Double gear review

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Since building my single speed giant Ive been running plastic cages and regular street shoes, me being used riding clipped in I wasn’t too comfortable not riding clipped in so I decided to look for a deal on some street shoe style cycling shoes. After spending some time in eBay I found someone selling pedal and shoe combo. I picked up a pair of chrome truk pro spd shoes and crank bros candy 2 pedals for 70$, a price I couldn’t pass up!

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Chrome industries Is known in the urban cycling community for making high quality bags for several years. That being said their shoes live up to their reputation, I wear a size 11 in vans so I went with an 11. The fit was slightly on the bigger side but the width was good, they are made of heavy nylon and thicker souls with a stiff plastic foot bed which resemble traditional cycling shoes but are very comfortable to walk in, the cleat hardly makes contact with the ground when walking. These shoes not only preform well but look good to styled after classic converse chuck Taylor’s, these shoes hit all the marks!

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The second part of the deal was a pair of crank broscandy 2 pedals. These pedals are made well, light and durable and super easy to clip in to, crank brows also has free rebuilds on their pedals too. The only gripe I have is that there is not a tension adjustment for the for the clip in but other than that they are a great pedal system. All in all these shoes and pedals made a great addition to my giant bowery single speed. Do your self a favor and pick up anything by chrome or crank bros you will not be disappointed

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Back to normal…. Sort of

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So it’s been a few weeks since I posted last. Since then Ive had a few setbacks and changes, on July 21, my birthday infact, I was involved in a auto accident. While I walked away from the crash with only bumps and bruises my car wasnt so lucky. The 04 Honda accord I’ve been driving for the last 6 months was totaled. My insurance has been great getting me payment within in 10 days of the crash. I was able to purchase a brand new car with the money I got for my Honda.

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The choice I made for my first brand new car was made very carefully and my love for cycling was taken in to consideration. I had made the decision to get a hatchback after driving a sedan for the last 6 months and after test driving almost ever hatch back available I decided in a 2013 vw golf tdi 4 door

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It had the perfect combination of power 150hp and 220 ftlbs of torque from a diesel engine and gas mileage 35 city and 42 highway but it more like close to 50 mpg on the highway, and resell value having owned and 82′ vw vanagon I was stoked to be a vw owner again. I felt this car fit my love for cycling and my personality too, I’ve only put 1000 miles on it so far and I have zero complaints, my seasucker minibomber is a perfect accessory for it looks like it was made for it. Vw’s and bike have always been a great combo and I look forward to many trips with my bike on top of the roof!

And now for a sneak preview at my next post the good people over at pedros have been kind enough to send me a apprentice tool kit to review! If it’s anything like the other tools I reviewed it will get high marks

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So stay tuned for a full review of the apprentice tool kit from pedros
I can’t wait to start wrenching on my new project!

Gear review! Cool tools!

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When you build a totally 100% custom frame up bike build you can guarantee you will run in to a few bumps along the way. I’ve been lucky with this build the only problem I had was that the non-drive side crank arm was coming loose.

My current multi tool didn’t have an 8mm Allen on it so I was taping the one from my tool kit to my seat rail. I wanted to find a good multi tool with a 8mm Allen on it. So I went over to my LBS flanders bicycles in san Luis obispo and took a look at their tool section

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I found the crank brothers m-10 multi tool. It had everything I needed and was a decent price too. At under 20$ you get a lot of tool for the price, ten to be exact, it’s light enough and still strong enough to torque down large crank bolts, it’s extremely well made and look cool too. Crank broshave a variety of multi tools to fit any need they have an m-5,10,17 and 19 the 17 and 19 having chain breaker tools and spoke wrenches. So out all their products which are all high quality and well made.

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The next tool I have for review is the pedros trixie tool made especially for fixed and single speed bikes. This tool is a sleek durable and very usefull tool, it features a 15mm closed end wrench as well as an 8,9 and 10mm along with a 5mm Allen head, and a track lock ring wrench, not running a fixed drive train
I haven’t yet used the lock ring wrench yet, and most importantly a bottle opener!

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The other product I used from pedros was their tire levers. These levers are super beefy and slide well along the rim and come in cool colors, they totally smoked the other levers I’ve used before. I always manage to break other levers but these are the real deal a bit on the expensive side at 4$ a piece but totally worth it, go check out pedros for their full product line.

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Giant bowery frame up build

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As you can see the finished product is something I’m quite proud about, this build has been a learning experience for me, this bike came together nicer than I thought it ever could. I started this build a couple months ago after I bought a set of cranks and bars at a bike swapmeet that my local shop hosted. Without any clear direction I began the hunt for a frame.

