Monday, February 29, 2016

The Mechanic

Throughout my entire life, with my fascination with automobiles and now bicycles, the question always lingered in the back of my head: Am I "the driver" or am I "the mechanic?" Automobile racing has existed ever since the second car was built, and as with any form of racing whatsoever, there is always the competitor on the front and the guy behind the scenes who keeps everything running. Nobody has time to be both at the same time, yet both are needed at all times. I have always loved riding, driving, and wrenching on my own vehicles and it has been unclear to me whether I was the driver or the mechanic.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

No Kash For Klunkers

This post is sort of a continuation of the Schwinnanigans post. To start it off, the red '64 Racer has been happily sold off to a Schwinn collector who happens to be going to school within walking distance of my parents' home. He and his father seemed equally knowledgeable and uninformed about the 3-speeds but I am glad the bike went into good hands. When they arrived, they already had a green '72 Speedster, just like mine, under a blanket in the car. They asked for a few tips regarding shifting, lubrication, and adjustment, which I was glad to provide.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Show & Tell: Sturmey-Archer AW turns 80

Alas, the first post of 2016. I did not intend to be absent for so long, but this semester of school has been particularly grueling.

Sturmey-Archer has been producing the AW 3-speed internal gear hub continuously since 1936. To be more accurate, the company, now owned by Sun-Race, modified the design in the '80s to get rid of the neutral space between 2nd and 3rd gear but for all intents and purposes, the hub is still very similar. The AW was the most commonly-used 3-speed hub up through the 1990s which is a true testament to its bulletproof design. It wasn't until recently that Shimano, a long time competitor, finally exceeded Sturmey-Archer in the frequency of 3-speed hubs used on new bikes.