Yeah almost each and every one of these was bad to the ASS, but I had to pick one, so i went for utility.
New-Timey Bikery in an Old Timey Way
Yeah almost each and every one of these was bad to the ASS, but I had to pick one, so i went for utility.
the test VIDEO is more than a little fartsy, but it does show the SR SUNTOUR SWING SHOCK FORK in use on an urban fixed-gear, and i have to say i have nothing but positive reactions to it. i love the simple, clean design of it, and i’ve thought occasionally about how a suspension system might be incorporated into a slick cityBike without drastically altering the simplicity of same. very cool.
MASHSF’s RUINS t-shirt is so dope that it’s perpetually sold out. basically a map of san francisco, done in old wood-etching style. SICK.
I love Kickstarter. Crowd-sourcing development costs is such a cool concept. The Swarm series are a pair of colorful seat clamps with integrated bottle openers. Sure you can add a bottle opener to your threaded headset stack, but this is a trick idea. With or without quick release thumb-tab.
The first of the Chrome SPD-compatible sneaks is now shipping. I have the Kursks as normal platform sneaks (rigid plate in the sole, no cleat system) in brown. Good quality shoe!
I’m holding out until later this year to see if the other designs we previewed last week materialize, and what other designers manifest.
But SPD sneaks are always a good thing…
the title of this post is the mantra that cyclists and motorcyclists alike know in the back of their heads, and it refers to crashing. besides the inherent dangers to a two-wheeled vehicle’s stability, there’s our size factor – we’re too small to be seen all the time.
polk street is a HEAVILY trafficked, two-way city street. it’s a major shopping and nightlife street, and is so popular that it is it’s own neighborhood. "what neighborhood do you live in?" "i live on polk street." i ride polk all the time, i’ve lived on it, my dad lives just off it, both bars that i work at are on it — it’s a major part of my life and i know every crack and bump and pothole and oil slick for it’s entire length. but cars are always a variable. yesterday i was headed north on polk, about 4 blocks from my apartment, headed home from a beautiful little shortRide around the city, intending to cut my hair and take a shower. whipping along down a hill, a car in front of me pulled to the right, tight on the parked cars. this cut off the space where i’m supposed to be riding, so i broke left to go around him. this happens a thousand times a day — it’s so frequent that you don’t even notice it most of the time. perfectly normal, perfectly legal. unfortunately, his reason for pulling right was not to park … on the right. it was to give himself room to whip a u-turn to go for a space on the left. he busted it dead in front of me and i CRUSHED into the side of his car. it was one of those moments where you know you’re fucked and your brain goes into slow motion. i remember yelling out "WHOA" and the hollow bass thud sound of hitting him. i remember feeling my shoes unclip and feeling my face slam into the hood of his car. i remember skipping across the hood and landing on the street. it was all so slow in my mind but it probably took half a second. as i stood up, i was already trying to take mental inventory of my body, but i was so high on adrenaline that i could’ve had a broken spine and not known it. people from the sidewalks were already starting to come out into the street, and the driver got out of his car and that whole after-accident scene started to unfold. i picked up my sunglasses (which were pretty bent up) and my bike, and the driver and i decided to pull over and talk. he was REALLY cool actually, way more scared than even i was. i gave my bike and my body a quick inventory, noting that i had a cut on my leg under my knee, a bad bruise on my wrist, and my cheek stung from hitting the hood. my bike was completely undamaged — the front wheel wasn’t even out of true. my ipod was fine, my helmet was fine (i didn’t even hit my head, i hit my face), my jacket wasn’t ripped, nothing. the only thing damaged in any way was my sunglasses, but i bent them back. the driver and i exchanged phone numbers so that i could get whatever compensation i needed from him if it came down to it, but frankly i don’t anticipate needing to try and get shit out of him. i seem to be ok and he wasn’t a dick about it ("goddamn fixie dickheads!"), so i’ll just let him know in the next couple days what’s what and call it a lucky escape.
here’s to riding in the city!
figured i’d get this fucker disassembled so i knew exactly what i was workin with, and armed with science, i can set to work getting it tight and rideable again.
