Cog Blog

Sunday Ride

My first decent ride since my bike accident, thought it would be a good idea to bring the GoPro along and get some footage. This is only half the ride. I have most of the other half. Because the GoPro died after we got to the cafe on the last leg of the trip and then started to part ways.

Total trip distance was about 38km for me. We went from Guell Bicycle store in Nara City to the Shirakawa-Dam in Tenri. Along the way we picked up an extra rider. About 14km to the Dam. Then after that we went to the Savas cafe in Nara City. Then back to Guell.

After Guell 4 of us went to the Nara Keirin Track. If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen a few pictures from the ride already. It was a good day even though it was cold and it felt great to be back on the bike riding decent distances.

I’m looking forward to the next ride, and to warmer weather.

It was nice to make some new friends and great to hang out with the old ones.

If you guys like you should go and check out some of the blogs that the other riders have.
Danny on the crazy Fuji rock hopper is over at Kinki Cycle

And Guell has a blog run by Toshio and Susumu (in Japanese though)

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Trip to Kyoto

I’m not sure why I never posted this.  I think I tried to and got side tracked or maybe I just never got around to it.  Not sure.

So what happened was I got all packed up one morning on a day off in the second week of October.  Charged up the battery on my camera.  Charged up my phone.  Started packed for the trip.  Getting the bike ready.

When I rode across Kyoto and got to the first attraction and realized I had left the battery for my camera at home. (-___-)
At that point I had pretty much lost the motivation for the day.  But I did take a few photos with my phone and tried to save as much battery life as possible because I also wanted to do a video while I was there.   So after riding all the way across town again I stopped at the river and made a video.  And then went on to see one more attraction.  After that I learned that Kyoto is BIG.  And I’d never do that again.

Not to just run around the city in one day.  I’d do better with the train or bus.  Its just not worth the time.  The city is simply too big and way too mountainous.  I do want to go back to Kyoto however once it warms up a bit and see the sights that I didn’t see.

So without further ad-due here is the video

And a few pictures


And that is but a small selection.  If you follow me on instagram you got the full taste of it.  Sorry I wish there was more, but I didn’t have my camera battery. (T-T)

Categories: Big In Japan, Cog Blog | 2 Comments

Evolution of Donatello

So has it really come down to me posting once every month? SHEESH!

I posted on Sept. 10th about my new headset. WOW.  Since then BIG changes.  I wasn’t joking when I said big changes were coming.  But its been 4 months.

So before it looked like this.

Then in October I changed the rear wheel.  And that started a chain reaction.  Cranks, saddle, seatpost, stem, bars, front wheel, extra set of wheels.

Here is a picture after I changed the rear wheel only.

So I have a picture here somewhere after I changed the rear wheel, cranks, seat, and front wheel.  This is when I took a ride to Kyoto.  I have a video on TheCajunGaijin Channel about that.

I have a full set of the front wheel.  Rough Pista hoops with black DT spokes laced to StarFucker Mohican Hubs.  SMOOTH.  But I only use them for long distance riding and I am putting a set of 25c tires on them.

The back wheel is a H+Son TB14.  In the picture its laced to a Rizing hub.  But I later relaced it and a front just like it to a set of Starfucker Mohicans also.  Which you’ll see in the next picture.  Polished spokes and Purple nipples.   Also added drop bars.  And another new saddle.

Upclose of the wheel and purple nipples because they are sexy…

I apologize that for the last two pictures I don’t have nice high quality photos.  I haven’t been out to take a picture of the bike lately.  ITS REALLY COLD!!! I rode today for the first time in a week.  And its like 4*C out. This weeks low is -1*C all week.

Dunno when I’m going to be able to go out and get more photos.  But I wanna do another bike check soon for youtube.

I’ll make a post about the GoPro ride soon.  I need to redo the video.  I didn’t put any music to it and its just kinda boring.  So I’m going to redo it.  So hold tight for that.  Thanks for visiting.

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New Headset

So I got a new headset on the bike.  Took of the DiaTech Ball Bearing headset and put on a Ritchey Logic® Headset full sealed titanium bearings.  Not only is it lighter but it looks alot better too.  And its smooth as butter.
























I’ve just about Skidded my way through the back tire all ready.  Mostly due to the hills/mountain here. Nara City itself is located on the side of a mountain. So I ride up the mountain when I go into town but down it when I come home.

