01 September, 2006

Retro Light and Wool Jerseys and Other Stuff

I've been promising to make a proper mount for our retro flashlight for months. Well it's finally done and just in time for short fall days.

It's raining so hard that I haven't wanted to go for a ride to try it out, maybe tomorrow night. As soon as I test it (the prototype worked well) and figure out the exact price (about $16 probably), I'll put it in the store.

The finger knobs on the prototype will also be available for those of you who want the option to remove the light quickly. It may not be quite as classy as the Herse original, but it should do.

We've ordered up a run of short sleeve merino wool jerseys. They will be very dark grey, or slightly light black. "Velo Orange" will appear on a white band in art deco style red script (I know, I know; we couldn't get orange). This is just a small trial run so you may want to reserve your's. The cost will be $68 and they will arrive in late September. If they sell well, we'll do a run of long sleeve jerseys for late October.

Velo Orange t-shirt with the Daniel Rebour drawing on the right will also be available. They will be white with orange script, as above.

Finally, we now stock Brooks Champion Flyer saddles.

13 comments:

Neil M Berg said...

Rain? That's what the damned fenders are for.

Joel said...

I like the prototype version of the retro flashlight mount much more. Any chance you'd sell it?

Andrew Karre said...

Must be raining pretty hard. . .

Hurray for the jerseys. Can't wait to see one. Who's doing them (if you can divulge)?

Andrew

david_nj said...

Agreed, thought the prototype was much better. But in any case, with respects to Herman Melville, one must of needs have a rack with some eyelets on which to mount it. I don't know where such a thing can be had, except for those woodchuck-ish ones they sell at Rivendell. The one that suits my fancy is the Herse rack at

http://www.blackbirdsf.org/herse/

; scroll down to "2nd type small front rack (rounded front), centerpull mount". That's just so frikking dandy.

(I'm curious, do some/most/any people here use centerpull brakes? Of my four bikes, three of them now have Mafac centerpulls and one has cantis. I sold my fancy-pantzy Campy Record dual-pivots, because ya can't get a fender under there, sistah! The centerpulls work equally well with modern levers, as long as you run a wide straddle carrier to give them a little more movement for a given cable pull.)

Chris Kulczycki said...

Hey Neil and Andrew, (especially Neil) haven't you read about the little tropical storm, ex-hurricane, that's pummeling us. It's raining sideways here. All the duckweed blew out of our pond; I'm not making that up. Fenders? This would blow the Honjos right off my bike.

The light mounts actually look a lot better in person. I need to take another photo. These really do work better than the first version. And you can mount them to any rack with P-clamps that I will order and stock.

And David, there is this company in Annapolis that will soon sell front racks with threaded light mounts ;<) There will even be a version that does not go down to the drop-outs.

The jerseys are from Portland Cyclewear.

Neil M Berg said...

Chris,
Obviously your Honjos are poorly mounted. I'm sorry about your duckweed though.
I like the "woodchuck" description of the Riv rack. There are things in Grants mental package I don't get. Like taking a beautiful new frame and tying things all over it with zip ties.
I don't have much experience with centerpulls, but Jan Heine, who certainly knows more than I do about brakes, has strongly suggested centerpulls over cantis or sidepulls for my newest project.
There are Riv sidepulls with more fender clearance in the new Rivendell Reader.

david_nj said...

The sidepull vs. centerpull thing has obviously been debated for decades by sharper minds than mine, but it's really hard to see what the benefit or downside of either is. They both stop the bike. The main thing is, centerpulls allow tons more room, plus you can bolt stuff right onto 'em if that's what floats your boat. I'm not sure there's much weight benefit either way. I guess sidepulls are more aero but let's be real. Cantis are fine I guess, you can set them up to stop a frikking TGV, but they can get a little cumbersome.

I wish when I used to race a few years back that I had used Mafacs, that would have gotten some odd looks. But for no good reason I can see. They work fine.

