Two 406 Schwalbe Stelvios for Sale or Trade

31 01 2009
406 folding Stelvios for sale/trade

406 folding Stelvios for sale/trade

Update: looks like I have a trade for two Schwalbe Marathons…sweet…so the Stelvios are taken.

I’ve got two 406 sized Schwalbe Stelvio Kevlar folding bead tires for sale. One is brand new and the other has been used for 100kms, but looks new as well.

I’ll sell both for $80 shipped anywhere in Canada/USA – that’s 75% of MSRP and free shipping….

I’d also be interested in trading them for a set of any of the following tires in 406 size:

– Schwalbe Marathon, Marathon Supreme, Marathon Racer or Kojak,
– Greenspeed Scorcher

If you have a mixed set let me know I might be interested.

I got these as spares for the front of my Fujin, but my abysmally low bent mileage makes 2 spares unnecessary and my Bike Friday NWT could use some wider 406 rubber….

Cycling Gypsies

31 01 2009
Fin's fully loaded Big Dummy...

Fin's fully loaded Big Dummy...

I’ll let the Cycling Gypsies describe themselves:

Welcome to an experiment in progress. 12 legs atop 6 six wheels; a circus show, commandeering attention everywhere we go. Two mentally disturbed humans, and two mentally disturbed dogs, taking a beautiful detour from the so called ‘real world’. Anchorless, wanderers on the open road, with a path directed by the handlebars of a bicycle. A simple life propelled forward out of necessity and wanderlust; food, water, warmth, shelter, and the never-ending horizon. As weather-makers in this increasingly hot, flat, and crowded world, we can’t think of a better way to experience its beauty and enormity, than one pedal at a time.”

Being a dog on tour can make one very sleepy!

Paco says being a dog on tour can make one very sleepy!

A Surly Big Dummy, a Surly LHT + trailer, 2 dogs, a European bike tour reported with great journal entries and beautiful photographs – what’s not to like?

Zoa and her passenger

Zoa and her passenger

New Tikit Dropouts

30 01 2009
Walter @ BF

Photo: Walter @ BF

Walter just posted some info on his blog about new dropouts Bike Friday has developed for the Tikit.  The upshot is that one frame can be adapted from a derailleur setup to an IGH Nexus 8 to a Rohloff to a fixed gear…not to mention that you can run disc brakes if you like in some of these configurations…sweet!

Seasons Tikit 7 Month Update

30 01 2009
...first stop

...first stop

It’s hard to believe it has been 7 months since the Seasons Tikit arrived from Bike Friday.  You can read my first impressions here.  I’ve really enjoyed the light/precise shifting of the Nexus 8 hub and the bike has literally required zero  maintenance since it arrived.  Most of the last 7 months the Seasons Tikit has been living with various friends since the medium frame fits them better than it fits me. I’m a little sad I don’t get to use it more often, but there is a reason Bike Friday offers the Tikit in 3 sizes – it makes a big difference in how they ride.  On the positive side I have another Tikiteer to ride with and I’m happy to spread the good word about this lovely folding bike.  This process has convinced one of my Seasons Tikit test riders to buy his own Seasons Tikit come spring….=-)  Cool….the more the merrier!

...stop #1 - Campione

...stop #2 - Campione

I figured it was about time to check in on this bike so I convinced Nivea she wanted to give it up for a bit…easier said than done!  I’ve been using it the last few days for my rides around town completing errands and appointments.  The Seasons Tikit doesn’t have any racks or accessories that aren’t stock. Compared to my Tikit it’s a bit lighter and the shorter wheelbase makes it noticeably easier to ride on a crowded sidewalk or  busy parking lot.

...mmm food!

...stop #3 - mmm food!

When I stay away from the Seasons Tikit I don’t have any complaints about my own derailleur geared Tikit, but as soon as I start shifting that Nexus 8 I start schemeing about how I’ll swap rear triangles or I’ll sell my Tikit and buy a large Seasons Tikit of my own – it’s that nice.  However, then the Seasons Tikit goes to live with someone else and I forget how great it shifts so the need to make a change evaporates and I’m totally satisfied with my Tikit.  My Tikit actually shifts quite well so it’s not a defect – it’s just how darn sweet the Nexus 8 is to use.

