA Gravity Maximus bars, FMF Seat post, Mavic 631 vintage road crank powder coated white with a single chainring, Velocity rims with Origin8 hubs. Rear cog powder coated green. Vittoria Zaffiro pro white tires courtsy of Wheel & Sprocket. Wheels Manufacturing white headset spacers.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Brrrrrrrrrr.....

A little chilly today's commute! Nothing like a chilly morning to wake you up! The trick is dress in multi-layers of clothing. Arm warmers, t-shirt, jersy, sweater, wind breaker, gloves and wool cap under the helmet covers the upper body. Cycling shorts, leg warmers and lycra riding pants and double socks cover the lower. As you ride and warm up you might have to start removing stuff. Slide the arm warmers down and open the jacket is usually enough for me depending how far I'm going and how hard I'm riding.
If you dress right it's actually not bad! Try it you may be pleasantly surprised!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thinking of Getting a Fixed Gear

I thought I'd write this for the readers that think they want a fixed gear, but don't really know what's up. First if your looking for an inexpensive fast fun bike....then fixed gear might be for you. If you know how to ride a bike and are fairly coordinated.....then a fixed gear might be for you. If you like simplicity... then a fixed gear might be for you. If you like drinking beer and impressing the opposite sex with your cycling skills........then fixed gear is definitely for you.
If you get scared riding a regular bike........Then fixed gear is not for you. If your balance sucks and you have trouble standing up without leaning against something....then fix gear is not for you. If you have a hard time remembering things like you can't coast on a fixed gear.....Then maybe fixed gear is not for you!
On a more serious note it's going to take you one or two days to get used to the constant pedaling. You will have to practice taking turns since you can't coast through turns, lean the bike and not your body. Start slow and gradually build up your speed. Once you get comfortable you can start learning how to do a track stand. Riding a fixed will make you a better rider you will develop a more consistent pedal stroke and be able to corner better. What you will notice with a direct drive you have better control of the bike. Finally most important fixed gear is just fun as hell to ride!

Building your Bike

The next best thing to riding, is building and customizing your own bike. The cycling market has seen this trend and is responding quickly. All kinds of new product is coming out specifically for the fixed gear market. Colored rims, handlebars, cranks, and chain rings. Velocity and Weinmann have stepped up their selection of rims and colors as well! Finding that project frame and turning it into a completed bike is a truly satisfying experience. When you choose each component, match each part and complete your bike you'll develop a special relationship with that bike that you can't get by buying a generic off the shelf bike from a dealer. You will be unique you now own something nobody else does! I've built several fixies, but since I have this new Sparton frame and I'm their Florida Rep I thought I'd document this build so everyone could share in the experience and see what exactly is involved. So stay tuned and I'm going to blog the build little by little as I have time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Project

I have a new frame to build up. A Sparton Track Frame. This frame is red, so I plan to keep the components red and white. I already have the saddle a nice red leather Selle Italia. I'm still kicking around what wheels I want. I'm also thinking of powder coating the cranks and maybe the stem. I've got to kind of take this slowly, because of the money situation right now. This will be a show bike. The Skull Express will still be my main transportation. If anyone has any ideas on color combinations feel free to comment.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

Funny how everyone see's things different

I'm ridding past the heavy set guy puffing away on a cigarette in his Chevy Malibu and he looks at me. I can almost read his thoughts "poor bastard what a loser having to ride his bike to work"!
Now if he could only read my thoughts" Wow what a great day for a ride I get my morning exercise and I don't have to sit in traffic! Damn look at that poor bastard stuck in traffic sucking down cigarette smoke!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Did you ride?

