Saturday, December 31, 2016

A few sweet cycling X-mas gifts

This was a good year for cycling under the Christmas tree.  Partly that is because I had a parade of purchases that we just wrapped and put there although they were in no wise Chrismas gifts.  But here are a handful of super cool things I did not buy for myself -- or expect in any way, shape, or form.


Two great Brooks additions my gear collection.  

The tool kit.  Looks awesome on the townie bike.
The Brooks Swallow in honey leather.


Did not see either of these coming!

Park Tool bottle opener.
Campy corkscrew.  The legend on the booklet reads, "Those who celebrate victories often, must open many bottles."

Bicycle Bling

A really creative bike bell for the townie.


More about this one coming.  

2016 Focus Izalco Max Disc

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

When does N equal N-1?

The oldest joke in cyclophilia is that the right number of bikes is N+1, with N being the number you currently have.  The joke is so worn out that it made it into "The Rules" by "The Velominati" (as the first Google result for "cycling n+1").  If you are curious, it is Rule No. 12.

The joke is so old that somebody created an apparel line called nplusone apparel.  Find it here.  And a pretty sweet online magazine (by which I mean "fancy blog").  Here.

It has spawned armchair cycling philosophy, like this post at Chasing Mailboxes.

And there is the intriguing question of how N+1 jives with marriage, discussed in this fun post at Town Mouse about optimizing N+1 and S-1.

Part of the reason the concept is so silly is that I think cyclophiles are inherently nostalgic.  When a bike gets old like a great pair of jeans, it has no market value, so cannot realistically be sold to an appreciative buyer.  And I am not willing to see my trusty steed, originally purchased in 1988 or perhaps inherited, ridden down the road with drop-bars turned up and rusty chain squealing after I handed it off to Goodwill or hawked it for $100 on Craigslist.

Image found here: 
So a basement full of bikes is a little like that photo album you never look at but will nonetheless pass on to your family, who will in turn never look at it but never unload it either.

Max's N

Here is my own N dilemma:  with a job in one city and a life in another, I have two homes.  At a minimum, then, N+1 for me has become 2(N+1).  Add in the fact that maybe 15% of my riding is in Oregon, where Sam keeps my old Cannondale (or is it his Cannondale?), and the number is getting really huge.

At last count, the number of bikes in my physical possession that are in good riding order (could be ridden with 2' or less notice, and 2' only because tires may be low) and of which any one would be perfectly serviceable as a stand-alone steed, is 11.  If you count the Cannondale, not in my possession but with me as its sole rider for at least the last 5 years, we hit 12.  Specifically:

The count excludes at least two bikes that are not for riding, but could be -- the early '70s Nishiki and the Schwinn World Traveler en route from Wisconsin.  And one more, an old Cervelo P2-aluminum, that can't be ridden outside but works like a charm on the trainer.

My collection has gotten so bad that I have taken to buying bikes for P__ just so I don't feel bad about owning more myself.  P__, who rides much less than I do, has 5.  Oh yeah, Sam and I helped Mom into two new bikes over the last year too.  

Is this a problem?


First, I don't have room.  My small house in DC and my small condo in Indiana have become overpriced garages.  It is gotten to where I am literally daydreaming about a vacation home that is just a 40x40 garage with a kitchen on one wall and a bed in one corner.  The rest is a bike warehouse and workshop with a sweet audio system.

Now, if this were a 40' square room with heated cement floors, it would look pretty cool.

Second, I have lots of depreciating assets that could benefit somebody else.  Food for thought:  for every bike I could give away or sell to an appreciative counter-party, I would potentially be removing one bike-hater from the streets, on the following theory.  Everybody without a bike hates cyclists, but a fair proportion of those with bikes do not hate cyclists.

Third, I get my cycling fix these days from building bikes as much as from riding them.  I spent five hours and three beers last night rebuilding the Gunnar.  It is awesome.  But those five hours could have been spent riding one of the 11 other bikes in the collection.  

If not N+1, what is the right number of bikes?

You could make a compelling argument that the correct answer is, actually, 1.  I think people with one bike may appreciate what they have more than do those of us with a complete stable.  That one bike serves for commuting, only to be cleaned and dressed up in advance of the Saturday group ride, loaded down in advance of the Sunday long ride, have fenders mounted for winter riding, and be rebuilt each year with 5000+ miles on the components.  Such a bike would probably be steel or titanium, perhaps with lugs, and nice components kept well oiled and tuned.  Here is a hypothetical photo album:

Weekend group ride use.

