Tied and Soldered

As part of my retro-build, I got the screwy idea of tying and soldering my wheels. Sure Jobst Brandt thinks it’s worthless, but it’s retro and cool and it’ll look the part. I found a couple decent articles, but the Urban Velo had pictures so that’s what I followed. I’m a pretty handy guy and do all my own wrenching, but I’d never tried this. The cool part was, I actually got to use a flux brush for it’s intended use (usually I use them to paint tubular glue). After a couple false starts using slightly wrong materials, and with some trial and error on soldering technique, I think it got it to a pretty presentable place. Simichrome after your done makes a big different too in order to really shine up the heat/flux tarnished bits. I’m only waiting on a couple more parts and it’s time to ride.

A Soccer Ball Wheeled Bike

Well you don’t see that everyday … what’s the PSI? 5, maybe 10?

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Schindelhauer’s 18K, Fixie-Looking, Touring Bike

What likely happened with the Schindelhauer Ludwig Xiv Cs Elite Touring Bike featured at Brown’s London, is a buyer saw fashion fixes in other high-end retailers. Possibly a 14 Bike Co bike and then spec’d this with Schindelhauer for their shopper that wants gears, brakes, and an exclusive price point of 18K USD.

A track-frame with discs, belt-drive, and internally-geared hub

Soften up that stiff-ass aluminum frame with a carbon fork, then stiffen it back up with carbon wheels and go gadgety with a belt drive. Hand-made disc brakes are cool, so are those dropouts, and the Ludwig is a nice spec, but oddly marketed as “touring.”

Carbon plate in an aluminum dropout holding a Rohloff? Your mechanic is concerned too.

There’s nothing touristy about this bike and it’s destined to end up in a shop with an owner wanting a more comfortable seat. We’d call this a flat-bar, disk-brake, urban assault bike and not unlike how US shops have built up Civias with Rohloffs for a third of the cost.

Careful when you grab that brake to not fold the front end or flip it

Schindelhauer made a market for itself with belt-drive fixes and cool. I get that, as much as I do belts in single speed cross, but my enthusiasm wanes when the belt gets out of alignment or creates massive friction. That Ludwig is also going to end up in the shop for flats and why you’d take a track-racing frame and make it into a trekking frame seems confused. The form and function of a bike is lost when you’ve got one aluminum frame and just hang different kit off it; especially when you consider other German touring/city bikes like the ToutTerrain Chiyoda.

A brutalist setup: thin seat on a carbon post in an aluminum tube

Proviz Electroluminiscent Jacket

A few years ago, we saw new light technologies at CES and just now LEDS and electroluminescent strips are making it into the cycling market. Proviz sent us their jacket and with a couple clicks we were in rave mode


A binkie and glow sticks aside, that’s one high-viz jacket. The Proviz is a fluorescent-yellow, rain jacket with battery-powered, electroluminescent strips on the side and reflective strips on the sleeves. MSRSP is $75.00 USD.

Predawn with ambient neighborhood light

I shot these photos at pre-dawn. Under a street light, which is typical Winter commuter conditions, and in front of car light.

Under a street light

As with any plastic jacket, you’re going to have to find the right combination of clothes underneath it to not sweat out on your commuter; especially when you set a personal best every ride. I’d also tape up the light controller to prevent water from fouling the electronics.

In front of a car light

For the gear heads, the jacket has more of a construction-zone make to it than what you’d expect from a high-end, eVent or Gore jacket. It’s also $75.00 US. Now when they figure out how to embed electroluminescent strips into eVent jackets, they’ll attract even more interest from those that want the function, style, and safety.

Inner Tube Body Armor

Recycled inner tubes make backpacks, door mats; and for the really creative, body armor.

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Imagine Joan of Arc on a Single Speed, charging into the next SSCXWC wearing this.

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