Sunday, July 19, 2020

Stripped to the basics

John showing how its like in Singapore 
A friend shared his observation on bicycles. The purely"function" type which is usually left chained on the barriers. Perhaps it was even  "stolen" and resold.  Used 24/7, rain or shine, as a form of practical transport in Singapore.  Dirty, beaten, rusty and just hacked to work, at times.
Strictly for getting around. Not like a "sport" and the recreational sports type, hi tech carbon fibre ferraris (nothing wrong and I actually fall into this group but in the Steel category haha). 
And it made me reflect... 
latest tech and innovation 
In our "modern" ways, there are always the latest innovations of sorts, claiming better shifting performance and better tech.   
For Cycling industry, it is what drives sales. Add in the Tour de france races, where many super fit riders go about in amazing speed  for weeks with uber cool bikes. Where winning can definitely generate huge sales in the showroom. 
We can many replicating it on local scene with the winning teams color scheme as well... maybe not as fast but still impressive. Hey, everyone loves a winner don't they? 

As the industry innovate,  it also tend to have issues on compatibility and confusion. So many standards on the BB, wheels size, brakes, hubs, shifters, gravel bikes (I tot we had MtB for the longest time) and what not. For those who love bikes, its just so amazing to be in this time and age.... 
But ever considered for a moment, that those who are to start cycling... it might be a tad just too much techno babble that can cheese off and discourage to even start to cycle.... 
What??? 200 pounds for a carbon handle bar?? Are we mad?
This feather baby here close to 200 pounds. 
Then I see another approach from a small org. 
They don't have much resources and naturally not much talked about. Their idea is based on simplicity and recycling. 
What if we can make a shifter with min. part, using recycled material which is discarded?   
I feel this type of initiatives deserves more eyeballs,  support and this is why I reshare this again on my blog. 
Send them a note of encouragement, or maybe start an initiative in ur neighbourhood to give old things new life!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Design Classic that works

I have owned this Moulton TSR 30 for close to 10 years. 
Here is it, used for rambling along the Punggol PCN. 
Its a nice comfortable ride, the most compliant bike I have. The frame is amazingly rigid but with the suspension, u don't get jolted until ur teeth fillings come out. This is a design classic that stands the rigours of time.  You don't find too many of them here but there are some in Singapore. 
And yes, i do take care of my bikes and give them a polish once in a while. :)

Friday, July 3, 2020

Improving Trek 520 Touch Points

One of the things with cycling for sometime is that you are more savvy how to make it more comfy. It is also good idea to learn from experiences of others.  
Esp with social media platform like Face book, there are many groups specialising on specific stuff. For this case, vintage Trek bicycles. As you know,  I recently bought an 1985 520 Trek road bike. It rode well and very comfortable. However, the brake lever areas were the old style Shimano 600 ish. 
I even double wrap foam tape and it was thick as a good German sausage... 
Just before the old Shimano 600 levers come off.  Thank you for yr service. Its time to rest 
Lovely to look and vintage period correct.... except that and it wasn't as comfortable.  I asked around the good people from Vintage Trek Bicycle FB group for their opinions and alternatives. 
Connect with fellow vintage Trek bike users 
Through asking the riders on Facebook group, I got lots of suggestions to try a more modern style ones. I learned that the old brakes were single pivot types and they don't work as well as double pivot version.  A new set of brake pads could make it stop better. Kool stops were highly recommended but I couldn't find any in my local bicycle shops and I just got a non famous brake on the shelf - hope it works(I tried it, it does!)  
After reading the comments, I eventually settled for TRP SL retro styled levers after reading favourable comments on them. 
They cost a pretty penny but I think for better comfort, it might be worth it.
Arent they gorgeous? Personally the holes were abit too fancy to me. 

Yep, they are much more ergo.  The design is still respectfully vintage. But not exactly period correct. Compromises.
 It took little time removing the old grips and I got the TRP SL lever in place and kinda of reused the old tape to try to find the best spot, ride for some distances and tweak little.  
Coke and messing around 

TRP SL installed and just ride with old tape for 1 week
After a riding week with time, tweaking the angle, I went on to wrap it in Bernali leather bar tape that was going for a good price than the Brook Brown leather tape I used to buy. 
The color was abit too orangy for my liking but I think in time, it would weather out and darken... I hope.  As I am a wimp, I added 2 layers of foam tape on the top of the road bar for comfort. This is how it turn out. I took it for a spin and it feels nice. 
How do u like it? 

I have this seat for years and its still so hard haha 
Trek 520, Patina and all... with touch point upgraded. Yes, that was original pouch left over by previous owner. 

