Monday, 27 February 2012
A little while back I was contacted by a customer in Hiroshima regarding his Miyata Super Carbon MTB that he wanted restored so after a few e mails and some advice we both came to an agreement on what type of restoration would be undertaken and today the bicycle arrived by courier. I've been looking forward to this restoration since my customer first made contact with me as back in the early 1990s Miyata sponsored the famous American MTB racer Greg Herbold who rode for Miyata for a number of years and lent his name to a number of their products. The bicycle in question was only sold in Japan and is kitted out with a full Suntour expert group set with a micro drive crank set which features a 20 T granny gear and a big ring of 42 T with a 8 speed cluster. The serial numbers that I found today indicate that a number of the components are from 1992. Overall the frame is in good condition and apart from the clear coating on the top tube cracking and some slight oxidation on the alloy lug sections it's cleaned up pretty well. Today I totally stripped the frame and cleaned the following parts , crank arms and chain rings, front hub and Ukai rim. Basically the main components with be cleaned and some new parts will be added to complete the restoration. Keep an eye on the blog for further updates as the restoration progresses. Pictured above are a few photos I took of the Miyata today.
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Last year on Nov 14th Capt Wilson of the Oamaru Ordinary Cycle Club set out to be the first ever person to ride a penny farthing bicycle the length of New Zealand. The bicycle he used for this historic ride was built by myself when I lived back in Oamaru , New Zealand. It is a 54 inch replica penny farthing bicycle from the late 1880s and upon it he attached a number of traditional leather and canvas touring bags to hold all his camping supplies and clothing for 3 months on the road. This ride was totally unsupported and he often camped beside the road on his journey to Cape Reinga at the very top of NZ from his starting point on Stewart Island at the bottom of NZ. In total it has taken him 51 days and about 2000 km to reach the top and has now made New Zealand cycling history as the 1st person to have ridden this route. Pictured above is Capt Wilson at the finish at Cape Reinga on Sat 18th of Feb at 2.32pm.
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Well as Niigata has a lot of snow at the moment I thought I'd take the Surly Pugsley out for a test ride in some deep snow. Mid day yesterday there was a break in the weather when the sun came out for a short while and some blue sky appeared and I had been eyeing up the parking lot across the street as a test track for the Pugsley, it had at least 40cm of powder snow as the owners of the car park hadn't bothered to clean it for over a week or more. So I jumped on the pugsley put it into the 2nd lowest gear and rode off the footpath & across the road and into the snow. It was amazing as it seemed to just float on top of the snow rather than sinking into the powder as most bicycles would have done. I think if I had let more air out of the tyres it would have handled the conditions even better. It was awesome and I was still smiling 2 hours later as it was an amazing feeling to be able to ride through such deep snow easily. If you wanted a bike that can go anywhere this is the machine to buy. So far my shop has sold 4 of these recently and no doubt they will slowly get more popular as people realize how much fun they are. Pictured above is the Surly Pugsley and myself and my mate Brian in the car park.
Thursday, 9 February 2012
It's pretty rare that I bother to do a product review, but after using Ground Effect cycle clothing now for over 15 years I must say that everything that I have bought from them is outstanding and as Furumachi Bicycle currently does not stock any cycle clothing I thought I'd do a review on my favorite New Zealand made Ground Effect items. First of all Ground Effect is a small New Zealand company that produces a wide range of cycle wear for road, MTB or even touring so basically they have got something for everybody. If you are looking for the latest in fluro lycra, covered with crazy logos don't bother checking out their website. But if you are like me and prefer plain colors and clothes that are made to last and manufactured in NZ. Then Ground Effect made be what you are looking for, they do not sell their products in shops but prefer to only sell their items online to save costs which in turn gives customers a good product at a reasonable price.
Ground Effect - Storm Trooper Jacket
For years I owned various waterproof, windproof & breathable cycle jackets some of them were very good and made from GoreTex but in the end they have all have started leaking and wore out far too early for the amount of money I spent on them. Last year I was in need of a good quality cycle jacket that was waterproof, windproof & breathable so I consulted several NZ cyclists ( Ex MTB club mates ) and asked their opinion on best jacket to purchase. I also wanted something that folded up into it's own bum bag and could be clipped around your waist while cycling and small enough to leave in my messenger bag on a daily basis in case it rained while cycling to work. The Storm Trooper Jacket is what I ended up purchasing and the fact that it folds up into a small bum bag and has room for a wallet, phone etc while clipped around your waist and has under arm zip vents in case you get too hot , plus it has a hood as well are some of the reasons I decided to purchase it. I've been cycling since the 2nd of January of 2012 every day and believe me Niigata's weather in winter is pretty bad, wet snow, heavy rain , sleet and - 3 deg are just some of the daily conditions I face on my 8 km ride into work. This jacket has kept me dry in some crazy weather that most sane cyclists wouldn't bother cycling in at all, it does not leak at all and the quality is first rate. Basically I never leave home without it and have finally found a great jacket that I'll keep forever and when one day it does finally wear out I'll be buying another one.
Helter Skelters - Waterproof 3/4 pants
As mentioned above I decided to cycle this winter well that wouldn't have been possible with the Storm Trooper jacket and my Helter Skelters !, the Helter Skelters are windproof and waterproof 3/4 cycle pants also made in NZ by Ground Effect. Being a 3/4 length that roll up small to keep in your bag and you will not get your pants caught in the chain whilst cycling which is a problem with most rain pants. They have Velcro tabs that hold them just below your knees and plenty of reflective piping so that cars can see you as well. If you ever been caught in a heavy down poor and continued your ride home with wet underwear and thighs you will love these 3/4 pants for sure.
Pictured above are both the items I have reviewed and for more detailed info please check out the following website http://www.groundeffect.co.nz
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Here is an awesome clip of the Nobeyama Cyclo cross race in Japan. As I now own a cross bike I was thinking about holding a cyclo cross event in Niigata City later this year. I think I may have found an inner city location where it would be possible to hold a race and once all the snow has gone I'll check out the course to see if it's suitable so in the meantime watch the clip of the 2011 Nobeyama cyclo cross race, it's looks like everybody had a lot of fun.
Friday, 3 February 2012
Pictured above are a series of 3 photos taken outside Furumachi bicycle upon arriving to work on the 3rd of Feb. It's my daily chore to shovel all the snow from in front of my bicycle shop everyday. If I missed a day it would be frozen and very difficult to move. The 1st photo shows what it looks like before shoveling and leaning against the wall is my Kona Jake cross bike that I cycle to work on every day. The 2nd photo shows what it looks like after about an hour of shoveling and the 3rd photo show it nice and clean after a rare appearance from the sun having melted the remaining snow. Of course when you live in the snow country this is part of your daily routine, but many shop owners in the city don't bother to clean the footpath at all making it dangerous not only for your customers trying to enter the shop but passing pedestrians and of course cyclists. I do get a lot of nice comments from locals on how clean the footpath is in front of my shop and wish others along my street would do the same.