Long ride use.

Townie use.

But let's get real.  In my case, I count to 6.  These would be:

  • A townie bike for getting groceries or going out for a beer.  In my case that is the Gitane.

  • A light and fast racing bike for riding fast or up steep hills.  This is the new Focus.
  • A "parade bike," shined and tuned to perfection and not ridden in the rain, if I can help it.  This is the newly rebuilt Gunnar.
  • A travel bike.  Hard call whether this actually makes sense.  But the newly rebuilt Ritchey does look nice and ride smoothly with those big Compass tires.

  • A commuting bike in the other place.  I think this should be the other Focus.  

  • The Cannondale at Sam's.

I am open to the criticism that this is still a ludicrous number of bikes for a middle aged guy with a number of competing hobbies.  (Next post:  what is the right number of pairs of skis?)  It is, however, approximately one-half as ludicrous as the current state of affairs.

What to do?

The Gravity goes to Goodwill. I am not nostalgic for that bike and I don't really enjoy riding it, either.

The Salsa needs to be sold.  It is not easy to sell a titanium bike; the frameset (with Enve fork) and Ultegra 6800 group is far too valuable for most Craigslist shoppers.  Maybe eBay to reach a wider audience?

The Neuvation should go, too, although that is harder.  I rebuilt it as a 1x and not a lot of casual riders are interested in a single 52-tooth chainring.  Serious riders tend not to buy aluminum frame-sets.  

That is now a 1x chainset up front.

And I don't think I can get much lower than that.  The carbon Cervelo may stay on the trainer and be ready in case I ever get the bug to race a triathlon again.  (I hope not.)  The Fatboy should be a fun bike for myriad purposes, including winter riding.  And the Specialized will stay in the basement in fighting trim in case Sam gets tempted to ride steep hills occasionally -- meaning he leaves Oregon and heads east for a weekend.

What is your optimal N?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Rebooting For 2017

2016 In Review

2016 was an inauspicious cycling year for me. The winter months were spent working through non-cycling issues that nevertheless kept me off the bike. In late Spring/early summer Max and mom packed up most of my stuff and moved it into a storage unit while I put my house on the market. The house sold in two hours, sight unseen, which meant:

  1. I clearly did not ask for nearly enough money.
  2. I had to quickly find other accommodations. Which meant moving into an AirBNB.
Meanwhile my new house, which was already significantly behind schedule, continued to slip ever further.  All this is to say that most of my biking stuff has been hidden out of sight in a storage unit in one of about 200 bins or boxes for most of the year. Of course you don't need much to bike. Just a bike, really. And I did get some quality cycling in through the summer until I broke my elbow in early September while mountain biking in Hood River.

The surgeon put my humerus back together with a titanium plate. I think that means my elbow is now laterally stiff and vertically compliant? Or maybe just noodly.

That kept me off the bike(s) for a couple months. As of early December I can pedal with minimal or no discomfort though I'm finding myself very hesitant, particularly on descents. And full range of motion still eludes me.

The year is perhaps best summarized by Strava's "Fitness and Freshness" graph.

Slow winter. Things picked up in summer, and then September happened.

In Anticipation of 2017

As 2017 approaches I'm hoping for a significant reboot. While the new house is still under construction, it is done enough that I can unpack my bike stuff, get a trainer set up, and start to think seriously about the new year.

The Bikes

Neither Max nor I have ever been one to let time off the bike keep us from tinkering, or planning to tinker. This year has been no exception. I still have two surplus Litespeed bikes to build up. One I already built up

but then unbuilt. Fortunately I saved that fetching apple-green bar-tape.

Then there's also the Pinnacle Arkose 4 gravel grinder I bought a couple months ago. The price from Europe was right, but quite a bit less so after paying customs and to have the reversed brake levers Americanized.

Finally Max found a great deal on some fatbikes in Durango, so I need to get that bad boy (fat boy?) up and running.

Each of these will of course merit its own post.

The Pain Cave

My new house has more square footage that is strictly necessary and, given I seldom have a single guest much less multiple, far more spare rooms than I really need. Which means one of them will become The Pain Cave.

