The stem cell project

I changed the old school style stem, you know the one, you have to strip one side of the handlebars to take them off and put them on and then use leverage on the clamp to open it up to slide the hump through.  Now I have the new style threadless stem. which uses an Allen key.  Change handlebars? why certainly Sir, I just need an Allen key now and no need to remove anything off the handlebars to take them off .

The old stem (quill) was 90 mm in height with a 100 mm reach, replaced by a 180 mm length (130mm height above headset) with 110 mm reach.  The only thing left on this bike from my original bike that I bought back in 1997 from Olson’s Cycles in Geelong VIC is the bell.  Although the quill will go to the spares box and can keep the original seat post company.

New stem adapterI found the 180 mm stem adapter on eBay, (seller was Speedolium), in hindsight, I should have gotten the 150 mm adapter.  See breakout box.

Inside the fork steerer tube, it tapers about 2/3 the way down so that the new 180mm stem adapter doesn’t go in as far as I had planned it to, silly fork doesn’t it know who’s in charge here?  Even a big hammer didn’t help 🙁

I got the 110 mm stem from Pushy’s for a steal at $9 Token stem(Token brand) to me the stems located around this one looked the same quality but were priced at $29 and upwards, it’s only got to hold the handle bars to the stem.

The stem can be 6º above zero or 6º below, I currently have it set at six degrees above 0.  Next weekend I may change to 6º below and see how that feels when commuting.

And now our feature presentation by Shyflirt1:
Old quill stem Old quill stem New stem and adapter New stem and adapter New stem and adapter The old quill stem
Yeah yeah, I know, I still haven’t wrapped the handlebars in tape yet as you can tell from the photos, but rest assured I do have two packets of bar tape in my toolbox which I also got at the latest carpark sale at Pushy’s

A pannier, a pannier, my kingdom for a pannier.

My Tioga Panniers

I brought these Tioga panniers back in May 2012 and have done many miles with them in all sorts of weather and with all sorts of loads.  Going back through my emails I discover that I bought them from the Pushy’s eBay store for $110 (they are cheaper now).

I cannot find the model name for these Tioga panniers but the picture is worth a 1000 words and most sites refer to them as ‘rear panniers’ but I have had them in both positions and they work just as well.

I remember my deciding factor for buying these panniers was that they were waterproof without having to fit a rain-cover on them, for which when you are riding your bike the last thing you want to do is stop and cover your panniers.

Anyhow on to the my article:

For the touring cyclist or commuter who’s looking for 100% waterproof protection, then the Tioga Panniers are good value for money with a combined capacity of 42 litres, plus they are well made and sturdy and built to last.

The Tioga pannier is made with waterproof material with sealed seams and a quick release locking mechanism to enable fast, easy removal and attachment to the bike, but not as good IMHO as the Ortlieb quick release system.  The locking system comes with plastic inserts to help reduce the movement of the bags on racks, although I use 10mm clear plastic tubing on my rack as the plastic inserts have a habit to falling out and then going MIA.

Although I have lost 1/2 of the plastic inserts for the racks and no longer used them.  When the pannier is fitted to an unsuitable rack and you cannot use the bottom clip, while they may flap about a bit when going over bumps these panniers have never fallen off.  Flapping about is not a problem now with the new Tubus rear rack that I have fitted to the bike, it’s like they were made for each other.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The zipped mesh pocket that resides on the other side on the top flap. The rolling top and velcro strap.

The pannier’s top can be rolled over and held in place by a velcro strap and the top weather flap locks down to ensure weatherproofing.  It has 3M reflective panels although why they chose to use black I don’t know, and they have a chunky carry handle which sometimes gets in the way when trying to put the pannier on and off the rack.

The panniers also come with a shoulder strap each and (4) plastic inserts for the rack connections.

I would like to rate them as 10/10, but the weight is a little much for its size, but not enough that I would go out and buy a lighter replacement.
You can’t really get the best of both worlds, it’s either heavy and waterproof or light and water-resistant.  If you are concerned about the weight, then these bags are not for you.
If you want a cheapish (compared to other panniers out there), strong and reliable bag and do not care about the weight, then this bag is for you.

These Tioga panniers can used as a work bag without the bike 🙂 These are good pannier bags and I doubt you would be disappointed.

Features & Specifications

  • Quick release style attachment.
  • Sealed Seams.
  • Hard Back.
  • 1 Main compartment: with mesh top pockets for your essentials.
  • Fold over and velcro strap/buckled closure.
  • Heavy duty Anchor points moulded on to bag to enhance waterproofing.
  • Chunky carry handle.
  • 3M Reflective panels.
  • All mounting hardware included (Philips screwdriver required).
  • Capacity: 42 Litres.
  • Dimensions:  40 x 15 x 36cm (height x depth x width).
  • Weight: 2.25 kg (mine weighed in at 2.084 kg without the straps).
  • SOLD AS A PAIR.
Tioga Pannier
My, what a big mouth you have.
Tioga Pannier and Otlieb pannier
Locking system compared to the Ortlieb QL1 system. The Tioga pannier only goes up and down, the Ortlieb side to side.
Tioga Pannier
The Tioga clip and the Tubus rack, almost made for each other.
Tioga Pannier
Both Tioga panniers fitted but with nothing in them.
Ortlieb review to follow shortly.
PS: In case it isn’t obvious, I don’t get paid for my reviews and I have only review products which I have bought unless otherwise stated.

My shiny new precious.

Well, yesterday I retired the tired old Velocity Deep V rear wheel before the cracks did me in.  I have now successfully built my first two bicycle wheel from scratch.

The new wheel consists of a Mavic rim (36H variety), DT Swiss spokes, a Shimano 105 freehub and 8 speed cassette. A more detailed post on these items can be found at Another wheely good post or two.  After breaking two rear axles on my old wheel (which was a freewheel hub)  I moved away from these types of hubs after a conversation with one of the mechanics at Pushys at Fyshwick.  He explained the difference of where the bearings sit in relation to the load being placed on them.

See picture: hub differences The bearings are represented by the red circles.  The bearing on the right side of the lower picture is where both of the previous axles broke.

Another advantage of the freehub, is that I can remove this cassette by using the Unior cassette remover instead on carrying a chain-whip around on tour.  A lot of weight is saved.  Plus the Unior tool can be used a spoke tool as well. And I can wear it as a Colonel Klink monocle if/when I get bored on tours.  HOGAANNNNNN.

See below for the cassette:shimano-9spd-cassette-med

And here are examples of the Unior Cassette removal tool (left) and a chain-whip (right).

unior_spoke_freewheel_remover_1669_4_wrench

Before I digress too far, this morning’s commute went fine, a few seconds of tinging as the spokes settled but then they weren’t heard from again.  The brakes seem happier too grabbing a nice flat rim instead of the concaved / cracked Velocity rim.  I have also made a front rim which is almost ready to go on the bike, it has a dynamo hub but I have no lights for it to run yet, plus I’m searching the LBS and the interweb for rim tape in 622 20mm size at a ‘non give up a kidney for’ price.  My new rear is currently using the old velocity rim tape which is 16mm, and well no flats yet. 🙂Chainwhip

Next I upgrade I think I’ll do is replacement is of the front and rear derailleurs, I changed to a triple chainring a few weeks back but I am still using a double chainring derailleur and is at its limit of range of movement, probably have to replace the cable as well due to stretching from doing more than it should and I believe the current Sora rear is bent/twisted but not being an expert on these things I could be mistaken. (It has happened before).

hub comparisions