The brakes need adjusting they said.

Yeah right. The pads are worn to the  metal.

Ah well, I got new ones.
Disk brakes are amazing!

The brakes need adjusting they said.

Yeah right. The pads are worn to the metal.

Ah well, I got new ones.
Disk brakes are amazing!

I was feeling a bit optimistic when driving my Strida home last week.
The tires were old and I predicted te front one to leak first.
Appetantly I was wrong and had a blowout on the rear.
Possably I nicked some glass.

Anyway, of my 8km drive I managed to get a flat at 4km. No matter which way I go, I’m screwed.
No spare inner tube, no patching material, no pump.
Just walking.

Lock or laughing stock?
Abus 1500 Web

Abus has a good reputation making locks. But when you look at this lock the only thing you will think is… why?!

The 1500 Web is possibly the smallest chain lock I have ever seen. Where most locks look fierce and strong this one does not.
I’ve put an iPod Classic next to the lock to give you an idea of the size.

It weighs only 140g and has a 4mm chain. You have got to have a really good reason to get yourself one of these.

And I had one.

I did not buy this lock to prevent my bike from being stolen. But to prevent it being unfolded. The chain is just long enough (60cm) to wrap around one of Strida’s tubes and then around the other two. Securing it in folded position.
This prevents a thief from unscrewing the wheels and take the bike.
So, I will have to get an additional lock to secure it to a lantern or something.

It’s a cheap lock to make stealing the bike more time consuming. If they want, they will take the bike anyway. Every lock can be broken.

As Abus put’s it in their bike lock catalogue: 
- Basic security for low risk situations
- Ideal for kid’s bikes (thanks for that!)

Oh, and a big plus? The lock comes in red to suit the colour style of my bike ^_^

Let’s kick it!
Strida Kick Stand

The Strida is a great bike, but doesn’t have a kickstand. You won’t be missing it most of the time. You’ll be riding the bike or wheeling it along.

But sometimes, like when you get home and park it in the garden, or when you visit friends and can park it somewhere safe. Then it would be great to just flip out a kickstand and walk away.

Good news, you can. Strida offers a kickstand. However, I decided not to get one because of negative reviews online. Supposedly the stand would interfere with folding or snag your pants when riding it.

When I was in the store for a pair of pedals I saw the kickstands and thought, why not give it a go? They don’t cost a fortune and if I don’t like it I’ll remove it and put it on eBay or something.

As it turns out I’m really loving the kickstand. It’s easy to park the bike in the basement at work now. I don’t have to look for an empty spot against the wall now. I rode the bike for about 5km and it didn’t snag or anything.

Nor does it interfere with folding. I found one issue (if you would like to call it that). If you kick the wheel loose when unfolding it may hit the kickstand. The front tube doens’t swing that much forwards then. To be honest it doensn’t bother me much.

All in all I’m pretty happy with the stand. It makes my life a little easier and even though it adds a bit of weight to the bike I don’t notice it when I shouldn’t.

Oh, and if you’re not that technical you’ll have a real challenge using the instructions. All the instructions are provided on the box (last image). It basically just shows all the parts ^_^

Strida Tail Light
a light tale

I got a Strida a good a little while ago. If you don’t know what a Strida is you should follow here and see what it’s all about. Short version: it’s a foldable bike.

Since Strida’s don’t come with any lights and I do like to be visible at night I went on s search for a good tail light. Strida actually have a pretty tail light themselves so I got one.

It functions just as you would expect: press the button, light switches on.
It’s a bright light that is also visible from the side. This is by all means better than the €3,- lights you can buy anywhere these days. 

To be honest, those little lights are just an excuse to comply to the law and prevent you from getting a ticket. They don’t do much for actual safety in traffic. Don’t get them, it’s an insult really.

Considering that this light costs little less, only €10,- there is no reason to settle for less.

Okay, back on topic. The Strida light is very easy to mount and can be removed in a second. Just slide in on, or press the tab and slide it off.
The mounting socket is square, sou you can mount it horizontally and vertically.
Though I don’t think you will be removing this often, because the Strida is a folder you would keep it with you most of the time.

Strida didn’t cheap out on mounting options. Three mounts are provided. One for the main frame tube, one for the carrier bracket and one that replaces the rear reflector.

Personally I have replaced the rear reflector with the tail light. However, here in Holland rear reflectors are mandatory and not having one will result in a fine (when the officer is grumpy). I currently am investigating weather the tail light may dub as an reflector during the day. If not I will replace the reflector and move the light near the axle of the rear wheel.

