12 March, 2007

Neat Stuff at the Show

Here are a few little items that really stood out at the hand built bike show.

Among my favorites is the custom shifter and front dérailleur on this stunning Pereira. I'm beginning to think that a shifter/ dérailleur like this might make sense on certain bikes and I might just try one on my city bike. The block lining isn't bad either.

There certainly was a lot of experimentation with rack design. I'm not sure that the little round rack on this lovely Kirk is practical, but it certainly does fit with the circular motif. Again, I'd stick with a more traditional shape. Another thing that's catching on is wooden platforms on racks.


The vacuum bottle on this Independent Fabrications mixte is a neat touch. I'm not sure I could use it while riding though, and riding no-handed while pouring oneself a cup of Earl Grey is a skill every proper cyclist should have.

A locking trunk is handy on a city bike so it was nice to see this artful integration by Sycip. The step-through frame design is very popular on European city bikes and seems to be catching on here in a small way.

Jon of Johnny's cycles reworked a pair of Paul Racer brakes and the result is a modern centerpull with classic lines. Bravo!

I'll post some photos of neat bikes tomorrow.

19 comments:

joel said...

The Periera shifter is intriguing. Assuming it works, the more you can eliminate exposed cables on city bikes, the better it is.

The Sycip internal case looks handy. The aftermarket nylon versions always seem to work around too much and get in the way.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Regarding the Periera shifter, I was thinking that I spend 99% of my time with a 46t chainring when riding around town. But once in a while I might end up taking a longer ride on the city bike and encounter a steep hill. So a super simple shifter seems like a great idea. I played with it a little and it seems to work as designed. This sort of shifter was very popular for a long time and is still preferred by an eccentric few.

joel said...

How about matching the clean lines of the Periera shifter with the (from the photos, anyway) magically simple White Industries road compact crank introduced at the show?

david_nj said...

Elegant brakes. Are they any better or worse than regular Mafac brakes though? I've actually gotten used to the Mafacs on my otherwise modern bike ... having used dual-pivot sidepulls for 12 years, they seemed to not work well at first but now I'm quite used to them -- they're not really worse, just different.

All things being equal, unless the Paul calipers are demonstrably better, I'd be inclined to stick with the Mafacs, since you can bolt racks and things onto their pivot bolts. I always think it's kinda neat when you see that. I don't think that works on the Paul brakes. Not a big deal either way though.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Paul racers are stiffer, are much easier to adjust, also have adjustable spring tension on each arm, and have better bushings with o-ring seals. But Mafacs do look nicer and might be lighter (I've actually never weighed them). Oh yes, you can bolt stuff to Pauls, but it's more trouble.

neil m berg said...

The reworked Pauls are nice, but pale in comparison to the set on the Peter Mooney which were reportedly cut out of a block of aluminum with hand tools.

nv said...

I dunno about the FD shifter on the Periera. A downtube shifter & cable must be lighter, at least as reliable and IMO is less obtrusive to the lines of a bike - and really, how often does one need to adjust a friction FD? I cannot recall ever having to do so. Yes, the Periera FD is neat but I don't see one in my future. It certainly is a lovely bike - The box striping is great!
I really like Periera's logo & font as well - it's amazing what a classic font/logo adds to a bike - Mooney, Townsend, Tournesol, etc...

Michael S. said...

nv, I feel the same way about classic logos and fonts. VO and Tournesol, perfect. Ira Ryan and ANT? Great looking bikes, but I'd have to go with a steathly logo-less frame.

joel said...

Most ANTs I have seen just have the head badge.

Photos of several of the bikes at the show had only headbadges.

Ryan's decals are kind of loud. I think the little bird head badge is original and classy.

Anonymous said...

The round rack on that Kirk is JUST the thing for carrying a basketball, soccerball or football to the park. Did it have a rear rack for the picnic supplies, or would someone else be supposed to port that [possibly in an Amish basket pannier ;)]? I recall VAR once had a wooden front fork rack designed for carrying a tennis racket. I also note the stock size of tabletop charcoal grill (the inexpensive stamped metal ones) at the grocery store is 12 1/2 inches wide. Thanks for the report!

Tarik Saleh said...

I think I read somewhere that the round rack on the Kirk was specifically for a certain camera bag for a client who was some sort of photographer. Thanks to the fact that everyone in the entire universe went to the show and put their photos on the web, I can't remember where the hell I read that. I like it's basket/soccer ball utility though...

Tarik Saleh said...

Ah yes found it:
http://alexandchristine.smugmug.com/gallery/2545060#133876306

on alex wetmore's photo site:
"""
Kirk custom front rack. This is built for a specific camera bag (the customer was a photographer). The bag has a strap which tightens around the narrow part of the backstop. The bag also attaches with a M5 nut through a drainhole in the bag. The bike has normal road geometry. Kirk thought that the bag weighed 6-7lbs when full.
""""

There we go...

neil m berg said...

Why is the round rack supporting a hard bottomed bag any less functional than a rectangular rack?

dbrk said...

I use a Simplex rod shifter on a '61 Herse 650B. These are fun and even efficient but they strike me as more period-bike than something reallllly worth introducing again. Someone would really have to want this experience but there's some sort of line I draw between stuff-that-works-great and never deserved to die and stuff-that-worked-great and we've perhaps moved on. I feel the latter way about rod front shifters. But there's fun to be had on period-like bikes...after all, I have a brand new bike with a Campagnolo Paris-Roubaix (but I'd not like it to be my main ride...).

Anonymous said...

Actually, I suspect that a lever-actuated fd would be great in certain applications. Say on a purist coaster-brake town bike with no rear gears--you wouldn't be shifting that much anyway, it would just be for your bail-out granny front ring, with no fd trim issues to worry about. Then you could have a light, speedy, cable-free bike! that would be cool and practical, in my book. . . I'd love it.

michael white

Anonymous said...

or with a nexus hub; I guess you'd probably have to use a 2-pulley chain tensioner . . . or lots of other applications come to mind, I can't stop thinking of them . . .

mw

joel said...

mw:

That's where I am thinking too. You could really get a clean look on a bike without giving up on the option for a low gear when it is needed.

Anonymous said...

actually the rack is just supporting a berthoud bag which carries a few cameras and snacks and such. the bottom being round is pure design but the back of the rack being round is highly functional since it prohibits the leather band from slipping up. i had second thoughts upon first seeing it and now i gotta say i love it.

Anonymous said...

actually the rack is just supporting a berthoud bag which carries a few cameras and snacks and such. the bottom being round is pure design but the back of the rack being round is highly functional since it prohibits the leather band from slipping up. i had second thoughts upon first seeing it and now i gotta say i love it.