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The bottom pic was how I bought the frame, as bare as could be no decals nothing, I picked up the frame at another bike swap for 50$, I was looking for a steel track frame but fate crossed this polished aluminum beauty across my path and i couldn’t turn it down. The frame is a 55.5 giant bowery track frame, it’s super light weight and has track dropouts perfect for my single speed coffee getter. After buying the frame I came across a pic of a bowery that was built just the way I wanted to do mine so I used it a template for my build that’s the top pic in the above pic.

So after visiting two bike swapmeets I had a frame, a pair of bars, pair of bar end brake levers and the stem and seat from my felt f75. After my swapmeet scores I went to the local bike kitchen to hunt for more parts, I came up on a bottom bracket, seatpost and clamp for 20$ which was a killer deal.

I then wheat up to Sacramento on vacation and was Introduced to their awesome bike scene, I was on the hunt for a few key items, one being a campy chain ring to work with my campy crank and the other being a fork to work with the frame I bought, I ended up finding a few things up there like a generic carbon for for 50$ and a set of brakes for 20$. I ended up having to order a chain ring off eBay for 20$ which fit the campy crank I bought.

Getting close to finishing the build I still needed a wheel set, I had noticed a nice wienman wheel set at my local shop and ask about a price, they said they had been there for a while so they woud give me a killer deal. I wound up getting the wheel set for 165$ which doubled how much I already had In to the bike.

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After getting almost all the parts, I was still without a headset, I did a mock assembly to get an idea of how it would look. I was stoked to see it come together so quickly and how nice it was taking shape, but I was still looking for a headset, that’s where I was having problems. The bowery being an integrated headset head tube I needed just the right head set, I had to have the owner of my local shop to contact giant and order a headset directly from them.

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With the last piece of the puzzle acquired I set out to start assembly. The bike went together fairly smooth not running in to too many problems

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I was super stoked to see it finally start to come together, I bought some Michelin 700×28 whitewall tires to go on the blue anodized rims, which looked awesome. After assembling all I could i took it over to my local shop to get it fine tuned, I took it there to have the bars wrapped and the brake lines installed and they also cut the steer tube down and added spacers on the stem to give it the right height. I spent 70$ to have the brake lines run and the bars wrapped and a tune up to make sure all the bolt were tight.

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After seeing the finished product I was really happy how it turned out it was a bit more than I wanted to spend but I came out of it with a totally custom bike. The following is a breakdown of the cost of the bike to build

Frame-50$
Fork-50$
Crank-10$
Bottom bracket-15$
Chainring-20$
Bars-2$ yes 2$ from a swapmeet
Bar end brake levers-10$
Rims-$160
Seatpost-5$
Seatpost clamp-2$
Pedals-free from a good friend
Headset-35$
Tires-40$
Pedal cages-10$
Brake set-20$
Bar tape and brake lines-35$
Labor-35$

Bringing the total to just under 500$ not bad for a fully custom single speed bike with nicer parts. This has been a great build where i have learned a lot. I was stoked with the final product and hope to put a lot of miles on this bike in the future, keep checking back to see what my next build or product review will be. Thanks for taking a look at my blog

Mike-(fatbeardedandtattooedcyclist)

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New build!

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Well it’s been a few weeks since I last posted and I’m glad to announce that I’m doing my first frame up build! The above picture I posted is a pic I found of the exact frame I purchase at a bike swap in Paso Robles ca last week. My goal is to get mine to look as close as I can to the pic. This is what I have so far

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So far I have the frame, a 55.5cm giant bowery which I picked up for 50$ a set of specialized bull bars which I picked up from a swap meet at my local bike shop Flanders for 2$, thanks to Sean and John for putting it on, a felt stem which was a take off from my felt f75, a pair of campy centaur crank arm which I got new for 10$, and a pair of bar end break levers also for 10$, stock felt seat which was a take off, and a chain also a take off

The direction I want to take this build is pretty similar to the pic, I want it be be a single speed but not fixed, I also have 2 breaks and the rear will most likely be a flip flop hub, every thing else will be fairly similar in looks, my goal is to do this build for as cheaply as possible, so far my biggest expense will be for wheels, so I’ve been searching eBay and Craigslist for a decent set of wheels. Other parts ill need will be a fork, haven’t decided if I want carbon or steel yet, a bottom bracket, seatpost, head set, and a pair of breaks and a set of pedals. This bike is being intended for around town and coffee runs, and leisurely rides prob under 10 miles, this is actually my second frame up build the first being a volume BMX bike that I built about 10+ years ago, this bike being pretty similar to a BMX bike I’m looking forward to getting back to my roots. Well ill post an update when the parts start coming in. Stoked to be doing an awesome build

