As I might have mentioned, I had the Soma re-painted. Actually, I had the excellent dude Anthony Paints do a full media blast and powder-coat of this sweet creamy green color. Frame, fork, stem and rack all got the electro-static love. Additionally, I had tried a North Road bar, but it was a little narrow. I finally popped for the Nitto Albatross and fitted it the other day. Here are some pics. Pretty sweet looking bike, with the hammered VO fenders and the color-matched frame. It’s new personality matches my own aging - not so racer-y and aggressive a stance anymore. ;-)
So, the older kid, who’s 10, has grown out of her Electra single speed beach cruiser with the 20” wheels. The seat doesn’t go high enough. The next step was a 24” kids bike. But I hate that size. That’s the size where they are nearly big enough for a proper bike in a 26” wheel, assuming the frame can be small enough. The 24” size, in my opinion is just a money gimmick. You get a still-crappy, heavy, hi-ten steel lunker in a marginally larger wheel. The idea that your kid will have 3-ish bikes (16”, 20”, 24”) before they get to a proper bike is pure marketing and hype.
So, I researched. And researched. It’s hard to find a good small frame bike. But I did find one. My LBS had a Linus Mixte 3 in the small size, and the 26” wheels. Real brakes. Gears. And enough range in the frame-saddle-bars that she can ride it now (admittedly at a little stretch) and can continue to ride it all the way to college (assuming it’s not stolen). Yes, that’s a lot of money for a “kid’s bike”, but in my mind, it’s a bike that grabs them when bikes are really important, and then stays with them for a long time. It’s not a phase bike. It’s a real bike.
The little one is riding a 16” now, but I’m pretty sure that she’ll be on the Electra this summer. She’ll get a few good years out of it, and then she too will be ready for a real bike.
So, I was doing a little tidying up in the garage, and going through old bike parts and gear. For some odd reason, I’ve kept worn out derailers and cassetts. I’ve kept worn out chainrings. I’ve kept worn out chains! Shift and brake cables. Pedals with frozen bearings. I think that I thought I might do some kind of cool project with them. Well, years later, I haven’t done any kind of project, and it’s time to clean house.
Most alarming, however, is the bar problem. You see, I work in IT. That means that my hands and wrists only get a work out punching keys and clicking a mouse. So, I’m forever in search of the perfect handlebar. You know - the one that doesn’t tweak the wrist, or put a weird pressure on a nerve in my palm, or make my hands tingle and go to sleep. The result is that I’ve purchased a lot of handlebars over the course of that search. As I pulled them out of bins and off of shelves, I counted them. Like sins. 9 bars. Various forms of drops, flats, risers, mustache. You name it. Those are the bars that are not on a bike, mind you. There are more than a few that are actually mounted on bikes.
So, I’m ditching most of those bars. Most have 31.8 bar clamps, but some have 22. There’s a FSA compact wing, a RaceFace Cadence, a Salsa Woodchipper, a no-name mustache bar, and a Nitto Randoneur. There’s a Marin riser that I chopped shorter.
There are some that I’m keeping. Just in case. There’s a VO rando bar, a Salsa Cowbell, and a FSA Metropolis. But that’s it. The bikes all have bars that work pretty well, and the only thing I’d really do is my somewhat-annual swap between drops and the northroads that I have on the Soma right now. The fattie is happy with a Soma Clarence. And the super-wide nearly-flat bar that came on the fattie is on the Madsen.
If anybody wants one of the bars I’m getting rid of, leave a comment and we can talk.
I’m trying to create some focus in the new year. One of the things that’s not worked is the comingling of serious topics and hobbies on this site. So, I’m re-booting my other site as the “serious stuff” site, and leaving this one for “fun stuff” like tinkering with bikes, travel, backcountry nerd-outs, etc.
So, DisorderStudio, Twitter, and LinkedIn will be for serious stuff. Facebook and here will be for friends, family, and fun. So, if you want Bryant in his serious, professional "work voice" (as my daughter calls it), follow me over there someplace. Here, you’ll get bikes, camping, occasional RPG nerding, and fart jokes. Your call.
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