Credit Card Fraud!

Hey! Someone stole my identity! Sort of.

Well, it's the most excitement I've had for some time. I wasn't able to withdraw any money at the atm today, and it gave me this ominous message: "card retained due to excessive denials." Well, I went to go check the status of my account and I saw that I was over $900 withdrawn. Hy first thought was that both of my paychecks hadn't cleared.

Anyway, I'll write more about this later.

One more thing

This bike obsession has completely crowded out any blogging I otherwise would have done. What happened to this being a blog about cities?

This awful obsession

I'm getting resentful of my tenacious focus on bicycles and parts. Last night I went down to South Philly to buy a couple of shifters from some temple kid. I was convinced I was getting a good price - a dura ace right STI 7400 shifter that works plus a couple of shimano downtube shifters. $30. I went through with the transaction, but when I got home I noticed that the STI shifter needs to be held in a certain way for all the gears to click through. Unfortunately, I was holding it that way when I clicked through last night.

Well, fuck. I am trying to get my money back. Let's see what this temple student's ideas of fairness are.

In other news, I bought a functioning pair of STI shifters on ebay this week. They're beautiful, just a couple of small scratches, but the chrome looks great. I was hoping to just swap them out on my handlebars with the sora shifters. But it turns out they use pretty different mounting systems. I'm going to have to take off the leathers to put them on.

And since I'm going to the troube of removing the leathers, I'm thinking I should really swap out the stem, which has always been a bit short. But finding a nice looking stem in all the right dimensions is next to impossible. Really.

So, my bike obsession is taking its toll. I'm getting sick of all the time spent on the internet or looking over the miyata, but still I can't help myself.


Dromarti Checks in

It's been 2 1/2 weeks since I placed the order for the Dromarti Sportivos. Today I got my first update on when they'll be coming.  Martin from Dromarti wrote to say that the "shoes will be with us" in the first week of april, and that apparently one of the shoemakers from Italy was ill, which caused a delay in production. 

So another two weeks and I should have these shoes in hand, or should I say, in feet!  HA! HAAAA!

No really, I'm very excited.


1986 Club Fuji

My other bike frame, currently waiting to be built up.  I bought it late last year off of craigslist, hoping to put it together as a decent winter bike to ride through the salt. Oh well, the miyata's had to bear all of that abuse instead.  So I bought the club thinking it was a top quality fuji frame for $50.  It's a really cheap price, but after some digging around classicfuji.com, I found out it's really nothing special.  It's got quad-butted VALite Tubing, which I remembered from the old fuji Sagres I had that was stolen.  I can't really find any consensus online about the pedigree of this tubing, but if you read through the actual fuji catalog from 1982, you'll find this blurb:

*All Fuji adult 10, 12 and 18 speed bicycle frames are brazed either of butted or double butted VALite™, or of Chrome Molybdenum tubing. VALite™ is a Vanadium, Aluminum and Manganese alloy developed jointly by Fuji and one of the world's foremost bicycle tubing manufacturers. It has strength to weight properties far superior to ordinary bicycle tubing. Chrome Molybdenum is the material used by the world's most prominent custom builders for all-out competition bicycles and the finest touring bikes.

It doesn't help me conceptualize the quality of the tubing that much, but it does verify the alloy. Frankly, the fact that they compare VALite's performance qualities with "ordinary bicycle tubing" (I'm guessing high-tensile steel) hints that it's really a low to mid range quality.

On the other hand, the catalog sheet on my specific model has the weight clocking in at just under 23 lbs, which isn't so bad, considering the bottom of the line 10 speed Regis weighs more than 5 lbs more. 


I did it.

Today I bought the Dromarti Sportivos, along with some shimano pedals that will accept the style of cleat that you fasten to this shoe. The pedals, shimano pd-m520's were used off of ebay, and came to $25 including shipping. I was going to spring for the m540's, but the spindles are more black than the 520's I bought. And technically, I didn't buy the sportivos as much as get in line for them. I got a receipt back from the company saying my order is number 66. I don't know if that worries me because they've only got 66 orders for all of their shoes (they've got 3 models and a bunch of sizes), or if that means that they've already sold 65 Sportivos in size 43 EUR, which would be pretty healthy. The weird pricing kink in all of this is that they won't charge me until the shoes ship, and they'll charge me in british pounds. The pound has been falling generally, but has regained some ground in recent weeks, so the final total will be dependent on how the pound moves in the next few weeks. If the transaction went through today, the shoes with shipping would have cost a hair over $230. They say the wait for the shoes to get in stock will be something like 2-4 weeks, I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get them in that time frame.

Then, watch out Philadelphia cyclists. You're about to look at your own shoes and frown.


Miyata Team Titanium Update

I'm really pleased with the latest round of upgrades. A while back I said something like "I wouldn't be happy until I spent another $600" on this bicycle. Let's see if I'm getting close. Here's the upgrades that I've done since that post:

1. Rear derailleur Dura Ace rd-7402: $25 off of craigslist.
2. Double crankset Dura Ace FC-7400: $50 including shipping from ebay
3. Hutchinson Fusion 2 ultra 700x23c tires: $65 including shipping for the pair from ebay
4. Velo Orange Grand Cru Sealed Cartridge 1" threaded headset: $45 including shipping
5. Velo Orange Sewn on Elkhide Bar covers: $30 including shipping
6. Velo Orange Saddle Model 6, Natural: $85 including shipping
7. 3TTT Synthesis Quill Stem 80mm: $45 including shipping from repartocorse.com
8. Cristophe Chrome toe clips and leather straps: I got these with a group, so let's call it $8
9. Two Elite Ciussi Water Bottle Cages: $16 including shipping off of ebay

Okay, so far that's $369. Wow, I can't believe I spent that much.

Now Let's see what I'm still itching to swap out:

1. Dura Ace ST-7400 2x8 shifters (I'm still sporting Soras): $80 to $160 on ebay
2. Dura Ace BR-7402 Caliper brakes: around $30 on ebay
3. Dromarti Sportivo SPD leather Cycling shoes: $225
4. Shimano PD-M540 pedals: around $50 on ebay

Total for this wishlist: $465. Christ, I really need to watch myself.

Total for everything in this post so far: $834. This is not including anything in that previous post, where I said I'd already spent about $600. This might end up being a $1400 bicycle.

That's not an entirely fair total, because a lot of the components I've been swapping out, so I need to deduct them from the total. But until I sell those components off, this is the true expense of my obsession. I can't believe I ride this thing to work.

Anyway, here's a photo I took after my ride up to Manayunk yesterday.

The new tires make the whole thing look like a ghost. I love it.