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Category Archives: Music

Handlebar Assembly – never to be stolen again

An Ecuadorian Astrophysicist (linked of the Atacama Observatory https://www.almaobservatory.org/en/home/ & Leeds Uni.) used to be a loyal customer of ours. During his stay in the UK, we looked after his beloved steed – a high-quality tourer (some very nice & expensive bits). Let’s call him “EA”.

About 3 years ago, this lovely, young gentleman’s stay with us was blighted!

Overnight, some b@$t@&d(s) had stolen his stem & handlebars (& expensive Shimano XT 9×3 shifter/brakes).

The following morning:01 as presented.png

The poor soul was heart-broken – ‘in shock’.
We admit to being, a quite a-bit-more-than miffed.

All it took was a 5mm allen key and set of dull pliers. See the butchery on the cable:02 cables poorly cut.png

What to do?

NOTE: today is an intensely-emotional one for EA – therefore, we will not allow him to  make any big £££-based decisions today! However, he leaves knowing that RCE will assess the whole bike, before we talk again.

Then, RCE’s algorithm:

  1. Identify options to avert the same thing happening again.
  2. Identify customer’s present options & needs (e.g. straight/dropped/butterfly/etc. handlebars, stem length & angle, grips/bar-tape, cabling, shifters and brakes, budget).
  3. Identify customer’s potential future needs/alterations.
  4. Identify compatible components required.
  5. Provide an estimated price for the whole works.
  6. As authorised, proceed: provide componentry, fit, set, test, set, … until satisfied.
  7. Guarantee works, return to customer
  8. Adjust as required.

EA wanted drop-bars – with an option to change to butterfly-bars at a later stage. Fine, not a problem. Longer-that-optimal brake & gear cables were agreed on to allow for a cheaper changes.

The first choice of  ‘anatomical’ drop bars proved be the only ‘try’ required. It took 2 attempts to find the correctly lengthed & angled stem. Another ‘option’  wasn’t really an option – being a Shimano 9×3 geared-bike, the agreed choice was for a set of Shimano’s Sora triples shifters. ‘Intermediate Brakes’ were also incorporated into the design. Finally, additional in-line brake adjusters allowed for the maximum brakepad-wear take-up – a missing original-design feature.

Before the bar-tape could be fitted, EA had be summoned to specify the exact positioning of the shifters (angle, height & reach, intermediate brakes positioning and handlebar angle:04 closeup.png

Nearly there, but still …

What to do?

What to do about future theft? Well, there a couple of issues here:

  1. Removal of the fork’s/stem’s top-cap allows for the removal of the whole handlebar assembly.
  2. Removal of the stem’s front clamp bolts allows for the removal of the handlebars.

To address item 1. EA selected a lovely Pinhead Headset Lock (https://pinheadlocks.com/store/en/frame-and-headset-locks/15-headset-lock.html#/key-without_key):

06 pinhead.png

06 pingead key.png

The second issue was that of the standard allen-socketed bolts for the handlebar clamp:07 insecure bolts.png

Stainless-steel, high-tension, extra-security, Pin Torx bolts were agreed upon for this application. The customer was also handed the required tool for his own use.08 security bolts.png

Now, it’s finished:09 finished.png

10 closeup.png

Total cost (at the time): £400-ish (ouch!). But:

  • much cheaper than a replacement bike of the same quality & wear, and
  • customised exactly to the owner’s needs!

The bike was last seen commuting across the Atacama Desert, Chile – with a big grin on EA’s face.


A bit o’ fun:Twerk[4].jpg

Fancy a bit of Australian rock music?  Unlike AC/DC (saw them in 1979, with Bon Scott), we missed out on the following band the first time round. Shame on us! Hope you enjoy:(RADIO BIRDMAN – “Aloha Steve And Danno” official music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmH0OeDLGEE)

Be safe out there.

 

Lamborghini and Ridgeback offspring?

09.png

Here’s a wee project we did for “M”, a FOST (Friends of the shop). Summer 2019.

At RCE, we’re quite lucky. We meet some of the best people. “M” is a thoroughly honourable person and has been a loyal customer for about 2 decades. We’ve looked after his various steeds. However, the latest one … 01.png
… has got to be “put down”!
If you look closely at the above pic, you may notice the fatal injury:02.pngThat’s right, the downtube committed suicide! 03.png

Aluminium welding isn’t cheap and, perhaps not suitable for this issue.

M asked RCE to ‘mate’ the Ridgeback with a Lamborghini, The one he’d brought along:

04.png
Wow! The name & ‘The Raging Bull’ logo conjurers images of the Countachs, Panteras and tractors.

Loving such a challenge, RCE was eager to help.

The algorithm:

  1. Assess all aspects of both bikes (components, dimensions, compatibility, alignments, wear, ratios, intended-use, etc.).
  2. Identify the best & compatible components to-be-kept.
  3. Identify works require to to-be-kept components (e.g. re-tension & true front wheel).
  4. Identify new parts required (e.g. rear wheel).
  5. Talk £££s.
  6. Fully strip-down the necessary organs of the Ridgeback.
  7. Fully strip-down the necessary organs of the Lambo.
  8. Fully strip-down to-be-kept components for degreasing & cleaning, re-assembly, fitting & setting.
  9. Mate the two.
  10. Test.
  11. Improve & Test again.
  12. Improve and Test again, etc. …
  13. Return to M.
  14. Guarantee works within ‘bedding-in’ period.

Here’s the Ridgeback after surgery:05.png

Here’s the completed baby:06.png

07.png

After a successful summer, the Lambo is now in The Netherlands.

TO: M
Message: We’re glad to have helped. Hope you’re well & happy. Pleasure knowing you. You a good ‘un!


OFF-SHOP:

ot_gone_fishin

Rory Block: Mississippi Blues

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgbh2N9AJlE)

We first appreciated the song back in the mid-’70s, from this Japanese imported LP (bought as second-hand, but obviously unplayed). Every tune & note does ‘it’ for us: How To Play Blues Guitar LP

We’ve always wondered what the negative version of the cover would look like:How To Play Blues Guitar LP negative.png
Side 1: https://youtu.be/U5juxefsxx0
Side 2: https://youtu.be/HI1ALGz6w1U

Enjoy, and play nice.