Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Screw You Nature

It's the time of year when I need to break out the winter fixie, a recycled Kona Lavadome donated to me by my friend Jessie. I got caught by surprise by the snow today so spent much of the night madly trying to re-assemble her in time for Thursday's potential snowfall:

I put around 1000kms on this bike last winter but am hoping that my "new" roadbike fixie recently assembled with help from the folks at Phat Moose Cycles will absorb most of those kms when the roads are bare.

The Lavadome was assembled last fall with assistance of my buddy Christian who gave me a Surly Conversion Kit for my birthday. I went with fixed gear over free hub because I found my hub was freezing below -10C, meaning that my single-speed was turning into a zero-speed. One solution was to carry a thermos of hot water with me and thaw the hub when needed. The other alternative was to pedal the single-speed as if it were a fixie since keeping the palls engaged the whole ride didn't allow them to freeze up. Not an easy thing to do for an hour through the city . But I digress.

For tyres, I have gone with the Nokian Hakkapelitta W106, which you can read about at Peter White Cycles. These are an excellent tyre for winter as they have decent rolling resistance with studs where it matters. The studs are carbide, which is a must on asphalt (bitumen) since steel studs will wear out in no time.

I usually oil the bike up carefully at the start of the season and then leave it outdoors until spring as I've heard it said many times that the temperature cycling resulting from bringing the bike indoors is harder on it than the accumulated grit from winter riding.

Once the bike is outside for good, I douse it with a nice light chain saw oil at the beginning and end of every ride. It's messy, but the beauty of a fixed-gear bike is that messy isn't a show-stopper.

Oh, and check out the cool reflections in the above photo! Those are not a Divine roadmap, but the result of 3M Scotchlite available by the metre from MEC. Good shit that. So, when I get do inevitably get run down, remember that it was intentional and avenge my death.



Kark said...

I was all at once entertained and appalled at the 'divine road map' line. ..nice one. "go to the light!"

The Vegan Vagabond said...

I like your spidey hat and I like the idea of keeping the bike outside. I might just do that too.

Day by Day Fitness said...

nice tan lines

the original big ring said...

Nice . . . very nice.

Nice slippers too.

Nice to see people step up and start tearing off the clothing for some naked gear reviews.


the original big ring said...

Forgot to mention I like how you strategically placed that VERY narrow tire is - no need for rectangles!

Golonghardman said...

Bravo! Well done. Don't know how i'm going to keep up with you guys on the technical stuff. I think i'm going to do a naked gear review on gel packs and shot blocks,stuff i'm good at.

Peter M said...

I also like my Spidey hat and get a lot of positive feedback on it. Just this week my friend Lynne said "Are you ever going to take off that goddamn hat?" I'll post some pics of my Spidey jersey too -- maybe even cooler than the hat.

The tan lines are a result of my recent work/bike trip to Australia. Only cyclists appreciate that look!

And as for the "strategically placed" tyre it's 1.9" wide and in the foreground. I'll let an engineer like Tanya explain the implications of the resulting umbra.

I have also been told that my pipes-to-treetrunks (arms/legs) ratio has cyclist written all over it. I assume that's hot.

Anonymous said...

hot - very hot.