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A-bike came into my heart

June 27th, 2007

A-bike model(KR), Lynna

Angel-House Party for Strida owners

June 25th, 2007

There was a Strida owners’ meeting in KR on 23rd June 2007. About 60 Stridas and 3 A-bikes were there. We ran 25km at average speed of 17km/h. To follow Stridas, I had to pedal madly. That was agony to me.

After the group riding, Angel-House Party began !!  A beautiful Strider, Ms. Angel thankfully invited me to her house. We were very happy together ;)

  1. YouTube video (Click below picture to see the memorial video)
  2. Photo collection (click below picture to see all photos)

Spiral Jetty.

June 23rd, 2007

My A-bike’s rear wheel has a strange spiral scrape on its right hand side. It was a minor scratch at first, but it seemed growing bigger day by day. It was an unsolved mystery until this morning.

A topic talking about loose chain inspired me to do a little checkout on secondary (lower) chain when I was pumping tyres (I do pump A-bike’s tyre every weekend). Then I found the tyre scraper. It was the secondary chain!! To be more precise, it was chain-connecter-pins!!

The chain has gotten loose to compare to its first state, but it’s not loose enough to set chain tensioner to “H”. I’m not sure why this is happening. Could it be my rear tyre was bigger than usual? No, I don’t think so. Maybe the chain I got was a rough one? mmm… Since A-bike’s gear box has a very simple fool proof (well, more or less) structure, it seems more puzzling. Anyway, the chain pins gave the initial bite on tyre for sure.

Current state of the scraped tyre suggests I’d better get a new tyre and maybe another #25 chain just in case. I shall e-mail Mayhem to seek some advice on this. They may know what’s going on here.

I setup a new topic on this, so if you have same experience, please share it there!

Seoul get-together for A-bike owners

June 19th, 2007

There was a get-together for A-bike owners in Seoul, KR on 17th June 2007. At the day, two A-bike racers participated in the 3rd Seoul bicycle rally and overtook many MTBs on an uphill road.

  1. Youtube video (click below picture to see a video)
  2. Photo collection (click below picture to see all photos)

A model for A-bike

June 14th, 2007

There is a model for A-bike in KR. As writing a new post, this people made a joke, “Look at my picture! How beautiful !! I want to be an A-bike model !!!”. That was the big mistake because the other members agreed readily.

In fact, we were surprised two times. First, the joke asked for trouble. Second, the fresh model was not a girl !! We believed that Lynna is a girl and maybe she is beautiful like her nickname until we looked at the picture.

This is the model for A-bike, Lynna.

(Lynna has a custom-built bag for A-bike but more expensive than his A-bike.)

A-Bike programme on TV tonight!

June 10th, 2007

badger.jpgWow, that was interesting! One of those incredibly serendipitous events. Firstly I rarely watch television at all, and secondly it was an obscure television programme on an obscure channel, neither of which I’d heard of before!

I was in the kitchen and just happened to turn the television on. As usual there was nothing interesting so I decided to flip through a few channels on this new digital TV box, and suddenly found myself looking at an A-Bike Smile The programme turned out not to be about A-Bike itself, but was in fact far more interesting than that.

The programme was called “Badger or Bust” and it was on Sky Three (Sky 3) at 8pm-9pm. I was very lucky, I only missed about the first 10 minutes.

Basically, it’s one of those increasingly common reality TV programmes. This one seems to be about a management consultant (or just sales consultant?) named Ruth Badger, and her attempts to save failing companies. In this episode she was at Mayhem UK, distributors of the A-Bike.

The programme was set in November/December 2006 with the company in a very precarious state. At the start they’d apprantly only sold a few hundred A-Bikes in total since the launch and were deeply in debt! This was described as due to a dithering boss and a clueless sales team. I wouldn’t like to comment myself on that description except to say that they were very friendly and helpful when I visited them.

Ruth Badger managed to instill some changes and motivate the sales, so that they met their target of 5000 bikes by Christmas, and they got into several new shops including Hamleys and obtained a distributor in Eastern Europe. They met their deadlines for bank repayments and the company was saved. I’m sure that’s a slightly simplified version of the story for TV, but I really enjoyed it and even learned a few things about sales that I will try to implement in my own companies. I’ll even try to watch the programme again next week Smile

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any past episodes on YouTube, which means it’s unlikely we’ll find this one uploaded, but if anyone else saw it, please let us have your impressions. There’s a topic about it in the forum.
Here’s a couple of links I found about the programme:

It looks like the programme might be repeated tonight on Sky 1 at 11:25pm, although I think that’s subscription only. A-Bike fans please watch out for it!

Going button head.

June 7th, 2007

Stainless steel Button head bolts and Spring washers from eBay.

Ever since I installed clipless pedals to my A-bike, my trousers often gets catched by A-bike’s top-tube bolts around my thighs. It wasn’t anything fatal — Each catch only lasts for just a fiction of a second. However, it was utterly annoying!!

One of the causes for this nuisance is A-bike’s wide top-tube. While conventional bicycle (including MTB) has less than 5cm width for their top-tube (including outer cable), A-bike’s top-tube width is vast 7cm+!! The socket head bolts sticking out from the side of the tube definitely contributes here.

If you pay attention to your pedaling next time you ride A-bike, you may notice either the bolts scratching your thighs or your feet are on rather outer side of the pedals to avoid the bolts. As long as we use normal pedals, our feet are free, so the wide top-tube isn’t much of a problem. That’s why I never realised this until I went clipless.

Clipless pedals force our feet to be positioned right in the center of the pedals all the time. Thus, it’s more difficult for our thigh to pull out evasive maneuvre.

Anyway, I didn’t want to give up my Eggbeater pedals over this, so I replaced some of the top-tube bolts (edgy socket head), which interfere with my thigh movement, to smoother button head bolts .

Well, I replaced only 3 of 4 bolts so far…. I cannot remove the last one!! I’ve been applying Acetone to the stiff bit, hoping it would break the seal. Soaking the bit in acetone for overnight does extract some brown stuff (grease? Threadlock?), but the bolt is still as hard as a rock. Oh, A-bike factory, what have you done to it!!
I still seek advice on this at this topic in the forum.

At the moment, even though the mod isn’t completed, minimized top-tube width and smoothness of the button head works great. 95% less chance of my thighs get catched!!
(the 5% is the remaining bolt of course.)

The replacement parts for this modification are;

4 x “M5″ size “0.8” pitch button head bolts (2 x 16mm length and 2 x 8mm length)
4 x “M5″ size Spring washers
4 x “M5″ large washers (ext. diameter 15mm)

(I chose rust resistant stainless steel.)
*’Bolts’ are sometimes labeled as ‘Machine screws’ in some shops.
*10mm length M5 bolt canbe used instead of 8mm M5.
*Be careful not to mistake ‘large washer’ as ‘penny washer’. They are different.

Please note, button head bolts have somewhat weaker tightning strength than the socket head bolts of the same size, due to the size of the hex-key they use and the depth of their socket. I would not recommend to this bolt replacement mod. for other part of A-bike at the moment.

(Left) New button head bolt and A-bike original socket head bolt. (Right) Short bolt assembly for top-tube/seat-tube joint.

While A-bike original bolts are for 4mm Hex-key, button head bolts need smaller 3mm hex-key.

The screw assy. here is glued, but still manageable.

(Left) My A-bike with 3 bolts replaced on the left and normal A-bike on the right.
(Right) Soaking in acetone… please! get unscrewed!!