My new radio

I am very happy to announce that I now have on-line streaming of my favorite college radio stations!  

Here is a short list of my favorite radio stations:  

  • WMBR MIT 88.1
  • WZBC Boston College 90.3
  • WERS Emersion 88.9
  • WBUR Boston University 90.9

Why is this such a big deal? Other than just the being best radio in the country it is important to my sanity in the shop. I have been living without radio ever since I moved to Holliston. Holliston is just out of range of Boston radio and while I could have set up an antenna, I just did not have the guts to climb up 4  stories to the top of my mill building. That would have been for not anyway, because my upstairs neighbor could not handle my music. Another issue was that I could not find a radio that could withstand the arc of my TIG welder. When I would strike an arc, the radio would go haywire and or change stations.  

One of the many reasons for moving my shop to its new location was to have a spot were I could listen to music, while building your bike :). At the old space I could from time to time listen to my record player, but that is just not the same as blasting college radio.  

Motorolla stereophonic masterpiece

Awhile back Marty at Geekhouse bikes gave me an old laptop. I had it fixed and along with some speakers that my friend Peter gave me I now have an awesome shop system! Thank you 🙂 

Betsy and I missed the Boston Bike show last night, but I am glad I skipped it. I am still down from my cold and staying up late and talking with a sore throat was not a good idea. Here are some pictures of the event from Tony Maietta Cycles 

Today I am working on Meg’s 3 speed loop frame bike. I need to assemble it and build a front rack/basket holder. This will be my first bike with the new chainguard and I will post some pictures of the complete build soon. 

3 speed loop frame

I am now offering custom cassettes for my touring and sport touring bikes. I have discovered that I can buy individual cogs and spacers from Miche from 11T to 29T. I can also add a large shimano cog [30, 32 or 34T] to get the ranges I want. I have to buy a whole shimano HG cassette to get that cog, but that is ok with me. 

Miche/Shimano custom cassette

Pictured is my 15/34 8 speed cassette [15,17,19,21,23,26,29,34]  I will be using this with a double crank with a 30T x 46T With this cassette I can use the top ring most all of the time and still have a low gear set for big climbs 

If someone wanted a bigger top gear, then there are many options, one is to make this a 9 speed and add a 13T  

I also thought about changing my cassette to a 9 speed to get the jumps closer together [15,17,19,21,23,25,27,29,34]

I really like to have an easy, close ratio cassette, that has  a good low and mid range gearing. I am not concerned with having a big downhill gear or pedalling slow.

My old stand by touring gear set is a sugino XD triple crank with a 26/36/46 with a 8 speed cassette [11/32] or a 11/34 9 speed. This gives a much lower climbing gear and a taller top gear, but at the cost of bigger jumps in the mid low range. A triple is still king for full touring, but for sport touring the new double style may be better.

A lot can be discussed about gearing. There is no one magic gear range [or wheel size for that matter]. You have to go with what works for you for your intended use and riding style.


"Found at the dump"

I am addicted to trash 😦  I just can not stand to see good bikes go into the trash. I often save the bikes and either give them away [BNB, Earn a bike etc…] or I fix them up and sell them or sometimes use the parts for project bikes.

Cool old bikes like the Motobecane Mixte are a tough one to consider for rebuilding. If you have the time, the tools and the knowhow…it is still not worth it, but yet at the same time it is? It needs little and it needs everything. You could do little to it and be able to ride it, but then you will probably not be very happy with it. You could do a lot, but then have invested many hundreds of dollars and still not be happy with it. I could go round around on this. It might be best to just purchase a brand new Chinese bike with new modern parts, that shift well? Anyone that wants this Motobecane Mixte and you are local can have it. It is a cool old bike that has some potential.


About antbikemike

Bicycle frame builder
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7 Responses to “Radio”

  1. i totally hear you on the boston radio scene… truly among the best overall programming in the nation! all my favorites on the FM dial are at the left end of the dial… i don’t think i ever go higher than 90.9!

    MBR is my all-time favorite station, bar none. such an eclectic mix throughout the week.

    that’s great that streaming allows you to enjoy boston stations again…

  2. S Molnar says:

    Um, Mike, you list 9 cog sizes on your 8-speed cassette. I knew you were good, but not that good.

    • antbikemike says:

      I was thinking about this before I went to bed last night and thought I should double check what I had written! I am going to go in a fix this right now 🙂

  3. Man, I really like that old Motorolla stereo. There’s an elderly man who rents a stall at an antique mall here in Ft. Worth. He refurbishes and sells vintage stereos. I’m really tempted to pick up some old equipment.

  4. So many things to comment on in this post! Gives me something to do as I am here alone on the Cape with the flu : (

    Sorry to hear that you are sick as well, but on the other hand it makes me regret missing the show less.

    I am extremely eager to see the new loop-frame that is being built up with a chaincase; very exciting.

    Re trash bikes: On the outer Cape it is end of the season right now, and there is a staggering number of vintage bikes that have just been abandoned all over the racks and along fences. P-Town has stuck tickets on these, and I imagine if no one claims them, they will be removed and dumped by the city shortly. Such a shame! Many of these bikes are not even locked, and I’ve considered taking them and distributing them to the bikeless masses in Boston, but can’t think of a practical way to do it – would need a van!

    • antbikemike says:

      One of my guilty pleasures is owning a van 😉 gets me in trouble with trash picks. Maybe you guys and strap the bikes to the top of your car 😉

  5. meligrosa says:

    Beautiful frames!! I’m diggin with the look of that red bike’s curve <333
    My astra is a blue motobecane, with a RAD curvy top tibe — I love it
    cheers from SF xxo.meli

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