bike love in the late winter

the bike has had a seriously hard winter.  i’ve had to replace the brake cables twice, overhaul the brakes twice,  suffered a bent rim so bad that it was beyond truing and had to be replaced, and overhauled the hubs on the both wheels before replacing the one.  i now need to replace the chain because it’s so warn, likely from all the extra grit of ridding dirty slushy salt covered roads, and the bottom bracket is just begging to be rebuilt.  i’m on the lookout out for another frame to build on this summer for my winter bike.  i’m thinking a late 80’s early 90’s mountain bike with lugged steel frame – and no shocks!  no oversized tubing for me.  if you have a lead on a good frame let me know.

but of greater concern is those little cosmetic things, those things that make a bike feel brand new.  those things that make heads turn.  i’m talking about bar tape.  this winter has been hard on the bar tape and it was due for replacement.

i don’t bother with cork bar tape or anything like that.  i think it looks too bulky, and i don’t really like the feeling.  plan old cloth bar tap looks and feels great.  it does have the disadvantage of becoming ratty like this in a year or two, but i also like the chance to change things up and add a new color.  of course i only switch between black and red – not because i’m an anarcho-syndicalist, but because the color scheme of my bike is black and red – you know i have to match.  replacing your bar tape is really a very simple matter, and i could explain it – but why bother when the fine people over at rivendell bike works have produced this excellent how to video, including the hemp twin flourish which makes the whole thing look fancy and hippy at the same time.  who knew.

here are my results.


as if this wasn’t enough fanciness, i have a newly acquired bell, brought on by my love of early morning rides on the river walk and my desire to warn my pedestrian brothers and sisters of my passing.  don’t be jealous, they are available for the cheap from the hub.

maybe this weekend i’ll get to rebuilding the bottom bracket – and replacing the chain.  or perhaps i’ll just focus on more accessories.

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3 responses to “bike love in the late winter

  1. Patrick,

    A sincere thank you for helping me to start my day with an intense sense of bicycle zeal. The cloth tape, the twine finish, the little brass bell, it’s all enough to set my heart racing. thanks for the inspiration on another sunny day.

  2. NICE WRAPS… and FLOURISH! The brass bell and headbadge look great together. I yearn for a day when the rings from bicycle bells overpower revving engines.

    • thanks for bringing my attention to how well the bell and the badge go together, i never even noticed. now if i would just find someone who could repair the crimp in the head badge.

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