Enginerve : Bikes

10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain…a 100% reason to remember the name

  • https://seattletransitmap.com/link2line

  • Last Thursday I drove into the Big City and picked up my new eBike. I am selling the Fat Tire bike, my RadRover 5. I was super happy and had the biggest smile every time I rode that bike. The new bike has been extremely exciting and I haven’t figured out all the options on it although it does take my Ortleib Panniers (link is too slow to add) and that and the distance will make all the difference. I am curious how long the battery will last and what I can do to extend it. In any event, I know own a blue Radster Road

  • The weather dropped down into single digits and I stopped riding when it went below freezing as there is seepage from hills which means ice in the bike commute lanes.

    The day before the temps dipped, I rode and am here to report that if you don’t pay attention to the angle you place your thumb on a thumb shifter you split it open from the cold and pressure.

    I think 2024 is the year I work on bike posture, one joint at a time. 🙂

  • I don’t precisely remember when I completed my job replacing bar tape on handlebars. I think it was most likely putting tape on the Atlantis. Although it could well have been on the Tourmalet. I learned to put tape on much the way I pulled it off. It worked about as well as the original jobs did which meant sometimes very well, and sometimes a strange problem were the tape would unspool or untwist over the corners of the bars or the top of the bar, wherever my hands often rest. This last tape job was done by a very proud bike store mechanic on a complete bike overhaul. The entire job was worth it, and the handlebar tape looked spiffy. Over time the bar tape twisted and exposed bare handlebars.

    Something was being missed, so this time I shot out to the Internet and avoided reddit subforums and other places where I often find the advice misleading (read evaluating information https://fs.blog/evaluating-information/ for a good explanation of why this might be so). I looked instead for a simple video, not designed to answer problems, just a tutorial on how to do it. I found it in this video from Park Tools that suggests tape should be wrapped in the direction of hand twist. Further, that the twist should change from the drops (which admittedly I never use) to the handlebars. More importantly it showed me how to accomplish that going by the handlebar levers.

    I feel good about the solution and now can see how it works in practice.

    Then I think I need new handlebar tape as mine is nicked in a couple of places. I am not sure if that was leaning or a parking drop somewhere.

  • Is this a tell all about all the products including wax for lubing your chain and related moving parts like your rear derailleur? No, it is most definitely not.

    I did go and actually lube my bike chain (no idea if the following picture was before or after the chain being lubed)

    RadRover5 Primary Components to Oil

    The important part about oiling your chain is immediately testing it by setting out on the longest ride you feel comfortable with. I took my bike across I90 and over to Grand Central Bakery on Eastlake and then back.

    It got hotter and hotter as the trip went along 🙂

    What a gorgeous day!

    Another view of the freshly oiled chain

  • April and Ella know when it is time for a walk and in no small part due to putting on shoes. And that was me yesterday getting the new eBike, a RadRover5, ready for its one week celebration. I was in the garage and getting ready to put the bike on the car and test the Kuat Phat Bike Kit I had purchased a couple of years earlier when I purchased my Kuat NV 2.0 rack. I wanted to make sure that the rack worked and as I have only had the RadRover5 for a week, I wasn’t sure of the battery life as it actually related to a real ride. I enjoyed the manual which gave various levels of intensity and power settings and explained the hours difference. But nothing said “Hey, you might be on and off grass, cutting through trees, and riding up hills and buzzing back and forth on sidewalks. Clearly the manual on this eBike was written by someone who never really loved the bike…if they had, or had actually ridden the bike, they would have had a column on the battery life chart for “Willing to crank it to 5 to pass other cyclists in town”, “chasing someone else on a RadPower Bike who weighs less and is burning juice going up a hill in front of you”. The critical power losses come on this manner of segments, not simply the idea that you bought this bike and are going to maintain ECO mode for a long time.

    So I am pumped. Ready to roll the bike out of the garage and onto the car and then I remember I was going to take my QuadLock Out Front Mount off my Zwift Bike and move it onto the eBike. I spent time pawing through the boxes of bike parts, supplies, tools, and errata to find the Quadlock boxes which housed the various size rubber rings so the mounts would work on various bar thicknesses. Locating the one I wanted to use I spun the screw and released the mount and turned to the Rad and put on the mount and the correct ring and realized I had dropped the screw.

    Now, dropping a screw, and sometimes kicking it, sometimes having it bounce off a bike, or something on the garage floor and end up in any manner of locations from under something to hidden in plain site, is something that happens to all of us. I am proud to say that it doesn’t even raise my blood pressure at all anymore, it is just another thing to deal with and I rather enjoy getting down and looking at the floor sideways and wondering where the screw ended up. I was busy getting my super powerful magnet after looking “everywhere” and when I had the magnet in my hand I looked down and there was the screw all ready to be picked up and put in the mount. The mount secured the phone and I was set to roll.

    I will admit, I am not sure why the phone goes dark at all the parts where one turns, and that still needs attention. But it worked great. And it is summer and I can switch the mount to the Zwift bike to run it when I need it again.

    Oh, how did the ride go? Look for yourself

  • TWO months since the Wolverine was out and FOUR months since the Atlantis was out of the garage.

    Today I left myself a note that I needed to dig through all the boxes and containers and find my winter kit.

    I wanted to ride, but I am not riding, and I had nowhere in particular to go, and the bike needed air in the tires, and I couldn’t find my rear light. My mileage is limited to a Zwift trainer in the garage, even a short around the neighborhood wasn’t going to be easy after all this time not riding. And it might rain any minute, I know, I checked continuously.

    I actually forgot it shifted with bar end shifters but immediately made the switch, every bike shifter is in a different spot and I soon switched to “fully aware I hadn’t been on a street in some time mode” where I don’t pedal hard or do anything but traffic and lanes.

    I was on a trail when I realized my watch HR was not set to broadcast to the Wahoo and I really didn’t mind, it was so nice to be out riding.

    I wiped the bike down and hung it back on the rack (pulled it off later as it was still dripping from inside the fenders) and I will need to figure out the logistics of where to hang or dry soaking wet things, where all the charger cables are for various lights are (solved as of this writing), none of which I used in August.

    Nice start to 2021