Saturday, June 16, 2012

Big Move Coming

Well, as most of you know we are moving down to Cochrane, Alberta, so I have been busy and I have neglected the blog. Add in my retirement from the army and trying to catch up on some wheelbuilds now that I have more stock, I have not kept up here on Blogger.

Lately, I just finished a restoration type project. An old friend, Rob, had found himself an 1980s vintage Zullo road bike equipped with a Zeus 2000 groupset including tubular wheels with pristine Zeus hubs. Tubulars were not much help to Rob, so he asked if I could build Zeus hubs onto a set of clincher rims. Once we found the right rims, Ambrosio Evolutions, and disassembled the old wheels (the freewheel was small problem as it did not want to come off easily), I was off and running. Using Sapim Race double butted spokes and brass nipples, I laced the wheels in a crow's foot pattern. This pattern was popular in the 50s and 60s, and with Rob's 36 hole Zeus hubs, they came out pretty sharp looking. In all Rob has ended up with a great recreational bike to spin around on and we were able to maintain the unique and Euro aesthetics of the bike. Here is a picture of the finished wheels:

And here are a few close up shots:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Repairing Kids' Bikes

Well today I did a good thing, and recommended that a bike not be repaired.

A previous customer of mine asked for me to fix their son's bike after it had been recovered - it had been stolen. Doing a house-call on this one, I arrived to see a department store 20 inch mountain bike, which had been savagely beaten into a pulp. She asked if it was worth fixing and that she was willing to pay up to $75 to get it fixed. I told her to save her money and keep an eye out on the Buy & Sell or garage sales for a $50 BMX. Her son would like that a lot better. This brings me to the point of my blog today...

This bike was for her 6 year old son. I do not blame my customer, but I shudder at what department stores label "children's bikes" these days. These bikes are manufactured and assembled (for the most part - I know one department store that contracts work to a certain bike mechanic...) cheaply and with out any real thought. Kids should not be trying to learn to ride a 40lbs bicycle. Get them on a nice single speed BMX with a coaster brake or nice hand brakes. They weighs less than a Ford F-150, are better for balance, and are fun to ride in to your teens! I see too many kids these days suffering on top of multi-gear full suspension monsters that handle like boat anchors. You don't need to spend much. In fact, you can find used a BMX for any where from "get it our of my garage" to about $100. And there is always the outside chance that bike may be an old classic race or jump bike too. And if your kid needs a brand new bit of awesomeness, race BMX bikes can still be purchased for $1200 at almost any bike shop in the country. Save the multi-geared mountain bike for when they are teenagers and want a mountain bike.

So let's get kids bikes that they will like to ride and not a boat anchor.

Plus, you can do wicked jumps on them!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Busy for Spring Classics

Well, no big news other than I am getting busy with the warm weather we have been having - building wheels, supplying parts, and scheduling repairs. Also, we are getting ready to enjoy the Spring Classics!

Milano-San Remo goes this weekend! Let's just say that both Cav and Spartacus are in my pools. I have a few support riders to gain more points, but I added Peter Sagen too - he may be good for a breakaway group sprint.

As always, I have at least one Canadian on my list - Svein Tuft for M-SR.

Oh, and we are getting out for some training rides too!

Enjoy some red wine this weekend!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Riding with the USMC Wounder Warrior Regiment

At the beginning of 2012, I received an invitation to join the Canadian Forces Soldier On Team for the USMC Trials. So in February, I went down to Camp Pendleton, California to train and race with members of the USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment, USMC veterans, and other ally teams from the UK, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Columbia, and Germany. For the Marines, on the line was an invitation to the USMC Warrior Games Team. For us allies, we had an opportunity to make the Marines earn their selection and to show what we were also capable of as wounded warriors.

Our hosts were outstanding both on and off the "field of battle." I was honoured to meet with many great men and women from all the countries and would return to the USMC Trials in 2013 in a heart beat! My team mates did an outstanding job considering we were a last minute collection - taking home 2 silver and 4 bronze medals in track and in the pool.

I was more than ready for a good race and while it was still winter back in Canada, I was in pretty good form. Despite a few tactical error that kept me from getting in the top 5 (my goal for the race), I managed to finish in 16th place...still in the fight - the Regiment's moto.

More Camp Pendleton Video

Another video from Camp Pendleton.

US Marine Corps Trials - Camp Pendleton

Here is some video of the cycling competition during the USMC Trials. See if you can find me! (Hint: 32 seconds in...)

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Road Wheelset!

$599 plus shipping! These are a great set of Ambrosio F20 rims laced with Sapim Laser spokes to C4 hubs. Ambrosio rims are made in Italy and made for the toughest roads. C4 hubs are made in the USA and are some of the smoothest and lightest hubs on the market. I hand stress while I build, so these wheels with last a long time before ever needing adjustments. Email me at rbs.bikes at or visit my website at