The frame arrived today. I gleefully unpacked it and took some pictures. Not much to do until the other parts arrive later this week, but you can see that I installed the BB, cranks, and derailer. And, yes, a brushed titanium finish is simply stunning.





Well, here it is, a new year. Here’s hoping it rocks for you all!

As a winter project, I tend to completely strip down my bike and clean/tune it for the upcoming season. This year, I’m taking the realization that the frame is too small, and I’m building up a new bike around a Habanero Cross/Tour frame. My frame is arriving next week, and has some custom modifications – I’m going all disc brakes (no canti studs), and have spec’d it with a 135mm rear triangle, so I can use “mtn bike” hubs (which are way easier to source for disc options). I was inspired by the Salsa Vaya – a great approach to a do-all bike. But, of course, I want to do things just my way. So, a Habanero frame, 1×9 drivetrain with 12-32 cassette, discs front and rear (probably Avid BB7s), and a step up in the sizing (57cm). I’m hoping this bike really is my do-all – touring, commuting, whatever. It should be a great compliment to the Madsen when I’m the only one going.

I’ll update more as parts arrive and things come together.

I bike to work much of the year. This year, my season ran from March 15th to November 19th. When I moved to Mpls, I sold my car and we went to a single car house. That was pretty cool. But, there’s still a number of trips that we do with a car that are foolishly close. For example, the store is less than a mile away. The kids’ school is only 4 blocks away. These are common transportation events in our house. So, I’ve been pondering a cargo bike for a long time. I’ve looked at xtra-cycles, bakfiets, and Madsens, and the latter caught my eye. Unlike an Xtracycle or Big Dummy, there’s a rigid containment for kids. Unlike a Bakfiets, it’s not equal to 2 or 3 months mortgage …

So, pondering, pondering, pondering. And then, suddenly, there’s a “Black Friday” sale! Generally speaking, I disdain Black Friday, and try really hard not to spend a red cent in the consumerist frenzy. But this was too much to pass up. A $1500 2011 model Madsen for $1000. An excellent deal on an incredibly useful bike! So, I got my order in, impulsively, at 11pm on Friday. It arrived last week. It was packed in a giant carton and the shipping weight was ~90 lbs. I was a little anxious that I bought a monster heavy bike. I had to cut some hand holes in it to haul it across the snow to the back yard and the garage. As I was trying to get it into the garage, I realized that the shipping carton won’t fit thru the side door of the garage. This is a big carton – 8′ long, 5′ tall, and 2′-3′ wide. I opened an end and had to pull the bike out to get it inside. It was really nicely packed and with a little snip-snip of wire cutters, it was free of its cable tie moorings and sitting free. Here’s a couple of pics of the unpacked bike.



I will post some more in the Spring. You know, where there’s not 3 feet of snow on the ground.