I had a look over the Seasons Tikit and everything is in good order.  The Hyperfold cable is tensioned well and the chain doesn’t need adjustment yet.  Other than some oil on the chain and some air in the tires [my friends don’t maintain bikes they just ride ’em] the Seasons Tikit is ready for another 7 months of use.  Good thing too since another week and I’d probably have to upgrade my Tikit to a Nexus 8!

Johan’s Big Dummy

29 01 2009
...checking in with his co-pilot

...checking in with his co-pilot

Johan sent me these photos of his Big Dummy carrying precious cargo.  I wonder how many BDs there are in Sweden?

...his 2 month old is blissfully ignorant of how cool Dad's bike is he just enjoys the smooth longtail ride...=-)

...his 2 month old is blissfully ignorant of how cool Dad's bike is he just enjoys the smooth longtail ride...=-)

Nice build Johan…have fun with your Big Dummy…=-)

...a family affair

...a family affair

Interview with Robin Thorn

29 01 2009 old Thorn Sherpa...what a pretty bike...=-) old Thorn Sherpa...what a pretty bike...=-)

The Cycle for Change Blog has posted an interview with Robin Thorn of Thorn Bikes.  I thought some of you might find it interesting.

Bike Friday New World Tourist – Part 4

28 01 2009
Bike Friday did a great job on the white paint...

Bike Friday did a great job on the white paint...

Sorry for the delay in posting a NWT ride report.  I wanted to get some more miles on this bike before I commented.  Although the weather has not been ideal I have been out and about.  Sadly the minty freshness of this bike is somewhat tarnished by road grime, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay to keep the blog posts flowing…hahaha!

I’m a member of the Bike Friday Yak List and I’ve read lots of NWT owner comments that the New World Tourist rides just like full sized touring bike.  I figured that must be a bit of an exaggeration since a 20″ wheeled folding bike has to be different than a 26″/700c wheeled bike.  Well I must say I see where they are coming from.  Other than having slightly faster handling and feeling bumps a little bit more the NWT fits and rides a lot like my Surly Long Haul Trucker.  I find that pretty amazing.

Speaking of amazing I must give Bike Friday credit for dialing in the fit on this bike for me so well.  All they had to go on were some measurements from my Tikit as well as some general riding preferences.  I just wanted to make sure we were in the ballpark and I figured I’d do the rest once I got the bike.  To my surprise the bike fit me like a glove right down to having a long TT and a short stem.  I haven’t had to adjust a thing – sweet!

One of the reasons I think the NWT and the Tikit ride so well when compared to other folding bikes is that Bike Friday allows you to customize your frame to fit you.  This is more than just pushing your seat back and adding a longer stem to make a small bike fit a large person.  Anyone who has ridden a bike like that will agree the feeling of having your weight too far over the front wheel is not pleasant nor confidence inspiring.  The effective TT on my  NWT is around 59cm which allows me to keep my weight well back of the bars and allows the bike to handle very pleasantly.

Between the handling and the fit I’m really looking forward to doing some touring on this bike.

The NWT feels a lot like my Surly LHT...
The NWT feels a lot like my Surly LHT…

The NWT is a lot stiffer than I expected.  I knew it would be a stronger frame than my Tikit, but I’m very happy how solid this bike feels. Even when I’m out of the saddle hammering to beat a light or crank my way up a steep hill the frame just takes the punishment and drives the bike forward.  The stem/bars in particular are rigid which gives you lots of confidence bombing down hill at high speed.  Keep in mind I have not tried it fully loaded so l my impressions are of an unloaded bike.

In terms of handling the NWT’s high speed manners are excellent.  A little faster than my Surly LHT, but not a great deal.  I was bombing down a steep bridge with a heavily gusting crosswind and the NWT was easy to keep on line.  I suspect that a fully loaded NWT will descend mountain passes very confidently with some front panniers slowing down the steering quite a lot.  The bike is a real pleasure to ride at slow speeds since it’s quite maneuverable and slowing to a crawl & track stands are easy.

