For Pondero


non-drive side
non-drive side

A few more of the details……..




Seatbag sitting on the Pletcher rack. I’ll be adding a rear light soon. Also in the works a Mark’s rack up front with a basket.


Gone Upright

My Sam Hillborne is a year old this month. I haven’t ridden another bike since I brought her home. I had Rivendell build up my Sam with moustache bars, which when compared to drops was immediately comfortable. I’d never used bar end shifters before, and they were OK, but it wasn’t like I couldn’t live without them. Ascetically, I really liked this look.

January 12, 2014_untitled_0496

So now it’s like I’m going feral compared to my riding partner who has continued with a racing bike and drops. Yesterday I removed the moustache bars and added an Albatross bar with thumbies and cork grips. I love the thumbies. Much more natural for me. I’m really excited about adding the Newbaums tape (and twine); I really like this color. I first saw the color on Pondero’s bike. Not in person, but he’s got a wonderful header shot in his blog of his bike.

IRD shifters
IRD shifters
my bell
my bell

Switching bars necessitated also changing the stem and brake levers. These are Shimano mtb brake levers. I had a new box of Gore RideOn derailleur cables laying around, and I used them with the new IRD SOS Silver shifters. That’s a Nitto stem.

new shifters and brake levers
new shifters and brake levers

Just did a litlte spin today; about 15 miles. Shifting was crisp, and the brakes are much better than with the Shimano road levers that were on the moustache bar. Don’t know if you can see my new pedals in this shot, but I’ve gotten rid of clipless and now have VP platform pedals. Paired with my Five Ten Freeriders, my feet aren’t going anywhere!

Nitto Mark's rack
Nitto Mark’s rack

Also in this shot you can see the rack. I switched from the Carradice SQR system when I got a bigger saddlebag; the Nelson Longflap. This rack is for sidepull brakes and is perfect in supporting the saddlebag, especially when it’s full for a day’s commute; no fender rub.

peace, KS

New Gear!

I’ve had my Carradice Barley for about 4 months and had it attached via a SQR rack, quick release. I loved both. But……. I was also carrying a messenger bag while commuting by bike, and it was just too much. So I decided to get all that stuff off my back and got a Carradice Nelson Longflap.

Nelson Longflap
Nelson Longflap

In addition, I was having saddle issues and tried a Rivet Pearl saddle. It was better than my old saddle (WTB Deva), but I was still having problems. I went to Rivendell to try out a Brooks and fell in love;  I bought a honey B17 on the spot.

I knew there was the possibility the Longflap may hit the fender, and sure enough even while on the SQR rack, it would have put pressure on my fender. Now that my Brooks had saddle loops I no longer needed the SQR, I could attach the Nelson to the saddle. But now I had to figure out how to support the Nelson. I also didn’t have enough room between the loops and the fender to use a Bagman. Enter the Nitto Mark’s rack, made for bikes with sidepull brakes. You can install the rack on either the front or back of the bike, and installed in the rear it’s a perfect solution to support my big, new saddlebag.


I’m totally excited. Can’t wait to ride tomorrow. And I already sold the SQR, which brings up the fact that the Carradice Barley bag is for sale. If you’re interested, leave a comment. They list for $109 at Wallbike; I’m asking $90. It’s in perfect condition, only 4 months old, green with honey straps.  SOLD!

*no pic of the Brooks, figured you all know what that looks like

Meet Sam

I should have had this post completed before I posted the last one, but I wanted to take the time to get some good pictures and I tell you about the wonderful ride I had the first time out with my Sam Hillborne. Now she’s been in my possession for a week and-a-half. I commuted 2 days to work last week (one very foul morning with misty fog blowing horizontal) and took a ride yesterday where I stopped and finally took some pix.


Lucky for me Rivendell is close to where I live so I was able to ride different sizes before I ordered. Some have complained about the “boring” blue (compared to the previous orange and green) frame color, but with the cream accents of the frame, which also highlight the nice lug work, IMHO, it’s quite lovely. If you’re not aware of how Rivendell works I’ll give you the low down. You first buy a frame (steel CroMo) which includes the fork, headset and BB; not cheap but not as expensive as others for a really nice lugged frame with superb paint quality. Definitely less expensive than custom. You can build your frame up yourself, take it to the LBS, or customize all you want and have Rivendell build it for you. Another choice is to have Rivendell build your bike with one of their recommended build kits. I went with a build kit.

  • Nitto moustache bar
  • Nitto stem (1″ threaded quill)
  • bar-end shifters
  • Shimano brake levers
  • Sugino triple crank
  • Shimano XT dérailleurs
  • Tektro side-pull brakes
  • Deore hubs on Velocity rims (36 hole) 650b
  • Continental Tour Ride Tires

I also had them add the fenders, which by the way, match the cream color on the  frame. For whatever reason, the build kit does not include a saddle or pedals. When I got home I added a WTB Deva saddle and Crank Brothers pedals.

shiftersbrakeleversI’m sure you noticed the Carradice bag; a first for me. I must be getting more traditional as I get older. It’s a Barley bag; one of the originals. I obsessed about how to attach it to the saddle. Most modern saddles do not have bag loops. The choices were, adding bag loops, a clamp attached to the saddle rails, the Bagman rack, and the SQR uplift rack. All options are Carradice accessories. I went with the SQR for theses reasons: for both the bag loops and clamp I worried the bag would rest on the fenders. Also they changed the Bagman rack; it’s new evolution has additional struts that attach to the rack mounts of the frame. Though I have no intention of adding a rear rack, I really did not like the looks of the new Bagman. The SQR rack attaches to the seat post and has a quick release mechanism making it easy to take your bag with you if you leave your bike locked somewhere. The quick release was appealing. Most importantly though, was that the rack lifted the bag up and away from both the seat and the fender. In addition, if I ever wanted to get a bigger saddlebag, any model (Carradice) would fit on the uplift rack.

barleySo, that’s my Sam in a nutshell. Tomorrow’s another long ride on the San Francisco Bay Trail which looks a lot like this.


The Day

I’m so excited I can barely contain myself.  Yesterday I picked up my new road bike; a Sam Hillborne by Rivendell bikes.  I headed out to their headquarters right after work  and was hoping tomorrow the rain would hold off so I could commute with her (Samantha) to work. But, alas, even though she has fenders I’m not at all sure I want to really dirty her up on the first ride. Maybe it’ll be the Vaya’s (Salsa) call.

The Rivendell fits perfectly into my scheme this year to try some longer road rides and be comfortable with it’s relaxed geometry. I’m thinking on  a century or maybe some populaires. So as you’ll see, she’s dressed with some randonneur accessories. A beautiful Carradice Barley bag and bar end shifters on a Nitto Moustache bar. I know drops are more traditional but Samantha’s slated for a commuter/city bike too and comfort is a major goal. I have a WTB saddle with no loops so I have to wait until I can get a saddlebag clamp to attach the Barley, but I have a handlebar bag I can use in the meantime. I’m sure some will ask about not having a Brooks saddle, but until someone can talk me into it’s benefits other than tradition, I’m sticking with a saddle I know works for me. I’m also using clipless pedals, Crank Brothers; I have them on all my bikes.

So without further ado; a teaser………