Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tragedy at El Tour de Tucson

The weather was the worst it's ever been for this year's El Tour de Tucson.  Usually the weather is just about perfect, but this year it rained pretty hard and the temperature was about 50 degreees F.  This was the first year it had ever rained substantially during the 107-mile event.  A number of riders had to be treated for hyperthermia after the race.

In addition, a cyclist was killed in an accident near the end of the race.  John Henderson was struck from behind by a Nissan Leaf.  The incident is still under investigation, but it was believed that the driver had a medical episode that caused him to lose control of the vehicle.  This was especially sad because I have friends who know John well.

Additional info at Tucson Velo.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Installation of 2013 Brompton brake levers

I recently installed a set of the new (2013) brake levers made available as an aftermarket upgrade from Brompton.  I did a little step-by-step for anyone interested in seeing what is involved in swapping the levers.  It's been a few weeks since I did this, so I hope my recall is correct.

The 2013 Brompton Brake Levers in box

Brake lever unleashed

Cool logo on the inside of the handle.  Shame that it can't really be seen.

For the weight weenies, the weight of the single lever is 77 grams (2.7 ounces).

Disclaimer:  THIS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK!  If you are not comfortable with working on your bike, have a professional do it.

Tools needed:
10mm wrench (spanner)
2.5mm & 3mm hex keys
Brake cable cutter and crimper

Supplies required:
New brake levers
New brake cables

Original brake levers

Step 1: Have your bike unfolded, and on a bike stand if possible.

Step 2: Loosen the 10mm bolt that retains the brake cable and loosen the cable.

Step 3: Cut off the crimp on the brake cable using heavy duty cable cutters.

Step 4: Remove handle grips if necessary.  This may require cutting them off.
(Since I have a p-type handlebars I didn’t need to remove them)

Step 5: Loosen the bolts on the old brake levers and gear levers using the 2.5mm and 3mm hex keys.

Step 6: Slide off the old brake and gear levers.

Step 7: Pull the brake cables out of their housings.

Step 8: Thread a new brake cable through the new brake levers and the old brake cable housings.

Step 9: Reverse steps 6 - 4.

Step 10: Squeeze the brake caliper and re-tighten the 10mm nut to lock down the brake cable.

Step 11. Adjust the tension required to squeeze the brakes.

Step 12. Cut the excess cable length and crimp.

The brake levers are a good upgrade from the previous version...if I ever need to, I can now do a skid stop!

Monday, November 4, 2013

New savings milestone set!

I ended up taking the long way home today and according to my worksheet, I've saved over $200 USD in fuel costs since owning the Brompton!  It's been about about a year and 3 months since I've had the Brompton, and I would have reached this milestone earlier but I had to take some significant time off of it this summer.

I know that I've got quite a ways to go to recoup the money that I used to buy the Brompton, but at least I'm having fun and that's worth something.