Lugs, wool, belt-drive and disc brakes

Often I have conflicting tastes. In bicycle chic there seems to be the old-school camp. Steel, lugs, merino, leather and canvas. Hipsters are a subset of this with steel, fixed/single, and tiny little handlebars. Then there’s the mountain bikers. Lycra, fat tyres, shocks, lots of gears, big straight handlebars. Roadies: lycra, carbon, weight-weenies, etc.

I swing between them all. I guess more like commuter-grognards. Wool works, steel is as real as carbon and aluminium, lots of gears is nice for lots of hills, and leather looks cool but ain’t that water-resistant. I like disc brakes, carbon blade forks, trekking bars, belt-drives, rohloff gear hubs and dura-ace groupsets. I’d love a Rohloff in a Trek District Carbon with Avid Juicy road brakes and a rapid-fire type shifter (don’t exist, yet). For the saddle a Selle Anatomica would be fine but the problem is the carbon can’t hold racks and has no eyelets for mudguards. So I’d be quite happy with a lovely lugged frame with all the eyelets and braze-ons you can think of. I’d use’em. One bike to rule them all (roads, trails and tracks). I think Rivendell are close to the point but they don’t like discs or internal gear hubs (from what I’ve read which is most of the site). Their frames are as beautiful as they are overpriced (about the same as a titanium frame).

Guess I’m in the too small a market-niche to exploit category… and that’s okay with me. I can’t afford it anyway.

Peace.

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Lugs, wool, belt-drive and disc brakes

Sound Recording and Guitar

The oft-neglected equalizer is the secret of tone. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen friends, journalists and reviewers talk about finding tone with a specific stompbox, amp, or other signal processor. Once the signal has left your guitar the first thing you ought to do is equalize it for the environment, be it recording or performing. EQ is the first thing that should happen to a guitar signal and also the last (if you want) to take care of unforeseen frequency introductions along the signal chain – also to manage the acoustics of the environment.

In recording mixes EQ is what will sort out your takes and make them sound great. Mid-scooping for metal rhythms, mid-boosting for lead breaks, and cutting annoying ‘not quite right’ resonances. Quite frankly I’m amazed that EQ is not talked about more, until I think, “Cui bono”. Who benefits?

All the businesses that sell magic-tone-oil devices benefit from the market ignoring EQ. It’s a cheap (enough) way to alter your tone to get what you find the sweet spot. Even 31-band parametric EQ’s can be had for under $300 if you look hard enough, and parametric are the better devices.

So all you tone-freaks, here’s the unvarnished truth. You want tone? Control it with an equalizer.

Sound Recording and Guitar

Uni Ball Insight 0.7mm Orange

A great rollerball with very nice smooth writing flow. Ink is legible on white, no mean feat for an orange inked pen, and it leaves a lovely line width. It contrasts well against a good black ink like the Smoothie 1.0mm from Bic. It is light without losing control and has an accurate feel. Like many pens it is better balanced with the cap posted and I found it much more preferable to write like this, yet without the posted cap it was still usable just a little more twitchy. I prefer heavier pens, though, so caveat emptor on that description.

The paper in the sample is a cheap diary from Aldi, cost $2, yet no bleed through. You can make out some lateral feathering from the paper grain in the high-res photo (click on it below) however I did not notice it before viewing the digital image.
Cons: cap leaves a gap between pen body and edge. No contours on the grip part of the barrel.
9/10 – overall a good budget pen.
$2.67 from Officeworks.

Uniball Insight Orange 0.7mm rollerball
Uniball Insight Orange 0.7mm rollerball
Uni Ball Insight 0.7mm Orange

Rohloff put off (delay)

Procrastinating on the Rohloff install for the Big Dummy. Got a long weekend coming up where I can fit it in so finally will get it done! Not sure why but I’m expecting it to take all day. Setup tandem-length cables in ex-mech & shifter, remove derailleurs, install OEM2 plate, install cables, install shifter, install chain-tensioner, install 185mm disc rotor, fit wheel, and test run.

Maybe some “brake noodles” for the shifter and on the ex-mech. Something like these:

Rohloff put off (delay)

Sound upgrade for PC

My audio commentary has a lot of background hiss. I suspect it is the onboard sound card gain method adding noise. So considering an upgrade to this sound card:

And, if required, this microphone.

The Zx has an excellent SNR of 116db. The microphone is a cardioid condenser so should highlight all the warm notes in my voice (or anyone else).  I like the brushed aluminium one; ideally in a shock mount with a pop filter/screen.

Sound upgrade for PC

Rohloff Arrived – BBBBB pt. 2

My first Rohloff has arrived, not that I have a 2nd one coming, and I’m a bit excited to get it fitted on to the Big Dummy. A used item that has done about 5,000 kms so it’s just run in nicely, like a new car that has its engine break in period just finished. Ready to put in some power.

This is part of the Bike Build Bug Bites Back progress. I don’t really require a touring frame any more since the Big Dummy checks all the boxes. The only reason I could need a new frame is for overseas touring and I’m thinking a Bike Friday New World Tourist or a Tikit 11 (Alfine 11) with belt drive since a folder can fit in a small case for airline travel.

Here it is
Here it is

It’s fitted with a 160mm disc but my Big Dummy is set up with Avid 185mm discs that Wiggle don’t think exist. It was packed well with a softly inflated inner tube around it to protect the rim. Worthy seller on eBay! Now to get it mounted and tested before my opportunity to get compensation if it’s no good runs out.

Avid disc 185mm wigglewrong At least Wiggle sell those rotors cheaply.

Rohloff Arrived – BBBBB pt. 2