Re Power Assist: it's an expensive option but I made the choice because I use my bike for commuting (satisfies the cost-benefits test) and my knees feel the strain of the steeper hills. I am happy with the kit I bought from Epac Power. When I pedal a freewheel rachet means I am not turning the motor, and when the motor is energised it drives my pedals around (lots of useful images at www.epacpower.com.au). There is a similar kit available from www.elationbikes.com.au (as seen on ABC's New Inventors) but I chose Epac because I already had the same motor from a DIY project and they were willing to sell me just the bits I needed. Another similarity between these 2 companies is that they both do a version where you don't have to pedal (an extra clutch/freewheel, but it costs extra). The eLation is a deluxe model because it includes a chain tensioner. These kits drive thru the front gear ring so you benefit from extra torque thru all your gear ratios. This means I accelerate faster from traffic lights (with less low speed wobble) and can maintain a good cruise speed (the max revs, under load, of the motor means it is "limited" to 33kmh). If you want to go faster you have to pedal (and release the throttle lever). Another benefit: if you have to make a quick stop without having the chance to change down then the motor helps you get away again. Obviously it is good for hill starts, and the whine of the motor warns others of my approach. Brushed motors (ie. old style) seem to be more robust/reliable than brushless motors (as far as I can see from the internet). Note: if you have grip-shift gear change then you will need the thumb-lever type throttle, the twist throttle type takes up too much space and you would have to change your grip to use the brake. After 3 years of using a 10kg (!) 24v Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery I am about to switch to a newer, and lighter, LiFePO4 battery. I commute between Eastwood and North Sydney and a 10Ah battery is OK (I don't have the motor running all the time and full current is only drawn on the hills), ie. it doesn't go flat before I reach home (I recharge the battery overnight). Let me know if you have any other questions.
Hey, those are my photos of West Head on my blog, Boxhead.
I Rode to Akuna and Church point yesterday. Finished in St Ives 60km ride.
I will be doing West head again on Wednesday. Yes the old surface was bumpy like Akuna.
Hi Michael, I am booked in for the knee surgery on 18th September. I was counting down the days until last week I went back to the Breastscreen Clinic at RNS for a post-operative check up (I was supposed to have a benign tumour removed in March). Apparently the surgeon did not remove the lump properly in March so I have to have that operation re-done!! Shit! :-( So now I don't know whether I will have to delay the knee surgery. I see the breast surgeon on Thursday. I am just unsure as to how close together you can have two separate operations. Although the lump is benign, it is one of those that can turn malignant so there is a certain amount of urgency to get it removed - ahead of painful knees.
Unfortunately no, I need two total knee replacements. There is no cartilage left - I am down to bone on bone. The shitty thing is, once again, the medical profession had been fobbing me off over the years and a radiologist even mis-read an MRI scan 18 months ago, telling me I didn't need any surgery. I have been going around in constant pain since before then, thinking it must all be in my head or I wasn't doing enough exercise or this or that excuse. It wasn't until I saw a smart young, enthusiastic chiropractor about my back and I mentioned to him about my knees that someone finally said - you need to go and see an orthopaedic surgeon as soon as possible. After what has happened to me this year, I am really losing faith in medical practitioners, generally. You would think a specialist who specialise in breast surgery could remove the right lump! Or a radiologist or reads mri scans every day could tell the difference between fluid and cartilage! All these tests and treatments have costs me thousands of dollars and wasted about 2 years of my time. I am just hanging out for 2010 in the hope that I can get back to normal!
I'm the designated last rider on the Ride Blacktown route, so I'll probably see you. I might even put Quacka-duck and Stuffa-duck on the bike, as they haven't been on any outings for a little while. Together with the Orange 'Ride Crew' vest, you should be able to spot me too :)
The main purpose of SC must be to entertain, as much as to inform. I try to do my bit. But it was not my intention to take away any "glory" Kylie might get from her comment. To the contrary, I thought it might add to it. Anyway, I know Kylie has a good sense of humour and would not take it the wrong way. Glad you enjoy the banter.
G'day Michael. I bought a cheapy a few years ago. It's a Minoura Workman Junior. I think that I paid about $150 for it. The dishing tool would have been another $100 or so. I didn't bother to get it. I work out the dishing by centring on the truing stand. I think that if I was going to get another, and depending on the number of wheels that I was likely to build, I'd probably get a more expensive, better quality on. This has been an OK investment for me, but the better quality ones would make the wheel building easier. Of course, the other thing is to re-check the tension, etc after the wheel has been ridden for a few kms. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
Yep, give it a go Michael. It takes patience and lots of little adjustments, remembering to release one side if tightening of the other is needed. Undoubtedly there is some skill required, but it all comes with patience, perseverance and practice.
Yeah, I was there. Did I see Lucky there locked to a pole? Are you riding on the road again? That titanium bike was locked to a pole just inside the racers' enclosure.
I saw the race but found it hard to get excited by it. I would have like to be able to see more of the circuit. I guess it could be a better spectator sport at a track meet. But I am really impressed by the amount of work they put into the racing. It looks very hard work. I was checking out some of their chairs afterwards. They are interesting. Have you come up with any design improvements yet?
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