Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back in the day.

It's winter. So as I spend more time in my house I become increasingly aware of the junk that somehow took root in my house. Rosanna and I are purging clothes we don't need, dvd's, cd's, books, all the kind of stuff a person keeps around because it has some sort of nostalgic value but in reality is just trash cluttering up ones personal space. At the same time, I began doing a digital cleaning of my old hard drives and I stumbled upon some old rough cuts of the moped documentary I started and never finished.
Back in 2006 I was in a video art class, (I believe it was Video 301 or something) and our project for the semester was to make a documentary. I had a friend who was involved in the moped scene here in Seattle so I figured I'd give her a call and see what those scooter things were all about. I followed the Mosquito Fleet around and filmed them doing their thing for a while, I bought my own moped, went to a rally in Arizona, and generally just got to know some great people and had a lot of fun. Eventually, I became less interested in taping and more interested in fixing bikes and riding. I also had a serious lack of confidence as to where the doc was going so I have a few drastically different rough cuts of my footage.

I've currently exceeded my Vimeo limit for the week so I'll update this post later with another video.

Moped Doc Trailer from Joel Kvernmo

Moped Doc Arizona from Joel Kvernmo

Another video

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Making a disc brake.

A while back Rosanna was riding old red and gold maxi and kept mentioning how bad her brakes were. I must admit I didn't consider her concerns to be in urgent need of attention until I had an opportunity to ride the bike myself. What she described as "doesn't brake very well" was in reality a complete lack of brakes. It was a truly hair raising experience. I tried a few times to improve the brakes by sanding down the drums, putting in new shoes, changing out the brake lines, nothing seemed to improve the situation.

So, when Rosanna hatched her plan to build a custom Pinto, I was determined that her brakes be over built. I want her to be able to stop on a dime. So while many people are adapting motorcycle disc brake setups, I thought that I would adapt a mountain bike disc brake setup. There are a few reasons for this:
A) Bicycle disc brakes are relatively cheap.
B)The calipers come in very good quality cable operated versions. My plan is to use the stock moped levers.
C) The challenge, man!

The first task was to make an insert that would replace the existing brake hub. I managed to purchase some aluminum stock from online metals for about $10. I headed down to the wizard lair and turned the insert, drilled and tapped it. This was certainly the most time consuming part of the process.
So as you can see here, I have drilled and tapped for the disc, and I have drilled and tapped the insert to keep it from spinning on the hub.
And then here you can see Rosanna's beautifully powdercoated wheel has matching mount holes.
Here are all the parts. Up in the top right corner you can see the bracket I made for the caliper. The round hole mounts on the axle and the slot goes on the existing brake stop.
I still have a little bit of work to go before this wheel is complete, spacers need to be cut for the bearings and the hub insert and the brake caliper. But now that the wheel has been powdercoated we are a lot further along. Exciting!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Well hello mr. hoobit.

Phil gave me a hobbit. Well, by gave I mean I said, "How about I trade you my 2 speed hercules for the hobbit and your forks?" And he said, "Sounds fair, but how about I just leave the Hercules at your house?"
So now I have a hobbit. Which is great!
I took the hobbit over to Travis' garage the other day to see if we couldn't get'r running.
Travis was concerned about how much the rear wheel was dragging so we popped the freewheel off to access the brake plate and this is what we discovered.
So in the first photo, you can see on the left the brake drum liner that has separated from the brake hub, and then proceeded to swirl around and around within the hub. The second picture shows the mangled up brake shoes and somehow a large tangle of brake cable also got in there?
Travis was very amused.

The bike was originally missing some things, a tank, a petcock, an exhaust pipe, and brake shoes. But with Travis' generosity we scrounged up some spare parts and got it running. I still need to do a little bit of work on it, there's currently no lights and it needs a new rear tube, but all in all in should be a great little loaner.

DEATHped is still coming along, I've reach a financial impasse so hopefully on I'll be able to finish it up.