Monday, February 19, 2007

Why isn't it spring yet?

It's times like now when I start to wonder about the whole global warming thing.

Not really, mind you. I haven't seen Al Gore's flick yet, but I don't need to see a movie to know we're fucking up the environment something fierce. And it WAS 70 degrees in early January. But for the past week it hasn't been above 30 much—mostly in the teens with a chill wind—and my bike has been just sitting there mocking me.

All my bikes, for that matter. And that's a lot of bikes. Anyone who's been in my apartment can attest to that. And they keep growing. Just today I got a brand-new-from-1994 raw Standard STA frame (I didn't even know they MADE STAs in '94), and just the other week I built up my first-ever Trail Boss.

I always wanted a Trail Boss back in the day, but was always convinced that I needed to be riding an STA. I'm not entirely sure why—I never broke one, never even came close. But every time I bought a new frame, it had to be Stronger Than All. But when I saw a complete Trail Boss on VintageBMX for $400, I had to jump (no pun intended) on it. I changed over a few things (crank/sprocket/pedals, wheelset, bars) to make it more Robbie Morales accurate, and plan on riding it some just for the sheer fun of it.

Just as soon as the damn snow melts.

Friday, February 02, 2007


I know, I know. Don't even start.

Anyway, yeah, back in action. It's winter, so it's not like I've been riding much. Or taking photos. Or doing much of anything else bike-related, for that matter.

Well, except this. Project: Tank. Something that's been in the works for damn near a year now.

The object was this: build the heaviest possible BMX bike using all commercially available parts. It was an answer to the lightweight silliness that's been going on lately (not that ALL lightweight stuff is silly, but stuff like the Grim Reaper and the Drive fork are ridiculous). As word of the project spread (both locally and through, offers of donations came in. After all, it's not like anyone in their right mind was gonna use this stuff. I had to buy a few things on eBay (the cranks, the pegs) but pretty much everything else was either donated or already in my possession.

I finally got the damn thing rolling last week—I was waiting on the fork, which came all the way from England—and when I took it to the nearest shop to blow the grips on, I took the opportunity to weigh it. This was without any pegs, brakes, chain tensioners or barends, mind you. It came in at 39 pounds, or thereabouts. Which was depressing. I figured it would be over 40, easy. It would appear that the 50-pound mark is out of reach, but I'm not giving up hope yet. Further suggestions for added weight are always welcome.

But for now, here she is:

Note the custom hammer dents in the downtube. Aerodynamics!

Chain tensioners would help.


Monster drivetrain.

G-Sport fork dropouts. Don't ask.

And I may as well give the parts rundown. Any company that has excess heavy stuff, feel free to send it to me.

FRAME: Eastern Hercules (A partially hi-tensile steel version from a complete—would all chromoly be heavier? What I REALLY want is a pink chromoly Pork. I also beat the crap out of the downtube with a hammer when I was having trouble installing the cranks. It dented something fierce, but didn't seem to weaken anything.)

FORK: G-Sport Prong (You might know G-Sport as the Odyssey affiliate who brought you such items as the Marmoset hub and Wombolt cranks. Well, before all of that, when George French was making stuff in his basement laboratory (poetic license), he came up with things like these forks. Canti mounts, wide-spread legs, HUGE dropouts with dual-position slots. Scary.)

CRANKS: Profile SS 170mm (I believe SS's are actually heavier than Solids. Although Solids would LOOK heavier. And I really should get some 180s.)

WHEELS: Haro Heffer hubs laced to Alex Triple Walls with 12-gauge spokes (Absolutely ridiculous. 48s, of course. The hubs use 14mm bolts instead of a traditional axle, with socketed heads—like Primo Jewels. The bolts MUST almost meet in the middle, they're so long. And the bearings are like crank bearings. The Alex rims speak for themselves—somehow this is the first set of them I've ever owned.)

PEDALS: DK Iron Cross, sealed (Amazingly heavy. Each one weighs about as much as a pair of Jim C's.)

BARS: Hoffman Love Handles (Lots of welds, lots of chrome, 1" grip tubes. Cut down, but not much.)

STEM: Standard (I really need an XL Casket. Or a GFR Redneck.)

HEADSET: FSA Pig DH unsealed (When tightened down enough to keep the fork from shifting, it pretty much seizes. Makes riding it an adventure.)

SEAT: Odyssey Business Class (Jim Bauer's done a lot of great things for Odyssey—this seat was not one of them. Massive, and EXPENSIVE when it was new. Like, $70 expensive. But hey, that's only $35 a pound.)

SEATPOST: Hoffman (I think. Whatever, some sort of uncut Primo Rod clone.)

SPC: Primo Viking (A Mongoose triple-bolt would be heavier, I guess. But it would also be Mongoose.)

TIRES: Primo Wall 2.10 (Eventually I'll double up, either with two more Walls, or a pair of Hoffman Skidmarks. The thought that I used to double up ON PURPOSE—and not just to add weight—is scary.)

SPROCKET: Profile Blackjack 44t (Mainly because it fits on the SS spindle without an adaptor.)

CHAIN: Kink/KMC 415h (Only until I can get a 420 or 520.)

PEGS: Kink El Guapo (The creations of a vastly troubled mind.)

GRIPS: Primo Chad DeGroot (No real reason.)

FREEWHEEL: Regular ol' Shimano (Soon to be swapped out for a FatClaws.)

MODS: Massive hammer dents in downtube and driveside chainstay due to anger, Dan's Comp sticker collage on toptube, thornproof tube up front.

TO COME: Kink chain tensioners (assuming I get a different frame), brakes (probably AD-990s with original Modulevers), Odyssey Hammerhead barends. Possibly a Solid fork and Solid cranks if I can find them.