Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mike's Barcroft Virginia

Mike is selling this nice Barcroft Virginia on BROL.

Urban Ramble

We had a fun 40km ride around town today. It was cloudy and threatened to rain, but held off while we spun the pedals.

We had lots of positive reactions to the bents from a wide variety of people...=-)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Check your Challenge Open-Cockpit Bars

Eric posted this pic to the Challenge Bent Group, showing a cracked weld on his Challenge open-cockpit bars. Apparently Challenge has done away with the internal cable routing to strengthen these bars and avoid this issue, but some of you may have these older style bars on your bents.

I have them on my Fujin and took a good look - mine look fine at the moment, but I'll keep checking on them from time to time as a precaution.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doping in the Tour de France

There is nothing new going on in pro cycling at the moment. The pro riders have been cheating one way or another for 100 years. Even modern drug scandals at the Tour de France aren't new - what about Festina, Phonak, CSC & Telekom?

People keep saying things are about to change - I don't think so. We've been in this situation before many times and the pundits always say cycling is on the verge of cleaning up. The big clean up hasn't happened in over 100 years and many crisis points - I just can't see why this time will be different.

Click on the pic above for an article chronicling drug use in pro cycling and the Tour de France.

The trouble with cycling in SW US or Australia...

Sure they don't have snowstorms in the winter, but they do have goat's head thorns....yikes! Thanks to BROL member Kalgrm for the pic.

A picture IS worth a thousand words...

This picture illustrates the performance results noted below.

Aerodynamics is King

Riding a slippery recumbent demonstrates empirically that aerodynamics is a major factor in bicycle performance once you get moving quickly. BROL member Trip posted a link to a nice bicycle performance calculator that allows you to try different variables and see their effect on speed and power.

To see the differences in a typical situation I compared myself riding a Tri-bike, a road bike and a lowracer at 35kph on flat ground with no wind. The power needed for each configuration is:

DF road bike on top of bars = 290W
DF road bike in the drops = 213W
Tri-bike = 185W
Lowracer = 140W

Wow! That certainly explains why I can blow away DF bikers on my Fujin. It isn't that I am a cycling God...lol...[darn!]...it is because it requires so much less energy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Paula Challenges Herself

I should be a Challenge dealer...=-)

Fujin Seat - Extra Foam

I love the combination of the Challenge SL aluminum seat and the Ventasit seat pad. The seat has lots of holes which works great with the awesome ventilation properties of the set pad. You end up cool and comfortable all ride even in the heat. Although the pad is thin the reclined Fujin seat spreads out your weight nicely and results in a very comfortable place for your body to rest.

One modification I have made is to add some foam [a Volae seat pad wedge] to the top of the Fujin seat under the Ventasit pad. This pushes my shoulders lightly forward and puts my neck in a more neutral position. Although I received a brand new Challenge headrest with the Taifun I'd rather not use one. With this easy modification my neck doesn't get tired on longer rides.

Seiran with Wheel Cover

Paul put a Wheelbuilder cover on the rear of his Seiran with some custom graphics - looks very sharp. Click on the pic for more images of this speedy bent.

Taifun Bling

I'm not a parts snob. I'll use the right part for the right job and I rarely succumb to the temptation to upgrade to parts heaven. As a result I only have ever owned 4-5 XTR or Dura Ace components. I'm not convinced they are really better, in a practical way, than my usual level of components [LX-XT or 105]. I have even owned and been happy with Tiagra or Deore parts in some applications.

Having said all that I do find that key components [shifting/drive train] do work noticeably better as you work up to the LX - 105 gruppos. My Taifun came with Deore Cranks, Tiagra Rear Der and RSX Front Der. When I first received the Taifun the shifting worked okay, but had started to deteriorate since it became my main ride. So I kept my eyes open for some good deals on replacement bits and found some 105 components that needed a home. I'll keep the RSX Front Der for now and just swap out the rest of the drive train. The Dura Ace bar end shifters [one of three sets of Dura Ace goodies I own!] are working well and keep reminding my why I prefer them to Grip Shift any day.

