20150425

Last Flowers

I rode my final commute in to work this past week, and stopped along the way to photograph some of the flora currently in bloom on my ride.  

The bay area is covered in Ice Plant, which blooms lilac or yellow this time of year.  Fitting that the blooms would just be fading as I take my last ride.

This is a drought tolerant sedum (I think) that has these brilliantly purple flowers in full bloom along Seaport.  

And the torch lilies.  I'll always love the torch lilies. 
 I'm certain I'll find just as many lovely things on my new commute, but this was a great note to end this one on.  So long, Bay Trail.  

20150405

Takhion + Tsubasa MASS

A while back I had heard plans for a collaborative project, and was really, really excited for where it was going.  Recently I not only got an update, but was given permission to show some of the photos here and do a little feature on this awesome project.  I'm psyched to bring you a preview of this collaboration between Edinvas Vavilovas of Tsubasa Bicycles and Mr. Reginald Vorontsov of Takhion!

Used with permission from http://www.tsubasabicycles.com/
I highly encourage you to visit Edinvas' site to read the whole story of this project, because this is far more than just about building a bicycle.  

"Takhion and I, founder of Tsubasa, are auctioning the Takhion+Tsubasa Mass to raise money for the war victims of Ukraine. 

Takhion lives in the Ukraine; I am Lithuanian now living in London. Having both felt the cruel hand of war we wanted to help. Takhion+Tsubasa Mass takes its name from the belief that together we are strong, even in times of hardship.

We’re working with The International Committee of The Red Cross to ensure that all money raised provides food and shelter for the orphans and victims of war."

If you are interested in donating, or bidding on this frame, please visit the donation page here, or visit their Thunderclap page here.

Used with permission from http://www.tsubasabicycles.com/
More information on the cause can also be found on Tsubasa Bicycle's facebook page.

Used with permission from http://www.tsubasabicycles.com/
As for the construction of this bike, Edinvas told me more about his single piece technology: "they [the frames] don't have joints, pieces aren't glued together as today's carbon frames are. It's made in a way, that if you'll follow one fiber, you will notice that fiber runs through entire frame i.e. BB to chain stays, chain stays to seat stays, seat stays to top tube and son on. This way of making a frame eliminates weak point and maximises durability and performance of the frame as the web of fibers of entire frame responding to the stress instead of glue at the joint." 

"Bottom part of the frame is internally bridged, including chain stays, which increase torsional and bending stiffness of up to 300% when comparing with regular economy class bicycle frame.  Frames are made using High Modulus and Ultra High Modulus unidirectional carbon fiber."

His frames also come with a lifetime warranty.  

Here are some in progress shots: 

Stainless steel headtube insert.  Used with permission from http://www.tsubasabicycles.com/
Dropouts!  Used with permission from http://www.tsubasabicycles.com/
Check out some of Tsubasa Bicycles' previous work as well.

20150327

Sea Change

The bicycle has by and large remained unchanged for the past century or so.  Sure it gained gears at one point, got a bit lighter and even lately uses electronics, but the core mechanisms, diamond frame, and basic concept have remained reliably the same as time has gone by.  

If only everything could be like a bicycle.

Three years ago I left Los Angeles for an opportunity to take my dream job in the San Francisco bay area, which has been nothing short of fantastic.  Here, I am close to my family, the weather is perfect and the riding is amazing.  But nothing good lasts forever, and now I am heading back to Los Angeles to keep working this job that I love, which is a whole other story in and of itself.  

I will miss my foggy morning commutes, bayside jaunts and climbs through forested mountains.   I'll miss my favorite local shops, talking bikes with the regulars on my train and my tiny little shop where I spent so many weekends.


Thanks for the memories, Seaport.
Sorry if things continue to be a little slow here for a bit.  I have one month left here, and I plan to make the most of it while I still can.  

20150321

Takhion Crank, Take 2!