The bike accelerates well both in the saddle and standing on the pedals.  Since my foot was feeling good and the bike responded well to hard sprints I found myself racing between lights.  I eventually had to remind myself this is a touring bike made for cruising not criterium racing!  The NWT climbed competently [although it reminds you it’s not a featherweight road bike] when the road turned uphill.  I enjoy climbing on tour so I just settle into my comfy cockpit and churn away at the pedals while the scenery rolls by.

The Nexus 8 twist shifter mounted at the right bar end position is a new configuration for me.  I found it intuitive to use and easy to grab without looking.  I do prefer a true bar end shifter so I’ll be replacing it with a JTEK Nexus 8 bar end shifter, however I have to say it if you are thinking of mounting a twist shifter on a drop bar bike this is not a bad way to go.  I’ve been using bar end shifters for years so perhaps if I stuck with the twist shifter longer I might grow to like it more.  The Nexus 8 is as much a pleasure to use as the other two Shimano IGH I’ve got running.

My earlier post about the NWT gearing closed noting you can do all the online gear calculation you want, but ultimately the real test is on the road.  After putting the NWT through its paces I’ve come to the conclusion the 39T x 16T is great for an unloaded bike, but too high for touring.  I didn’t even bother using the 53T chain ring as I wasn’t spinning out one of the longer steeper hills in town – although it must be said I’m not a kamikaze descender.  The easy way to lower the gearing is to swap in a bigger Nexus 8 cog as they run $8 each at full retail.  I’ll play with this and post something when I’ve got it dialed in.

...slow speed handling is excellent.
…slow speed handling is excellent.

Just a few random component notes:

  • NRG Slabalanche BMX pedals are great on this bike
  • Brooks B-17 is comfy out of the box like all my other Brooks saddles
  • I threw on some salmon coloured Koolstop brake pads
  • the Tektro drop bar v-brake levers and Shimano v-brakes stop the bike silent and with authority using just two fingers on the levers. I’ve been finding the hood position of the Tektro levers a bit uncomfortable.  I need to see if it’s the angle they are sitting at or if it’s the unpadded gloves I’m wearing.  This seems a bit odd as I have some identical Cane Creek branded levers I’ve enjoyed on another bike.
  • the Bike Friday fenders work and are easy to install with one bolt each, but I’m a fan of full coverage fenders so I’m going to see if I can find a set I like and try them out.
  • The Schwalbe Marathons are solid rugged touring tires, but they are heavy and not so fast.  I’m going to try and get a pair of Greenspeed Scorchers in the 40mm-406 [20″] size to try out since they have treated me well on my Tikit.

That’s it for now.  I’ll be getting the NWT out every chance I have to ride dry roads, but that may not be too often until March rolls around.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get this bike out for an early weekend tour in the mountains and post my Part 5 Touring Review sooner rather than later.

Surly Pugsley Review

27 01 2009
I love those tires...

I love those tires...

I posted a review of my Surly Pugsley over on my Bowcycle Blog.

Surly Pugsley Reviews

26 01 2009
Minnesota rests above downtown Calgary

Minnesota rests above downtown Calgary

I found a couple Surly Pugsley reviews that might interest prospective Pugsley owners:

I agree with pretty much everything these reviewers say and I’ll be posting my own Pugsley review now that I’ve had a chance to test Minnesota in Baja desert/beach conditions as well as winter biking at home.

Fishcreek Park

26 01 2009

Kurt and I went to Fishcreek Park on Saturday for a Pugsley ride.  I posted some photos to my Bow Cycle Blog.

Lazy Rando Command Centre Video Tour

25 01 2009

I’ve had a number of requests asking for some details about how I store/live with 8 bikes in a small downtown apartment.  This video is your answer!  I make no claims about being a video master so keep your expectations low and you won’t be dissapointed….=-)

Tikits for Obama!