Product review!!! Wtb silverado slimline

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Up for review is the wtb silverado slimline saddle. Made for either road bikes or mtb the silverado offers durability, comfort and fairly light all at a reasonable price. Specs are as followed for the chromoly rail version

RAIL: Ni-Cro
COLOR: Black, White
WEIGHT: 245g
DETAILS:
Synthetic Cover, Flex-Tuned shell, Comfort Zone, ABR corners, DNA padding

After riding my stock felt saddle and it not working well on my downstairs parts I decided to look into a new saddle. Not knowing where to start I headed to my local shop to get a few ideas. Normally the guys at my local shop have an answer for just about every question I had. Being a small independent shop and brand new as well their limited to product on hand, and I really had no idea where to start.

So after being loyal to my usual shop my entire cycling experience I ventured out to a larger still independent shop in my area and found out they had a saddle fitment program. For 30$ deposit you can ride as many seats as you want for 30 days and the deposit goes towards the price of the seat.

While not having any idea where to start I explained what I didn’t like about my current stock seat and went from there. This particular shop had 2 different brands to choose from wtb and selle italia, with wtb being the more affordable option.

I started off with the valcon and rode on it for a about 40 miles and it wasnt quite to my likening, it didnt fit me very well. Then I went to the silverado which was way better fit. I put about 50 miles on it and was fairly happy but decided to see if a other one would work better. I went from the silverado to the Vigo, which pretty much was a giant step backwards. So after riding the Vigo for about 40 miles I went back to the silverado. They only had the titanium rail version in stock so they ordered me the chromoly version and it was only about 50 grams more.

So after I ordered it, it took about 10 business days to get there, when it came in I took my bike in to get it put on and didnt ride it for about 3 weeks due to my hectic work schedule. The first real ride I did was the half century grand fondo, and this saddle really proved its worth, kept me comfortable for over 4 1/2 hours of riding. All in all I was pretty Impressed with this saddle in many ways one being when I talked to a wtb rep at the sea otter that they have a program where if you save your receipt and your wtb saddle is damaged during a crash they will give you a discount on a new saddle.

So if your looking for a new saddle check with your local shop and see if they have a fitment program and start there. I chose the wtb silverado based on comfort and price. This particular saddle might or might not work for you ride few different ones and put some miles down on them to really get an idea.

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Sea otter classic 2013 part 1 (holy cow!)

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I set off the the 2013 sea otter classic at 6am on Friday the 4/19, I had a quick 2 and 20 min drive to Laguna seca race way, I had no idea what was I store for me. I was invited to this event by a buddy of mine I haven’t seen in a few years Noah, we played in a band together a few years ago and he had noticed I was posting some rides on face book.

I get to campground H at Laguna seca recreational center and I immediately notice that I’m in the minority with my road bike, 90% of the campers were all xc or downhill mountain bikers. I was the odd man out but the guys from one subject made me feel like part of the crew, check out their Facebook and buy a shirt or a truck tailgate rack, all locally made in san Luis obispo with materials made in the USA as well.

As I get registered for the half century grand fondo and get my pit pass to the venders I walk through the gates and immediately get sensory over load! Their were over 300 venders from large bike company’s specialized, giant, trek, and felt, to the smaller company’s BMC, Santa Cruz, and kona. And then there were the super boutique bikes company’s like alaboo and calfee design which incorporated actual bamboo in their frames

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Those frames were absolutely amazing.

Another cool booth i came across was these hand made wooden helmets very cool and also very expensive, they are made in Oregon and the woods were sourced locally

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Everyone at the booths were more than willing to talk and chat about bikes, I searched for the felt bikes booth eager to show off my budget build, I talked with Eddie of felt bikes and was stoked to see what I had built and for the price and as a reward he gave me a sweet felt bikes shirt. I also spied the felt Argos team bike while I was at their booth

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I also checked out the sram and shimano booth and picked up some sweet swag, I talked with one of the guys from sram and asked him about my chain issues he gave me a few tips along with a nice sram trucker hat

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Half of the fun was getting all the cool swag I managed to get my fair share but the best score of the trip was a pair of Michelin pro 4 endurance tires that were comped to me by Ralph from Michelin along with some Michelin man socks!! Best score of the trip by far, I will be doing a separate review on those in my up coming posts. They came in handy for the half century grand fondo I did, needless to say they have gained a coustomer for life!!!

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Well I have a tone more to share so stay tuned, and more product reviews one the horizon! Just want to say thanks to my buddy Noah and all the one subject crew for the invite. I will defiantly be back next year and will be prepared next time for the awesomeness