Current plan is to have a big-screen TV with a home theater, my Tacx Neo with retired Habanero permanently mounted, weight bench, and possibly a rowing machine if I get ambitious. I've got everything but the rowing machine, so this should be set up within the next few days. I'd like to get serious about time on the trainer. I hate it, but I'm pretty sure it helps.

The Pain Trail

The new house is on a good sized wooded lot. I estimate it wouldn't be too hard to put in a mile long loop entirely on my own property, and there are enough contours that I'm pretty sure I could get some great high speed berms. This is a big project; trail construction is an art, and a very time consuming one at that. Nevertheless, I'm hoping to get a very rough trail put in, with a small pump track over my drainfield.

Come to think of it, that fat bike might be just the tool to lay down a trail...

The Riding

So yes, hopefully there will be actual riding as well.

I need to formalize a few goals by the end of the year, but I'm still shooting for my solo 5-hour century. A feat which I'm fairly certain every other author and reader of this blog has accomplished multiple times over, but I still have not (my lone attempt was in 2015 and was going great until I got bored and quit with an easy 28 miles in 90 minutes left to ride).

I'd like to get a 10,000 mile year. I'm certain that's never happened for me. But if I got anywhere close to that, I'm pretty sure I could have a kick-ass 2018.

This . . .

means the Gunnar is coming home.

I was kinda hoping that "adult signature" line meant it was a bottle of booze.  But this is better.
All parts in stock.  Rebuild coming.

Coupla Classic Schwinns

My family grew up riding Schwinns.  So did most Americans, I assume.  Through the 70s and until the mid- to late-80s, it was Schwinns, Huffys, or something fancy.  And we were definitely not fancy.

(More on Huffys here.)

For reasons too complex to go into in depth, I am ogling classic Schwinns recently.  Sam and I collaborated on this one, found in a basement in Durango in October, for Mom.  It replaced an identical (if from a different year) version she had stolen earlier this year.  We paid $240; this was a $100-dollar bike in 1973.  So we got it at a discount.

Schwinn Suburban.  This appears to be from 1975.  Mom's earlier version was gold, from 1973.
Not done yet with classics, I have been on eBay.  I recently found a mid-'80s Schwinn World Traveler.  Which I rode at about that time.

Schwinn World Traveler in gray.
Mine was a deep red, sort of the color of the Gunnar repaint.  The bar tape is not original -- the World Traveler had a foam cover on the bars.  I may try to fix that, although give the seller credit -- that red tape works.  This one, being shipped next week from Wisconsin, is going on the wall in the Indy condo.

Finally, I have been simply drooling over this bike:

1973 Schwinn Paramount in silver mist.
A 1973 Schwinn Paramount, Schwinn's top of the line race bike from that period.  That is a full Campy Nuevo Record group.  If you want to swoon, go to the listing at eBay zoom in on those chrome lugs.  If you inspect the Schwinn catalog from that period, you will find that this was listed for sale at $450, or something like $2500 with inflation.


I wrote here about purchasing bikes in the UK for delivery in the US.  Lots of great reasons to do this.  One big one to avoid it.

(A note about the below:  I am a lawyer.  But I do not do this kind of work.  If you interpret this as legal advice, it is worth exactly what you are paying for it.)

Import Duties

US Citizens must pay duties on anything over $800 that they import even if for personal use.  That $800 used to be more like $200, so be happy.  According to Customs and Border Patrol:

This covers most new groupsets I might order from Merlin.
(More on that, including the link to the mentioned statutory provision and the promise of a new administrative rule (be still my beating heart), at this link.)

I once read online something about a "personal use" exemption.  That is what the $800 is.  Thus, you are not better off importing a bike because you plan to ride it rather than to sell it.  Your only chance of avoiding duties are (1) paying less than $800 (and even that is not 100%) or (2) getting lucky.

Note that duties depend on the country from which you are importing.  As Customs and Border Patrol clarifies:

Note what drives reduced or zero duties:  trade agreements.
Amazon also gives a helpful run-down of "customs duties for consumers".  Here it is at the Amazon site (link good as of Dec. 18, 2016).

If we have a trade agreement with a country or a region, that frequently includes low or no duty importing provisions.  According to the list in Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations (freely available from the Cornell Law Library, though not necessarily up to date; also available in a less usable though more reliably up-to-date form at this link) this includes such obvious places as Canada (OK, that one is obvious), Morocco and Bahrain.  The soon-to-be-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership would have eliminated import duties on products from signatory nations.  The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership had similar goals for trade with European nations.