24 01 2009

make your own icon here

…thanks for pointing this out EcoVelo…=-)

Fatties by Jeff Jones

24 01 2009

Bundokbiker [click photo to jump to his Flickr page]

Photo: Bundokbiker - click photo to jump to his Flickr page

Having a fat tire bike I now seem to run into them everywhere – weird.  Jeff Jones makes a number of frames with clearance for Surly Endomorph tires.  He has Ti frames and a more affordable steel frame – both with several fork options.  His bikes look like works of art.  I especially love the spaceframe design shown in the photo above.

Note: Jeff Jones is not taking any custom orders at the moment or for the foreseeable future.  You can buy production framesets designed by him which are made by Merlin.

Big in Korea! Who knew?

23 01 2009
Article about our weekly coffee ride - pages 1 & 2.

Article about our weekly coffee ride - pages 1 & 2.

Our local bike gang rec’d some coverage in a Korean bike magazine thanks to the reporting of Eddy [Sunghun] who is a writer for the magazine and has been taking English classes in Calgary – cool!

If you want to see these images in a larger format just click here and select “all sizes” when viewing the image.

Coffee Ride Article pages 3 & 4.

Coffee Ride Article pages 3 & 4.

Coffee Ride Article page 5.

Coffee Ride Article page 5.

Mosquito Creek Tour Article pages 1 & 2.

Mosquito Creek Tour Article pages 1 & 2.

Mosquito Creek Tour Article pages 3 & 4.

Mosquito Creek Tour Article pages 3 & 4.

Mosquito Creek Tour Article page 5.

Mosquito Creek Tour Article pages 5& 6.


22 01 2009 sexy....=-)

MacBook sexy....=-)

I’m going to have to put the brakes on my bike habit for a while.  My Mac is coming up on 3yrs old and I’m starting to long for something more portable than my 17″ MacBook Pro.  I’m not 100% on this, but I wouldn’t be shocked if this was my next significant purchase.  I am turning 40 soon and I deserve a nice celebratory self-present…LMAO….I can rationalize just about anything.  I suppose when you have 8+ bikes in a small downtown apartment you must have pretty good rationalization skills…=-)

Bike Friday New World Tourist – Part 3

22 01 2009
Shimano Nexus 8 w/ 16T cog & 53T/39T chainrings

Shimano Nexus 8 w/ 16T cog & 53T/39T chainrings

I calculated the gear range for my NWT’s current drivetrain as follows:

53T Chainring & 16T Nexus 8:

  • High = 99″ or 47kph @ 100 RPM
  • Low = 32″ or 11kph @ 70 RPM

39T Chainring & 16T Nexus 8:

  • High = 72.8″ or 35kph @ 100 RPM
  • Low = 24″ or 8kph @ 70RPM

I don’t need super low gears on my touring bikes – even in the mountains and I don’t pedal downhill on steep descents so I don’t really need a super high gear either.  On my 700c LHT I spend 95% of my time in the 38T ring up front and the 12-34T cassette.  I’m also not too worried about maintaining a specific RPM.  I tend to change gears infrequently and just vary my RPM a lot.

I’ve got a new 53T/42T Shimano 105 crank & BB sitting in my parts bin that I could setup with only the 42T ring for a really simple drivetrain on my NWT.  I’d remove the left bar end shifter/cable and the front derailleur.  I’d also swap in a push up Surly Singlenator [assuming it fits with the NWT’s chainstays] which would give me a bunch more clearance from the ground to my drivetrain in back.

I calculated the gear range for this setup as:

42T Chainring & 16T Nexus 8:

  • High = 78.5″ or 37kph @ 100 RPM
  • Low = 25.6″ or 8.5kph @ 70 RPM

I think I’d be satisfied with this gear range and would be stoked to have a simpler cleaner bike.  I don’t expect to use the NWT for exteremely heavily loaded touring and my usual touring loads are quite modest.  I enjoy a light bike on tour so I don’t think the lack of extermely low gears will be an issue and I am certain that a top speed of 37kph is satisfactory.  Beyond that speed I’ll just coast happily.

