In the Bike Shop: The Obscure Headset Tool

shimano%20headset%20tool.jpg There’s something deeply satisfying about having just the right tool for a job. I know people who rejoice in fixing a bike with a visegrip, but that usually means mangling the parts. Disgusting. I mean, would you go to a doctor who said he would diagnose your brain tumor with a thermometer and operate on your frontal lobe with the Leatherman he always keeps in his back pocket? I didn’t think so…

shimano%20headset%20tool%2003.jpgBike parts constantly evolve, thus do bike tools. And occasionally there is an evolutionary deadend. Like the old Shimano headset with the star-lobed wrench fittings. It just didn’t catch on and later Shimano abandoned the idea. The current dominance of Aheadset-style headsets makes the concept, namely a wrench/headset system that prevents the wrench from marring light alloy headsets, completely irrelevant. But I was happy that I still had these wrenches handy when an old bike came in for headset service. Even if that was just so I could remove that dead headset in favor of a cartridge bearing unit.

shimano%20headset%20tool%2002.jpg Tthese wrenches are kinda classy in a way. Too bad I can only use them a couple times a year.



Perilous Cycling

From the Stick Figures in Peril pool on Flickr, comes this subset of photos, including this one that I think says

  • “don’t ride eyeballs across crosswalks”
  • “make sure your quick releases are attached”
  • “no wheelies!”

If you look hard enough, the sign also sort of resembles monopoly man.

Uploaded by Brian_Brooks | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.



RideCivil: Change Your Luck ride Friday 5/13

screwed Reminder: This Friday is our monthly RideCivil event. We’ll gather between 5:30 and 6:15 at Westlake Center park, then have a socially paced, unscripted group ride through down town with a focus on fun, safety and civility between all road users. My daughter likes to call it the Smile and Wave ride, and that’s not far off – maybe we can spread a little hugga love through the streets of our fair city, even on Friday the 13th.

This is our ‘change your luck’ ride, and by change we mean change for the better. If the weather’s any indicator things should be looking up for those of us in grey and rainy Seattle. As for me, I could use a bit more good luck. On Tuesday’s ride home I got screwed. Bolted, technically, but it all adds up the same. How’s your cycling luck been recently? What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve extracted from your tires?

You know, I’ve been very, very lucky in the flat department. Partly because of the good tires I run, partly because of the big rubber I run (35mm!), and partly because I’m just damned lucky. The 20 inch Schwalbe Marathon Slicks (now the Marathon Plus I believe) have served me well for several thousand miles – not one flat. Good news since they were a royal pain to install. Some smart soul pointed out that these tires will wear out faster since they have more revolutions per mile than a larger one, but they’ve definitely stood the test of time. Until Tuesday. I’m not sure which of the many cycling gods I pissed off, but somebody arranged to place a 1 inch metal roofing bolt in my path. Kevlar belted or no, you’re going to loose a little air after taking one of these. Even screwed like this my little tire managed to hang on to most of it’s air for a few more minutes.



Bicycle Benefits

A reader tipped us to Bicycle Benefits that offers bicycle-related discounts and other deals

a progressive bicycling program designed to reward individuals and businesses for their commitment to cleaner air, personal health, and the use of pedaling energy in order to create a more sustainable community.

cb788671ed4a914c0ff9b0ddb8f4d995.jpg and the related news story from Buffalo Rising.

Note that’s different than “friends with benefits” or just even a bike with benefits, as it’s driving business.



Rain City Fix ‘08 Photo Book

rain%20city%20fix%20logo.jpg Out now is Aaron Edge’s tabletop book richly describing Seattle’s fixed gear scene in words and pictures, with photography by Brenton Salo.

It’s really cool to see how individual to the rider the bikes are. As a mechanic, I usually cannot remember people as well as I can remember their bikes.



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