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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.