Cake
  • Log In
  • Sign Up
    • David Cohen

      I enjoyed reading about that high-end triathlon bike a while ago so let’s talk bicycles.

      I currently have four, all pretty heavily modified, partly because I'm 6'5" and have made them fit - and partly as a hobby and for the enjoyment of tinkering in the garage.

      The newest is the Fat Fink II. It's still a work in progress because I broke the frame on Fat Fink I and salvaged the components onto this new frame.
      The plan is it's a BMX cruiser with touch of monster truck. 26x4" wheels mean it's pretty good fun to ride over almost any surface - and it's a huge machine, but still has that BMX stance.

      The SE Racing 40th Anniversary 29" Stu Thompsen Replica has been a project for a while. It's a beautiful ride and there's not many of its original components left after pretty much everything has been upgraded from the top shelf.
      Profile Elite Cranks and Freewheel, Bullseye pedals, Bullseye 40th Anniversary Titanium and Ceramic hubs, Paul and Diacompe Brakes, Shadow half-link chain, Cult 10" bars, Brooks saddle and grips, race plate, Wheels re-laced with 14g Double-butted spokes, Lite pro levers, braided cables with Teflon coated inners, chain tensioners etc etc - and a pretty nice sounding JBL speaker.

      The Electra Straight 8 cruiser is also a long way from standard and has a cool Boxcars stick shift. I made the trailer to cart the dog to and from the park when he had an extended illness, but fortunately he fully recovered and now it’s used to haul ... errr ... stuff.

      And then there’s Old Faithful – an 18 year old Kona Hardtail that has been converted to a comfort bike – and comfortable it is. Dual purpose Halo rubber, Halo Wheels, Rockshox Froks, Brooks saddle, I use it in poor weather and for longer distances and general hack work.

      Let’s see yours.

    • Wow I love the look of that Electra Straight 8, what a beautiful setup. Even matches the color of your dog 🙂.

      These are really great shots in general. Now I feel motivated to go clean my filthy bikes and take a nice picture!

    • Some sweet bikes you have there! That bmx race bike is especially nice. I used to be big into bmx and still dream about one day owning a fully restored 1986 Haro Sport. My bike wasn't the top of the line but I think I'd prefer to get top of the line parts like you did. Haro recently created an anniversary edition replica of the sport and master but they just aren't the same as the original so I didn't buy one. Maybe one day :)

      Other than a few tweeks to the Fat Fink II, do you have another bike restoration or purchase in mind? You seem like a very attention to detail person and I'm thoroughly impressed by your bikes.

      I have a fat bike and a few bmx's now but I still can't really imagine what the fat bike bmx ride is like. How would you characterize what it's like to ride? I look forward to hearing back from you David. Hey Danger Dave sounds familiar...are you some former professional rider or something?

    • Hey thanks - I wish the story was more glamorous behind user name - but 'Danger Dave' was a Parody character back when I first started posting on usenet in the 90's. It's followed me since. It was a Porn site for a while too, but not guilty.


      My bad - I should have said that the STR is a 29" Cruiser - but basically achieves what I wanted the build to be - an 'upscaled' race bike.
      There are some nice Haro builds about.

      I'd like a 29" Basset one day and the GT Performer 29" I like a lot too.

      I have done a few other big wheel BMX builds and conversions.

      This was my modified repop Kos Kruiser - but I sold it to fund some of the $$$ I've sunk into the STR. Of course now that's finished I miss it.

      My daughter got married earlier this year and I asked my Son-in-law to be what he wanted for a wedding present and he asked "Build me a Bike?"

      So I found a 700c belt drive urban hybrid and gave it the BMX stylez. Bars, cables, saddle etc etc. He's 6'4" and loves it.


      The Fat BMX is typical Fat Bike to ride - it only runs 20 psi so you wouldn't call it fast steering or direct, but it all adds to the fun - and as you know it makes virtually no difference in rolling resistance riding on or off road.

      As for next projects I'm scouring the classifieds for a beat up 26" Trike that I can hot rod - after the FF2 is done - and I work out where in my garage I can fit it :-).

      And the untimely demise of Fat Fink I (inset). It was a cheapo frame that I bought mainly for the sexy wheels. The front wheel hub is too wide for V2 - so triple tree forks are on the agenda.

    • Wow 20psi! I run my fat bike with around 4-5psi in the winter on snow and say 6-7psi in the summer on off road trails. Even if I was doing the majority of my riding on the roads I can't believe I would use 20psi. Have you tried to use say 15psi? I guess it would depend on whether you want a comfort ride or a faster one. Thanks for sharing your bikes and ride characteristics of the fat bmxer thingy :)

    • Nah - I haven't played with pressures yet - I only assembled it on Thursday and that's the recommendation in the manual. It's been mainly ridden on road so far - but I will drop them for off road when we get there. 20 is pretty good for tarmac though.
      Interestingly the tyres on V1 said inflate to 30psi on the side walls.