Now I just need some time to put this working man's bling on my Taifun.

It really IS a bicycle...

BROL member It Is A Bicycle was going to sell this lovely Hurricane, but decided to keep it and ride it. Great decision! Enjoy your Hurricane...=-)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vino's Saddle

Cool saddle...too bad Vino turned out to be a such a dope...=-(

Another victim tastes the power of the darkside...

"...wow!...this is fun!.."

"..so how do I buy one of these without the wife finding out???..."

Dragonfly & Mandrake Racing Action

Dwayne gets his Fujin on...

I may be going out on a limb here, but...

...I predict Dwayne will be riding a Fujin in 2008....=-)

How can you tell...

...I'm a cyclist who likes Shimano SPD sandals?

I love a good URL...

G O fatblue t DSCN5973 A black magic Z Y ?

To make life easier I acquired a couple URLs to get you to this blog with less typing:



Saturday, July 21, 2007


Hunting Rabbits

Another patriotic jersey!

I got out this AM for a quick Bragg Creek run [seems to be my favourite at the moment] before my friend Jeff arrived to visit for the weekend. Lots of small [2-5 riders] DF roadie pacelines out on a sunny weekend morning. I started out slow with very tired legs and a headwind, but managed to turn the ride around after the first 20kms. I had loads of fun reeling in all the rabbits. It was a beautiful morning and it felt great to have a good ride in the bag before noon.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bragg Creek Solo

Fujin ready for battle

I have been working a lot lately. Too much, but that is my reality for the short term. As a result I haven't been riding as much as I'd like. I worked all day at home till nearly 7pm and was pretty exhausted - my apartment is hot at the moment! I kept walking past my Fujin all day wishing I'd have more time to ride it. Anyways at 7pm I figured I should just get my ass out the door and ride a bicycle.

What a great decision. I rode out along the familiar Bragg Creek route 30kms with a pretty fierce side & headwind. The Fujin handled that great and I managed a 29kph avg going there. The return was fast with the wind mostly helping me. I love cruising at 50kph on this bent - it feels like a land speeder from Star Wars. The return leg was also really beautiful because the sun was setting behind me and everything in my field of vision was bathed in a magical golden light. The return leg avg speed was 41.5kph.

This was my first solo ride on the Fujin and I am very happy with it. I like riding fast and I really like passing every DF bike I see. Don't get me wrong I'm a DF road biker as well, but the best way to get other DF roadies to respect bents is to crush them...=-) It is for their own good - really!

I'm getting my Solidlights 1203D setup on my Fujin soon so there won't be any reason not to ride in the evenings.

Ride more - work less. I gotta remember that!

Happy at the end of the ride

Fujin SL EBay Pics

These are the pics posted on EBay for the Fujin SL that I bought. Note the dropped chain and the lower return side idler - I ended up raising the chain by adding the upper return side idler back on and putting the stock lower return side idler on as well as adding a chain tube from the Hostel Shoppe. The drive train works very well now.

Fujin Powerside Chain Guide Detail

Some of the folks on the Challenge Recumbent Group have been talking about a problem with the chain jamming in the guide causing some unpleasantness. I haven't had this issue, but the previous owner had added three zipties on the powerside chain guide. Perhaps to address this issue?

Fujin Rear Blinkie MK2

After some further consideration and testing I ended up moving the Superflash to the lower disc tab mount. This allows the blinkie to be oriented more vertically. I think for highway riding you want your LED optimized for longer sight lines and lower viewing angles than in the city. If I was riding the majority of my KMs in town I would stick with the upper mount as it keeps the blinkie tilted up slightly more which would be better for viewing from a vehicle at the shorter distances typical of city driving. Although LED bike lights are efficient and bright they have the disadvantage of losing power dramatically as the viewing angle changes sidways or up/down from a straight on perspective.

I might be able to mount a Superflash on both disc tabs giving me the best of both worlds, but for now I think that is overkill [as I'll also be using a helmet mounted red blinkie] and I want to keep the weight down.