I say that though because I hadn’t really noticed that it was bothering me until I rode home on the wet roads last night and realized I have almost 0 traction on the rear tire last night.  NO GUSTA!

BUT I have another upgrade coming very soon.  And I’ll either have a wheel/wheels up for sale or I’ll be building another bike and selling that.  We’ll see what happens.


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Leader 722 Heritage Edition

So I got a new bike.  And its time to do my bike check. So here are the pictures and then I’ll do a part rundown.

Frame: Leader 722 Heritage Edition (Green) 58cm
Cranks: Sugino RD2 (White) 170mm – Sugino 44t Chainring
Pedals/FRS: Animal Hamilton PC (Purple) – Burro Bags straps “Reggie” (Purple)
BB: Diatech
Chain: Izumi
Wheel Rear: GranCompe Fix/Fix (Black) 120mm – Mac spoke (polish) – H+Son SL42 MBS (White) – Victoria Randonneur 700x28c
Wheel Front: GranCompe (Black) 110mm – Mac spoke (polish) – H+Son SL42 MBS (White) – Victoria Randonneur 700x28c
Seat/post: Resist Icon Pivotal (Black) – Sadio (black) seat post
Headset: Diatech 1 1/8″ Integrated Ball-bearing (Black) – Purple spacers
Stem: Leader Plisken
Bars/Grips: Nitt0 259AA Risers (Polish) – ODI Longnecks (Purple)
Fork: Leader S803 V.2 Chrome
Brakes/Levers: Diacompe Brakes – Diacompe levers (Polish) Tubing (black)  In Japan the law is 2 brakes all times or 50,000¥ fine.
Lights: Knog Blinders (Gunmetal/Black)  These are awesome because they are waterproof and rechargeable.  SO BRIGHT!!!

To be honest the only things I really can say I’m disliking is probably the fork because its a little heavy so I’ll probably go carbon eventually.  But it gets the job done.

The headset gets the job done also but I will change it to a sealed bearing headset soon.  Its just that at the shop when we built it the only sealed bearing headset he had on hand was a ChrisKing and I wasn’t dropping the money on that.  Its just too ridiculously expensive and not worth it.

I’m also going to change the wheels eventually.  I want to go with a box type wheel in either polish or black.  Something like that H+Son TB14 and the new Resist Nomad 28c in gumwall.  Oh so sexy.

Here is a few shots from out and about while exploring.

At Heijo Palace Restoration Site.

The Todai-ji Great Bell

Chillin with the deer at Todai-ji

So far the longest ride I’ve done is about 15km one way.  From Nara City to Tenri.  I’m trying to get back into a condition where I can ride more.  I’ve got a pretty low gear right now 44/17 but I’m thinking I’m going to change the chainring to 46 so I can get a little more top end.  I have a few hills but for now I need to condition myself more to just not be a wuss and ride up em.  if I go up to the 46 they will be a little tougher but then at least I won’t top out as fast on the streets and going down the hills.

Here is a video I shot for my bike check.  Check it out.  Its just a quick video that a friend helped me with.  So its not perfect by any means.

Also check out my setup on PedalRoom.  Up to date info goes there.


The boys at Guell Bicycle Store in Nara.  Without them this wouldn’t be possible.
Leader Bikes
The Heavy Pedal  I need more stickers! and I need to pick up one of those new shirts.
Burro Bags.  I love my straps and I need to pick up a messenger bag when I get a chance

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Cog Blog #3

I didn’t think I’d be making any more of these until I was in Japan, but I had to ride.  I need to loose weight and stay active.  Plus I was just getting used to being on a bike all the time.  So I heard that Wal-Mart had a $100 fixie.  So I went to check it out.  Not too bad.  Its a little small for me but it will do.  The cranks are shorter than I’d like and the bars were meh.  The pedals were junk and the tires need to be replaced.  So your thinking to yourself whats good about it?

WELL it does barspin a 700x35c  HAHA.  Seriously though I’m probably not going to be doing any 15 mile rides on this one so now that I’ve changed the bars to the ones I had on the last bike, and put my other pedals and straps on it. And swapped my pivotal setup onto it, its not too bad.  Longer cranks would complete the package but I guess you can’t have everything in a $100 bike from walmart.  Sadly the parts total worth is more than the bikes.

