Rock Lobster. I rode it for a little over an hour today, really for the first time this season. And, you know... It got me to thinking... So, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about it... Let's call it the second in my multi-part Just about a bike series of blog entries about some of my bikes. Did you miss part one of Just about a bike? The one about my Ibis Mountain Trials? Really?
How did that happen?
|Rare Rock Lobster / Mr. KOK team jersey|
Because of its vintage it's got a few neat old-school features, like a rather unique braze-on behind the seat-collar for a Hite-Rite, and a couple braze-ins on the main triangle for a portage-strap... and, to accommodate the strap the bottle cage mounts are both located on the down-tube. But otherwise, in terms of design details and geometry, the bike is decades ahead of its time. And, for the record, it's also a blast to ride!
I bought this bike from my buddy Mark maybe 15 years ago. Mark bought it about a year before that from guy named Michael, the original owner who, it turns out, was a friend and neighbor of Paul's back when they both lived and rode bikes in Santa Cruz in the '80s. Michael, who's now an NAU Geology prof and a semi-regular customer at the bike shop where I work in the summertime, once told me that Keith Bontrager (yes, the Keith Bontrager) himself cut-down, re-rolled, and laced the front wheel. But other than Michael's compelling provenance, and the small "The Bicycle Trip" sticker on the rim, I have no real, substantial proof of that interesting little bit of history, which really is too bad.
every-other nipple-color thing right... and I got the hub-logo direction thing right... and I got a whole bunch of other things right, too. So, ha! (Thanks, Sheldon... RIP.)
The wheel I built is a Surly fixed-free flip-flop hub on a Mavic something-or-other hoop. I've got it set-up with an easy-climbing 34x20 gear on both sides, which is a great singlespeed gear around these parts, but a fairly low fixed-gear gear for anywhere that isn't dead flat. But still, sometimes I ride it fixed in the woods anyway. Mostly, though, fixed off-road in Flagstaff is just stupid-hard and no fun, no matter what gear you're running. So, really, I usually ride it as a singlespeed, and coast a lot and do bunnyhops and smile and have fun and stuff on downhills... and just talk-tough about how cool-n-awesome riding fixed-gears on singletrack is.
Here are some other pictures of me having fun riding this bike:
- Since that time, I have replaced the old Suntour cranks with a much prettier set of Cook Bros. and installed a Thompson post instead of the well-worn Kalloy. The portage-strap, which I made from a piece of an old back-pack (and for which, as noted above, there are braze-ins installed on the frame) comes and goes.
- In September 2016, I replaced the dropbars with a stylie set of 28" wide chrome-plated genuine Nitto Bullmoose bars and a pair of super-giant old-school Shimano M762 brake levers. Cool!