Friday, November 16, 2012

the art of the useful hack: fenders

fender fix
Originally uploaded by periwinklekog

I went to Crank bikes ( on Tuesday to see if I could find some extra hardware to correct the front fender position so the bike wouldn't look like such an amateur effort. The fellas at Crank not only let me look through their box of fender bits, one of them offered to drill out a hole big enough to fit my existing ahrdware, and loaned me the extra wrench I needed so I could install it myself at their front counter. The end result made the bike look much better.

I've enjoyed riding this bike during what has been a cold, dry week in Portland. One thing I've noticed is that, since I haven't ridden a drop-bar bike in many months, it has taken me a few minutes to find my groove on this bike each morning. Once I'm accustomed to riding in drops again, my body just seems to find its rhythm and my legs spin the cranks effortlessly in a pleasant way.

The bike still looks a little goofy -- and based on my sizing and geometric needs there's no way around that -- but even the guys at Crank conceded that I had done everything right in making the bike fit me. "It's such a Portland bike," one of them enthused as we looked at it together. "It's got everything you need and nothing extra."

I've since added two more vital things: a second water bottle cage (under the downtube, about the only place another bottle will fit on this compact frame) and a Huret Multito cyclometer. I had thought about installing an electronic computer but decided that, since I already had the spare Huret and I wanted to be able to start tracking mileage on this bike right away, I'd spring for the mechanical option. Besides, in this rainy climate it's nice not to have to worry about the thing shorting out.

I'll enjoy another morning on the bike, a trip to and from temple to do some musical work today and then right home again, before the rainy front comes in this afternoon. Come Monday, I'll be taking an extended spin, rain or shine. Yum.

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