TRDL Art – TLTC Bolt Grrl [Bike Vinyl Pinup]

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TRDL 2013 Series, No. 13 – TLTC Bolt Grrl [Bike Vinyl Pinup]

This one was done for our man Lung, for his Cinelli Bolt fixed-gear. He wanted to work in an air force theme to this bike, complete with custom vinyl graphics to suit, so his nose art/bomber girl pinup is loosely based on a WWII-era air force uniform. Had a blast doing it. Hopefully, photos of the color vinyl on the bike to follow…

You can find a larger version of this here.
And as always you can read about some of the design notes in my process pics below.

http://www.trdlcomics.com/blog/2013/07/06/trdl-2013-series-no-13-tltc-bolt-grrl-bike-vinyl-pinup/

 

This is one of the first batch of my Bike Grrl Vinyl stickers designed for use on bikes (or other vehicles) and will soon be for sale. Inquire if you have a custom piece in mind.

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The New Best Bottle Design Ever For Today

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That’s right suckers. Chili cock SAUCE!
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switch aero system

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`originally posted by Ironlung
i gotta say, THIS is pretty fucking imaginative.

the idea is to create a system which allows you to switch between a standard road posture and a time trial posture in just a few seconds. VERY appealing to the enthusiast who may not have the money for multiple bikes but who wishes to compete nonetheless. and while the seatpost shown in my hero image is the real engineering gem of the system, it’s the aero bars which appeal to me, because they’re quick release. note…

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when i rode fixed from SF to LA, there were a number of times out on the flats that i wished i had aero TT bars. in fact, when the MASH guys did the ToC fixed some years back, one of their riders had his cockpit set up with them. it’s very comfortable and efficient for long straight hauls, but no matter how easy the setup, you still need tools. not so anymore. these extensions mount the same as any others, but with the notable exception of the QR mechanism which allows you to just pop them on and off in a few seconds, sans tools. i LOVE that.

if you were to have the entire system installed, you’d head out onto the road with what looked to be a road bike with TT aero extensions, but when you decided to move into that TT position, you’d reach back and just pop the saddle forward and bob’s your uncle — you’re aero.

as i said, if any part of this system were for me, it’s the bars, but i love that it exists for people who want to be a bit more versatile on just one bike. very, VERY cool stuff.
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THREE HAND WHITNEY
“he’s got the engine. he keeps it in his pants.”
it’s a reality of science

MAINTAIN UP THE SUPERB OPERATE!

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Oh Look Bontragers Man Room

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I LOVE looking at the home tinker shops, bike basements, man sheds, what have you, of different folks. Dig this pic from Prolly’s feed of Bontrager’s shed. Can you imagine the innovations hatched in there? Some would argue, MOST OF THEM.
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Slow Down and Ride the Right Way

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That sounded like a preachy title. And wear a helmet! And use the bike lane! And signal and stop and… no, no, just kidding.

It was an excuse to show two photos together, for science.

Above, I always love coming up on this SLOW DOWN sign on my commute home. I use it as an excuse to whip a skid and, you know, slow down I suppose.

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This marked the first time I SAW what I always HEARD happened: that the Chippies monitor the ascent up to the bridge from Crissy Field for bikes coming DOWN this up-only one way street. I’ve heard this, I’ve warned friends, no one believed me. Well, I had a slumbering set of younglings in the car and was just noodling around the Presidio while my lovely wife was at Sports Basement, and I counted a total of TEN individual ticketed stops.

While I tend to look unfavorably on quota ticketing, I do think this is a hill one shouldn’t ride down against traffic illegally, for the rider safety, and everyone else’s. It’s packed with tourists wobbling up it on rental bikes, pathletes sprinting it (me included) and tourist SUVs weaving up the single lane to the top. Nasty!
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Team Awesome Purist Bottles

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~originally posted by Ironlung
i’m a HUGE fan of specialized’s purist water bottles, particularly with the mo-flo cap. i have two of them — scratch that, HAD two of them, down to one — and the infusion of silicon dioxide in their construction means that they don’t taste like plastic, they only need to be rinsed instead of washed, and they never stain (which leaves your bottles with a permanent after-taste on top of the plastic taste). and the mo-flo cap delivers way, WAY bigger and easier gulps — so much so that you have to actually learn to refrain from taking TOO much.

combine that with my well-documented and unapologetic love of shitty beer, and you can see why i am highly digging the TEAM AWESOME PURISTS.

$10 a pop.
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: : :

THREE HAND WHITNEY
“he’s got the engine. he keeps it in his pants.”
it’s a reality of science

MAINTAIN UP THE SUPERB OPERATE!