Not only was I crazy lucky enough to find a right Takhion crank arm, recently I also found this beauty pictured below.  

Chainring is NOT Takhion though...oh well!
This 172.5mm crankset is from 1991, and is in great shape aside from the fact that the Takhion logo on the right arm has been polished off, which I might be able to get fixed in the future.  How do I know it's still Takhion though?

This is how.
The year of production and length are stamped on the back of both arms.  Sadly 172.5 is a bit long for me when it comes to track riding, though it would be perfect for road.  If anyone has 165mm versions that they'd be willing to trade, send me an e-mail!

20150315

A different bike from the Soviet Union

Edit: Many thanks to my friend Adam for giving me an awesome history lesson on these bikes and clarifying a few things!

I just want to preface this by saying I am definitely not an XB3 expert.  Please correct me if any of this information is incorrect!  I am still learning.

When I first heard about XB3, it was not really, well, positive.

XB3 Rekord was a fairly low end bike, with questionable parts and construction.  Not only was is considered the worst model, but it was also pretty heavy and many of the parts had odd sizes that were hard to find.  This is all I thought that XB3 was until I did a little more digging when researching Takhions, and discovered the Sport, Kvant, and Velosuper.  

I have since learned a bit more about the types of XB3 bikes available: Above the Rekord prior to 1980 were the XB3 Sprint, which was chromed and made of Columbus or Reynolds tubing, and Meteor, which was made of Nikopol tubing.  

Later, there were three other frames: the XB3 Sport Git, Sport Sprint (different from the XB3 Sprint), and the XB3 Kvant.  The first two were made of Nikopol tubing, with the XB3 Sport Git being the lowest end model, but still much better than the Rekord, and the XB3 Kvant being the best, and also made from Columbus tubing.  After 1990, the name Kvant was changed to Velosuper.  Also, I feel like a total idiot here because I thought Kvant was a separate brand, and have even referred to it previously in this blog as such...now I know better!

There was also a Takhion/XB3 Moscow collaboration frame, which honestly deserves its own post.  

The awesome thing about the internet is that it's bringing bikes like this out of the woodwork for the world to see.  And with that said, I started to notice these frames a bit more.  When I saw a photo of a gorgeous red Sport that a friend of mine had, I gained an appreciation for these frames - sadly, that frame was waaaay too big, but I mentioned that I'd love to own one someday.

Amazingly enough, soon after a Sport frame came up in my size...and what can I say?  I love Soviet bikes!


This frame is a gorgeous teal - my camera captured it as a light blue.  Don't be fooled!
Definitely well loved and with some battle scaring, but no dents, rust, dings, or botched threads.  This will be a fun little machine, and amazingly enough I'll be able to fit on it.  

So far, finding Sport parts has been a whole lot easier than finding Takhion parts, but it's not without its own challenges!  The headset and BB in this photo are both XB3 Sport, and I have a few other bits for this bike in my shop and on the way.


The numbers on top read 4589, and the ones on the bottom read 91.  Difficult to see.
Now, Takhions will always be my first love, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate other bikes.  


I dig the headbadge logo.
If you're interested in seeing a bit more, the full album is here!  

20150302

3TTT Pursuit Bars for sale!!

The Sanino I posted a few days ago appears to have been parted out, and both the frame and bars are now for sale separately.

Bars are here.  And the frame is here.

These are "Takhion Style" 3TTT bars (Takhion style meaning curvier, less angled than the more well known 3TTT Moscow bars) HOWEVER - 

I am 99% certain that these bars do NOT have a clamp area wide enough for a Takhion.

They can easily fit any mono-clamp style fork mounts, like Textima (or hey, like the Sanino listed) but for dual-clamp mounts like Takhions or some Rossins, I believe these will not work.  Just a word of warning.

They're really nice bars though!!
Anyway, I'd love to see these stick with the Sanino they came off of them, but either way I'm sure they'll end up on a lovely bike.  Best of luck if you've been searching for bars like this!
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