Thus -- and regrets, but this must be said -- the anti-globalization crowd is also an anti-cycling crowd, as the cost to purchase gear from outside the US is greater than it should be.  As I clarify further below, this is not just a question of import duties, but of indirect costs like broker fees as well.  So, if you are one of this group, merry fucking christmas to you, too.

What are the import duties?  That, it turns out, is a highly complex question.  There are two reasons.

  1. First, the duty depends on what it is you are importing.  
  2. Second, whoever wrote the catalog of duties, called the "Harmonized Tariff Schedule," was not a cyclist.  Or a clothier.  Or anything as best as I can tell.  Customs officials and merchants/afficionados apparently do not speak to each other very often.
I confine the rest of this discussion to bikes.  If you really want your eyebrows to arch, try clothing.  Second thought, better not.  Buy local, not because it makes any sense as economic or social policy (or morality) but because it is the only thing you will be able to afford.

Harmonized Tariff Schedule

You find this ridiculous exercise in government support of industry at the US International Trade Commission website.  Here is the front page.  If nothing else, give the ITC credit for not wasting money on a modern website.

ITC.  One wishes the agency would invest its savings in a rational set of regulations.
The schedule itself is here -- all 99 chapters and six appendices.  Interpreting it requires a dictionary and a mind-reader on speed-dial.  I started with the 80-page alphabetical index, available at the page linked immediately above.  And, sandwiched between "bibulous paper" and "bidets," I find "bicycle speedometers" and "bicycles."  Even the latter is broken into subcategories.

If you are curious, "bibulous paper" is, according to Wikipedia, "a highly absorbent type of paper . . . used to absorb an excess of liquid substances (such as ink or oil) from the surface of writing paper".

So -- bicycles.  It appears we go to Chapter 87.  Which bears the evocative title "Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof."  I scroll through the 28 pages in Chapter 87, past Tractors; Ambulances; "Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons . . . including station wagons and racing cars"; mobile cranes; concrete mixers; parts and accessories for the above; Works trucks, self propelled; "Tanks and other armored fighting vehicles . . . whether or not fitted with weapons"; and know I am getting somewhat close when I see motorcycles and mopeds.

Bicycles show up at the end of this list in subchapter 12.  These are divided utterly irrationally as shown below:

How large is your front wheel?  I bet you don't know.

Note the tariffs imposed.  There is the "normal" rate, the "free" rate (including NAFTA countries Canada (CA) and Mexico (MX) and various others like Australia and Singapore), and the punitive rate.

Then note how you must seek to categorize your bike effectively.  The subchapter applies to all non-motorized bicycles "including delivery tricycles."  Aside:  what exactly is a delivery tricycle?  The normal tariff is 11% if both wheels do not exceed 63.5cm in diameter; other identifications including wheels smaller than 50cm and wheels between 50 and 55 cm keep the same rate.  On the other hand, wheels larger than 63.5cm in diameter get a 5.5% tariff if the bicycle weight is less than 16.3kg.

Initially, this really matters.  11% tariff on a $3000 bicycle is a $330 charge slapped on you at the border.  That pretty much defeats the advantage of buying from the UK (in my story) or most other places.  5.5% drops that to $165 -- still a chunk of change to the US Treasury for doing nothing other than pursuing my endless quest for N+1.

Second, categorizing is not simple.  How large is your bicycle wheel?  700c -- is that 700mm?  No, it turns out.

Diameter measured to include the tire.

Diameter measured to exclude the tire.

Approximating because trying to be precise seems just silly, I came up with 25" (picture above is misleading) measuring the outside diameter of a 700c rim.  25" is 62.5 cm.  With a tire -- a fat one, to be sure -- I get about 27.5" outside diameter, or more like 69 cm.  Which one to use?  It is a $165 question!

And heaven forefend you decide to purchase a Brompton from overseas, for which no matter what your measuring methodology you would be less than the magic 63.5cm measurement.  Note also the weight measurement of 16.3kg.  That is for the bike, not the packaging, and 16.3kg is about 36 pounds.  If I am buying a 36 pound bike I am not paying $3000 for it and ordering overseas!

