The best bike is the bike you ride!

My overwhelming philosophy since I started in the retail cycling business is that a bike is only as good as the amount it gets ridden. Whether an issue of fit or practicality, a bike needs to make its owner want to get out and use it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I found the article below from a friend on Facebook, and in reading through it, it's really astonishing to me that more people don't bike to work.   But, that's part of my mission at Green Path.    Everyone should own and ride a bike, whether for recreation or transportation, it's got some pretty incredible (and quantifiable, per the link above) benefits!

So, get on your bike, or get a bike, and USE it!  Ride to work, ride to play, or just plain ride for fun.  It's all good.  Really, it is!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

As promised....

The Trek is completed!  It's a gorgeous bike, even though I'm not usually wild about the color silver, it has some nice understated, classic graphics, and the Velo Orange stuff lends a bit of polish to the bike.  With the triple butted steel, it rides as nice as it looks, and with new tires and the fresh tune, it's going to stay that way for a long, long time to come.

Pictures are here:

Come and get it!    It's priced at $400.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Some new inventory!

Well, despite the holidays, I've had some time to finish up a project in the shop and have also decided to sell my city bike, as I'm relacing it with something a little different.  Change is good, and it'll be fun to build up another city bike, so it's on the market!

First, the Sears Austrian is now for sale.  It's an older Sears, 3 speed, made in Austria by Steyr.   This model was very well made with high quality steel, far better than many other Sears bikes, and has been completely rebuilt.  The rims are now Sun CR18 alloy rims, so they are lighter and stronger, with hubs from Sturmey Archer.  The rear is a 3 speed/coaster brake and new as of about a year ago, and the front is a dynamo/drum brake hub, with the heavy duty 90mm drum on the front.   It has B&M lighting front and rear, plus a Civia Loring rear rack and a Wald basket on the front, and a broken in Brooks B67 with the matching leather grips.  Naturally, it also has Velo Orange hammered fenders on it.

It's been an excellent utility bike for getting groceries and other errands, plus pulling my daughter on the trail a bike, and it's designed for maximum utility.

Pictures are here:

It's priced at $550.

The second bike, and a very interesting and fun build, is an old Raleigh Record that's been brought back to life.  It has a new fork, and has Raleigh/Suntour derailleurs and shifters, DiaCompe brake levers, and a Super Mighty crankset.   The tires, cables, and Velo Orange saddle are new, and it sports some cool vintage Cinelli striped bar tape and some vivid derailleur cables, too.  It's a 54cm frame and has a fairly wide range of fit.

Pictures are here:

It's priced at $350.

There's still more coming, too.  The Centurion is still available, for now, and I've got a Trek Elance 310 coming, with a full Suntour Cyclone group and some new Velo Orange bling.   I'll have pictures and a full description of the Trek soon!

In the meantime, shoot me a note at if any of these bikes look interesting to you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An interesting new acquisition

Over the weekend, I had the good fortune to have my Dad help me get a new mountain bike off of CL.  I found an old Raleigh, listed as a "Mountain Tour", and I immediately recognized the SunTour thumb shifters and a Nitto bull moose bar/stem, so I was super excited to get the actual bike.

My dad picked it up for me and had it ready on Sunday, so after my cyclocross race, I got to see it in the flesh for the first time.  I had acquired a Raleigh Tamarack - a steel, fully rigid mountain bike, originally designed as a "mountain style 10 speed."  It had bolt on wheels, the aforementioned SunTour shifters and the bar, plus an apparently brand spanking new Shimano mega range derailleur (Tourney, I believe) and some really old, cheap looking mountain cranks and dry rotted tires.  In all honesty, my initial impression was a vague disappointment - the bike appeared to be cheaper than I had expected and lacking a dereailleur hanger and with the bolt on wheels, I was concerned that it might not even be off road worthy at all.

Usually, the arrival of a new bike is cause for much celebration, and the bike is immediately subjected to a complete once over, a thorough cleaning, and then some idle speculation on what the best use/upgrades might be, but in this case, being as I had just finished a cold, icy cross race and was trying to get some lunch and still make the Bronco game on TV, I merely unloaded it at home, putting the front wheel on finger-tight, and let it sit.

Today, having recovered a bit more from the weekend, and having a bit of time on my hands, I started to read some more about the bike on line - using google and reviewing old Raleigh catalog scans to find out that it's a 1984 model, and that it also appears to be a bit higher quality than I had expected.  Apparently, mountain bikes in 1984 had some substanitally different standards compared to the road bikes of the same era, and what might at first appear to be an indication of low quality (e.g. bolt on wheels) was actually compensation for the lack of a high quality quick release that was acceptable to use mountain biking. 

So, as I read more, I found out that my bike was initially sold with a leather portage strap.   I had observed a bolt in a brazed on hole towards the top of the seat tube, but I really had no idea what it was there for.   It was used as one end of a leather strap, about like a section of a belt, that ran from the seat tube to the top tube, so it'd be comfortable to carry your bike over obstacles.  Clever!

