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.