Bikes are the coolest invention in the universe

Truly, agreed.


The proper colour for your bar tape is almost always whatever matches your hoods, IMO. Looks best when the levers look like they’re part of the bars. And the seat should be the same colour.

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That works.
Going with the accent color on the frame looks pretty good, too.

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Got a first ride in.
So: It’s a lovely thing. I shortened the chainstays as much as possible, and the bike feels pretty good now. Needs some minor tuning (rear mech is a little grump, drive-side dropout bolt is a touch too long, etc).
Had a minor off- nothing serious at all. No biggie. Then I heard the whoosh.
Broke the valve stem off. Flat tire. Awesome.
And I’m running UST tires (tubeless), so there’s that. And they’re DH tires, so they’re triple difficult to get off the rim. And I didn’t have tire levers with me. But my thumbs prevailed and a trailside fix happened.
Need to order a bunch of stuff now- more UST valve stems, some tire levers, some headset spacers, etc etc etc.


New Project Alert

My wife isn’t a rider- she knows how to ride and all, but it wasn’t a major part of her life, and she’s… wary… of riding on the road (what with distracted drivers and all).
We have kids, as we go to Cape Cod to vacation pretty often, and there’s an epic collection of bike paths there, and you can ride to many of the beaches. So she needs a going-to-the-beach bike.
So far, I’ve dug up a early 90’s Trek 930. That’s a lugged steel/rigid fork MTB bike, if you’re not familiar. Decent quality in it’s time, but suffering from age and disuse. Fine.
I’ve converted it to single front ring, and while it’s got a 7spd back end, that might grow to a 9spd depending on the combination of parts I can scrape up. It’ll get a wheel swap (to a decent set of hubs laced to Mavic d521 rims), and I’ve got a nifty 1" threaded to 1.125" threadless stem adaptor in there, so I can use modern stems. A set of XT V-brakes for stopping (with the associated levers), and we’re nearly there.
I need to put in an order for a few things, though: a 3 spd style handle bar (mustache, if you’d rather), a small front rack (mounts to the center drilled fork crown and canti studs), a Wald basket to mount on top of that, and a bell. I’ll do a bag for her cut to fit the Wald basket, and that’ll be the bike beach bag. Tires are going to be 1.95" Kenda K-Rad’s, which have a bit of tread but also take 80psi and roll fantastically.
I’m weirdly excited for this thing- I think it’s going be a nice robust and fun to ride bike for someone. And maybe (just maybe) if I do this right and make sure the thing “just works” for her, she’ll even not loathe going out on it.


If you can get hold of a 1" threadless fork, a shim is a much nicer way to do it… But I guess that’s a tall order for a MTB, since they went 9/8" before they went threadless.


Agree, but:
Fork and headset are in primo condition, and I could just as easily use an original 1" quill stem. My only issues are not having much in the way of short quill stems and a pile of high-end 1.125" threadless stems in some shorter lengths.
And I already had the adaptor.


Using a threadless stem also lets you use 31.8 bars.

Lighter, stiffer, win. I have two bikes with threadless 1" forks rocking 31.8 bars. Hot rods.

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That bike will be using a 25.4 bar- a mustache 3spd style bar for cruising. Stiffness would not be a feature, really, in this application.

In fact, this project has made me think about converting my rigid singlespeed mountain bike to a rear derailleur actuated 3 speed. I’ve got a stack of single-speed cassette cogs kicking around, and setting them up as a three cog cassette seems entirely too easy to ignore.


11s is 10% better than 10s, but 3s is 200% better than single speed.


Add to that the fact that this bike is going to be going into bikepath/ride with kids/putter duty, and a 26" wheel bike with a 32t chainring and 14,15, & 16t cogs sounds pretty appealing.

I thought about building up my new bike with a 10s or 11s drivetrain, but I just couldn’t get myself there- I’ve very seldom wanted for more gears, and honestly, where/how I ride, the massive rear cogs that appear to be so en vogue are… a waste. I don’t need a 27t chainring paired with a 45t cog- there’s literally nothing for me to do with that. Right now I’ve got a 32t chainring and a 32t cog, and at most I could see myself itching for a 34t in the back. That’s an 8s rear end, by the way. Which I likely have around somewhere in a parts bin anyway. But if I lived further west with real mountains or did the adventure/touring/epic riding people seem so in love with, fine. That’d be ok.


