nice shop bike

nice shop bike
Boulder Bicycle Lugged

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Leica Camera Fun for Cyclists (and anyone else) - mechanical perfection!

Leica Fun for Cyclists - act Now!

If you are like us, you enjoy mechanical products that are beautifully made.  We often like to shoot film.  It is a visceral experience.  You stop, take the camera out of the handlebar bag, compose the image, and snap!  The feeling of mechanical precision we find using old Leica cameras is something many folks may never experience. 

But is shooting film impractical?  Not at all.  There are better film emulsions available now than were commonplace 20 years ago.  Current Kodak Ektar film is perfect for landscapes with its rich color and extreme exposure latitude.  On sunny days the F8 to F11 at film speed (Ektar is 100) gives near perfect results just about every time.  

And developing - go to many Costco locations and they process, print, and give you a scan disc of the images!  So within a day you have internet ready JPEG's, and a negative that won't get lost when your hard drive explodes.

But what Leica to buy? We love the old screwmount Leica's for their compact size.  Right now, Tamarkin Camera in Chicago has a small quantity of Leica iiig's - the ultimate screwmount Leica, for sale.  They were certainly well used, but they have all been CLA'd (clean, lube, adjusted) so are ready to shoot.  It is rare to find affordable Leica iiig's - they made a special purchase to get these. They will probably last many lifetimes!  If you pair the Leica iiig with one of the smaller collapsible Leica lenses (the 3.5 elmar 50mm is our favorite) the result is a camera and lens that can fit in many large pockets.  An mechanical and optical tour de Force!

So if interested, contact Tamarkin photo at (800) 289-5342 and have Dan set you up with an ultimate camera pacage!  Or, visit their website: click here for Tamarkin Camera

Monday, May 12, 2014

Box Section Rims - Walking the Tightrope with High Dish Wheels

Hardly a day goes by when we don't get asked about rim selection.  As our customers tend to be "traditionalists" they want to get our opinion on using a box section rim on a high-dish wheel because they love the looks of classically styled rims.

Unfortunately, we just can't give the go-ahead for classic box section rims on modern high-dish setups. There is a reason that major manufacturers stopped using classic section box rims when high-dish wheels became the norm. It is just too delicate of a balancing act to get a wheel with enough tension that the non-drive spokes aren't "too loose" while at the same time the tension on the drive side spokes won't crack the rim at the eyelets.

Of course, if the rim is heavy enough, this isn't a problem.  But that isn't much fun...

We won't say that box rims and high dish can't be done, but we really like having wheels that aren't "on the edge".  Plus, many of the wheels that seem fine even after a year or so may develop cracks a bit later on.  And on some lightweight box rims, the failure can be rather sudden and dramatic.

Rims that are aero or semi aero are much less prone to eyelet cracking (or cracking around the spoke hole if there are no eyelets).  The rim may distort a smidge under tension, but it doesn't actually fail.

And some classic box rims often are made with drillings that make the dish issue even worse!  If the eyelets are significantly staggered from center, there may be even less bracing angle on the drive side then there would be if the spoke holes are staggered just a little bit.

For these reasons, the use of an OC (off-center) rim really makes sense.  It is possible to get non-drive tensions that are much more reasonable.

Of course, if you use a 135mm space rear (which isn't easy with Campy hubs) or if you are using a more retro set-up with lower dish wheels, then the classic box section rims make sense.  It just comes down to using the right parts for the right application.