Sunday, May 13, 2012

Monocogular Saturday

Working on pedals, distracted by cog...

Working on the pedals on the Flatland Commuter (FLC) fixed gear w/rack (no fenders yet, have to remedy that soon for serious, sustained commuting action) in order to adjust the straps on the Power Grips. The concept of installing the Power Grips on the fixed gear commuter was that I won't have to deal with cycling shoes that are required with the clipless pedals that were on it. No special cycling-specific shoes equals one less thing to carry, or worry about, or buy. Since all authorities indicate that riding fixed requires some sort of pedal attachment in order to avoid shin-smashing or some other similar calamity, and since toe clips and straps have never been my favorite, Power Grips are going to get  a try-out. 

There's a stubborn simplicity-craving part of me that clings to the notion that since my commute includes zero hills with a total of about +-20 feet of elevation, I could get by with platforms alone, but the authorities have spoken.

I purchased the extra long size because the specs said I should based on my shoe size, but the extra longs were too long, so I needed to cut them shorter and punch some holes to shorten them up. The straps are leather-like if not actual leather, and lacking a leather punch, I scouted around OSG HQ for a suitable tool to punch or otherwise create said holes. While the Dremel rotary tool was considered strongly, followed by an actual drill, which may have done the job but may also have resulted in said strap wrapping up around the bit while smashing the attached pedal against my wrist or other bodily part, I ultimately just went out and bought a leather punch. Which, it turns out, is actually the ideal tool for punching holes in leather straps. Imagine that. Punch. Punch. Punch. Punch. Done. No Dremelling, no drilling with attending strap wrap-up and pedal smashing flesh gashing involved.

While finishing up the pedal job, I noticed that the rear cog, which was all silvery and shiny when I bought it, was looking totally black and grungy. Ditto the chain. Looks like I had a few more miles on the FLC than I thought. Using my preferred "Wipe it off with a paper towel until no longer grungy" method, I got them looking all silvery and shiny again, as in the photo above. With the wheel out of the frame and the bike in the repair stand in the bright light, I also noticed a few more spots of scratches and bare metal needing touch-up. I'm totally going with the "beausage" concept that it's better to protect the bare metal on the frame with a slightly off color than to leave it exposed to the elements. Two years short of 40, I feel it deserves protection over perfect color matching. A few more years in the Arizona sun will even that all out anyway. Eventually, it all looks like zinc chromate in the end, doesn't it?



  1. I purchased a punch a year ago to deal with leather straps on bike bags. That tool is a dream.

  2. I will be interested to hear about your Power Grips compared to toe clips or clipless. I plan to try the third route for a while.

    1. Steve initial results were good with the PGs, they become second nature quickly, and work with plain old shoes.


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