Rivendell Quickbeam

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A Quick(beam) Update

Friday, December 19th, 2014
Quickbeam
 Quickbeam on Beacon Hill

As the days get shorter and the temperatures lower I’ve found that I’ve been enjoying taking little short rides on my Quickbeam. I’m generally more of long exploratory ramble kind of guy, but I often set out late as the mood strikes.  In the winter that leads to my riding being a lot more utility based, or the occasional pre-planned more “epic” outing.  But since I’ve moved to the Beacon Hill neighborhood in South Seattle, I find short rambles in this still fairly new to me region to be a nice way to squeeze some riding into the minimal daylight.

The City in late autumn

The city as seen from Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill

Riding around Seattle, which is plenty hilly, on the Quickbeam I found doable but wasn’t loving it. So last spring right before I set out on tour I converted it to a three speed. I had a wheel built with a Sturmey-Archer S3x fixed three speed hub, to which I put on a freewheel cog. Then it was simply a matter of running cable up to a bar end shifter. I did take some care with this, using nice brackets where I could as this is a “permanent” change as far as I’m concerned.  With the tour looming I abandoned the project, nearly complete but needing a lot of fine tuning.  Well I’ve mostly got it dialed in now and I really love it as a three-speed.  It’s still a bit of effort to get up some hills and of course some of the steepest require the “fourth gear” (i.e. pushing) but that’s all part of the charm.  The Albatross bars have taking some getting used to, but I love just rambling around the neighborhood, perched up high checking things out.  Perfect right for running errands, or like on this day, just head out for a couple of hours in the dwindling late autumn sun.

QuickbeamAnother side of the 'beam

 

A Quick (beam) Update

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
A Sunday Ramble - Quickbeam
 A Quickbeam in the grass, alas

It’s been some time since I’ve done much riding on the Quickbeam. The winter months were much more suited toward the Atlantis what with it’s generator light, fat durable tires and ability to carry multiple extra layers of clothes.  Also while I’ve done the commute on the Quickbeam, climbing Capitol Hill isn’t really a good time on the single speed. Doable, but not going to make my top ten rides.  Also I feel I gave the drop bars a shot and while they were fine they didn’t blow my skirt up.  After ages of hearing Albatross handlebars talked up I decided that I was going to switch the ‘beam over to them.  I’d gotten the h’bars, stem, grips, brakes from Riv months ago and was just slacking on doing the work.  Well last weekend I finally did it.

A Sunday Ramble - Quickbeam in front of pool
 Quickbeam at Volunteer Park

Along with the the Handlebar changes I also put on a Nitto R-12 saddlebag support which you can sort of see in the above photo. You can see a bit of the rubber coated clamps on the frame and a bit of the stainless steel hoop. Follow the link if you want to see what this actually looks like.  I have to say it does the job – the pictured saddlebag was brushing the fender when I loaded it up and clearly it is kept away from that now.  After putting on these items, adjusting the brakes I headed out for a test ride.

A Sunday Ramble - Glorious cherry tree
 Glorious cherry tree

I road across Capitol Hill, to Volunteer Park which I rambled around taking pictures. I started off with the bars quite high on the ‘beam and stopped to adjust them several times. I’ll probably lower them a bit more and maybe experiment with the angle on them. I have to say the Albatross bars and the super upright position took some getting used to. I already prefer it to the drops I had on there, but so far mustache bars remain my favorite. I’ll give the Alba’s a good long shot though and see if I can’t get the perfect rambling bicycle going.

A Sunday Ramble - Carved whale fin sculpture with Quickbeam
Carved whale fin sculpture with Quickbeam

It really was a nice sunny, warm sunday afternoon, nice enough that after rambling around the park, I went out for Gellato. Then I headed back toward my apartment with a stop at a little (unnamed afaik) corner park near the Capitol Hill Juvenile Detention Center. At this park, which seems to be mostly a dog walkers park, there is the pictured carved whale fin sculpture rising out of the ground like an Orca just below the ocean surface. I live just a few blocks from here and as it was already cooling down as the sun sank below the cityscape I returned home.

More pictures from today’s ramble: A Sunday Ramble
More pictures of my Quickbeam: Quickbeam Set