Monday, March 12, 2007

Some Bike Porn

The North American Handmade Bicycle Show was in San Jose the weekend before last, and Cycling News has posted a heap o' photos. You can see them here. There were a lot of utility bicycles this year, and there's a Gallery of Handmade Townies posted. The photographer does a good job but doesn't recognize some items, like the Stokemonkey or Tubus Cosmo. I did note that Vanilla Bicycles, which I've regarded as what I'd order if I won the lottery, now have a four-year wait. Holey smokes! Ahearne Cycles was there with one of their very nifty cargo racks with a slot to carry your U-lock though I think of them more as the cool flask cage maker. ANT from Boston was there; the Boston Roadster I think looks like a great utility bike. They also had a Rohloff-hubbed frame which would be deeply appealing though very expensive.

I don't know, though, my suddenly very modest-seeming Atlantis is expensive enough that I typically won't ride it somewhere where I have to park it outside for a couple of hours (like to a movie); I don't know what these bikes are running, but I'd be really nervous about a $5K or $8K or $10K bike to pop down to Rainbow for some milk. Still, they look fabulous and it's fun to see something other than just another (yawn) racing bike.

In other news, I stripped down my Schwinn today, starting preparations to get the frame painted. It needed some work when I got it, but new wheels (internal hub gears, dynamo hub), pedals, seat and handlebars looked after much of it. One thing I never looked at was the bottom bracket. After I got the crank arms off, I tried turning the bb axle and it is so tight and rough I can't turn it with my fingers! Yikes! I've never felt a bottom bracket so wretched. Think of all the newfound speed I'll have when I get it all put back together properly!

Finally, in the Tale of the Knickers, the lady around the corner couldn't handle buttonholes but there is a tailor in the strip mall nearby and he's going to do my conversion of a pair of summer weight black wool dress trousers to knickers for about $40. My legs will be 3 inches longer than the Bicycle Fixation knickers. I even got to choose the color of satin for my gusset (I went with blue, to match the frame color I'm likely to get). I also admired the achingly beautiful fabric samples for custom suits, which start at $1,300. I didn't tell him my trousers were $20 from Sierra Trading Post. Can't afford a custom bike, I can at least get handmade knickers. Anyway, these things'll be done next Tuesday. I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

this verdant country said...

Six months ago, Vanilla quoted me a 22 month wait. Now it's 4 years! I guess he must've taken a few orders since I spoke to him. I ended up ordering a Curt Goodrich, which will likely be done by this fall.