Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Bikes

I keep sending pictures of my bikes to people. So I may as well just make a blog post for everyone to see.

My first bike a blue Chimo Criterium that I bought when I was 13. Unfortunately, it was stolen when I was in my early twenties. I'll see if I can find an old picture of it.


This second bike I got as a teenager, when I was 16. It is a Spanish bike, brand name, Torrot, meaning "bull". It was only imported into Canada, by one man, Ozzie Mellon, an colorful and opinionated character.

When I first got this bike, it had centerpull Olympic brakes, Triplex derailleurs, downtube friction shifters, tubular tires, cottered cranks, and fluted TTT stem. I thought it was rather odd that it came with tubular tires, and cottered cranks. Usually when bikes came with tubular tires, they came with more expensive cotterless cranks. The frame also has French threads for the bottom bracket. Unfortunately, it's very rare to find French threaded parts now.

I've since changed every part on this Torrot, except the handlebars. Perhaps the headset.

The original fluted TTT stem was very short and long. It was cramped riding when I was a teenager. I didn't ride it for a few years, and then rode again when I was 24. It quickly put my back out of place when I then took it for a 20 mile ride. It was incredibly painful. My walking stride length was much shorter. It took about six months for the chiropractors to get my walk straight and perfect again.

I've since changed to a tall and short stem. It suits me much better. No more back problems.

Years later, I went to Japan, and tried to find a double sized shirt, measured around the neck, and the arms. The best I could find was five centimeters (about 2 inches) too short in the arms. I realized that the Asians generally have shorter arms than Europeans. I later saw how bicycle frames from the seventies, eighties and nineties came with short and long stems. They were built in Japan for one body type, but exported with a short and long stem for Europeans.

I'd changed parts over the years. And in 2008, I changed some more parts. Changed the wheels, pedals, and bottom bracket to a sealed one and brakes to Tektro R556.

It rides really well. I'm surprised how well it banks and takes the bumps.

This is the bike that I will use for errands. I can lock it up, and it will be there when I return.

Shogun Samurai

This bike I bought from a university classmate after he graduated and moved. It was a Shogun Samurai from the early nineties. Shimano 105 equipped throughout. Six speed SIS shifting with downtube shifters.

The design is known as a triple triangle frame. Supposed to be stiffer with less material.

The frame was made with Tange Infinity double butted tubing. It was fabulous! When you bounced the front wheel, you could really see the nice spring in the front fork.

This bike was always too big for me. I was just able to stand over the top tube. It never quite fit me.

In the end, I gave this bike to my brother, who is slightly taller than me, when he started running triathlons. Later, he had bought another bike, and I had him sell it.

Specialized Allez Pro

This Specialized Allez Pro was a bike that I bought on Ebay. Originally, I was thinking of stripping it for parts. But after I rode it, I was hooked. It was an awesome ride!

It was from the early nineties, Shimano 600 parts throughout.

It was the first SIS handlebar shifters I had. The rear shifters worked fine. But the front had a habit of seizing in high gear. This was really irritating after I'd upshifted for a downhill ride, and then couldn't downshift for an uphill. I was able to lubricate it and finally get it to work. But it still had a habit of seizing. No wonder the guy sold it.

This is the same bike that I struggled to put a rear rack on, that I've wrote about previously.

Eventually, I gave this bike to my brother as well. I wanted to keep it in the family, so I didn't sell it.

Soma Smoothie

For a bike, I'd wanted a few things. A nice steel road bike. Eyelets for a rear rack. And I like blue. I WANT BLUE!

The Soma Smoothie fit the bill. I got the frame and many parts on Ebay. It took a while to build up. And I was able to find a blue seatpost from Origin8 to go with the frame.

This is a really nice road bike. When you take a corner, it's responds really fast.

The steel frame and fork takes bumps really well. It stays close to the road. Although if I ride for a long time on a lot of bumpy roads, it does tend to wear on your body.

Soma Smoothie ES

Turns out that after I got the Soma Smoothie frame, I realized that I got the wrong frame. I'd really wanted the blue Soma Smoothie ES. I wasn't pleased with the confusion. Soma has since renamed the frame the ES.

I'd wanted the ES because the wheelbase is long enough to put on fenders. You can see the difference between the two frames when you look at the clearance between the rear tire and the seat tube.

I haven't spent a lot of time on this bike yet. The only thing that jumps out is that the cornering is not as fast as with the Soma Smoothie.

Surly Cross Check

This year, I rode a Surly Cross Check at the bike store. I was very impressed. It took bumps so well.

Then I saw a blue Surly Cross Check for sale, in exactly my size. So I bought it. It's not built up yet.

The wheelbase is similar to the ES. I have a feeling that it the Surly Cross Check and the Soma Smoothie ES will have a similar ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment