17 Jul 2014

New 650b Tires - uudet 650b renkaat

Today i mounted new tires. Even i have not been big into tire selection, i have to admit that the quick 30 km ride was a joy. The tyres not only  felt much more comfortable also bringing the bike up to speed and keeping a steady pace was so much easier, compared to the puncture protected Panaracer / Soma new xpress 38mm. I guess the reason is the tyres suppleness and a 50gr weight reduction per tyre, that makes the difference. 

I´m sold.

Compass / Panaracer Loup Loup Pass 38mm


13 Jul 2014

to porvoo by train

Inspired from the last trip to Jokela and the very nice roads in the countryside i wondered why i never thought about the possibility to take a train out of Helsinki to a nicer spot. The most boring and time intensive part of a ride is usually to find your way out of the crowd. Countless traffic lights, cycle lanes are interrupted by roads crossings e.c.t. and when one has driven the citys outward leading roads over and over again it gets boring. 

Today i took the commuter train to Kerava with my intension to get over the nice countryside roads to Porvoo city

That's what i came for

I had a little fight with a strong wind against me, but driving along the countryside made every effort worthwhile.

 Nice curvy roads with a lot of uphills and downhills.

old town


 Spring and early summer has not been cycle friendly this year. Not that rain hurts me, but one can think twice when it is cold and raining. After a days work it is not too appealing going out into chilly rain. 

Over the last week, now with a sunny mind, i started to gradually increase distance.
30,50,60 and now happily approaching 100km without much feeling of riding against myself.

A friend of mine, a great bass player and vinyl record collector, and his wife, moved out of the Helsinki noise, into an small town idyll, to Jokela. I had not visited the place before and decided to try to meet them on Wednesday by surprise.

The trip to Jokela-town went over known roads to Järvenpää where i stopped at my spouses parents home for coffee, pie and ice cream. With my father in law ( avid cyclist himself ) we left together so he could show me the way where to continue to Jokela.

 And what a nice scenery. Jokela is nothing much to speak about but it has some very nice old parts and a prison.


 Back on track, Kari showed me where to take a nice road to over Kellokoski.to Järvenpää.
At Hyrylä i stopped for water and, because it was already late, decided that i take the train from Kerava back to Helsinki. What i didn´t realised is that Kerava is not too close and i could as well have cycled back to home. 


9 Jul 2014


Summer is finally here. 
Spring started very disappointing, only rain and cold, 
till now.

11 Jun 2014

Nami Nami!

It´s so nice

The nicest part with the new bike, especially the tyres, is that it will not stop whatever the roads surface.
Going along my favoured forest paths is easy and predictable. On asphalt  the bike is astonishingly quick.
The other day i drove into a good head wind and wondered why i just wont get forward. I switched my cycle computer on (forget that almost after every stop) and realised that i was going 32kmh. 
With the bigger tyres one does not feel the speed because the road surface seems to disappear. Its like gliding along. Also, turns at speed are very surefooted. While in a turn it seems no problem changing line or going around potholes.

With my Bob Jackson it is a bit painful at lower speeds, especially with a handlebar bag.
One feels like having to constantly counter steer to keep the line. With the lowish trail geometry that is almost eliminated. At higher speeds (fastest was downhill 54kmh), no trace of speed wobble. I got very used to the downtube shifters that they´ll stay on.

 I cant wait for"better" tyres.
Tyre pressure, for now, on the Soma New xpress 650b 38mm. Front 3.5bar back 4bar.

The Front bag is a nos Manufrance bag from the 40´s-50´s with a little modification. But about that later.

27 Apr 2014

sunny weather a new bike a happy man

The Mercian arrived back. 

 As i had most parts it was just just about to build it up. Some parts will be changed  in near future, like the cranks maybe a longer stem and handlebars. The must have frontrack is still missing.

In this state:
Shimano dura ace 7800 10 speed,
rear/front derraileur, downtube shifters.
Ultegra 12-25 sprocket
Novatec light road hubs
velocity a23 650B rims
Soma/Panaracer new xpress 38mm 650b tires
Tektro cr 720 cantilevers
Shimano 600 aero brake levers
Gilles Berthoud Galibier saddle and stainless steel 50mm fenders.
Stronglight 46/34 impact crankset.
bbb pedals
 token bottom bracket.
Zefal bottle holder 
and my beloved Sigg bottle.
Nitto B135 Randonneur Handlebar

Despite the heavier stainless fenders, heavy crank and tough rubber, the bike is just 10.5 kg in weight, very nice. The firt impression after a short test ride is more then positive. Certanaly faster than i expected.
Steering is excellent.  The lowish trail of course is slightly more sensitive for unintended input, but diving into a turn at speed is very easy and predictable. Probably the lower bottom bracket height (around 260mm) and wide tyres ads control and a very sure footed ride. The downtube shifters have been on sale and I bought them only for temporary use. Still, so far they are easy to use and I might keep them.

23 Feb 2014

650b rims


650B rims are made from different companies but if your´e after a rim brake compatible one the selection is narrowed. Many rims are made for mountain bikes and mountain bikes do hardly use rim brakes any longer.

Velocity A23 650B

The velocity A23 in 650B available through Longleaf  Bicycles and Boulder Bicycle. The rim is nicely light and stiff with its semi aero profile.  28, 32, 36 hole. The brake surface is quite narrow, just the width of my brake pads. Its a tubeless ready rim so mounting and dismounting a tyre and tube takes quite an effort and the tyre is difficult to get seated with a hand pump on the roadside (one must use tubeless rimtape). The rim is now available with a polished finish.. This rim is happy with a good amount of spoke tension. +/-130kgf.
(width outside 23mm , inside 18mm , measured ERD 566mm, 425 g)

Ambrosio Keba

The Ambrosio Keba in 650B is made on commission from the Confrérie de 650  (information in English here). It´s not lightweight but a strong quality rim for touring with enough sidewall to last. Only 36 hole, machined sidewalls. xxcycle sells them. Tyres mount like they should, double eyelets (width outside 24mm , inside 19mm ,measured ERD 564, 610g)

Sella Berolinum / Schürmann Yak 19, 650b

The rim is very cheap but the quality seems well beyond what the price might suggest. There is a little ugliness in the inside of the rim which turned out to be a practical feature.

Instead of being drilled the hole is broke through the inside wall creating a barrier so that the nipples won´t fall between the walls when spoking. (looks Yak!! but works). Elsewise the finish is just as good as any other anodised rim and without any text stickers, single eyelets.  The only place selling it is Sella Berolinum in Berlin and is available in 32 and 36 hole. No problems with tyre mounting. Made in Germay (width outside 25mm , inside 19mm ,measured ERD 566, 500gr)