Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The King, 2019

It would seem I'm quite willing to let the blog slide these days. However, it would feel wrong not to post a picture of this Autumn's King; I have been doing it for 10 years!

Here he is, lookin' great as always, although the picture is from a couple of weeks ago and he's probably nearly naked now.

I've moved back onto the Fat bike with the big pogies and everything.

Outspokin Cycles assisted in rebuilding the wheels that were misbehaving in colder temps; the rear got a lovely new Hope Fatsno hub that I'm confident won't act like a jerk. It has a nice loud ratchety sound (the pawls, I guess) that I really like. I'm finding that my advancing age combined with a loss of dexterity due to silly brain stuff is resulting in a newfound willingness to pay others to wrench on my bike. I suppose that's not a bad thing, since local bike shops seem to be in jeopardy all the time. I must confess, though, that I bought that fatsno hub online for way less than the LBS price, once again from across the ocean. As much as a good LBS will always be of value to me, my own cash is also of value to me. As such I happily pay the LBS for the things I can stand to pay a little more for and buy the other stuff online. We got Mrs. Rantwick a nice bike at an LBS a couple of years ago, so we're not all bad. Note: You can't buy a good bike mechanic online. A relationship with a good LBS (or three) is always a good thing.

If you're considering riding right through the winter this year, do it! You won't be sorry. Or maybe you will. How the hell would I know? How about this instead: Try it, you might like it as much as I do!

Yer Pal,


anniebikes said...

Yes, the King! I was waiting for it. ;)

RANTWICK said...

Thanks Annie!

cafiend said...

I think of The King every time I see a resplendent tree around here. As for your bike news, I hope they didn't use alloy spoke nipples on your wheels. They do not age well.

Our shop doesn't try to fight the losing battle against online shoppers. Just bear in mind that labor rates may have been partially subsidized by the profit margin on hard goods, so they may have to rise a little as the economy resets itself. The money you saved on a part may be spent on the person who installs it. It's cumbersome to calculate when you're making a buying decision. It could be impossible at least some of the time. Most shops seem to have flat rates for specific services, which helps. For now, you probably do better to buy your own parts as long as you have a shop willing to do the mechanical work without resentment.

The other pitfall in buying your own parts is that you might overlook some detail and get the wrong part. Then it's on you to straighten it out, rather than the shop. But none of us started out knowing what to do. An expert is just someone who has put in the time and paid attention until a usable amount of it stuck.

RANTWICK said...

Cafiend - no worries, brass nipples and ss spokes. Wrong part pitfalls are a definite danger. I've made enough of them in the past while doing my own builds and repairs that I very rarely make that mistake any more. I'm happy to buy everyday parts like brake rotors, pedals, spokes etc from the LBS, but that Fat niche hub was just too big a difference to pass up!

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