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I noticed a lot of play from my headset area and when you lock your front brake and rocked the bike forwards and backwards there was a loud clicking sound that was quite franking was freaking me out. Simple braking to slow my bike down and was terrifying at the thought that maybe the headset would give way, or worse the frame was too old (Some 10 years) and the headtube was gone. And so before a night cycling event for NTU Sportcamp, I brought my bike down to C2C.

There I waited for Nat to inspect my bike and try to find the problem, I suspected maybe the headset was worn. He tried finding the problem but couldn’t… So I suggested that I just leave it and get a whole new bike altogether…

Until Ben (Shop owner) came over and inspected… Than continued on to strip my headset (I think he had the idea that I just wanted to change the headset, might as well, $20 headset for 10 years about time). While taking off the stem cap, we saw the screw was slanted! On closer inspection when the stem cap was off, the star nut inside has actually corroded so much that one of the sides broke:

Ben threw in a free carbon spacer for me too! <3

New Ciari headset! Woo hoo! No more creaks!

Initially, just wanted to go eat some black soy sauce hot & spicy large prawn noodles from my yesteryear poly days. Unfortunately, the stall is no longer there and there was a not so appetizing copycat taking its place.

Anyway, after the meal at Beauty World, I walked down the stairs to the bus stop. And, right there next to it were the KTM Tracks… I thought… Might as well go visit em.

Just before I made it to the tracks I saw this:

Seems like your everyday market bike parked by the railings… But behold! A DIY U-lock of sorts!

The owner must have lost a bike once… A thick looking cable lock, his DIY U-lock, and a chain lock at the back. Bike theft in Singapore is crazy!

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Whenever I think of my market bike which I park downstairs at the common void deck, I keep thinking about more deterrence. Whenever I do something, whether it’s changing the suspension fork to a rigid fork, or the adding a cable lock to secure the saddle it just makes my bike less attractive to the thieves…

 

I read bikehacks.com, on how to secure bike parts. And one of the methods is using some solder to fill in the hole where you would normally insert a allen key to remove the bolt. According to their post, it can be expensive if you don’t have the parts. Well, as an engineering student I had the tools:

After I was done:

 

In case you don’t have the tools, you can also try this.

Or if you are feeling rich, this will do you good:

A special product that replaces most bolts into one that only a special key can open. No more stress about that quick release part you whole no ones notices…

What is a Bike Trials?

“Mountain bike trials, also known as observed trials, is a discipline of mountain biking in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without setting foot to ground.” -wikipedia

What about a Trials Bike?

“Trials bikes are often designed without regard for attaching a seat. Competition riding does not require the rider to sit down and the omission allows for a lighter bike which interferes less with the body movements of the rider.” -wikipedia

 

Ok, so the story goes that ever since I was in secondary school… Some 10 years ago, I loved the idea of riding Trials. But never had the money to buy a proper Trials Bike. When I was trolling Togoparts.com/marketplace for a mountain bike (Another story), I saw a Trials Bike for sale @ $250

I jumped at the chance and contacted the Seller to view, next thing I know I now own the bike and I have to ride the bike back from Pasir Ris. Well, taking a cab would have been much easier, but where’s the fun in that!

So without a seat, super low gearing, fat tires and a rather feminine paint job. I set off!

… A very short while later, I set down at a bus stop huffing and puffing… How do those guys in mountain bike races continue on when their seat posts have gave way? Mad!

At my second pit stop along Old Tampines Road… The afternoon sun is getting to me…

Along Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 the last stretch home… By now my wrists, ankle, arms, calves were all complaining… Hot and dripping with sweat…

Only on the next day, did I find out what kind of work out riding in the standing position gave me. The whole body was aching but I felt good, it was only in the army days where one would find your entire body aching! haha. Awesome ride. Now to recuperate and do some Trials!

Commuted down down to Promenade MRT today, took only about 30 mins. Was going really slow too, other than the burning sun. Its all good. And since there was no bike rack in sight (pretty common in town), I looked around for a railing and locked my bike promptly. Might as well take a few pictures to show my point.

 

 

Remember, inside the rear triangle!

I always tell people to place the U-lock inside the rear triangle of the bike, more specifically, slide the lock right into the rear triangle wrapping the tires than onto a railing or bike rack. Note though, if the bike rack is the hdb kind…. You will have to lock your bike horizontally, taking up many slots instead of the usual just the front or back wheel in.

For a slightly more secure lock, include the chain as well.

Why this method? If the theft would like to remove the rear wheel, the theft wouldn’t be able to do so, because obviously you have your u-lock wrapped around them. But let’s say your rear wheel is quick release, oh no! But fear not with this method the theft, even if he released the quick release wouldn’t be able to get the wheel off the bike since you locked it through the triangle.