Of course this is all a paper excercise to this point.  I don’t want to spend anytime changing the NWT until I have validated a single chainring will make me happy.  For a start I’ll load it up with 4 panniers and a simulated touring load then hit some steep climbs to get a feel for the bike’s current gearing.  I’m not in top touring shape at the moment so it will be a reasonable assessment of my performance on an off day on tour.

Bike Friday New World Tourist – Part 2

21 01 2009
The fully assembled bike

The fully assembled bike


Bike Friday NWT frame [~58cm effective TT] in Premium White power coat

  • 20″ [406] Velocity Aeroheat rims 36H with 40mm Schwalbe Marathon tires
  • Rear hub – Nexus 8 Redband 16T with twist shifter on Hubbub adapter
  • Front hub – Shimano Deore
  • 170mm unbranded cranks 53T/39T
  • Pedals – unbranded BMX platforms
  • Shimano Sora front derailleur and Ultegra bar end shifter
  • Shimano Sora rear derailleur used only as a chain tensioner
  • Origin 8 drop bars
  • Tektro v-brake drop bar levers
  • Tektro v-brakes
  • 80mm unbranded stem 105 deg rise
  • square taper 118.5mm x 68mm BB
  • KMC Z-50 8 speed chain
  • Brooks B-17 saddle
  • Bike Friday front & rear racks
  • Bike Friday fenders

Planned Upgrades:

  • NRG Slabalanche low profile BMX pedals [same as on my Pugsley]
  • Salsa stem – once I’ve dialed in my riding position 100%
  • Shimano 105 53T/43T cranks & BB [have a set in my parts bin and they are black so I may try them]
  • Greenspeed Scorchers 40mm 20″ tires [because I love them on my Tikit]
  • JTEK Engineering Nexus 8 bar end shifter
Not so little from this angle!

Not so little from this angle!

Other mods:

I’m sort of keen on simplifying the drivetrain by settling on a single chainring up front then removing the front shifter and derailleur.  I’d replace the Sora rear derailleur with a Surly Singlenator pushing up to tension the chain.  The result would be a very clean bike, but the question is can I tour fully loaded with only 8 gears and the range of a Nexus 8?  I’m not 100%, but I think it may work.

Bike Friday New World Tourist – Part 1

20 01 2009
All the ingredients for a Bike Friday New World Tourist

All the ingredients for a Bike Friday New World Tourist

It probably comes as no shock to anyone that I got a Bike Friday New World Tourist [NWT].  I’ve been a big fan of their Tikit and have been interested in their line of custom travel bikes for a while now.  The NWT is a classic design that has seen touring duty all over the world.  I wanted to see what the slightly larger and stiffer NWT would be like to tour on compared to my Tikit and my full size touring bikes.

One of the hardest parts of the process was deciding which Bike Friday model to get.  I like their Air Glide and Pocket Llama models as well as the NWT.  Although the titanium beam Air Glide is a cool design I ruled it out as it costs quite a bit more than the more conventional Bike Friday designs and it doesn’t fold as easily.  The PL and NWT are fairly similar with the PL having clearance for wider tires and being a bit more rugged.  I chose the NWT as I don’t see myself doing any unpaved tours with this bike given the very capable full sized touring bikes in my stable.  I also liked the 1.5″ lower BB on the NWT plus it’s such a classic design.  Walter @ Bike Friday was very helpful in providing information and answering my questions as worked my way through the options.

frame/fork & rear wheel/bars

frame/fork & rear wheel/bars

Since it was a custom bike I decided to go with a Nexus 8 IGH drivetrain mated to a double chainring upfront.  I spec’d drop bars for long distance comfort.

The rest of the bits...

The rest of the bits...

I settled on a white powder coat since my bikes always seem to be black or dark green.  The NWT has fenders and front/rear racks so it’s ready to tour.

I love the personalized name plate!

I love the personalized name plate!

If there is any doubt that this bike was custom made for me the personalized name plate should put the matter to rest…=-)

DIY Bike Chains

19 01 2009

Squirrel's Cycling Lifestyles [Flickr]

All Photos: Squirrel's Cycling Lifestyles @ Flickr

I had been looking for some chains for my Pugsley and Steve F pointed me to this pictorial guide to building DIY bike chains. Cool.  I don’t really have the DIY skills to make this happen, but perhaps I can convince Kurt to give this a shot?

