Friday, July 15, 2011

Parts Shopping

Hmmmm, I've been using a lot of parts from scrap bikes on my projects. Partly because I like the idea of recycling, but also because I'm just not rich (ok, I'm cheap). I've welded nuts inside of old sockets to make stand-offs for mounting things. I've used old pieces of chain for hinges. I even used an old road bike to make a hitch-mounted bike carrier for my recumbent.

But there are somethings I decided to order new for the current trike I'm building. Instead of cleaning up scrapped bottom bracket shells and trying to find two that match to use as head tubes, I decided to order some from Nova Cycle Supply. While I was at it, I ordered one more to use as, get this, a bottom bracket shell! Nova has lots of braze-on items too, so a few cable stops were added to the order, since those are kind of difficult to cut off an old frame and mig weld onto a new one.

From, I ordered new cartridge bottom brackets (Shimano UN-26) to use as king pins. It's the same setup I used on the first trike, which seems to be holding up well. I like Jenson; their shipping is not too expensive, and they deliver within a week. Sometimes they have pretty good sales, too. Like the Pedro's rim tapes I added for $.59 each, or the Presta adapters for $.63. I ordered them on the 8th, and they were delivered today, on the 15th, right on time.

Also on the 8th, I ordered a pair of inexpensive Weinnman 406x19mm rims from I wanted this particular size, since I won Schwalbe Durano tires and tubes as door prizes, and buying these rims to match was cheaper than buying new tires to match the other rims I had on hand. I told you already that I'm cheap. Their shipping is cheap enough - $8 compared to $22 at other sources websites. My total order came to $43, which is just over the cost of the next cheapest single rim I could find. I don't have great expectations for the cheap rims - reviews on them are mixed, but for what my application I think they'll be fine (non-drive wheels, no brakes, rather wide hubs).

Anyway, today I got an email that they have finally shipped my order today. A whole week to process my order? They must be one of those internet retailers that doesn't actually stock the parts they say they have in stock. They order them when you order them. That explains why they billed my credit card a week before they filled my order. That just irritates me.

Now, I know that Nova takes a little over a week to deliver, because I'm cheap and choose the cheapest ground shipping possible. Jenson takes 1 week to deliver, even on their cheapest shipping. After 8 orders, I'm really happy with them. They've become one of my two favorite places to go for parts and accessories shopping. The other favorite is Universal Cycles, mostly because they're - you guessed it - cheap, and because they have a store here in Portland with free shipping to the store. I like their website, too, because for each item of their huge inventory, they tell you how many are in stock, where, and how long it will take to bring them to the local store. I love Universal Cycles and Jenson for ordering parts and gear. I go straight to Nova Cycle Supply for frame parts.

Bike Parts USA? I don't know............


Sunday, July 10, 2011


This summer, 50 velomobiles from Europe, Canada and the United States will be rolling (or riding or driving, I'm not sure what to call it) across America. Leaving from Portland, Oregon on July 28th, they will pedal an aggressive 200km average per day to reach Washington, DC on August 26th. I will be there to cheer at their departure, though I'm really hoping to be involved in at least some token way, so I can say, "I was there and I helped make it happen." My club, Oregon Human Power Vehicles, will be volunteering in the background to help make the delegation's Portland experience a good one.

The official ROAM (Roll Over America) website has links to several blogs that riders will be using to post their stories and pictures as this never-before epic event unfolds. I will be following their trip and wishing I could be apart of it, while I ride my bike to and from work. Take some time and read over the information on their website - I think you'll start to appreciate just what a tremendous undertaking this is. The Trans-Am bike trip has been made plenty of times before, but seldom on such a short itinerary, and rarely with such a large group. Never, has it been done with a 50 velomobile team.

I think this marks an important milestone in bicycling history. While we complain about gas prices, rising costs of medical care and crowded city streets, a tsumani of solutions will be quietly rolling across the country, proving the viability of pedal powered transportation.