And now it’s below zero again
First real ride on the fixed gear. Sunny and almost 13°C
This is the “3wrencho” from Portland Design Works. It’s the coated version; they have a non-coated version also. The tool is made from heat-treated steel and coated with a glass filled nylon coating. It feels good in your hand and you won’t gouge up your nice rims when you use the other end to change the rubber. You can stand on it for leverage and with a little finagling, you can open cold beverages as the website states. It fits well in your pocket and after a month, it seems to be holding up quite nicely. She’s definitely worth the 20-25 dollars.
4.5 inches or 114mm in length
95 grams or 3.5oz in weight
So it’s been cold as… well let’s just say it’s been cold. Plus, money been a little tight lately. So I decided to channel my time, energy, and money into something different. A fixed gear bike for commuting and fun.
I wanted to do it as cheaply as possible and I already had some parts sitting around. The majority of it is a POS online “complete bike” from Amazon. It’s a “Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Urban Road Bike” .
The welds are not pretty, but it seems strong enough to take some abuse. It’s a steel frame and I chose this one because it had a threadless fork and headset. For no other reason than, I wanted to be able to use my stem and bars. So far the bike seems fine. It rides nice and for the price, it looks pretty good.
I added a ProLogo saddle that was laying unused around my shop. The one that came with the bike was a bit cheap, but usable. The 3T seat post I have and wanted to use was a “no go”. Because the seat tube on the bike is a weird size, not a 27.2 mm like most. This tube is a bit smaller (kind of annoying). The seat post that comes with the bike does have the newer one-piece clamp so you can micro-adjust the saddle.
I did remove the cheap brake that came on it and replaced it with a Campagnolo Chorus Dual Pivot brake that I’ve had for a few years. It was an ebay purchase (ridiculously cheap, like $50 US for the front and rear) that never got used.
The wheels are cheap (the whole bike was $200 US). They came pretty close to true. I adjusted them a little, but the were usable right out of the box.
All the components on the bike are cheap brands and I’ve really never heard of them. As it came. The bike would be fine for a $200 bike, but with some upgrades, it should be usable for quite a while.
All in all, I’m happy with it so far. My only real complaint is the lack of water bottle cage screw holes. I guess I’ll need to pick up a bolt-on cage.
Hopefully it gets above freezing around here and I can ride it for more than 20 minutes at a time. These images are from the first ride. Enjoy -
I found a company that makes custom stem caps. Kustomcaps.com
This one reminded me of some skulls I have and love, so I had to get it. Their prices are quite reasonable and the shipping was fast and inexpensive as well. The product quality is wonderful and you can make your own designs, if you’re feeling creative. If not, they have a good selection of pre-made custom caps to choose from. These would make a great gift for any cyclist.
As its been getting very cold around here, I thought I’d tell you about some of the most comfortable and functional winter gloves around. You’ve most likely never heard of Chiba, but they’ve been making gloves for more than 150 years. It’s what they do, they make gloves and very nice ones at that. They don’t make everything; they make gloves (period). Chiba makes cycling gloves, ski gloves and gloves for police and firefighters. The quality is amazing and the fit is better than any glove I’ve worn before. The first few rides have been good. These gloves breathe well and they have a lot of grip. You can move around and they don’t feel bulky, plus they keep the wind and water out. They work best between 30° and 40°, but they performed better than my Pearl Izumi or Castelli gloves when it was below freezing. They have well-padded palms and a soft nose wipe areas that work well. I haven’t washed them yet, but I’ll let you know more once I’ve broken them in a little more.
Hopefully the snow will melt and I can get some more riding in. Chiba does make Thermo gloves and if I can find someone who caries those, I’ll be getting some.