Traction won't be an issue with these.

Traction won't be an issue with these.

Walter on Fixed Bike Fridays

19 01 2009

Walter Lapchynski @ Bike Friday

Photo: Walter Lapchynski @ Bike Friday

Sticking with Walter @ Bike Friday for a moment – he has an interesting post on his blog about how to setup a Bike Friday as a fixed gear.  I’ve been intrigued by fixed gear bikes for a while and have even toyed with the idea of adding one to my stable.  I test rode a Surly Steamroller and came away with lots of questions, but no real certainty as far as deciding to get one.  I may see if the fine folks at Bow Cycle will let me borrow a Steamroller for a few weeks so I can try it out and write up a review.  Who knows I may not want to give it back!

A fixed gear folding travel bike makes a lot of sense as you don’t need a rear brake/derailleur or front derailleur which does away with three long cables you’d otherwise have to manage when you fold the bike.  There isn’t much to damage in transit so you can be fairly certain when you get to your destination your bike will be ready to rol.

Shopping with a Tikit

18 01 2009

Bike Friday Walter

18 01 2009
I finally meet Walter in person at Bike Friday HQ

I finally meet Walter in person at Bike Friday HQ

On our way home from Baja Kurt & I decided to stick to the west coast [I’m totally sick of I-15!!!] and stop in for a visit at Bike Friday HQ.  Seeing the Tikit and custom travel bike production lines was really interesting as was finally getting to meet Walter Lapchynski who has been my main man as far as taking care of my Tikit needs the last few months.  He is a passionate cyclist and all around great guy – check out his blog here.


Since you can tell a lot about a person by the bike they ride I thought I’d give you a little tour of Walter’s Tikit.  His bike sports drop bars as well as multiple lights and a coffee cup holder – hallmarks of the commuting cyclist!


His Tikit is the knob activated variety [not the cable activated hyperfold like mine] and he is running the new version of the 2 pannier front rack.  This is a bit different than the prototype I have, but it provides better clearance when the bike folds for the smaller sized Tikit frames.


Here is a top view of the 2 pannier rack.  Note how the panniers are angled in a bit.


Walter’s Tikit is a fixed gear and was the first to sport the fixed/IGH dropouts that are now used on bikes like the Seasons Tikit.  He uses Power Grips so he can stay connected to the pedals in street shoes.  You’ll note he is using a Standard Tikit Rear Rack and he indicated the Tikit Touring Rack that will carry two full sized panniers would be available in a few months  – I’ll take the first one!


A view of Walter’s fixed gear drivetrain from the rear of the bike.  I love the clean lines on a fixed gear or IGH bike…=-) You can tell that Walter commutes rain or shine!

Bar End Shifter for Nexus/Alfine IGH

17 01 2009
JTEK Engineering

all photos: JTEK Engineering

I’m a fan of the Nexus 8 and Alfine IGHs.  They work well and are relatively inexpensive.  One issue is that up until now your choice of shifter was a twist shifter or a trigger shifter.  I have both and they work well, but for a drop bar bike a bar end shifter is a much nicer solution.

Alan posted on EcoVelo about a new JTEK bar end shifter that is compatible with these IGHs. – sweet!

from JTEK:

“Jtek Bar-end Shifter for 8-speed
Shimano Alfine & Nexus Internal Hubs

  • Super light weight only 64 grams making it the lightest bar-end shifter on the market!
  • 24mm clamp-on design. Easy installation eliminates the need for disassembly to install
  • High quality CNC precision machined parts, 100% made in Hugo, MN.
  • 8-speed indexing

Finally a shifting solution for people who want to use Shimano internal hubs with drop-bar, road bike style handle bars. This shifters is compatible with Shimano 8-speed Alfine & Nexus hubs. It features a clamp-on mounting design which will fit standard diameter 24mm handle bars.”

jtek_bar-end-3Cost is $80.00 + shipping.  I’ll probably get one of these to try out.  It looks like an elegant solution.