Now why just the wheel? Let’s explore the options, suppose your u-lock is unbreakable (the toughest there is), the other way to get your bike is the cut the frame. But what is a bicycle without the frame? The wheels than, the theft will cut that! But hold on, how to you cut tires? Tough rubber that were designed to withstand cuts from glass or worse! Some tires even have wire bead or kelvar in them, it would certainly be a ridiculous chore to cut through those! And after the tires? The rims! being almost solid metal cutting thought would need a power tool or equivalent and once you do actually cut through the rims, the tensions in the spokes will be released violently probably poking the theft in his eye seriously injuring him.

Well go on then, lock your bike well :)

Btw, that is my new tri-athlon bike! Sweeet, haven’t got much chance to ride it though.

 

Was changing my commuter’s tires and when I pumped up the the tube with the other set of tires, air was leaking pretty bad! How unlucky! I felt the underside of the current tires but nothing was found… Searched the old tire and found a nasty looking torn:


Apparently, this torn had already penetrated the tube. but because it was such a snag fit no air was leaking previously! Until I pulled out the tire, the torn dislodged itself against the tube. Strong tires or strong tubes? Anyway with no spare tube insight, I decided to leave my bike like this:

 

And I went home to patch the tube and fix it out the next day, cheers.

Some 180 kilometres later I’m back at home, discovering parts of my leg aching that have never ached before! Thinking back…

I slept at around 2 am, after tinkering with my bike; adding a WOHO classic roll bag, changing my tires to Scwalbe Big Apples inflated to 70 PSI, platform pedals to SPDs, brand new brake pads (after discovering mine were pretty worn out while I was changing the tires which I went down to my local bike shop Chapter 2 Cycle to get), woke up at 3.20am there abouts and made my way to Marsiling MRT cutting through Mandai rd via the new unlighted park connector to woodlands ave 12.

Brake pads: Becareful! Once the indicators are gone(left one has no more grooves right one still has some) would mean serious wear on your rims and much less braking effect!

At those hours, the roads before Kota Tinggi were pitch black and was quite an experience to ride in. We had a brief breakfast and pushed on to try to get to Sungai  Rengit before 12.30pm and push onto to the ferry terminal before 2.30pm to secure a ferry back to Sg.

Can you spot the low lying hazard?

I was clearly struggling to keep up with the roadies and a inhuman guy on a full suspension bike with knobbies, at the junction of Route 92 & 90 a choice was given to opt for a more scenic but longer yet flat route of 35km filled with hard headwinds or a hilly but shorter less scenic 28km route absent of headwind. Every cell in my body wanted to take the easy way out, but dang scenery is everything to me! And that the route was flat had to be a major draw!

The only two MTBs on the journey

In the end, it had to be the toughest ride and had embarked on! The pressure to make it in time, my slow bike, my weak legs, the strong headwind, the scorching sun, everything was out to slow me down. And persevered and thankfully my buddies decided to let me draft them to make up for lost time. We had to the 35km strech in 1.5 hours that would mean a 20km/h average speed. Sounds easy? But thats after I did a 90km ride here!

We made it to Sungai Rengit just before 1pm for a quick lunch, “The Shig” suggested we pass him our passports so he can leave early so as to have a better chance at securing a boat back to Sg. A really wise decision on his part as, as it would turn out we got the last available ferry back to Sg! Phew!

The Boat ride back: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150237952626283&comments

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The Storm had made the waters really chopy…

The longest ride of my life, so far. Shiok!

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=3314905

Above is a link from a local forum in hardwarezone singapore, a famous place for young teens to voice out their dismay and to look up on the latest gossips. Anyway, not so long ago when people on the forum was talking about cyclists, in 9 out of 10 posts, the members always discussed how cyclists need to pay road tax and that they don’t belong on the road.

Well there are still those people around but many are now of cyclist defending themselves. It is really something to have a perspective on both sides of the wall, and it takes things like this that show that Singapore is becoming a better place for cyclists however slow it may be.

 

A shocking post from “crossair” reads:

“Cyclists keep saying why can’t the car wait and overtake safely. However it is not the matter of one car. It creates a tailback in the lane the cyclist is in because vehicles are queuing, a few vehicles behind, the situation can be quite chaotic and dangerous as those cars cannot see what is causing the slowdown. In fact in UK, it is called a queue and cyclists routinely pull over onto the kerb to let vehicles through.

Ultimately, everyone will have to recognise that roads are predominantly ruled by cars, hence the dangers to bicycles are inherently present.

Both parties need to play their part to ensure the safety of everyone.”

 

I’m not sure about “cyclists routinely pull over onto the kerb to let vehicles through”, in fact i could bet my money that it is quite the opposite! Seeing that cycling in UK is more common and socially acceptable, with better infrastructure like cycle lanes and laws.

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