This got particularly amusing because on one call I was misinformed as to the HTS rules and told the 5.5% applied if the wheel was *less than* 63.5cm in diameter.  I arranged with the seller to ship with tires removed to claim the better categorization.  Only to reverse myself when research proved the larger wheel provided the better tariff.

Is there a better deal?

One question:  can I game the categorization?  I looked at various options.  If I could claim this was a "carriage" for a disabled person, I could avoid tariffs altogether.  No problem, unless anybody looked.  (En route to the Vineman triathlon I once told a Southwest Airlines clerk my bike was a "racing wheelchair."  Literally true if obviously misleading.  She asked to see it; thank goodness for deep dish wheels, which threw her for a loop.)

If I could claim it was a motorcycle or moped I could get it in tariff free under subchapter 8711.  Almost worth asking the seller to include a battery propulsion system in the packaging!

Finally, there is a subcategory of "Other" with normal tariffs of 3.7%.  What is other?  I am sent to 9902.24.67 to find out.  Subchapter 9902 is a long list of random exceptions.  9902.24.67?  Unicycles.

See also the various parts and accessories in the nearby categories.
No way to fit my purchases into this grouping anywhere.

What country?

One more complication:  recall that the tariff depends on what country you import from.  What about buying a German bike, made of Taiwanese carbon fiber and Japanese components, from the UK?  Because neither Germany nor the UK is either tariff exempt or subject to punitive tarriffs, it turns out not to matter.  But if I bought the German bike from Singapore?

Title 19 of the Code of Federal Regulations governs "Customs Duties."  (You can find Title 19 of the CFR for free here, although remember the possible out-of-date caveat from above.)  Part 102 is Rules of Origin.  As a general matter, section 102.11 tells me, the country of origin is the country in which "the good is wholly obtained or produced."  If the parts come from various places, the country of origin would be the country from which the component part that imparts the essential character to the good.  For a bike?  One would be tempted to say the frame, although considering that the Harmonised Tariff Schedule asks about wheel size, perhaps the wheels impart the bike's "essential character"?

Finally, there is the additional wrinkle that the bike is used, meaningfully enough that it is not a fig leaf to hide a larger tariff from the US customs authorities.  Ultimately I have not resolved this additional question.  When my Focus Izalco Max Disc with Dura Ace cleared customs a JFK, I got stuck with a $180 tariff under the 8712.00.25 -- bicycle with wheels >63.5 cm and overall weight less than 16.3 kg -- categorization.

Customs Brokers

The tariff gets you halfway there.  Somebody has to walk this shipment through customs.  The problem, of course, is that with the infinite varieties of tariffs, dependent on product and on origin, customs officers won't simply accept an assertion as to what is in the box.  Otherwise, I would just call my bike a "racing wheelchair" and get away without paying the health tax.

But this post is a mammoth already.  Next: my saga figuring out how to manage customs brokers.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gitane: A $0 Opportunity Cost Bike?

Every bike I have built involved a certain amount of buying new parts to go with something I already had.  The Gunnar, when it is done, will involve well north of $2000 in components added to a frameset with regard to which I am attached.  Any such build involves a substantial opportunity cost, with new acquisitions preempting something else, like a dinner out or a trip to Europe.

A Single Speed

I got away from the fixie/single speed thing several years back.  I have missed the simplicity since.  For a townie bike or commuting rig it is hard to beat something that needs no tuning and does not suffer from cross-chaining.

The elegance of a straight chain line
I have been meaning to build one, whether fixie or freewheeled, for some time.  The aluminum Cervelo, with its horizontal ends, was to be the frameset.  Then I cracked the head-tube installing a new headset.

But not before I sprung for a set of wheels custom made by Ron Ruff at White Mountain Wheels.  That was three years ago now.  Here I report on the wheels and discuss the original plan.  And here are the wheels, Kinlin rims, Sapim spokes, and White Industries hubs:

I'm a sucker for colorful spoke nipples.

Fast forward to 2015.  The beautiful custom built wheels were gathering dust and I decided to replace the frameset.  I found this one:  the Gitane "City Link."

This is a Bianchi product. Bianchi bought the Gitane brand, which in the '70s was a legitimate French racing brand, and offers this rebranded Bianchia Strada with track ends.  Gitane means "gypsy," a nice word for a freedom machine.  A few more images of the frame:

There's the Bianchi name.  And the frame is big enough for Sam to ride when he is here next.