Friday, June 19, 2020

BikeFriday Pocket Rocket folding method

For folks who love a spirited ride on smaller wheels. The BikFriday Pocket Rocket , PPR Pro are good options.  I have owned one since 2012 and you can read it here  they ride very well. 
But one of the "issues" are they aren't for everyday fold and go type of rides. Esp if u want it very quick. But if u have a BF Pocket Rocket, u have the option to "fold it and the gentleman above shows it very clearly. And he also added some straps so that the package is more stable. Check it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Trek 520 rolling around my hood

Its nice just to be out there, not overly trying too hard. Just riding and feeling the wind on ur face. Oh.. and I have still get to get used on frame mounted shifters - no indexing! 
This is punggol PCN, where I cycle almost daily. Its nice esp if u come on off peak timing. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Trek 520 1985

With the Covid19 affecting every country, Like many fellow Singaporeans, I have been working from home since April. 
We can't do group riding, no shops are open and its work(WFH), Exercise - cycling or brisk walking. Anddddd online shopping...haha. :)  Don't judge.... important tip as well... Don't go look at bicycles blog or eBay, u could get poisoned, easily. :) 

I read this blog.... and one thing led to another.. 
It's a 1985 Trek 520, size 49. Introduced then as a "sports touring" which is a cross with road bike but able to do some light rack/touring.  It even came with the standard Black burn rack!  Size was just perfect for me. As a shortie, its really hard to find bike that fit me.  
Made in Waterloo, interestingly also the place near my current Kohler HQ(not exactly but very near)!  
It was abit scratched and lots of patina after all this years. Yabbababa.... if u like the bike, u have lots of reasons haha  

After I unboxed it, I gave it a full check over and went downstairs for a spin.  The bike worked very nicely, straight as an arrow but comfortable and heavy compared to a modern day road bike. But steel bike rides really nice, and esp old 80s, 90s steel bikes are very much underrated. They really don't make it like this any more. 
In addition, the rear tube sprang a micro leak which is rideable but after a day, would flat out. I troubleshoot it and the issue was a slightly sharp edge where the rim ends are joined. Pasted a small piece of duct tape, fresh tubes and all was well.  
Heres how it came all the way from Maine, USA. 
Enjoy the photos annnndd shopping!
No I did not order a Kona.... 

Open up... 

Black burn rack and the user did up the bungie in a interesting way

peeking in... 

oh man... he even gave me the utility pouch!

When I saw how it was packed, fork supported with the brace. I knew the guy was a pro. 

Simple, effective packing. Reminded me of legend Chris Wee  

Inside the utility pouch... US coins too haha 

This is how 1985 Trek 520 looks, Check out the nitto high stem- stock! 

Beusage every where. Grant peterson would be proud!

Rugged with use. 

The brake look very nice.. but don't stop as well as modern ones. I think I will change out the pads first 

Steel Trek. Get one!

Innovative fake lug from Trek, this is before they went to Japan and Taiwan for manufacturing 

Not the original Derailuer but works fine

Triple Crank...  u can climb any slope, for sure 

When made in US meant something 

nice ride!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Speaker attachment to my other bikes

The previous entry I shared my simple mods to the BT speaker for cycling and it worked well for Brompton and I was curious to find out if it would work for my other bikes. 
As some of my friends would know, I so have quite a number of bikes and I rotate them regularly and its nice to have choices haha. 
This is my latest addition, a 1985 trek 520 and it rides really smooth and heavy as an anchor.  

Rare extra small trek... made in US, Wisconsin! 
Kinda of angled to ur head, for better sonic staging 
Here's how the BT speaker could be mounted to the handle bar, angled to the head direction for better sound and no need to crank up the volume. 
The front pouch holds my phone and coin pouch
Cycling with the 90.5 oldies tune playing in the background is really therapeutic. I got into a steady rhythm, sang like an idiot and before i know it. I was at Changi Village, the halo ground for all cyclists in Singapore.  Ordered a sugarcane drink but sadly cannot sit down at the hawker centre due to the COVID situation (Or I would have order more food haha)... took a break before I head back to punggol.  

This is how it looks at the usually thriving hawker center... Due to Covid19, no eating on site

it was abit late and uncle almost closing his shop at 9ish

gan pai! 
I also tried it on my recumbent and it works! This is one of the most effective mods I done and I am very happy with it. Now I think the speaker not so good and the sound breaks up somewhat, what would u recommend to have a more tonal and generally more awesome BT speaker? And what would u like to see more on my blog? Let me know and leave ur comments on my blog or FB Thanks! 

See how the bamboo allows the effective velcro strapping?