In addition, mountain bikes in the early/mid 80's were also designed to be a cross between a touring bike and what we think of as a true mountain bike - they have lots of braze ons for fenders, racks and so forth (and, as it turns out, carry straps!), and as I had thought that a good use of my new-to-me bike might be bike camping off road, it appears that I inadvertently made a really good choice of bikes for it.  It already has a nice older Blackburn rack on it, too - so I don't even need to buy a rack for my panniers.  Bonus!

And the biggest surprise, and, actually, an intersting twist, is that the bike rides on 650B wheels!  650B wheels are an odd size - in 1984 they were not uncommon as a touring bike size - but they are actually 27.5 inches in diameter, which puts them solidly between the 26 inch "standard" mountain bike size and the 29 inch size that is rapidly taking over the market.   In fact, there are currently more 650B mountain bikes being made - something that hasn't happened in some time - as the 650B wheel size is making a comeback.   Funny how my 27 year old mountain bike is suddenly more cutting edge - or at least is something that is being revived!    It's also oddly appropriate for me, as I've been a big fan of 29ers and an exclusive 29er rider now for several years, so having a 650B vintage mountain bike is perfect.

In any event, I'm in for a fun experiment.  An older MTB seems like it'd be great to ride with some of my less extreme riding partners, like my daughter or my sister, and that it might also be a fun bike to take on the trails of a place like White Ranch or Golden Gate to get to a backcountry camp site.  I can get some nice new tires for it, and get a good VO saddle, too, so it's comfy, and I can goof around on the trails in my blue jeans and hiking boots on my old six fiddy!

PS:  as a little inspiration here's a picture of the same model bike, dolled up by someone else.  I'm leanning towards a similar build for mine, only I'll have a nice rear rack!

The latest bikes for sale!

I've currently got two bikes that are available in the shop and ready to roll out the door:

1)  A 62cm Peugeot PH10L.  It's a nice sport tourer, ready to be set up for randos or just riding around town, or even just comfy road riding.  It's a bigger frame, but not quite as big as you might expect for a 62.  It's constructed of smooth Carbolite 103 tubing, and is overall in great vintage shape.  It has a new Velo Orange saddle, some hand stitched elk hide grips, and matching leather toe straps.  It's tuned and ready to roll!

 Pictures are here:

I'm asking $325 for it.

2) A 58cm Centurion Pro Tour 15.  Yep, it's my old tourer - I decided to get something different as the chainstays were a little short and the bike had a shimmy that was really bad with a heavy rear load, so I found a Raleigh Kodiak and I've moved my stuff over to that bike.  As it was also a hard bike to convert to 700c (maybe that was part of the shimmy), I also put it back to 27 inch tires.

This Centurion is set up as an excellent winter commuter or all purpose/do anything bike. It has 27 inch knobbies (in a fat 1 3/8 inch size!) that are brand new, and Shimano shifting.  The frame is a little rough cosmetically, but since Centurion chromed their frames under the paint, most of the spots where the paint rubbed off are chrome now.    There is one spot, you'll notice it as the frame closeup, that looks a little rougher, like the chrome wasn't quite enough, but it looks worse than it really is.

In any event, the Centurion is a smooth riding bike with lots of braze ons for everything imaginable, including front and rear racks and fenders, plus two water bottle cages on the down tube.  You can add racks and fenders, maybe some dynamo lighting, and it would make an excellent city bike, or just ride it as a sport tourer or credit card tourer.   Or, ride it as is and make it your adventure bike!

Pictures are here:

I'm asking $250 for this one.

Of course, either of these bikes can be further customized if you like!

To find out more, or to arrange a test ride, email me at!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some interesting new shifting ideas

One pleasure I've discovered as I've revisted some of the bike products of days gone by is just how nice the old SunTour shifters were made and how much I really like them for shifting.  Many of SunTour's shifters have a nice micro ratcheting action that isn't indexing, but is a good feel, and also adds just enough resistance to make the shifting feel just right.   Unfortunately, the shifters only come as downtube shifters or thumb shifters for the most part, making the choices a bit limiting on where you can place them.

But then I found this interesting product as I was searching through some bike stuff:

I think it looks like a great way to preserve shifting on a bike with some nice SunTour components, one of my favorites, or for anyone else who doesn't want/need to have a full on integrated STI brifter.  They're not cheap at $120/pair, but could be just the thing to complete that perfect build for an older road bike or even a cross bike!

For a cheaper setup, there's also Kelly's version - it places the shifter in a different position, but still plenty useful:  

Either one preserves the smooth shifting of your vintage gear, and doesn't force you to bar cons or down tube shifters.  Now you really can have it your way, and that's what Green Path is all about!