Headbadge (seen through the milk crate) is a little uninspired

That's a classic paint job.

And the seat tube.

The original plan was a fixie.  Ron, who builds perfect wheels, may not ride fixed; the White Industries hubset he picked for these ones did not accept a lock ring, so could only work with a freewheel.  The Gitane with custom wheels was to be a single speed.

The Build

Then they sat.  The wheels, the frame, the fork, moving from one stack of orphaned gear to another.

I've been on a building spree this fall.  The last several posts have more or less reported a new bike a week -- the Specialized Sequoia, the Ritchey Breakaway, and on a longer timeline the Gunnar Roadie.  All of this makes for some serious trickle down parts.

In stock for use:

Brooks B17 saddle, trimmed.  This saddle has been ridden once.  It was not broken in and I suffered for weeks.  I have since planned, over nearly a decade, to bring this back into use.  And to break it in next time.

Black Brooks B17.
Salsa stem with 25.8mm clamp.  I bought this for the original fixie, the white IRO Jamie Roy, in maybe 2003.  Using this here is a particular coup; not many bikes take 25.8mm stems in the modern day.

Salsa stem in 25.8mm.
FSA crank, also purchased for the IRO and in a storage bin since.

FSA crank with a short-ish crank arm.  170, I think.
The pedals are one side platform and one side Shimano mountain clips.  I did not buy these; they showed up in an unsolicited package from Jenson USA the week after I bought the original Focus.  I tried to return them, but they failed to send the shipping label.  Which is good, because they are perfect for this use.
Cheap Shimano two-sided pedals.

The brakes are supercheap Tektro small cantilever, originally on the Ritchey but replaced because they were less than ideally compatible with Shimano brifters.

I believe I have learned the trick of tuning these brakes after this build job.
And the levers, an old pair of cheap Tektro aero levers I have had in house for years.

Those bars are the Specialized "Body Geometry" randonneur bars with funky curves back and down, which were on the Sequoia when I inherited it, later on the Ritchey, and looking for a permanent home since.

Noodle-y randonneur bars.
The fenders and front rack were originally bought for a different bike, I don't remember which.

Front rack supports the milk crate.  The asymmetry is a little strange -- must sort this out.
Full coverage rear fender.
Full coverage front fender.
And the 35mm Schwalbe Kojak tires originally went on the Ritchey.  That bike now has the 38mm Compass Barlow Pass.  The Schwalbes went on the Gitane.

If you could see through the glare, it would read Schwalbe Kojak.
Finally, that's a bottle cage in the above picture that has been on, off, on, off, on, and off of a parade of bikes since whenever.  A regular trollop of a cage.


Not everything on the Gitane is from the parts bin.

That Origin8 seatpost came in the mail yesterday.

Origin8 sells pretty versions of most things and charges much less than the competition.
The cantilever cabling came from Amazon for $10 or so; the brake cables came with the Velo Orange cable housing (in that sense a trickle down from the Gunnar).

The 16 tooth freewheel was new when the one I had in the parts bin did not fit the new 8-speed chain.  The 340 lumen Blaze headlamp, which needs to be moved now that the milk crate is there, came for $15 on an Amazon Black Friday special.

Finally, the leather bar tape was a Planet X bikes purchase, always intended for this bike.  With the Brooks plugs it makes a nice wrap.

Leather bar tape.  I wrap center to end to avoid needing to use tape at the end of the wrap.

Perforated leather tape and Blaze 340l headlamp.

Brooks end plugs.  These are about 1" deep and ribbed, producing a tight fit.
With the new parts, and the old parts special bought for this eventual purpose, this cannot be said to be a true parts bin special.  But nothing had any other possible use or real market value.  The real cost of this bike, ignoring those costs that are sunk, runs somewhere less than $100.

The Gitane City Link -- completed

Front end.  The milk crate is a bit of whimsy.  And an experiment.

Brooks makes the best saddle-first perspective in cycling.
Rear fender over 35mm Schwalbes over Kinlin rims.

Milk crate, rack, fender.
The whole thing.
Somewhere along the way this became a really nice looking bike.  Not bad for a build that nearly never happened.


My dream is one day to build a bike with entirely spare parts and have it be something other than a totalfrankenbike.  With all the bikes in the basement, condo, and at Sam's house, with parts that used to be on them, there must be something awesome waiting to be constructed.  Anybody up for the challenge?