The Master Mechanic

I’ve always said that a mechanic becomes a Master Mechanic when he or she makes his own tools. Some bike repair scenarios require very specific tools, and it’s impossible to press others into duty. In the brilliant Hard on Equipment, Corb Lund sings;

Well it’s vise grips for pliers /
And pliers for a wrench /
A wrench for a hammer /
Hammers everything else.

That’s just not going to cut it when you need to replace a headset. Which you actually would use a hammer for…

Bad example.

Seriously though, if you want to do it right, and not destroy the frame, you need a headset presses. Similarly, you need starnut setting tools, bottom bracket facing tools, cone wrenches, and truing stands.

Though some brave souls will take matters into their own hands.

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The Metal series / Freak metals

Recently, I thought it would be cool to write about titanium bikes. Not any particular brand as I’ve been doing, but just in general. Simply because titanium is so damn cool.

Then I thought, why not expand on that, and write about all of the different things bikes are made from? I’m sure you know that bikes are made from steel and aluminium, but did you know bikes have been made from magnesium, titanium, stainless steel, AerMet, boron carbide, and beryllium?

I am quite certain I didn’t just make up some of those things.

Today, we’ll talk about magnesium. It is the ninth most abundant element in the universe, it’s symbol is Mg, and it’s atomic number is 12.

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Vintage bikes for sale

I have two bikes for sale. Check out the pictures and read the descriptions, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. I’ll have a number of other bikes for sale once I get them ready to go; like a Specialized FSR, Kona Caldera, Nakamura city bike, and a nifty Glider townie.

P10505261991 Rocky Mountain Stratos, aluminium frame made in Japan. I think it’s a 19.5″ frame.

 

 

P1050525Stock parts on it were Shimano DX, but there’s some nice upgrades like Shimano XT hubs on Araya rims, and Dia-Compe SS-7 brake levers.

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Wikipedia

I haven’t let it consume a lot of my time, because it could easily do that, but I have gotten interested in editing Wikipedia articles about cycling topics. My memory is not great, but it’s not bad on old cycling stuff, so I’d like to get what memories I do have saved somewhere.

The only page I have edited so far, is for Kona. I just happened to look it up one day, and found that it was a total disaster;

Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in the Pacific of Unitied kingdom.

I’ve always wanted to visit the Pacific of Unitied kingdom – I hear it’s beautiful in the fall.

Now, I don’t really care about Kona one way or the other, but everyone has a limit right? I guess that fantastically insane factual errors with typos in them is my limit.

I changed it to “Kona Bikes is a bicycle company based in the Pacific Northwest” with a link to the Wikipedia page for “Pacific Northwest.” I’m not sure why I went with this region rather than just naming the actual city in Washington where they are located, but, there you go.

I would try to break down why someone would say this Canadian/American company was actually from the UK, but the Pacific of Unitied kingdom is just so insane, I don’t know where to start.

Today, I was doing research for yet another Gary Fisher post, and as always, I started with his Wikipedia page. I found it to be useful, but flawed. I’m not sure why the author put a link to “Gary Fisher Bicycles” but pointed the link to the Trek Wikipedia page for instance. Also, in the Talk section for the article, people ask why there’s a broken external link to the Gary Fisher website, and why there’s no explanation as to Trek dropping the Fisher name entirely from its lineup.

I’ve been looking for the answer to that question for a while.

Anyway, Trek now owns Gary Fisher, but the Gary Fisher Bicycle company was its own entity at some point, so a link to that page would be great, but it doesn’t exist. I figure it should be one of those red links you see on Wikipedia, which I thought meant we think there should be a page for this, but there isn’t. It definitely shouldn’t be a link to Trek Bicycles.

I think we’re getting into some high-level, organizational arguments about how Wikipedia should be arranged. Or at least, how Gary Fisher’s entry should be arranged. Should there be a separate page for Gary Fisher the man, and another for Gary Fisher the bicycle  company, or can they be one in the same?

I thought I would look at Tom Ritchey’s entry, because you can make the same arguments for him. He’s in important person in mountain biking, and he runs an important cycling company. On his page, I found a fantastic quote;

The company initially was called Ritchey Mountain Bikes, with Ritchey fillet brazing over 1000 bikes over the course of those beginning three years. This high volume of production lead to Ritchey becoming mountain biking’s first production frame builder, earning him the moniker, “The General Motors of mountain bike frame companies,” from Mike Sinyard of Specialized.

Mike Sinyard of Specialized – Specialized!! – calling Ritchey the General Motors of MTBs… This was 1982, well before Specialized became the literal General Motors of cycling that they are now, but this is still an awesome pot-calls-kettle-black comment. It’s generally accepted that the first batch of Stumpjumpers was 500 bikes, so even back in ’82, this is a comical comment from Sinyard.

There’s your Wikipedia fun for today – amaze your friends with your new found information!