after disassembly, i’ve found that there’s not a lot here that i won’t be confident tinkering on. the only real new technology that i found is the quick-release stem and the S-A 3-speed internal hub. i’m going to do some online research on the hub so i know what’s going on inside there, but on initial inspection, it appears that the little chain and cable that actually cause the shifting are one piece that if need be, must be replaced in their entirety as a unit. again, more research is necessary, but that’s actually uplifting news, as S-A internal-geared hubs are not all that difficult to find replacement parts for. whew.
now the stem, on the other hand, is a pretty easily-understandable piece of equipment. it’s just a skewer on top of a quill stem bolt. no rocket science there. but there is a twist to the story. the only removable piece of it is the head. in fact, the stem’s shaft isn’t part of the stem at all, it’s part of the fork. very specialized. luckily, nothing is fucked up on the fork, cause the project would be pretty much shot at that point — i wouldn’t even know where to begin looking for a mid-70s motobecane riviera folder’s fork in good condition. here are some details of the stem’s pieces (and i apologize for not taking a shot of the top of the fork’s steerer tube, which would translate on an ordinary bike to the stem’s shaft)…
as you can see, the only thing wrong with these parts is surface rust. in fact, after i took these shots, i wiped out the inside of the stem’s head with a rag and 90% of the rust just came off as dust, leaving clean metal underneath. AWESOME. this should slam right back together quickSnap.
one thing this single-unit fork/stem thing means though, is that i must replace the bars with risers. i have no choice in the matter. the steerer doesn’t come up high enough to be able to run drops or moustaches. i must use risers. and i must use NEW risers, cause i found the cause of the slippage that was going on up there…
yeah, those bars are fucked.
moving along to other pieces, you can see that the seat is in almost unbelievably good shape, both under and over…
i did not expect that. i’ll end up replacing it at some point, but that just went WAAAY down on the priority list.
also in amazing shape is the trigger for the hub…
in disassembling this, i was able to discern exactly how it works, which is great. i feel 100% confident that despite it’s unique cable-mounting method, i can step right into intermediate-level skill when working with it. plus it looks fucking cool.
i didn’t take many other pictures, but i will say that i ran into a disappointing thing. the point on the hinge where she actually folds appears to be manufactured. no obvious way of separating the two halves. and that means no powder-coating. i might look into it further, but to be honest, i inspected it pretty closely and i don’t think it comes apart. but i’ve decided to embrace that. i’ll wireBrush the small bits of rust off of it, clean it up, take off the labels and branding that i don’t like, and consider myself lucky to have a sweet sweet folder rather than considering myself unlucky to have a folder that i can’t get custom-colored. besides, if i’m feeling really ambitious, i can always have the rack and the fork and the chainguard powder-coated to make it two-tone, which would be fucking sweet, too.
i have to replace most of the little connection bolts and shit, and i still have to gut the bottom bracket (i didn’t feel like getting into that today and it’s a cottered crank, which i don’t have the tools to work on. so either way that’s going over to box dog bikes), but really everything that i’m working with can be easily restored to working condition. the headset is in great condition, all of the connection points are sound, the shifting works, the bolts will be easily replaced — i mean, i don’t see why i couldn’t have have this on the road in it’s current form pretty quickly, barring catastrophic further discoveries. oh, i have to turn up some brakes for it, too, cause the originals are FUCKED. that might be a drag cause the brakes wrap AROUND the fenders. but we’ll see.
and man, what a joy it is to work on bikes that only require basic tools…
it feels so good — takes me back to when i was like 13, tearing my BMX bikes down to the guts and learning all this shit for the first time.
off to the interwebs to learn more!
this is a great story — the roommate of a buddy of mine recently moved, and one of the things that he left behind (intentionally) was a mid-70s/early-80s motobecane "riviera" folder. so my buddy immediately called me up and asked if i wanted it. well, duh. i’ve always thought it would be rad to have a folder project. i asked him what he wanted for it, and he wanted nothing. of course i bought him dinner and some drinks, but in the end, it cost me zero.