To cut a long story short, for €10,- you can’t really get any better. Plus is is perfectly designed for the Strida to mount it in an unobtrusive way so It won’t interfere with folding or putting it on it’s stand.

Worn & Torn
Bent Strida handlebar lock

Second hand isn’t always the best solution. You should really know the product you’re buying to save yourself from potential disappointment.

But that’s not the story here. The left handlebar lock on my Strida is worn. What I suspected to be a bent tube handlebar (or lock knob) was in fact a worn locking hole. Either by repetitive unlocking the frame by ramming the handlebar or maybe the bike fell. I don’t know. And honestly I don’t really care anymore.

The fact is that the lock hole is worn out. Resulting in the left handlebar riding out when, riding. The bad part about this is that the lock part is not replaceable. Well, it is. You have to replace the entire front tube. Costly.

I contacted Strida about a new front tube and they were available. No problem. But I couldn’t ride my bike!

I decided to hammer the frame back in shape. Feeling like the smith I am not I took a hammer and started tapping. Gently, then harder. This won’t work. Even if you apply enough force to bend the tab you can’t control the direction enough.
I dug around in my toolbox and found a vice. The one you mount on your desk. Big, heavy, clumsy. But the vice easily applies the force needed to bend the tab and makes it very easy to shape it in the proper direction.

I locked the handlebar in place to bend around the brass knob, put an old t-shirt over the frame to protect the framework and applied the vice over the entire tube. Tightening the vice slowly and adjusting position when necessary.

The result is a pretty neat bend following the lock knob. And it does in fact lock in place again. However, bending aluminium comes at a price. Bending it compromises the material integrity and it weakens.
Because of this I would not recommend this as a permanent solution. 
But when you are in a pinch after an accident and waiting for your new tube to arrive? It makes your Strida ridable again.

Putting the metal to the pedal
Strida aluminium folding pedals

It’s about time I posted my Strida. I intended to post when I completed the bike, but I couldn’t wait.
The first image is the bike as I got it, the second with minir replacements made:
- aluminium pedals
- kickstand
- LED tail light

The Strida is a bit unconventional. It folds less compact compared to a Brompton or Dahon. Folded it’s about a meter long. This let’s you wheel the bike in front of you and staah it in almost any luggage rack. Or under your seat.

This particular model is a 5.2 and has 16” aluminium rims.

It’s a you to ride.

I had this one sitting in my concepts for too long.
I’m a huge fan of Harvest Moon and was overjoyed with A New Beginning.
I preordered it and was surprised bu the pre order bonus…
HAMA BEADS
What am I supposed to do with Hama Beads?
I’m off ayinh HM for now.

I’m an asshole now

I travel a lot by train. And I like it, especially outisde traffic hours when there is plenty of room. Reading a book drinking a cup of coffee or just listening music an looking out of the window. Maybe writing a blog entry or two.

But there are some things that annoy the hell out of me. People who think that your bag is a seat, all they have to do is ask. Or people who *shhh* everybody in the Silence area. I know it’s a silence area, but if you tell everybody to shut up at the slightest sound you are the one annoying every body.

At the top of the list are people who eat oranges or mandarins. This will result in the entire carriage stinking of orange even after you finished your bloody orange.

Below that is a special group travellers: the folding bike people. Don’t get me wrong, I have no objection against folders. When folded they are like regular luggage and that regulation applies. Als long as they don’t take up a seat or block doors it’s okay.
However, most members of the Folding Bike People Tribe are a bit off. They lock bikes to doors, block doorways unfolding bikes. Don’t or partially fold bikes. Place drive chains against your pants leaving you with grease marks. This is asocial behaviour that can’t be justified by having a folding bike. I know folders can be expensive and you would like to keep an eye on the bike. Just fold it properly and put it in a luggage rack.

And this is were it goes wrong. A lot of folders aren’t compact enough and too heavy to take on a train or simply to complicated to (un)fold.
Missing a train because you need to fold you bike sucks, but that’s no reason to take an unfolded bike on the train. Or unfolding the thing in a crowded train.

So, why am I an asshole now ? Not for writing this entry. Nor did I kick a member of the Folding Tribe in the face. Even though maybe I should.

No.

I bought a folder myself!

It’s a Strida 5.2. And don’t fret, I will remain a gentleman on the train. Even with bike. ^_^