Monday, December 14, 2009

Bike Check, Snow update

Its finally a full blown Duluth winter. Daytime highs in the teens, lows in the negs. Here's a pic of the ice build up from a 3rd floor window of my house. The only way I can think to insulate that room is to stuff a futon mattress in the french doors (its a sun room).After a few weeks of riding in the cold and the snow, I've settled on a final build for my daily. I've also started wearing a snowboarding helmet and amber goggles to save myself from frost bite. The wind gets real bad sometimes. My pace has slowed down greatly too. Its mostly about staying warm and safe on the salty streets.

This sled is rocking WTB FN29 rims laced to sealed formula track hubs. The fixed gear is a lot of fun maneuvering down the snowy hills. Just have to keep the front tire upright and I'm good.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

poop, crap, and american bb's

The other day I road through a lot of yards full of dog crap on my way home.

I've been seeing a lot more of these old chicago schwinns lately around town. Must be a popular frame in this region.
This is what I wear when I ride. Dorky, yes. Comfortable, yes. Wool Jerseys are the shit. At the old Alternative on 28th n hennepin there was pics on the wall of my dad in this jacket.

Lakeside Bike, Video, and Curling has gone out of business. I stopped in and found all these old NOS park tools on the cheap.
These are surprisingly usefull for changing tires. Not just cotter cranks.

I spotted this orange huffy in the racks the other week. Walked past it to double take on the crank and back sprocket. Look at the granny gear.
thats a skip tooth gear.

thats it, thats all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


this is the first day that I'm well enough to ride. So to make up for all the projects I'm behind on I went on a photo shoot to find the green monster on the lakewalk.

I wish I had my camera when I woke up this morning, the bike was full of frost.

the green monster

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A busy fall day

It was chilly this morning waiting for the bus so I decided to do 2 block hill sprints up and down 16th while I waited for the bus. When I got to campus I was able to snap a few quick shots of the scenery around the bike racks next to MWAH, Swenson, and the Planetarium.

I also installed my next prototype of my DIY holdfast style straps this morning too.

Put a total of six rivets in it. Didn't rivet the bottom one b/c its always under constant pressure and I think the velcro will stick anyway. The DIY I followed can be found here.

Last night Brandon came to me with a few problems with his centurion fixed conversion. He had just healed up after surgery and the doc's told him he can't ride with foot retention (don't think they know what a fixed gear is then).
Started with adjusting the cones on the front wheel, then realized the tire was in there odd.
Applied some hockey tape as makeshift rim tape to try and correct the tire problem.
Tightened the bolts on the crank.
After about an hour of trying different tire/tube/rim combinations settled on trading him a old Sora hub on a Vuelta rim. Fit his Conti Gatorskin tire much better. Now his front hub matches his Sora road brake.

It was warm for November (55F!) so Caitlin and Sallie took a few cameras for bike ride down the lake walk. Caitlin had a great riding outfit.

Nice socks.
Cool bike.
Duluth needs more bike bridges like this.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

this is good news

DTA bike racks to remain on buses year-round

This really helps when I'm trying to keep a time schedule and cycle to school or work. I can make it the 3 miles from my house to school in about 12 minutes on a warm day, sprinting on a fixed gear through traffic. Its uphill all the way, climbing over 1000ft in elevation that really makes you sweat. But on a cool, windy, brisk, rainy, or otherwise sh*tcan day it takes over 20 minutes. In that time two buses will pass me on my way to school. With these racks I can get to school in under 10 minutes and still have my bike to get me around places at the top of the hill. The big plus is then I have that 3 mile solid hill bomb to do on the way home. A real eye opener on my brakeless Bianchi. Even more fun when its slick and I can use the Salsa ala carte fixed gear mtn bike.

Bike Profile: 60's Schwinn Continental

This is my daily beater. Its heavy, geared low at 63 inches and sorta resembles a FGFS bike. The fixed axle will be great for snow, and due to the frequency of equipment failure I left the brakes on it. All of the components came from a 24" schwinn predator bmx bike. The old chicago made schwinns use the same BB as most bmx bikes, so putting it together was a matter of degreasing and unfreezing worn out parts. I can easily get the bike to spin at around 20mph, but at a slow pace I can average 10-15 mph. For what it is, its wonderful to ride. The buses still have bike racks on them, so the commute uphill is short, and the hill bomb home is fast. I've been applying Loc-tite to the chainring crank but everytime I backpedal or mash it breaks loose. Yesterday while riding I was riding the pedals hard down a hill and the stock formula lockring finally bit the bullet. Was really scared the cog was going to thread off and kill me going down the hill. Fixed it with a beefier surly track lockring I got at Continental, so this week I've spent a total of $14 to keep riding.

Frame: 60's Electro Forged Schwinn Continental. Somewhere from 58cm to 60cm (got from the BCC)
Drivetrain: 42t Profile Racing Chainring to Oddesey 1 piece crank. American BB. BMX pedals
Wheels: WTB fn29 in the front with a 38c tire, mavic cxp-22 to 35c kenda kwick rear tire. formula track hub with a 18t fixed cog and a surly lockring (new as of yesterday!)
Bars n Brakes: Tioc Low rise moto style bars, tektro brakes and old junk long linear pull reach brakes.

First Post

This is the first post. The idea of archiving all the cheap hacks and methods I've been using for the last two years to survive biking in the elements has been brewing in the back of my mind for a while. The goal is to pass on these techniques to anyone else that encouters similiar conditions and needs a quick fix without shelling out a lot of cash for the solutions.

A little about myself: I'm a 20 yr old college student living in Duluth, MN since 2007. I am a photography major with an emphasis in digital media. I work at the Multimedia HUB at UMD.
I live on the bottom of the duluth hillside on superior street, just a block away from the Bike Cave Collective. I have to admit most of these projects have been because of the resources the bike cave have. Having a graveyard of old bikes to pick apart has been the greatest help. The guys that run it are great and have a slew of knowledge available. I also have to thank my dad, who taught me most of these techniques. For the greater part of my childhood he helped run a few bike shops and internet bike outlets out of Minneapolis, MN. I grew up going to bike auctions everyweek and basically always had the resources to ride, but never really used them until I went to college.

I hope this blog will be a well of information about biking, commuting, and all things good in this world.