    • Here’s my home brew, Rivendell inspired bike. Rockhopper Comp, Albatross bars, Ergon grips, 1.5” road tires, flat pedals,kickstand, fenders, rack. I’ve got an old neck fracture that’s gotten cranky. Don’t tolerate drop bars well. This bike just makes me look for reasons to ride!

    • I'm a fan of folding bicycles. The need to fold adds an extra design constraint and I like seeing the clever designs that people come up with to work around the limitations. The only kind of folding bike I do not like is when they saw the main frame in half, weld a giant hinge in the middle and call it done. There are advantages (drivetrain stays in place) but I think it's lazy and causes the creaky/flexy frames people associate with folding bikes.

      My favorite folding design is the Reise & Mueller Birdy and I have one. There's a hinge at the bottom of the front fork and another for the rear triangle at the bottom bracket. Both wheels fold under the frame, the seat post drops to lock in the folded rear triangle, and the stem folds down to the side so the whole bike locks in place around the size of a large suitcase and you can use the saddle as a handle. Here's what my bike looks like half folded, which I use instead of a kickstand:

      What I really like about the design is that both hinges are used to provide full suspension for the bike. The front fork is a fairly unusual leading link (also used in some motorcylces) and the rear triangle is a fairly typical traveling rear triangle used in mountain bikes and Bromptons. The absorption is provided mainly by elastomeres, which aren't that high performance but they work well enough to allow me to ride on cobblestones comfortably and help keep the smaller wheels on the ground.

      I've never taken a picture of my bike fully unfolded but if you want a better look, here's a video of an identical bike except for the tires:

      The main downside to the Birdy is the price. This particular model sells for over $2k, which is a significant premium for an aluminum frame and mid level components but roughly in line with other premium folders. It's possible to save ~$500 by going with the original oversized tube farme design but I like the fancy monocoque version. As with most fully suspended bikes, if you stomp on the pedals the frame will pogo. I angle my push forward a bit and don't have a problem but it was something to get used to. Finally, in terms of negatives with the fold design, having a traveling rear fork means the chain goes slack when folded under. To fix that, there's a chain tensioner attached near the bottom bracket that sticks out just past the chainring.

      All in all, I think it's a great city bike. It fits in the bottom of my closet, I can take it on the subway if it rains, and I never have to leave it outside since I can stash it in a bag and buildings don't care. This last point was one of the major motivations for buying it since I wanted a nice bike and did not want it to be stolen.

      In terms of speed, I do laps around Central Park in about 20 minutes or ~18 mph and can get it up into the low 20s mph to keep up with traffic–speed limit in Manhattan is 25mph–and hit the green light waves down the avenues. I have two limits around going faster. One is aerodynamics, my body position on it is basically like a road bike on the hoods. The other is that the gearing is 1x and set up more for hills so 100 rpm tops out at ~22mph. Note that I'm not especially fit and these are pretty high intensity for me. A long ride through the city is 5 miles and park loops are 6/12 miles.

      So I was planning on that being my only bike until I moved but last week on Craigslist:

      A folding recumbent! This is a 2003 Bike Friday SatRDay, which is a fairly rare bike because they were expensive and just didn't sell that many of them. Bike Friday's thing is that their bikes disassemble to fit in a suitcase and this one does that but it also folds up a bit which helps in getting it through doors and fitting out of the way in a corner.

      I just completed the purchase on Wednesday night in time for the snow yesterday so the above photo is from my first short (about 1.5 mile) ride on it. It's a combo derailleur+hub and learned that the hub was missing the shifting pin. I also had a couple people try it out on the river walkway, which was fun. The plan is to use it for longer rides (e.g. 5 boro tour) and cruising around the park, it's a lot less practical for city riding than the Birdy. The rolling resistance is also noticeably higher, so that's something I'll need to fix up.

    • it’s a bike trail that goes most of the way down town. Was off to the local bike coop. San Luis Obispo, California. It’s a pretty bike friendly area.

    • My friends and I pretty much always run our mountain bike and fat bike tires lower than the recommended tire pressure. Most serious riders don't unless they are very heavy and crazy fast professionals. Even then they are more likely to run some kind of foam insert so they can run lower pressures.

    • I'd like to see a huge bicycle history museum. Different sections within the museum for different types of bikes.

    You've been invited!