Anyway here’s a few snaps of my sister tooling around on it.  She rode it around the neighbor hood then decided to start practicing fakies…

These shots actually came out better than I thought with the camera on the phone.  I was just snapping them quickly.  So they aren’t the best.  This is before I changed the handle bars.  I should do something about the tires to make it a little easier to ride, but considering the tires are another $40/pair at least for the ones I want and its suppose to be a budget bike I can’t justify it.  Kids around here love the tires.  And its gets a lot of looks.  Not as many as the other bike.  But still quite a few.

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Cog Blog #2

So I’ve been needing to do this for awhile.  But I was waiting on my most kind photographer to upload some pictures after he was done with his editing.

About 2 weeks ago I finished building the bike.  I put about 80 miles on it roughly 128 Kilometers in a week.  Then when it was time to return home after hanging out with my brother and his roommate (Anthony) and our friend Tommy for a week, I was discussing how I was sad that the bike was so awesome but I was gonna have to sell it eventually because I wasn’t going to be able to bring it with me to Japan.  However I’d be able to use the money to buy a new camera for Japan and that would be awesome.  So Anthony had posted a picture of the bike and had mentioned that I might be selling it.  And that night someone said they wanted it and was willing to pay exactly what I was asking for it.

So yea.  SOLD.  Unfortunately I won’t be able to buy that camera yet though because I have to fly to Los Angeles now on the 30th for an interview for Japan.  And thats more important so the bike is paying my plane ticket and food expenses.  I can’t complain too much about that though I suppose.
If I come across any more cool bike info I’ll be sure to post it up otherwise my next cog blog is probably going to be in regards to my next build when I get to Japan.  I promise it will be way more awesome than this one if you’re into that stuff.

Anyway here is a quick bike check as its pictured.

Schwinn Racer Frame.  59cm (black)
Origin 8 Riser bars.  with ODI Longneck grips (Purple)
Cheap springer seat for comfort on long rides.  (brown)
Stock cranks KMC Chain (green)
Animal Hamiton Pedals (Clear Purple)
Burro “Reggie” Straps (Purple)
Velocity B43 Lime Green 700c Rims laced to Origin 8 hubs (black) DT spokes (black) black nipples
Freedom Elite ThickSlicks 700 x 25c
running an Origin 8 17t cog and 46t chainring.

Not pictured was a Black premium pivotal seatpost and Resist Icon pivotal seat in black that I never got to put on because I sold it before it came in.  I’ll just put them on the next bike.

Anyway here is the pics that Bobby took.  He’s a fantastic photographer and getting better all the time.

here’s a link to his flicker

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CogBlog #1

Here begins my biking chronicles.  I’m going to have this section and another one for cars as well.  People were asking about wether I would talk about the cars I saw in Japan.  And of course I would.  But since cycling seems to be becoming such a large facet of life I thought I should add it as well.

This weekend I’m going to Lafayette to rework my bike.  This week I managed to bend my rear wheel so now it waves at everyone when I ride.  However I have a new wheelset waiting to go on.  So I suppose that its not that big of a deal.  The new wheelset is triple walled so the chances of me bending them is pretty slim.

See originally the bike started like this.

 Then I added a few parts.

Then I added some green track pedals.

At this point I thought I was done.  I was planning to sell the bike because I’m moving to Japan so I wasn’t going to do any more work to it.  But because its a Racer it has a coaster brake.  I’m planning that the bike I build in Japan will be fixed gear.  So after riding for a few months and really enjoying it.  My friends and even my brother has decided that they also are picking up riding as well.  For fun and fitness.  Well they both picked up bikes that can flip flop fixed/free.  After riding their bikes and seeing that fixed gear isn’t hard to ride at all.  Infact its quite easy.  I thought It was finally time to buy a fixed wheelset.  And start practicing.  That way when I build a bike in Japan I won’t just kill myself trying to ride for the first time there.

So I’m going to be riding even more trying to get good at it while I’m here for the next couple of months and sell my bike to help fund the trip.  I’ll try to post up some pictures of the changes this weekend.  Its gonna be pretty drastic.  A little change in color scheme but not much over all.  And a change in bars yet again.  And maybe some pictures of riding around lafayette.

Also I’m going see Premium Rush next weekend.  The Fast and Furious of bike movies.  HAHA.

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