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Kenda Kovert 2008-07-11 Friday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.
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It’s not been a very good month as far as road rubber is concerned. The supremely inferior ‘Flying Diamond” made in China tyres as supplied on the Tiger Foldaway have lasted a mere 180 miles before the rear was totally bald. Admittedly around 50 of those miles was pulling an extremely heavy trailer, and braking with such a load would very likely show in heavy tyre wear, but, even so I’m not impressed with Chinese rubber.

I’m probably jumping from the frying pan to the fire here but I’ve invested in some (probably only slightly less inferior) Taiwanese tyres, the Kenda Kovert. Although intended for BMX use they were about the only ‘smooth tread” tyre available in a 20″ size.

I’ve just returned from a 5 mile ride with these and they seem fine so far. There was one incident where it felt they started to slide while cornering on a wet manhole cover but that is to be expected on any make really.

These tyres together with the Schwalbe City Jet were supplied by Discount Bicycles Limited who I’m not very pleased with. I ordered on a Thursday, the debit was taken from my bank the next day (Friday), I phoned the following Tuesday to enquire where the order was and was told they were in dispatch. I get a call on the following Friday to say they haven’t got the 26″ x 2″ in stock will I accept the 26″ x 1.5″? They will be dispatched next day (arrive Saturday). They turn up Monday and to top it all they have been subjected to some sort of damage and the tyre beading is bent: (Kenda top, Schwalbe below)

It just means I shop elsewhere next time.


R.I.P. Folda 2008-06-27 Friday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.
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It is with deepest regret and sorrow that I have to report the demise of one of the VC stable members. While Hercules Folda served only light duties it was never one to complain and was always ready and willing to perform to the best of it’s abilities. Having belonged to another family before this, and not being with us for very long, Folda will nevertheless remain in our fondest memories.

All usable parts were removed prior to disposal.

Vredestein Scarab part 2 2008-06-26 Thursday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.
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15 months ago I fitted (with some dificulty) a pair of Vredestein Scarabs to my Muddy Fox bike.

428 miles later and both tyres are showing signs of deterioration on the side walls. The front (pictured below) is more severe than the rear but both are bad enough to warrant replacing. This picture shows both sides of the front tyre and the two yellow markers show the extremes of the longest split (click to go large).

Normally cracks are caused by excessive sunlight but the only time these tyres see daylight is when I’m riding the bike. My sons bike which I fitted with the same tyres at the same time doesn’t appear to be suffering from the same problem and he’s done around 1,000 miles on his so go figure. Incidentally these tyres haven’t succumbed to any punctures and my son swears by the amount of grip in both wet and dry conditions.

I phoned Vredestein to enquire what sort of mileage/life I should expect from this model but the person I spoke to insisted on directing me to the supplier rather than answer my question.  While the supplier is one with which I have always experienced good service, I don’t think it is their responsibility when a product such as this is obviously out of any possible warranty. Therefore I didn’t bother them.

What I did do though is to tell all here and source a replacement of better quality.

And this is it, the Schwalbe City Jet with puncture protection 26″ x 2.0″ at £14.24 each.  Here’s hoping 🙂

Cargo Trailer 2008-06-25 Wednesday

Posted by hoipoloi in Hardware.
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For one reason or another I decided I needed a trailer for shifting goods and having kept a keen eye on the prices of the lower end trailers I jumped at the opportunity when Hawk Cycles (A5 Cannock) were selling theirs at around £60. I notice they are now £129.99 RRP reduced to £99.99

Made of steel and with steel wheels they aren’t the lightest of trailers but I don’t intend using it other than locally so that doesn’t bother me too much. The wheels are 14″ but there is room for 20″ wheels so as soon as I get another 20″ alloy wheel to match the one I’ve already got they will get replaced.

The side bars fold in once a couple of spring pins are removed and the wheels are fitted with quick release skewers. The towing bar also fold in after removal of a pin but the pin was a loose fit and the play was noticed when towing. As I don’t need to pack the trailer into a car boot or other small space I have replaced the offending pin with a bolt.

The hitch (cycle side) is a simple short tube that the trailer bar fits into and is secured by a pin. There is an additional safety strap which simply passes round the rear fork and clips back onto the trailer tow arm. While it is intended to keep the trailer attached to the bike much the same on a car, I feel that the speeds here are not going to cause a problem if the hitch breaks and the trailer just drops to the ground. If the arm were still attached with the strap it would send the tow arm straight into the back wheel causing lots of damage and possibly  sending the rider into the path of nearby traffic. So, for me the strap doesn’t get attached.

The picture below shows it fitted to my folding bike over the top of the sidestand bracket.

I’ve made addiional hitches for the Muddy Fox below…

…and also for my latest steed, a Focus Ventura. This bike has a cast rear fork end so the design and fitting was slightly different.

The folding metal bars of the trailer can be removed quite easily so I’ve knocked together a plywood box that is better suited to carrying around 300 newspapers (one of the intended uses).

Today I made a trip to D. Gill Building Supplies in Aldridge to collect a bag of cement and the trailer performed admirably.