This Space for Rent

bizarre bicycle defect of the day

Spot the defect!

The Piled Higher & Steeper loop travels along many poorly surfaced back roads, which combines with my 26/25mm tires (26mm front, 25mm back) to make a fairly rattly ride. So rattly, as a matter of fact, that it vibrated (or finished vibrating) a poor weld on one of my el-cheapo silver bottle cages apart, and I then spent the next 77 miles fretting that the bottle in that cage would spontaneously eject as I vibrated along the rest of the loop.

I thought about firing up the torch, setting the flame to disintegrate, then trying to reweld the aluminum cage, but that would have cost me about $5 in oxygen (tiny little non-refillable oxygen bottles. Bah. I need to get a full-sized rig and start brazing up bicycle frames so I can use cheaper refillable bottles) which is approximately $5 more than it would cost me to drag out the old neon green bottle cage that used to be on the trek before Mama took my Kodachrome away.

The neon green will contrast nicely with the zip-ties I’m using as wiring harnesses.

Update: It turned out that I also had a Bontrager (from the days just before the colossus of Waterloo absorbed Bontrager’s company, I think) custard yellow bottle cage, and it’s not assembled with a one-piece mounting plate and two ribbon welds. It may be more durable, so I’ll use it instead.


Neon green Al or neon green some-sort-of-resin?

If you’ve got that much rattly, I’d be worried about old resin fly-to-pieces failure modes.

Also, it’s hard to see how any kind of road tyre would really help with a bad road, other than by not failing; I’ve had 40mm hybrid and 28mm road tyres on the same bike and found that the difference wasn’t the degree of rattle, it was how hard the initial shock was. The hybrid tyre was a better impulse spreader but the total transmitted energy seemed about the same.

Graydon Sun Apr 10 09:39:14 2011

Well, in either case it would satisfy the “less than $5” checklist item for a replacement bottle cage :-)

There’s a local bike co-op that apparently sells anodized cages for $1.50, too, so unless I went out and bought a handful of steel bottle cages and committed to firing up the torch to fix them whenever they failed it’s still cheaper than running the torch is.

David Parsons Sun Apr 10 13:30:44 2011

“colossus of Waterloo”?

And then I figure out that there’s a Waterloo, Wisconsin. The idea that Bontrager had anything to do with Research In Motion would have been just too surreal.

Graydon Sun Apr 10 19:23:21 2011

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