California

 

Betsy and I took a little trip to So cal. B had a conference and I always tag along to be able to spend some quality time with my sweety. We did bring our folding bikes and rode all over and had some time in the warm sun, however I did forget to bring a camera:( I found this little woody wagon in the flower bed by the convention center and brought it back as my souvenir. I just took a shot of it to represent our trip. On one of the full days for B, so I rode out to the coast on my little wheel bike. Ended up being about 30 miles and then that night we went to the conference party at a local amusement park [another 16 miles]. We took our bikes out [we have lights], while everyone else rode a bus! The ride through the neighborhoods got to be pretty sketchy, so we took a different route on the way back.

 
I have been testing out some new products that I was interesting using on my bikes. First was the Sella Anatomica saddle. This saddle is great, really soft right out of the box. The only reason I bought it is because it is made in the USA. I was pleasantly surprised with the ride. Not as classy looking as a Brooks and not as many options [with width etc…], however I think this is the new way to go and will be promoting it with all my bikes [Other saddles will always be an option].
The next item is my new headlamp. I am completely sold on LED lights. No more Halogen lights for me. I bought a B&M IQ Fly N Plus [switch and standlight]. This is the best light that I have ever used [even better than my Inoled]. Great beam pattern that lights up the whole road, takes very little effort to make work [you can walk very slow with it and it works at full!] and the stand light is a real light…not just some lame glow. I will now be specifying these on all my bikes now [along with the fender mounted wired 4D Lite taillight].
The other item I have been testing are now ready to use on my bikes is the Maglight mini LED [2 cell]. I always use a battery LED as my 2nd light. I position my Dynomo light for the down the road light and my LED battery light for right in front of the front wheel and it also serves as my back up light [for road repairs etc…]. I have been using cat Eye LED lights, the latest being the 5 led HL200…a great light still, but this new Maglight LED completely blows it’s doors off! Again I just bought the Maglight, because it is made in the USA, but have been very surprised with the quality. This light is brighter than the Dyno light, but not as good as a beam pattern for going all the way up the road. However it is so much better than any bike LED headlight [battery] that I am going to buy these in bulk and use them as my new battery light on all my bikes. I will make a special pivoting mount that will fit on my new racks.
On rack and light notes. I have made and get a lot of request for making dual light racks, equipped with the Schmidt hub and dual E6 lights. A very nice set up. However I think that the new combination that I am using on a Shimano dyno hub along with the B&M IQ Fly and the mini mag LED is the better option AND will cost less too….much less.
In the coming weeks and months I will be posting pictures on new models and new equipment that I think will be a very good mix. I am out to specify more and more USA made parts on my bikes and I fell the best way to promote this is to make the bikes and post pictures of them. I have some people in the build Que that are up for this, so stay tuned for the bikes.
I have not started the last list of bikes that I posted last, but will be getting to that this weekend. So again it is John B, Jon B, Chris H….and of course many more after that, but this is that is next.
Sincerely Mike.
PS I am trying to make this blog a lot about the work being completed in the shop and not so much about bikes, parts and life philosophy, but it is hard not to want to go in that direction. I would like to, but that would take too much time away from making your bikes;)

 

About antbikemike

Bicycle frame builder
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5 Responses to California

  1. Cris C. says:

    For Christmas, I gave my girlfriend a handbuilt generator wheel with an IQ Fly, and honestly, even as an owner of one of your esteemed dual-E6 light racks, there are a few times when I’m pretty envious of her setup. The Fly’s beam isn’t quite as deep as the E6 (but it’s still plenty deep) but the cone of visibility is much wider; so you get to see a broader patch of road surface, which is particularly important for making turns on dark streets.

    So, yes, I agree with you that, for commuting and most night riding, I think a solo Fly with a Shimano hub is the ideal balance of performance and value. Even for something as extreme as brevets, I think that the Fly is a perfectly acceptable light.

  2. Adam Alpern says:

    The LED lights coming out now are indeed really exciting! I’m eagerly awaiting Schmidt’s upcoming LED light. It’s a little more classic-looking than the IQ Fly, with its machined aluminum body, and hopefully very similar performance.

  3. antbikemike says:

    Yes, the new Schmidt E6 style LED light will be out this summer [?], however it will cost about $190 and the B&M is about $100.

  4. Adam Alpern says:

    Ouch! I guess they decided they needed to maintain the “double B&M” price point. Darnit.

  5. Ray says:

    Nice to hear about the MagLites and your upcoming clamp.

    See you in a couple weeks at RedBones!!

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