Alright who rode in this morning? What's that I didn't see too many hands go up! You wimps! The temperature drops to around 40 and you stop riding! I'm really disappointed in you! What happened to when the going gets tough the tough get going! Come'on were Fixed Gear Maniacs! We take pride in spinning! No one rides a bike like we do! So now when you get up Drink that beer... Stop your sniveling and get out on that bike and show them who you are Damn it!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Speed Vest

How cool is this... a vest that displays your speed so your buddies can see how fast your going when you smoke them!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ten Reasons to Ride Fixed

1) You can ride backwards past the local 7 eleven where all the drunks hang out and really mess with their minds
2)You never have to put your feet down at a Traffic light again
3)Because riding Brakeless and crashing into shit is fun
4) Chicks dig fixed gear riders
5)Coastings for Wimps
6)Riding fixed puts you in a Zen like state
7)Kevin Bacon in Quicksilver was your childhood hero
8)It gives you another excuse to drink Beer
9)Simple fits your mental capacity better
10)You always wanted to be a professional polo player, but never had a horse

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dodging Ducks

You may not have this problem up North, but if you live in south Miami kendall area you will probably have a run in with Ducks! Unfortunately ducks are way down the intelligence list! They are all over the bike path at the Hammocks, they congregate on 142 right before Sunset on the bike path there. In short there everywhere where there's water and private homes. I don't know how many times I come up on Ducks on the bike paths. A word of advice....be careful! Any other animal would run to get out of the way not ducks! 50% of the time they will try to go away from you, but the other 50% of the time they will cross right in front of you. So if you have to go around a duck try and steer around their tail end they are slow and clumsy and can't turn around quickly and they definitely can't walk backwards. If you have to go around their front try to go wide to give you the added space you may need to avoid a collision. Look for an escape route if the duck starts to cross your path. Definitely give it your full attention because they can definitely do the unexpected!
Welcome to cycling Florida style

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Crank Skins

Here's a cool product decals to dress up your crank! Make those old cranks look new or custom. There cheap and they have some really cool designs check'em out.
www.crankskins.com

Lazy #$##$

Nothing pisses me off more than to see someone throw trash from their car! A real common occurance here in Miami where no one gives a Fu#$##%! Anyway I'm three cars back at a light on the bike. The first car passenger window goes down and out goes a bannana skin on the street. So I figure I'll grab it throw back up on their hood so the lazy bastard will have to get out and remove it. Just as I move forward the light changes and off goes the culprit!
Besides polluting the streets we got to ride through this shit! I'm constantly having to avoid stuff like this not to mention the glass. There has got to be a way to fight this. Maybe rigging a paintball gun to the handlebar and nailing them when you see them throwing shit from their car? Rigging a video camera filming it then posting it to You Tube... better, but then you've got to carry a camera everywhere.
Anyone got an idea? All input welcome!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Love that Commute

Man there is nothing better than being able to ride to work. The ride wakes you up and you get to work all energized. I carry a change of clothes, a couple drinks lunch, jacket, arm warmers, leg warmers, rain jacket, glasses wallet spare tire and pump. All of that fits in my Banjo back pack with room to spare. I can't stress enough the importance of a good bag. My Banjo bag is double lined to completely protect everything from rain. It has a side pocket with a drain hole where I stuff my two drinks. It's got a zippered pocket where I stick my wallet and glasses. Everything else gets stuffed in the main storage. The straps are comfortable and keep the pack centered and secure. There's even a special holster for your cell phone on the strap. If your going to be returning home after dark make sure you have good lights. For rear lights I run a Planet Bike Super Flash, one of the new fiber lights I wrote about earlier and a Planet Bike Blinky light on my helmet. This with the reflective stripes on my Banjo Bag you can't help but see me! For front I have one flashing light and a Cat Eye EL-600 rechargable light. I now have a Sigma single EVO light that uses a rechargable Nicad battery which is great! Sigma makes a double version of this which would be the way to go! The double would probably run you under $90. The Cat Eye I have isn't bad but I would rather have two to see well and one of these lights is around $120 so the Sigma would be more cost effective.
For me fixed is definitely the way to go. I like having that extra control of my speed and not having to get out of the pedals at the lights. Plus it makes that early morning ride that much more fun!