Sunday, February 22, 2009

Waxing canvas/cotton touring bags (How To)

make your own touring bags.  cheap, good looking, easy, waxed canvas (tin cloth) makes a good alternative to synthetic fiber (big oil) bags.  

pick up some old military bags at a local military surplus store.  all five bags, leather straps, and chord cost me less than $100.00 bucks.

stuff needed:  beeswax, turpentine (or linseed oil, linseed supposedly has less smell, but if you have ever used oil paints, you know the smell, and i cannot cope with it, so turpentine it is), cheese grater, large pot, smaller pot/coffee can, orange oil (i used some orange oil & beeswax stuff), paint brush, some kind of camp stove (do not do this inside as turpentine is combustible), heat gun (available @ harbor freight for $10.00 bucks).

first, fill your pot with water.  add water to fill up a few inches of the pot.  light the stove.

second, while the water is getting hot, grate your beeswax (with the cheese grater), the grated beeswax melts faster.  i used over half of a one pound block.  look for the beeswax online, it is cheap compared with what buying it at a hardware store (if available) will cost.  add the turpentine to the coffee can (full quart), the beeswax, and some orange oil (i found that the orange oil does not enough to change the unpleasant turpentine smell to really make it mandatory).  place the can into the large pan.  

note:  water does not have to be boiling.  the point is to gradually warm the contents of the inner can.  once heat is turned off, the wax can will be kept warm with water surrounding it.
let the wax melt in the coffee can, stirring it so that it mixes thoroughly with the turpentine.  

third, (wear latex gloves) start painting the beeswax onto your canvas bags.  pay special attention to your seams, and anywhere with stitching.

fourth, with your heat gun (from harbor freight), melt what you have painted on your bag.  with a crappy rag, wipe off any excess wax/oil that doesn't absorb into the material.  

if you feel you need to, you can do this process twice.  some sites that i've read suggest this, but through my tests (leaving my bags out in the rain) i've found one application is sufficient (just make sure you really get a good application of wax on the first time). 

done!  easy, cheap.  total process and materials cost me less than $150.00 bucks and just a few hours.  plus, you are repurposing something that is very well made and should see use another day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tufo Tire Sealant

after the mishap with the tufo tire the other day (flat tubular), i decided that it was not a good idea to ride without the flat sealant, even though i had a spare tire.  so, tire sealant was ordered, arrived today, and i fixed the flat.

to make tufo's tire sealant work, you need to first get the goo (looks like elmer's glue) into the tire.  the sealant comes with a valve stem remover (you don't need to order the valve stem remover tool as it comes with the kit, but maybe ordering a spare valve stem is a good idea).  once the stem is removed, one simply squeezes in the sealant goo, reinstalls the valve, pumps up the tire.  this is pretty much all there is to the process.  the goo is holding back 170 psi at the moment, so i'd say it works (ten hours and holding).  

note for the process though, do not pump up immediately (like instructions say) to full road going psi.  get some air in the tubular (30 or 40 lbs) and then roll the goo around inside the tire, allowing the rubber time to vulcanize.  the first squirt of tire sealant ended up on the floor as i did as the instructions said (pumped up tire to normal pressure).  compressed air and sealant shooting halfway across the room.  made for a messy clean up.

update:  two days later.  have done about a dozen miles on the sealed tube.  holding @ 170 psi firm.  look up info on these, as they are seriously nice tires and @ world class cycles, they are fairly reasonable.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tufo Tire flat

well, today was a good one.  sun was shining for a few, so i decided it was time for a little ride. i did a quick 10 mile ride to claremont and back.  

after arriving in downtown claremont, i promptly received a nice puncture to a fresh new tufo tire.  after just writing them up, i guess that it is poetic justice.  it's been a long time since my last flat, so, oh well.  had to change the tubular tire as i do not have the flat tire juice (which i'm about to order).  with tubulars, always have a spare tire handy.  

i was going to take photos of the tire changing process, but rain clouds were rolling in, so i hauled ass home beating rain by about no minutes flat.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

bare metal basso

hello all, (i'm flattering myself).  just finished my basso (most recent project).  

56 cm basso. 

i was driving down the road one day, saw a garage sale on the side o' the road and a few bike frames, so i stopped.  one frame was some garden variety nothing.  the other, though hidden by a hideous orange and yellow paint job was a vintage basso.  got it for $5.00.  

stripped the frame, now it is bare metal, coated only with gun oil to keep down the rust.  

sourced all of the parts as cheaply as possible (over a six month period).  found a few great suppliers, who also are very reasonable.  for tires, i found a great site called world class cycles (only the good stuff at extremely good prices v. retail).

after piecing the bike together, it rides great.  three things stand out.  the bottom bracket and headset are gold.  the hatta njs parts are the smoothest i've ever felt.  no kidding, like a hot knife through butter.  the other surprise is the tufo tubular clincher tires.  try riding tires at 175 psi.  you roll forever, no effort needed to move.  i cannot even begin to compare the ride quality with any other tire i've ever bought except for the traditional tubulars that i used to have on my old colnago super.  clinchers just seem to be missing something.  
parts list

florman vintage stem, sourced from a great vintage parts site called velostuf.  campy super record high flange hubs laced to mavic open pro rims.  campy cranks and chain ring.  campy super record sl pedals.  campy super record sl seat post (drilled by myself, i'll do another seat post and show / post the process and results).  sakae england handlebars.  modolo 
inter. pat. professional brakeset with scott mathauser pads.  shimano 600 "arabesque" rear derailleur.  vintage shimano clear cable housings.  early campy record friction shifter sourced from cyclart.  Brooks B-17 from ben's cycle.  hatta 9400 bottom bracket and hatta swan deluxe headset (both njs), sourced from njs supermarket.  tufo tubular clincher tires (175 psi).


inspired by my good friend @ bonafide!, i've decided to delve into the realm of the blogosphere.  look up bonafide! on  bonafide! makes cool cycling related paper goods, and is in the process of creating bike pads and custom messenger bags.

i am a college student (returning, after far too many years) with an interest in architecture / industrial design / fine art / graphic design.  poli-sci as of late.

i have an abnormal love of the bicycle and nearly all of it's manifestations (no love for aluminum or carbon frames).  

i will try and discuss all apparent foibles and obvious follies that have got me to this point, as well as all things positive.  maybe this blog will become a journal of all things that keep me interested, both negative and positive.  hopefully this blog will not devolve into a mileage journal.

if you have a good restaurant idea (for the los angeles area) let me know, as i will also add much more than cycling info to this blog, hopefully.