Yeah, I just don't get the Rivendell phemomenon. Nice frames; beautiful paint jobs; absolutely mediocre componentry. My G*d, the best they can do is plastic fenders on a $1600 frame? Ya kiddin'? I have metal fenders on a $0 junker/ castoff/ urban detritus frame. Blue-anodized brake levers? I also am surprised by GP's writings; it all just seems like completely overthinking the whole thing, in a way that makes me go ewwww I'm not inviting *those* people over for a hot meal. lol

Alan said...

I am completely captivated by this website as well as some others, notably Rivendell's. David (or someone else) can you explain what you mean by crappy components on Rivendell's bikes? The reason I ask is I know nothing about the nitty gritty of bikes, I simply appreaciate the style and craftsmanship of older bikes. I don't have a clue as to what makes one set of components better than another. My bike is a 1980 Trek 412 and has the original Dia-Compe components on it. I suspect this was near the lower end of Dia-Compe's lineup at the time, as my 412 was the lower end of Trek's bikes back in 1980. My guess is some of the difference in components is weight, some is finish quality, some is durability, some is function, but I have no idea how brand X would be different than what my Trek has on it. I hope this has not rambled on forever. I'm not trying to start any arguments over details, I just need some sort of biking 101 tutorial. All that said, I really like my Trek. To date I've added a Brooks saddle and fenders, the rest is mostly the same as the day I bought it. $300 in 1980 was all the money in the world back then, I was 17 years old.

Anonymous said...
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Chris Kulczycki said...

Neil and David's remarks about Grant and Rivendell seem to have upset an anonymous fellow whose comments were somewhat impolite and so deleted.

I also feel that some of Grant's idea are not in the spirit of constructeur bikes, though obviously they have some merit and a strong following. But I'm sure we would all welcome a dissenting view, so long as it was good natured.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Rivendell was ever about the constructeur aesthetic. Despite selling $1,600 stock spec framesets and 650B bikes, Rivendell seems to put practicality ahead of aesthetics. Nevertheless, they do have some things in their component mix that do look very nice, including many of their Nitto racks. (OK david_nj, they aren't custom fit and have some Tinkertoy universal-fit hardware so they can actually be mounted on different kinds of bikes, so is adaptability "Woodchuckiness"?)

The age of constructeur fabrication is done. What remains is a small restoration interest and in some places a desire to replicate some of the components of that era. Some framebuilders will custom make matching racks, complete with internal wiring for lights, in the manner once done by constructeurs, but most of the componentry is stock. One could even point out that Rene Herse would hardly build a bike today with a bulky 1930s-ish watchman's flashlight strapped to the front rack given the vast superiority of lighting alternatives that are far more effective for their purpose, not to mention lighter and better-looking. Rivendell and GP can be a little over-the-top in their own way (but I think that blue brake lever on that red Wilbury is sharp) but the Franklin Mint-ish adoration of all things old and shiny is not any better.

-CH

david_nj said...

Anonymous,

Fair enough about Rivendell's bent toward practicality. Nothing particularly wrong with that. But it kinda reminds me of the quote of the very great architect Le Corbusier:

"You employ stone, wood and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: 'This is beautiful. That is Architecture. Art enters in.'"

Now that'll either sound affected-er 'n' hell or might kinda make sense, depending, inter alia, on one's mood. But I personally buy it. And I can practically guarantee you that I'm the biggest redneck on this blog. Still, life's too short to fill it with mere practicalities, no?

Neil M Berg said...

I just returned from the weekend only to find that I have offended someone concerning Grant Peterson. I'm sorry, I didn't intend it to be an attack. I ride one of his frames myself.

Alan,
I'll take the liberty of speaking for both myself and David on the subject of components. The more basic components may function as well, or nearly as well, as the higher end components, but the level of finish isn't as refined and sometimes the brand may not have the same panache. Some people don't care, as long as they work. The same can be said of tig welded frames. They work. The inconsistency seems to be in hanging purely functional hardware on a frames that, whether like the them or not, are obviously not a purely functional.
I'm sure your Trek is a wonderful bike. People seldom fall in love with bad bikes.