JTEK’s Website.

Baja Photos…

17 01 2009
On my way back to camp from a resupply mission...

On my way back to camp from a resupply mission...

have been uploaded to my Flickr Photostream.  Trip report and equipment reviews to follow shortly.

packing up on our last day of kayak touring...

packing up camp on our last day of kayak touring...

Rohloff Fixed Gear Emergency Setup

17 01 2009


One of the concerns some people have with using a Rohloff for touring is that if the hub breaks there are no easily sourced spares.  Many Rohloff specific bikes won’t take a derailleur even if you felt like going to the trouble of swapping in a whole new wheel/drivetrain.

In reality my research regarding Rohloff problems suggests that a tour ending/delaying Rohloff problem is very unlikely once you have properly broken in your hub and assuming you take care of the very minimal maintenance it requires.  In the few instances that there have been problems that forced a rider to stop touring Rohloff has resolved the issue for them very quickly to get them back on the road ASAP.

However for those folks that want to be prepared for any eventuality I came across this emergency fixed gear setup for a Rohloff that will allow you to keep moving even in the very unlikely event of a total hub failure:

  • get a steel 22T 4 bolt “granny” chainring
  • file underneath the bolt holes to fit over the disc brake lip on the Rohloff
  • when you want to go “fixed” remove the EX gear box and disc rotor
  • install the steel 22T chainring – you’ll need some appropriately long bolts [the bolt pattern of the Rohloff disc rotor and 4 bolt ring is the same]
  • install the Rohloff with the right side of the hub now on the left side of the bike – ie. backwards
  • add a few links to your chain using the spare links you are carrying and an extra powerlink quick connector
  • you now have a fixed gear bike


  • this will only work on a Rohloff specific frame without the use of any chain tensioners
  • you’ll have a fairly high gear to work with [most likely a 22T x 38T ratio] so you won’t be climbing the alps on a loaded touring bike, but you will be able to ride flat sections of the route as well as the downhills
  • you could of course carry a second small chainring and replace the 38T up front for a more manageable ratio

I have enough confidence that my Rohloff won’t leave me stranded that I won’t bother carrying the parts for this emergency setup under normal circumstances, but it is good to know about if I ever do something suitably extreme with my Rohloff.

You can read the discussion about this Rohloff hack on the Thorn Rohloff Forums here.

I’m worth it…

16 01 2009

Proper tools at last...

Proper tools at last...

Given how much time I spend futzing with my bikes I don’t know why it has taken me so long to buy some decent hex keys.  I am always reaching for a multi tool – which works, but isn’t great for those often hard to reach places.  I have some single hex keys, but it’s hard to lay my hands on the size I want without sorting through half a dozen.  Well I finally spent $40 on some tools that should make my life a bit easier.  I figure I’m worth it…=-)

Speedway Cycles Fatback

16 01 2009
Speedway Cycles

Photo: Speedway Cycles

Speedway Cycles in Alaska makes a Ti fat tire bike called the Fatback.  It shares many of the features of the Pugsley with what looks like even more tire clearance and a choice of forks.  I’ve always wanted a Ti bike so I’m now officially jealous…=-)

Tikit Cargo Hijinx

15 01 2009


Of course when I was hauling the really big loads I had my hands full and couldn’t take any photos…=-)





I’m Back!

14 01 2009


Although I was tempted to just stay indefinitely in Baja and Southern California I did the responsible thing and returned home…=-)  I’ve plowed through my emails and responded to everything that needed attention.  It’s quite likely I missed a few so if you wrote to me and have not rec’d a satisfactory reply yet please send me a reminder.

I’ll be processing my photos over the next few days and should have them on Flickr by the weekend.

We had a ton of fun biking and kayaking in Baja.  The Pugsleys surpassed our expectations – they are phenomenal beach/desert bikes.

I hope everyone had an excellent holiday season and I look forward to reading your blogs and catching up on the various bike groups/forums.

Seasons Tikit @ Work

14 01 2009

Mark Preston

Photo: Mark Preston

The discerning businessman rides a Seasons Tikit…=-)