Saturday, August 20, 2016

Juiced Cross Current / Ibera Rack Installation

In response to the difficulties Cross Current owners are having with installing racks I have posted some detailed information below. On my previous demo model of the Cross Current I was able to easily install it with the existing hardware. When that bike was stolen and I purchased the newer production model it was not as easy. Here is how I was able to get around this problem and install my Ibera rack.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

1974 Raleigh Sports

When I first acquired this bike it was covered in several pounds of galvanized bolt-ons for cheap accessories like reflectors, frame pump, etc. It had been splattered with white latex paint, and sadly the original Brooks B72 Saddle was too dry rotted to save. 
The frame, fenders, cranks, & handle bars remain original. Everything else has been upgraded with a mix of vintage & modern components. 

Frame: Raleigh 20-30 High Carbon Tubing
Fork: Raleigh (Steel)
Hubs: SRAM Automatix 2 Speed
Front Quick Release: Huret Luxe Wingnuts
Rims: SunRims CR18 (Alloy)
Tires: Schwalbe 26x1.5
Crank: Raleigh
Pedals: Raleigh
Quill Stem: Raleigh Vintage Grand Cru Style
Handle Bars: North Road Raleigh (Steel)
Saddle: Gyes (Leather)
Current Weight 32.0lbs

Saturday, February 20, 2016

2016 Juiced Cross Current

Unfortunately this bike was stolen in Santa Monica, CA last week. The serial no. is 192821504440068

After a recent injury I purchased my first e-bike. It is also the first new non-vintage bicycle I've ever owned. I ended up choosing a Cross Current from Juiced Bikes mainly based on it's power and price. This being a new model I have found very little information on it from actual owners. After commuting on it for the last few weeks I thought I would point out some quick pros & cons.

Power - This bike is fast, hauls plenty of cargo, and easily climbs steep hills. The bike has no throttle. Instead your pedaling works as the accelerator, as you push harder and faster on the pedals the motor will increase it's output. You can go incredibly fast with very little effort. No need for blood doping before work anymore.

Range - The battery life can vary greatly depending on terrain and speed. It claims an average of 20 miles. That range can easily be doubled on flat paved terrain at a lower assist level. My commute is a short 4 miles round trip with several steep long hills. I usually find myself recharging every 16 miles, but have yet to run the battery completely flat.

Quality - The Cross Current is sturdy and lightweight overall. My large size with the rack and other small accessories weighs 55lbs. considering the suspension fork, motor, and battery pack that's pretty light.
The aluminum frame itself leaves a some minor things to be desired:
- No bosses anywhere that would allow you to add a bottle cage, pump etc.
- The welds are sturdy but not pretty
- The wire routing is a little unfinished, lots of zip-ties used
The components are not top of the line but are reliable and function crisply. Mine was equipped with the following components:
Shifting - Shimano Alivio 9X1
Brakes - Tektro Durado levers, and disc brakes
Suspension - SR Suntour NEX with lock out

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Romani Update

I'm fortunate to have creative parents. My mom is a writer and my dad is a painter and sculptor. A couple of years ago I asked my dad to paint my favorite frame however he wanted. He agreed and I shipped off the frame to him. He recently finished it and turned it back over to me. The colors and design work show his styling well. It's all hand brushed in black and silver over a burgundy and chrome base, then topped off with a high gloss clear coat. It was well worth the wait.
I still have some upgrades to acquire component wise but here it is for now...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Seatpost From Hell... (How To Remove A Stuck Seatpost)

A while back I encountered an impossibly stuck seatpost on an old Bianchi. I tried everything from a pipe wrench, to cutting the seatpost in half with a hacksaw blade from the inside out. All efforts failed miserably and added to my frustration. The only method I hadn't tried was pouring acid into the seat tube to dissolve to post. Although curious I was not willing to give it a try. Instead I designed and built my own seat tube extractor with parts from the hardware store for under $30. It worked flawlessly and saved hours of wrestling with the seat post. Once it was removed I could see why I had so much trouble. A previous owner had opted out of a seat post clamp and instead wrapped the seatpost in an inner tube and hammered it into the seat tube. Thanks a bunch...

The black stuff is the old inner tube

What you'll need:
1. Steel pipe with a diameter slightly larger than the seat tube and longer than the seatpost
2. Threaded rod at least the length of the seat tube
3. 4 washers with the diameter equal to the seatpost diameter (These will need to fit inside the seat    tube but not the seat post. I had to file mine down a bit to make them exact)
4. 1 or 2 heavy duty washers, larger in diameter than the steel pipe
5. A wood block with a hole drilled into it slightly larger than the seat tube diameter
6. 2 nuts to thread onto the threaded rod

What to do:
1. Remove the saddle completely
2. Remove crank arms and bottom bracket
3. Insert threaded rod into the seatpost and seat tube
4. Using the opening in the bottom bracket shell place the washers on the threaded rod and thread on one of the nuts.
5. Place the wood block over the top of the seat tube opening
6. Center the steel pipe over the hole in the wood block
7. Raise the threaded rod through the seat tube until the 4 washers come in contact with the seatpost
8. Place the larger washers over the rod and on top of the steel pipe
9. Thread the top nut into place on the rod
10. At this point everything should be arranged as the illustration above
11. Now tighten the top nut as the nut tightens the rod and seatpost will be forced up and out of the seat tube! (I had to hold the rod with vise grips to prevent it from rotating with the nut.)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

1987 Schwinn Cimarron

After a move across the country my first priority was not "Where are we going to live?" but, "What is my next bike project going to be?" So I picked up an old mountain bike frame and shuffled around it in the hotel room until I found a place to live.
Almost one year later here it is ready to ride. According to the serial number it is an 87' frame sold in 88'. The tubing is double butted 4130 CROMO and ovalized at the head tube. I retro fitted a new SRAM X7 group onto it and added a well worn Brooks Professional saddle. This is the cleanest it will ever be.


Brook Professional

Picture from the 88' Schwinn Catalog courtesy of MOMBAT

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saddle Recovery

When working on old bikes I often come across saddles like the one below. They look worn-out, cheap, and have been in a strangers nether region. Taking these things into consideration usually discard them.
However in general these saddles are decently comfortable and not too heavy. This time around I thought I would attempt a restoration instead of chucking it. This would include disassembly, cleaning, and recovering it to remove the yuck factor and make the saddle presentable.

 The old vinyl nightmare

Measuring and cutting the suede for the new cover 

 The finished product (won't be leaving this one out in the rain)

1. Removed the old cover and left the foam padding in tact
2. Measured the suede to the edge of the saddle and added a 10mm border for cementing
3. Cut out the pattern with pinking shears
4. Sprayed the backside of the suede and the foam with 3M Super77
5. Applied contact cement to inside edges of the saddle and the edges of the suede
6. Waited 15min for the cement to activate
7. Aligned the saddle stretched the suede cover from nose to rear
8. Stretched the sides down nice and tight
9. After insuring everything was aligned, folded the edges under the saddle, bonding them with the contact cement
10. Pushed out any wrinkles with a smooth handle of a screwdriver and evened out the folds with pliers
11. Let cure overnight