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initial thoughts & install – MASH x atomic22 security system

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~originally posted by Ironlung
i have been so, so, so stoked on this collaboration for a long time now, and i just came into some money, so today i took a ride out to the MASH shop and pulled the proverbial trigger on the ATOMIC 22 TRACK NUT SET that MASH offers. basically, MASH is now the sole US distributor of atomic 22′s amazing, amazing security bolt system, and in addition to being able to procure individual stuff from atomic 22 at less than it would cost you to order it yourself, they put together 4 pre-packaged systems.

// PHIL WOOD SET - front and back phil wood hub security bolts, headset cap/bolt, 2 stem faceplate bolts, cinelli seat collar replacement bolt, micro key, and regular key.
// TRACK NUT SET - front and back track nut security bolts, headset cap/bolt, 2 stem faceplate bolts, cinelli seat collar replacement bolt, micro key, and regular key.
// TRIBE SET D - front skewer and security bolt, headset cap/bolt, atomic 22 seat collar.
// TRIBE SET G - front and rear skewers and security bolts, headset cap/bolt, atomic 22 seat collar.

now, since i have rear track nuts and a front skewer, the logical thing would have been for me to buy the tribe set d, but honestly, i don’t like that atomic 22 seat collar at all. i know that’s shallow, but whatever, that’s the way it is. but furthermore, i really liked the idea of stem faceplate bolts being in the equation as well. so despite the fact that the set i bought doesn’t have a skewer in it, essentially leaving my front wheel vulnerable and forcing me to continue carrying 2 locks for a short future time, it gave me way more overall security for a nominal extra cost. and since i wanted to use MASH’s help to individually order the saddle rail bolt direct from A22 (something that’s ASTOUNDINGLY not in any of their pre-packaged kits), i figured i’d just get a skewer on that same order and use what i could for now. i have to call or swing by on tuesday to place that order.

but in the meantime…

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yay, new toys!!! so obviously, i bought the ATOMIC 22 RATCHET as well, because it’s tiny and beautiful and only $15, so i don’t have to lug a big clunky ratchet in my bag, which is already big and clunky.

the way the system works is genius. the key pattern is not just a unique outer diameter shape, but there are also unique differences in the depth of various sections. because they’re using custom shapes in two separate dimensions, there are literally tens of thousands of unique key shapes possible. a thief’s chances of having access to your unique key is so close to impossible that it may as well be. my camera focused on the wrong part of the wrench here, but you can definitely get the idea from this shot of the key…

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after noticing the brilliant and gorgeous attention to detail, i proceeded to install everything.

in order to line up the pattern correctly between the key and the bolt, a little guide groove is laid into each key, with a corresponding guide dot on the bolt itself. like so…

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and from there it’s just replacing bolts! from the headset, i went to the stem faceplates…

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the seat collar bolt…

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and finally, the rear track nuts. now, these remained the wild card to me. a track bike’s rear wheel has to be secured REALLY tightly, and the fact that these security bolts are effectively sleeves which cover the entire protrusion of axle, there needs to be enough room inside to really crank them down. but in addition to that, i wanted to just really make sure i was doing everything right at this crucial juncture on the drivetrain, so i greased up the whole system before setting forth…

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helpful hint, use a toothpick to get inside the bolt, unless you have a shop assistant with tiny fingers, which i know at least one of you does – concurrently, the only person on the board likely to be reading this post…

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so with that all done, i cranked them down…

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now i tried to manhandle the wheel back and forth, thankfully to no success, but only a ride will tell if these are cranked down tight enough. they did bottom out, as i feared, which is to say that my axle is actually touching the top of the bolt’s depth limit. if these are not tight enough, i can easily fix the issue by insertion of a couple of axle washers for the required extra space, but that first ride (tonight) could prove interesting.

overall, my initial thoughts on this system could NOT be more positive. the fabrication and construction are attentive to every conceivable detail, the actual security is provably second-to-none, and it is so easy and intuitive to use. i just fucking love it, and i can’t wait to get that order placed for the front skewer and saddle rail bolt in the next couple days, because at that point, i’m done. i can take the ghetto-ass chain contraption off my saddle/frame, and i can forevermore leave the second lock at home. one lock, around the headset, and my bike is more secure than 99% of the other bikes on the streets of SF. at LEAST secure enough that a thief is going to experience such frustration at not being able to figure out the system that they’ll just move on.

i’m sure that eventually, someone will figure out how to beat this. but honestly, the atomic 22 system is rare in the US as a general rule, and the price point is prohibitively expensive for most people, so it’s security remains pretty solid for at least the foreseeable future.

