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

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


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.