Thursday, August 21, 2008

Custom Bianchi Castro Valley Single Speed

This is my latest build, a custom 55cm Bianchi Castro Valley, in a single speed cyclocross/road configuration. Part of the reason that I built it the way I did was to give as many options to the owner/rider as possible. The Castro Valley was designed as a commuter/cross bike with a full array of braze on's for racks and fenders, plus this particular year was setup as a full 2x9 drivetrain, meaning there are two cable stops on the downtube (previous years were a 1x9 with only one stop).

It has a lightweight double-butted cromoly steel frame/fork, 105 hubs laced to Mavic CXP22 rims, a Sugino cyclocross crankset w/44t messenger style ss ring (capable of running 2 rings), a 16t cog in the rear with a Wheels Manufacturing Single Speed kit (one of the best kits out there), Thomson Elite seatpost, 110mm x 7deg Bontrager Race stem, Bontrager Select bars, Cane Creek SCR5 brake levers, Avid Shorty 4 cyclocross brakes, Sram PC-1 chain, and 700x25 Bontrager Race Lite AC tires.

Instead of custom building the wheels using 1x1 hubs and getting a dedicated track crankset, I decided to adapt the existing cyclocross components and use traditional road wheels to give whoever winds up with it the option to easily convert back to a fully geared bike. I did this partially because I'm not nearly as strong of a rider as I used to be, and there is a good chance I may keep this guy for myself ;-) It rides like a dream, very compliant and fast like a good steel frame should be. It's capable of a million different configurations depending on it's intended use and the size of your pocketbook. I will consider offers, but I'm setting the price as of now at $800.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

U.S. cyclists apologize for wearing masks at upon arrival in Beijing

Apparently a group of American cyclists from the Olympic team offended China (as a whole) for showing up at the airport in Beijing wearing smog masks. They've apologized, but I'm not exactly sure why. I mean, we're talking about a city that had to order cars to stop driving and factories to shut down for weeks to even have a shot at "cleaning up the air" enough for the Olympics to even take place. I guess I would think it's sort of a personal decision that you wouldn't need to apologize for, but hey, that's me. I wonder if anyone showed up to the Olympics in Mexico City with Smog masks on??