new middleburn crank and bottom bracket to replace the worn 2007 XTR and the ill fitting bottom bracket. The bike shop rang to say the bottom bracket is a thing of beauty – shame it is hidden away inside then.
Race Saturday which hopefully means 75km without creaking (not sure about the rider though)
Sitting on the turbo doing a simple 45min spin as the RACE MTB 75km is on Saturday and I am not totally prepared. Think it will be the case of finishing ……
So turbo today
But afterwards there is a faint plastic smell – I look around
my initial thought it was the rear tyre – but it is a thicker turbo specific tyre so thats not the culprit ….. then i find out the error is the resistance lead for the turbo has been rubbing against the tyre for the whole ride
Watching people arrive at a Patagonia’s natural behemoths and instantly whip out their pole mounted GoPros to start taking selfies, you have to wonder whether we’d all just be better off if the camera was left at home (or at least the pole). The sense of having to have ‘something to show’ for the trip and upload to Facebook is a trap most of us of the digital age tend to fall into, not least of all me. I had thought, therefore, that my recent reduction to ‘cameraless’ status might somehow be a blessing in disguise; a burden removed, leaving nothing but to soak up the raw experiences and incredible sights. I was wrong. What I’ve come to realise is that, for me at least, photography has became a truly integral part of the trip; something that lets me express what it is about a place that interests me, as…
Cielo I love – been looking at some of their steel beauties…. on their blog they speak about this brand – one I had never heard of before
Amsterdam, 1921. RIH Sport is found by two brothers, Willem and Joop Bustraan. The brothers began making lugged frames, no mill or lathe to be found, everything done by hand. The production process took its manufacturing cues more from the artisanal guild practices common throughout Europe before the industrial revolution than from the methods unearthed during the revolution itself.
1928 brought the addition of Willem’s son, Willem Jr. Through WWII, surviving Nazi occupation, the trio continued building frames for racers and riders despite the oppressive conditions, going so far as allowing racers to get frames on a layaway program. While we combed the office admiring photographs of champions who have ridden RIH frames through the years we found the register from the 1920’s which still resides collecting dust on one of the shop’s workbenches, a testament to their commitment to the community and their craft.
When the time came for the founding brothers to pass the business on to Willem Jr, he quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to meet demand on his own. Willem Jr was exceptionally fortunate to have Wim van der Kaaij, who had wandered into the shop at 10 years old and never really left. Wim met the current World Champion, Gerrit Schulte, at the RIH shop, and began work the next day.
From the moment that he stepped into the shop, Wim was enthralled. Although he couldn’t have known it at the time, this would be his first, last, and only job. He started his career sweeping the shop floors and gradually learned the tools of the trade by helping out where he could. Once he began working full-time, Willem Jr and Wim worked together building bikes well into the latter half of the 20th century. Willem Jr later retired while Wim continued building frames into his 70s for a never ending backlog of customers. Wim estimated that throughout his career he had built over 5,000 frames by hand.
Finally Wim recognized that he couldn’t build frames forever, which is where the current RIH owners come into light, Lester and Lorenzo. Lester is RIHs prodigal son, apprenticing under Wim, then taking some time to travel. Lester returned to RIH with Lorenzo in tow. These two have a passion for bicycles and an understanding of what it will take to make RIH’s commitment to craft appreciated by contemporary consumers. They had spent hours convincing Wim of the benefits of threadless headsets and even a social media existence. Slowly but surely they are bringing RIH cycles into the modern era, while Wim’s skepticism and questioning instilled into the Lester and Lorenzo a concrete sense of what truly goes into making a RIH.
Recently, after Wim passed away, Lester shared a thought Wim had years prior: “When God needs a framebuilder, he’ll let me know.” Wim quite literally worked in the shop until his last day, leaving pressure along with intense pride of craftmanship with Lester.
You can learn more about RIH by following them on Facebook and Instagram and you might find that a RIH is just the bike you were looking for.
When bikes are as stunningly beautiful as the machines from René Herse, Alex Singer and other French constructeurs, it is easy to dismiss them as “beauty queens” or “show bikes.” This would be a mistake: The performance of these bikes is as outstanding as their appearance. They confirm the old saying: “What looks right usually is right.”
When I first became interested in the bikes of René Herse and Alex Singer, collectors told me: “Yes, they are beautiful to look at, but they probably aren’t so great to ride.” As a rider, that dampened my interest in these machines.
So imagine my surprise when I read Bernard Déon’s classic book Paris-Brest et Retour about the history of the famous 1200 km PBP randonneur event, and saw that these bikes had not only been ridden for that long distance, but ridden at incredible speeds. For example, Roger Baumann (above) completed the…