The hard part is those small frame 26" tires from the mid 1990’s and earlier still have really long reaches from saddle to bars.

I would look for a Specialized Hotrock with 24" wheels

The Specialized HotRocks off of Craigslist are one of the best values in quality kid’s bikes and the 24"er may do the trick if you have trouble finding a small steed that works well.

They come in variants with 6 speeds, 18 speeds, or single speed, some with rigid forks some with front shocks.


One nice solution might be switching the handlebars for a Velo Orange style retro swept back model. That plus fat slicks on an old steel mtb is all it takes for a sweet cheapo townie.


Nice. That’s pretty much my bike except mine’s an old steel road frame, not an MTB. I used some pursuit bars a friend was selling,

I clamped them into the stem upside-down and backwards to turn bullhorns with some drop into a swept-back bar with some rise.

this gives me an upright riding position that I like for casual, low speeds and when I need to survey traffic. Although, compared to your pic, my hands are in the same place relative to the saddle, since my stem is an old roadie with zero rise. I didn’t intentionally plan it like that but seems to have really worked out since I think I’ve maxed out the stem height at the frame.

I’m tall and reach-y, though, so for leverage on climbs or accelerating/fast cruising I took the levers off the stock brakes, wrapped and clamped the empty hoods pointing forward on the bar.

I later learned that a similar configuration came stock with the fabled Bridgestone XO-1, a bike which designer Grant Petersen tried to market as an everyday, do-anything model for “real” riders for whom e.g. a casual beach cruiser would not perform well (It took America about 30 more years to want that type of bike, though. Bridgestone took a bath and shuttered their American branch.)

Opposite solution, he kept the brakes forward and used the “empties” to get the aft position, but hey, six of one, half-dozen of the other.

Petersen has his detractors (mostly that his hipster boutique-y Rivendell stuff is waaay overpriced for what you get; that he’s built a cult around himself and cons people into buying e.g. ordinary twine from him at exorbitant rates) but I like to think that hitting on the same solution for my handlebar is an example of great minds thinking alike.

My bike and the one in your pic are sort of home-brew Rivendell-y style bikes. Not intentionally copying them per-sé, but getting that type of ride from used/available stuff. And paying about a thousand dollars less :rolling_eyes:


I’m not sure how much I agree that Grant has “built up a cult around himself”- I think he offers high-ish end bikes and parts to people that ride and approach bikes in a particular way. Nothing more.
The Bridgestone XO bikes were way, way, way ahead of their time. They’re moderately sought after these days, and there’s any number of small makers that essentially build brand-new XO bikes (to fit a variety of fetish standards). People in the US tend to think of bikes as toys or work-out machines, and less as tools. Grant likes to think of bikes in the more European sense of household appliances, but that’s a tough sell here: the market and economies of scale are all shifted towards bikes as a very expensive toy to ride for recreation, not as practical machines to take to the shops.
I’m all for XO style bikes, mind you- I’m building a pair right now. But there’s a lot of moving pieces that keep the general population from looking at those bikes and wanting one.


As I said, those are the words of his detractors. Obviously I’m all for his cycling philosophy. Petersen doesn’t seem like the type to intentionally parlay a cult following, but I do believe that (like with more traditional celebrity) the fandom has maybe created it around him. The prices probably really do reflect the market since he’s so niche (I’m not in any position to say, though.) People on the internet like to grouse about the prices but I recognize that it’s unfair to compare them to the volume sales of the mass market, at least. Regardless, I’m priced out of buying his stuff personally. I’m damn sure not going to be buying any twine from him :upside_down:

Amen, brother. Millenials have propelled another bike boom over here; a lot of disillusioned Gen-X are on-board, too, though our total numbers are less significant let alone just the bike enthusiasts. Maybe one day we’ll see the promised land: Amsterdam-like usage, acceptance, and infra; Idaho Stops legal coast-to-coast. When I was messenging here in ATL, it was rated Bicycling Magazine’s least-friendly US city for cycling. The changes I’ve witnessed in the city in the following 10+ years are truly astounding.



things done changed since my day.


Working on my wife’s burrito slayer. Progress, now waiting (always, it seems) on parts.


I had to sell my fitted mountain bike, last financial destitude, but I hope to bike again, someday when I can afford it.

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Wife’s burrito slayer bike is done. Finally.