Byron will tell you that I NEED to have matched wheels. It’s a bit of an obsession, but I can’t help it. Anyway - I’ve been shopping for a good internal geared hub to run on my SS Cross bike. I’ve got black hubs - so I need black Internal gear setup. The only one I know of is the much sought-after, but non-US available Shimano Alfine group. I’ve found the disc compliant model (I don’t need disc) in some obscure German site - Alfine Hub in Black. With the weak dollar and that fact that my German sucks if something were to go wrong with the order - is it worth it? Anybody else got a lead?
Spatial relationships and analysis are important when packing a travel bike (at least to me they are). Where Pam spent about a 1/2 hour packing her bike, I spent about 2.5 hours making sure everything lined up, the space was used to its potential, and the package would arrive safe and intact.
Both bikes did arrived safely and with no damage. However my packed items shifted all over the place and Pam’s was in pristine condition. I’m now deconstructing what possibly went wrong with my pack and she’ll just pack like whatever next time. I explained to Pam that it was a guy thing to do the perfect pack and I had to get it right.
Notes on the packing
- No worries with titanium and no paint
- TSA did not open either case
- That’s coffee in the upper right corner and Senor Muggy in the bottom right
- There’s only one way to pack the Modal because of the extra wide chainstays that accommodate the dropouts
- Scratches are part of it. I think of them now as a patina.
I think my pack went wrong because I put too much stuff in there. I was trying to get it right to 50 pounds with my clothes, shoes, and schwag we got from the event we attended.
The netting serves no purpose other than to thwart the TSA from poking around in the case. The thinking is that they’ll just glance at it, if at all, and move on to the next piece of luggage. It seems to have worked.
The 12” edge-pull case is well made, tough, and durable. For short trips across an airport, it’s ok, but the weight at that angle on your skinny-cyclists arms can get very tedious for a longer haul across terminals. I’d like to have a 4-caster option with a pull tether so I could pull it around an airport on the casters instead of dragging it behind me or pushing it. The Dahon Airporter case has the same problem with 2 rollerblade wheels.
One caution: the caster fits right into the gap between the elevator car and the floor at Seatac. I pulled the case towards me sideways out of the elevator, the caster was trapped in that space, and nearly ripped right out of the case.
I caught it in time and it now has a nice travel bend to it. I decided a slightly bent caster was like a nice scratch. It all adds to the travel patina noted above.
Some of the worlds finest bicycles are built in Oregon and they’re on display this weekend at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Check their blog for the details. The Modal, our latest project, was handmade right here in Seattle. Builders attending the show include
Having worked on bikes for years, I am used to handling tools. I always find those 50-something-function folding multi-tools to be disappointing, having a lot features that are just not practical to use. Give me something simple, but beautifully made. I have a 3-piece set of headset/BB/pedal wrenches made by Shimano that surpass even Campagnolo. However, the set is just about obsolete when dealing with today’s bikes. But I just got the coolest tool out there.
It’s called the Pro Tool Super and it’s marketed in the United States by Euro-Asia Imports. But the back story is that it was originally marketed in Japan years ago by legendary keirin builder San Rensho. Nowadays, it’s made by their successor Makino.
What’s so great about it? It’s a track bike specific tool that tightens 15mm axle-fixing nuts, removes/install track hub lockrings AND cogs, as well as adjust MKS-style axle tugs. The coolest part is the cog removal without a chain whip. The lockring end has a slot that allows you to hook it over the teeth of the cog, though you are limited to cogs about 14-16 tooth. The Pro Tool Super is solid chunk of chromed steel satisfaction. It is the track racers dream, eliminating all other tools from the racer’s kit other than a couple odd Allen wrenches. But at nearly $150, it also be a source of concern. While I’m circling the banking, I hope that no one forgets to put my Pro Tool Super back in my kit if they borrow it.
So what’s the coolest tool you own?
And just for kicks, what the crappiest?