now folders are one of the quickest ways to make yourself look like a complete dork, but they’re also amazing if you wanna travel with a bike. you just fold em down and stick em into a large suitcase and check em into the belly of the plane. no oversized luggage charges (such as you have to pay with bike boxes) unless the airline is charging for every piece of checked luggage, which many do. but point being, you can take em with you. geographically-specific, the bay area’s main high-speed rail system (BART) doesn’t allow bikes on-board during rush hours (they do every other time). but they do let folders on during rush hours. so now if i wanna go to my friend’s house in alameda right after work, boom — just ride my folder to work.
so anyway, rad.
one of the great joys of bike projects is when you come across one that stymies you, because you have to learn. well it’s been a long, long time since i’ve come across a project like that and this one is it. i don’t know shit about folders, and to make matters even more interesting, i don’t know shit about french bikes other than the fact that they have different sizing standards than european and american bikes. so i’ve got a long road ahead of me. luckily, the bike is in relatively good shape, so much of it will be a matter of just removing surface rust and polishing/cleaning parts. but i want to make some upgrades and i’ll need to fix some stuff, so it’s gonna be kind of a chore in the end.
anyway, some details…
the thing that makes it a folder — the hinge. despite a bit of surface rust there on the top of the square hinge plate, this is in perfect working condition. (the other dark markings around the frame there are just leaves and detritus stuck to the frame by spide webs.) that surface rust is actually a good excuse to take it down for powdercoating. the way this works is that you flip the bolt thing into it’s little slot and twist it tight with your hand. then you twist the big L-shaped lever to tighten it. you’ll also notice the cottered cranks here.
key component — the quick-release folding stem. i’ve played with this for about 15 minutes so far and i don’t know how much work this is gonna take for restoration. it appears to not have much clamping power, but there’s a lot of surface rust on both the bars and the stem, including inside the clamping area. the bars are also a little crushed at their clamping area. so like when i pulled the bars back and re-clamped em in a different position, it held fine. but when i pushed them forward a bit to their most comfortable position, they wouldn’t hold. so i don’t think anything’s fucked, i just think it’s gonna take new bars (which i wanna get anyway) and a full restoration on the stem including wire-brushing the surface rust and then a clean and polish. we’ll see. either way, it’s a kickass detail and i’m looking forward to when it’s finished.
STOKED. an original sturmey-archer 3-speed internal hub with freewheel. the shifter cable is broken at the shifter, so i’ll have to figure out how to fix that, but at the hub, there’s nothing wrong but for filth. even that little chain bit at the hub isn’t rusty. SO jazzed. that should be an easy fix to maintain all the original parts.
i love this luggage rack so much it’s nuts. it’s a combination of the frame itself and then the rack and support struts. this should hold a good amount of weight and i just love the shape of it and the flow with the rest of the bike’s lines. if i get the frame powdercoated, i’ll have all these parts powdercoated to match. just beautiful shit.
it’s gonna be a shame to lose this branding if i get it powdercoated, because i just love the font. you’ll note that the front fender has a good dent in it, too, so i’ll probably end up having to replace both fenders, but that shouldn’t be too difficult — since the wheels are 20-inchers, i can snap up some sweet fenders from a lowrider shop.
originally, i’d thought i would remove the chainguard, but to tell you the truth, i fucking love the shape of this. it also bolts onto the frame on tabs that are welded onto the frame, so if i were to remove it, i’d have to grind those off, meaning i could never have the option of putting it back on. so if i go powdercoated, i’ll have the chainguard done to match, like the rack.
that’s it — i’m really jazzed, it’s a beautiful bike and i’m looking forward to getting to work on it. full strip-down and clean will be the first step. then stem overhaul, shifter fix, new bars, and a new seat. i’ll leave everything else original for the time being, just to get it riding, and in the future i’ll take care of frame powdercoating and system upgrades.
free bike win!
Frankly, I like my use of crank bolts on Crook Type 3, but hey. Any opportunity for a little concealed dope works for me. Or, in Lung’s case, quite literally.