monday 19th assorted color and black & white.

monday 19th assorted color and black & white.



 We still need rain, but people are out there  hiking and riding. I took a different way up, a more direct way, and for 30 minutes pushed the bike up a trail not even Mark could ride up. It was great, tho.


Last weekend, 9 days ago after work, customer-friend Nate and I went riding in Shell Ridge, and it was kind of a shame to have black-and-white film, but that's my norm these days, and I screwed up some shots, did lots of things wrong (well, mostly back lit the ride and didn't compensate for it, and too-slow shutter speed), but check out these groovy results: For those of you who care, it was with an Olympus XA with Across 100 b/w film pushed 1.5 stops. (To those who don't care...extremely sorry for the lingo!)

He was on a CLEM with a Bullmoose Bosco, which you can see if you look. No you can't. I can see it on this side of the technology. I'll try another view of the rider (Nate).

The Bullmoose bars are clear now.

If I'd taken the color hills picture with a film camera, I'd be happy with it, but it could easily be duplicated digitally--and instantly, as this one was...gotten. Everything is perfect and there was no darkroom or mail-in-and-wait for the results and hope rigmarole (there is only one "a" in the word, surprisingly).

It would be harder to shoot the lower scene digitally and then make it look like this, though. With film, just one click.


 The other day Roman here was polishing up this guy:

I think Shimano ought to remake some old things. The front derailers are getting bizarre. We're using 10s models on 9s cranks and with 9s chains, and it all works--not just barely, but really finely. But it bugs me that it's not to Shimano spec. I feel like it's a conspiracy, but then I realize we're too small for them to care about. Anyway, a big Japanese company like Shimano (or Bstone, any of them that I've had enough dealings with to get a sense of), first wants to know big-picture CONCEPTS...then details come later. So here is a plan that  involves a concept that might be sellable.

Plan: persuade Shimano to remake 1992 XTR (or '89--91 XT) front and rear derailers and crank. THose were the peak years for simple perfect shapes, finish, and humility. No scoops and fins just for the sake of them. Nothing to conjure up an image of a smoke-filled room with blue jackets and MBAs figuring ways to bamboozle the market, drive trends, capitalize on trends with cars and tech and use it on bikes. Just pure fantasticness.

Shimano wouldn't do any single part in isolation. They sell most when they sell to large manufacturers, and the trouble is, those guys aren't asking for anything groovy. Those guys think 9sp is archaic. Those guys want hidden electro motors shifting and pedaling the bike for you. That is progress in the modern bike industry's eyes, and they shield it with the idea that whatever's easiest will get the most people on bike and save the world.

It doesn't work like that. More likely, the manually operated not easy-to-shift but not entirely impossible to miss-a-shift bike that you have to pedal and that uses visible cables and simple machines (levers, pulleys..) to operate will be scuffed aside and come to be seen as quaint.

UNLESS we can get enough people behind it, to -- is Shimano gonna care? Maybe. They can't be shamed into it. There's no shame here, it's just a matter of how to best persuade Shimano to make .. no, it has to come from Trek, Specialized, and Giant. Two of those three.

Would YOU buy an XTR eightspeed but frictionable to 9 rear derailer for $160? The XTR crank for $250, and a front derailer for $120? IT's not going to work any better. Would you?

Would you be willing to write a postcard with $2 worth of stamps and send it to Shimano in Japan, if the address were provided for you, or would you just like the idea, but not get around to it? Would you say and not do, or say and do?


In Sunday's NYT there was an interesting story titled The Tyranny of Convenience. If cutting and pasting the non-link below doesn't call it up for you, it's worth digging for.


 We're building up some new demo bikes and catalog photo-shoot bikes. This one is shaping up so well. They all DO--they're not experiments or anything. I think I just like how zippy it looks. It may get diff handlebars, and maybe we'd put these on a fat-tire version. Anyway. the Appaloosa is a remarkable bike. My favorite.


Here's a bike we're building up as a photo model and ultimately a demo, not sure the final specs.

IT's a 55. We just got in a couple of samples of the un-named bar that's basically like an Albatross, just a few differences, and it looks like this:


It looks like a Chrysler, or art deco something. I comes back a hair more, flares a hair more, rises a hair less, and is slight straighter closer to the stem. The Albatross (nitto 352) was originally just for us, but we didn't insist on an exclusive, so now tons of place sell it. The driving force behind this NuBar (unnamed, still) was an Albatross-like bar that COULD be our exclusive, and, if possible, had some positive micro-tweaks, which it does. Available before I die, maybe a few months.

All the models now have the RBW seat tube decal. Sad to say sayonara to the others, but we needed to get some RIvendell ID on the bikes. A little more...


Appaloosa's unique fork crown, shared by no other models.

I asked my oldest daughter to write "joe" to use here, so she did it once and that's it.

Here's the unnamed bar. Not the Albatross. How about Wing-ed Sea-Faring Ornithate? The name isn't the priority right now, but it'll be fine when it comes. We'll continue to sell Albatross, mainly because if we didn't there would be a mad Amazon rush for them.



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