Sunday, January 30, 2011

TTT Mach 3

A solid morning out of the office on the new TT machine. However, it seems sunglasses and wooly hat is not a good look. Report up on:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

RS8 2x9

When I saw these bad boys on sale, I couldn't resist- my name is all over them! Middleburn 29x42 duo set-up on the new external B/B set up in 170mm length silver. An exercise in British bicycle minimalism. Shame I don't have a functioning mountain bike.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Some of the more bizarre late night TV I've watched recently included a YKK special on bicycle manga- the latest craze to come out of Japan. Apparently 'Norinin' is the good stuff...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Muur / Brrrr

Just in case you needed a reminder of how freaking cold it is in Euro Land, here's a nice image of the Muur. How good would it be if it's still like this come Classics season?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stubby Building

In amongst a Wan Chai re-developoment site sits this quite likeable little stub of a building that reminds me of something out of a cartoon. Looks kind of cool but can you image the flats inside>!?! I guess it won't be there for much longer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Chain Suck > Bike F*cked

Today I broke my mtb in quite a major way. Stomping up a short climb  in Tai Mo Shan I heard a big crunch underneath before my pedals locked and I jammed the brakes to inspect the damage. Too late. The news was not good- I'd ripped the rear mech off into my spokes. This isn't the first time I've had to try and ride without a rear mech, so I figured shortening the chain and going single speed should get me out. That worked for about 2km, before more crunchy noises started happening under foot. This was the sound of chainring bolts shearing and popping into the undergrowth, before once again the pedals stopped working. Weird! After about an hr of walking / scooting on tarmac I was back at the car. A bad day at the office all round...

I've since begun the diagnosis & possible cure options. The root cause would appear to be the combination of a complete mtb maintenance neglect on my part in the past few months while I built my other bikes (I know), combined with the a tired middle chainring and a worn freehub that I just discovered is allowing side to side play. This explains my rubbish gears and suggests spontaneous chainsuck (I wasn't changing gear), after which the lower chain ripped the mech forward, twisting my nice carbon XTR mech in the process and shearing the dropout. All in, an expensive thing to fix. The bolt holding the dropout has also sheared inside the frame so even if I got a new drop out (that will be serious hard work here) I'd need to get it re-tapped. Ideally I'd like a new frame, new forks (they leak), new wheels & new brakes (to match the new full sus frame & wheels). Oh, and a new drivetrain. So, a new bike then... That, or I go uber low tech and single speed up with a steel frame and hold off on the forks & brakes. The cost difference would appear to be about ten fold, but I know long term it will be a case of buy cheap, buy twice. Two mtbs in the HK stable is not really an option, unless I change the wife also- controversial... Thoughts?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Top 20 2010

A nice article on 2010 as the year of the super tall skyscraper. Interestingly, 16 out of the top 20 were build in Asia. The best statistic is hidden in one of the graphs- China built 5.5km of vertical height in 2010 from buildings over 200m high alone. Madness.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look Familiar?

So, Rapha have introduced a range of pretty pricey framesets. The Cinelli XCR caught my eye for obvious reasons, though I thought this drop out does look rather familiar...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Bikes: Colossi TT

Another day, another new bike! Or so it seems... Hot on the heels of building my new Colossi XCR, came the delivery of my TT frameset- another custom frame I'd worked on with Jan to try and form a basis for a 'club' TT frame. I went for fairly aggressive geometry with a super short head tube and a fairly steep seat tube. Other details were internal cabling, integrated headset and horizontal drop outs- fixed style. This buys me some future proof flexibility to convert it into a track machine at some point in the future without lots of ugly unused cable guides. The solid 6061 oversized tubes certainly lends itself to power transfer first and comfort second, so I'm happy to have a solid frame that would certainly be just at home on the track as it is in it's current incarnation as a TT machine. 

The build itself was an exercise in maximum function off minimal outlay. Most of the parts are spares / old parts I have hanging about- such as the Thomson mtb stem, and race / training wheels can double up from my road bike. A few specific purchases like Dia Compe TT levers were mixed with some eBay finds, such as a Chorus front mech, giving a machine that I'm happy was cheap enough to leave locked up outside for my commute (yes- it's not a purpose built commuter, but it is possible...). On the whole I'm pleased with how surprisingly co-ordinated it looks, and despite a few set up nuances to get right- such as the full length internal cable routing, the build has come together over the past few weeks.

The ride is pretty much as you'd expect- unforgiving, but fast. The bike only really makes sense 'on the rivet', on the flat. It's not set up for ironman ultra endurance (though there's no reason for it not to be) and it's not built for climbing (but it is possible). It's therefore quite a specific bike, but when you consider how little it cost vs. the TT bikes out on the open market, I think it was a downright bargain. Let's see how it goes in the upcoming TT races!

Please visit if you're interested in adding something similar to your collection.


Friday, January 7, 2011


I'm very happy with my recent finds to assist the very un-Hong Kong practice of commuting by bicycle. The Oxford bike cover conceals what lies beneath, my new Chrome backpack carries all my junk, while the CCTV parking cameras (free) watch over. I don't like locking bikes up outside but fingers crossed...