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: : :

THREE HAND WHITNEY
“he’s got the engine. he keeps it in his pants.”
it’s a reality of science

MAINTAIN UP THE SUPERB OPERATE!

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Happy 4th from Team Lope

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It’s summer! WOO

Play nice except for where you you dont, and have a good weekend, hopefully full of ridery, water and possibly high velocity.
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Ye Blacke Death with Escort

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When I got the CM, or rather, when I was planning for it, I made the decision to use a roof rack system this time instead of my tried and true rear hitch rack method as per the previous cars. Truth be told, I’ll always prefer the rear hitch in actual application: easy to access, low profile, less drag, and very adaptable via multiple rack types. However, I more and more often found myself in situations where I was stranding a bike. My lovely wife would pick me up and not have the rear rack on the MINI, and so I’d be stuck doing the bike shuffle until I got into the office with the rack on. Similarly, I was stuck on a long ride one time and my lovely wife couldn’t come get me because the rear rack was too heavy for her to install on the car. So, the one advantage to the roof rack system is the fact that it’s always on the car (assuming you don’t, you know, take it off)

There were a lot of little machinations along the way getting to my final setup. I looked at different roof rails, different bike trays, etc and finally decided on the OEM rails and trays shown. The trays are a design similar to Thule and Yakima’s versions that have a downtube clamp, with front and rear wheel straps. They are odd that they sweep UP at the front. The rails are really very similar than the Thule aeros, with some slight depth differences.

I set them up, but I never had the opportunity to actually use the system until yesterday. We had been yacking offline, Lung and I, about a really cool stool designed to unfold and hang from the vehicle’s wheels, but I never bought it, keeping costs down. But I wondered about access issues and had contingencies. Sure, lifting a light road bike or fixie up to the roof of a car isn’t a big deal but add in the project bikes with heavy crap on them, the 29ers with their awkward geometries, and my shoulder SLAP tear injury, and you could have a problem.

Anyway, what I discovered was that the rear sweep of the door jamb is severe, since they pushed the seats over the rear axle, and the door has to glide over the top of the wheel well. This means you can stand in the footwell and then have a foot at the door sweep to the left, and easily have the balance/support necessary to carefully lift the bike up, and back down same, without needing a stool. Granted any regular MINI wouldn’t need a stool either, but the CM is 8″ taller, around the same height as a larger sedan or small crossover. The bike being carried this round was my grocery getter/baby hauler fixie, Ye Black Death, which has a lot of front end weight thanks to the Gomoh rack. NO PROBLEM.

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The downtube clamp has a very large max diameter, more than some of the other brands, which was partly why I was sold on the OEM. 29er, fat MASH aero section, whatever, it can handle it.

Good system! Still doing experiments on wind drag/noise/mileage with the racks and fairing and so on, but that’s ongoing.
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Thoughts on the Fallacy of the Failed Bike Project

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I was talking to a friend last week who noted that I broke down the Xtracycle project and sold the back half off, and then discovered frame failure on the front half making the 29er on which it was built unridable. He made some sort of jab that my more ambitious projects sometimes fall apart (figuratively, if not literally)… I was struck, during this conversation, that this was a fundamental difference in ideology, from which he and I could never bridge. He remains a shop-service rider: He buys complete bikes, rides them, takes them to the shop for service. He is also very spendthrift and economical in his possessions (admirably) so he has two bikes and rides them to death. So implicit in his questions was the judgment that I had too many bikes, that building bikes was superfluous and wasteful, and therefore any sign of a project failure was proof positive that it was a fool’s errand.

This is the mind I used to have, back in 2005, prior to my LOOK being stolen, my first single frankenbuild city bike, and my entry into the wrench-it-yourself, and later build-it-yourself world. To me, there is no failed project. Sure, I’d love that Xtracycle to have had no balancing issues, and certainly no frame failure. I’d love the frames i’ve converted to always be the perfect size for me, for my components to never fail, for my jury-rigged cobbled together solutions on my builds to never lead to other compromises, and for all my bikes to be bomb-proof. But that’s not reality, and certainly not when one isn’t shop-trained. However, the bike building thing, and the bike RIDING thing, for me these days isn’t about perfection: it’s about experimentation, meditation and creativity. It’s just fun. I draw the line at road safety: I’m not interested in riding bikes that have a flaw that could easily become lethal. But if i’m out and about and I have a failure in a component, or I decide I don’t like how this pedal or those bars or this seat is working out? Great: new project!

Sometimes doing a thing is for doing a thing, not getting something perfect out of it. So even my failures taught me things, were fun to work on, and generally fun to ride. And fortunately for me, my successes are in greater number.

Now, about that two bakes, one lever thing…
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