Friday, December 29, 2006

First new bike in 22 years

After years of secondhand bikes, project bikes made from garage detritus, and Grandfather's Axe bikes, I gave myself a GT Peace 9r for Christmas.

For the last few summers I have not done much mountainbiking, spending most of my spare summer time at Manukau Velodrome, but this year I'm determined to get dirty on a regular basis.

Despite owning an under-utilised GT I-Drive, I figured that the Peace 9r was a way to try out both singlespeeding, and 29-inch wheels in one affordable package.

Needless to say, I started fiddling with it as soon as it came out of the carton. A Cane Creek Thudbuster immediately replaced the original seatpost- I'm 45 years old, and there's no way I'm riding a hardtail off-road without it.

The Q factor of the Truvativ Blaze cranks was a bit wide for my roadie sensibilities and manky knees, so they and the Howitzer bottom bracket, were consigned to a cardboard box, and replaced by a set of 180mm Ritchey Logic crankarms on a square taper Kajita BB.
This opened another can of worms. The 110pcd Ritchey cranks take a 34t chainring, so Rick Woodward gave me a Shimano 19t sprocket to equal the original 32 x 18 gearing. As it turns out Hyperglide cogs don't do much to keep the chain on, but fortunately I have found an old Shimano Uniglide 19t cog that should be more secure

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

This was supposed to be my cranky, somewhat political blog, but I'm struggling to maintain the venom required to argue the propositions below, so I'll leave them for another day.
In the meantime, it's Summer, and the time is right for all kinds of good stuff.

A few topics for later:

Bike NZ will never be an effective advocate for cycling in New Zealand

That most recreational cyclists are stooges of the Car Culture, fortunately for me,
Maynard Hershon nailed this one years ago.

That Bike NZ's Team Pursuit-based elite track program is largely smoke & mirrors bullshit

Increasing fuel costs ought to be a gift to the bicycle industry in New Zealand, but most of the protagonists are so tied to their own car-centric lifestyles that they will probably miss the opportunity.