We've been asked for five or six years when we're going to get more of our David Lance Goines poster, and the answer's a few days ago. Today Will is posting about it in an email update, too. It's on the site and all-orderable.
Apparently it is a challenging poster to make, and we tried for four years to get a replacement, no dice or luck. He couldn't get his new (1950s) letterpress machine to work like the old one. It was fine for easier posters, but he couldn't get the result for this 14-color bad boy.
Until a month or so ago. I was resolved to give up, but he called me last Thursday and said "Guess what?"
David Lance Goines posters on eBay usually sell for $50 or more, and ours has one of our bicycle on it, and Keven's oldest son. I'm going to get three more.
Rivendell is a blip, not an explosion and not a bad blip. Our survival isn't assured, but we're here now and developing things for the future that nobody else will make, because the market isn't begging for them. If "the market" wants it, other people are already making it, and we probably won't be s source. Things like derailers, OK, and cables. But certain kinds of bike frames, complete bikes, and bike bags that don't sell in the mainstream are what we do best. It is either a good business model or a horrible one.
I have only now and then a fear of folding, failing. There are things we can't fight, and there is a kind of way we do with bikes, and it's not an homage to the past or speculating on the future. It works now and period, no matter what else works better commercially, and it's the only way I like to do with bikes and about them.
Decades ago there was an expression among bike makers: The best bike is the one that sells. I always thought that was stupid. I think lots of people would like to see us make a lugged bike with disc brakes, but it doesn't work that way, you can't do it that way. No deerstalker hats / disc brakes combos here.
I wonder whether in a hundred years any bike we've made will be notable. Wondering isn't proof of caring, and I've wondered only twice, and once is now. I do want our bikes to be in use in 50 or 60 years, not coveted or restored to period correctness and stored someplace. If they have juul-sized motors tucked inside the thing that by then is a seat post, that's OK. I want people to be comfortable on our bikes, and to like the way they respond to the road, the wind, and their own input, and I want somebody to see a detail on them and think it's unnecessarily nice. I saw some 50-year old bikes in Sweden and saw some fork crowns that made me feel that way, and I thought, "That's what I want." Post-death approval from a minority of one, plus daughters.
I've never liked bikes as much as I do now. I can't like them any more than I do, and I think I lead the world in that one way. It's the proportions and mechanics and the efficiency, the way they roll and places they can take you and your load of stuff so easily; and when it's hard you get healthier faster.
Anyway, here's the poster.
Here's an old one framed and matted expensively:
and here's the new one lying on a stump:
According to David Lance Goines, there are fourteen colors in it. I can't find two of them.
The boy is Milo, Keven-who-used-to-work-here's son, when he was about 2.5. He came by and did exactly that. One person pointed out what seemed to be fakery--his shoe beneath the tire. Nope. The bike was on a double kickstand and the front wheel cleared the floor. Milo was spinning it. DLG took 250 photos and said only one was right or the poster. Milo is 9+ right now. I wonder what he'll think about this when he's 30. At what point will he think it's kind of neat?
People collect David Lance Goines posters. Here are some:
Race? I read this the Times today.
I think her original name is something else, because here she is:
Here's a vid of 1953 Big Old Race Around France (BORAF)
(the only English is at 35:10, when the announced describes a rider as a "tough dude.")
I never saw Evita, but I managed to get the earworm, and maybe this will get it out of me.
The NITTO Mod. S-83 "Frog" seat post is as good as any seat post ever made, and if you must actually know the truth in opinion form, it is my opinion that it is the BEST ever made. Even so, we've had 5 of you break its bolts. One of you broke three, but I don't know that the triple crown winner reads this.
No matter how good something is, how thoroughly quality-controlled, tested, overbuilt and all of that something is, it is no match for user error. That one broke three suggest user error, I think.
The posts come with torque specs. Nobody and his or her uncle has a torque wrench. We know that. But how else can a mfr describe proper tightness? Torque specs it is! They are!
When tightening the bolts on a two-bolt post, alternate, all the while keeping an eye on the levelness of the saddle. Don't crank on the front bolt and pull down the nose, then have to ultra-crank on the rear one to try to pull it back. It seems obvious when I say it like that. It seems, to me, like I'm a jerk for saying it at all, but whatever it takes to keep the Frog post coming.
I'm almost finished...
The bolt is an M-8. A non-NITTO issue M8 socket head cap screw will work. We're not going to give away any more NITTO-issue replacements. It feels like enabling and it feels like we're acknowledging a defect. They're both lousy feelings, so we placidly opt to stop :).
This is our SILVER2 shifter (Silver two"). It has the same mechanism as the original Silver, and as far as that goes, the 1986 SunTour Sprint shifter on which that one is modeled. But this one is shaped more like the 1983 SunTour XC Thumbshifter, which was a huge advancement in shifters, but was stil smited by Shimano and Indexing soon after.
It has been a tradition here to make available, even if that means remaking at considerable cost and faint hope of profit, exemplary bicycle things from the past, not as pathetic homages, but as usemeveryday bike parts. Generally speaking, they're ways you can dig in your mechanical heels and resist the onslaught of electronics and motors, but not everybody's into it as much as we are. LOTS are, but not everybody.
Not shown above is the handlebar clamp we designed for this thumby. It's not dialed yet. The S2 shifter works as a thumby, bar-end, or downtuber--as does the original Silver. But that mold is wearing out, or so we've been told (have our doubts), so rather than pay for a new mold and risk, in fact, shifters from the original mold, we opted to do it this way. Expect commercial versions by the end of the year, or by October if you have no history with our delivery schedules.
Movie recs: Yesterday and Maiden
Both good on bigger screens.
My sister got a bilateral knee replacement, and there were complications: clots in her lung, which blood thinners have mostly dissolved, and then constant bad nausea and dizziness, which may or may not be vertigo, but is ameliorated with Ativan. Not thrilled with the hospital's level of intellectual curiosity as to the cause and cure, so I'm wondering if any of you might shove this thing along to a happy ending. PM me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hats. For at least 15 years I've on-and-off looked for a short-billed ball cap that would catch less wind (so won't fly off) and be more photo-taking compatible. We have 30 of them coming in. They're $40 each and will never be made again, because the maker is closing down after many years in New England. Nobody else can do hats like this.
Will ordered a more conventional style for us--we have 30 of those, too.
Roman ordered "his" style--a bucket cap. All from the same closing-down place, and I am so sad.
The hats ship to us today and we'll have them by next Tuesday. They'll be the most expensive hats we've sold, but they cost us more, too. I feel like boxing them all and sitting on them for 20 years. I'm just so sorry about the company. I wish I'd ordered a fourth hat in another color combo. I had it in the works, but we couldn't afford four styles at once, and I didn't know they company was closing, so I didn't. When I heard, I tried to beg it back in and felt horrible about that, like a vulture. I'm sensitive to that kind of vulturism, and there I was.
So many things are happening here. Roman is leaving. Dang. He is so good, but he's leaving for a job he'll also like BUT NOT AS MUCH! that's closer to home and may be longterm better. We will all miss him so much.
It's hard to hire a replacement. The foundation of knowledge and experience and attitude and friendliness is just too rare.
In two weeks we get in sample Susie W. Longbolt/Wolbis Slugstone frames. In a week or so we'll have the CLEM Ls. There's a new bike next June, with a new name and -- it should be good.