Friday, August 31st, 2007
It’s not a joke. I mean we’ve all struggled with stuck seatposts, right? Aluminum and steel are not friends. Or rather they get along FAMOUSLY, but trouble ensues. You know. First it’s “great to see you!” and the next thing you know you’re naked on the interstate and your drink is on fire. I’m just sayin’.
So the first thing to try is ammonia. Take out the BB, turn the bike upside down, and pour that stuff down the seat tube so it fills up. That can dissolve the oxidation on the aluminum. If that doesn’t work? get out the hacksaw blade.
Ideally you can make like 3 cuts (be careful not to cut into the seat tube; the good news is that AL is much softer than steel so you can feel the difference). In this case tho? I had to make a frickin’ forrest of aluminum strips. Yes, this is all the seat post on this Bianchi:
That bit in the middle? apparently came from the upper-left corner. but soon thereafter it was anyone’s guess.
I tried pulling them out with vise grips, chiseling them out with specially made chisels… nothing. nada. So I finally started drilling it out with progressively larger drill bits. For this task it’s good to use really crappy bits (no, I’m serious) as they’re less likely to dig into the seat tube. But, in this case, they did:
oops. Well, that’s it for the tube. This is a welded frame so all you do is cut out the old seat tube around the joints and then carefully grind & file away the bits that are attached to the rest of the frame.
And now, more or less, you just slide the new tube in place after mitering it to the bb:
And then weld it up, slap some paint on, and you’re ready to go. And Mark is forbidden from using anything other than a carbon post ever again, ever. Although Dan and Jesse have managed to get those stuck too…
The moral? We’re begging you. Every month or so loosten your seat post clamp and shimmy that sucker around. You’ll thank us later.
Also the Pogliaghi that was in for a dropout replacement and frame repair is done:
The owner was able to track down original decals which look sharp:
You can see more exciting pictures of these and other frame repairs here.
ALEX UPDATE: she’s home and rocking the physical therapy. Speedy recovery to you!
Tuesday, August 14th, 2007
Alexandra Svoboda, our friend, comrade, and the producer of Biketalk on WBSR suffered a grotesquely broken leg at the hands of North Providence police on saturday. Hereâ€™s an Indymedia story on the incident; be warned, the pictures are nauseating.
As of today sheâ€™s in good condition, having undergone 2 surgeries and anticipating at least one more. I visited her on sunday and she was cogent and in good spirits.
Already the media frenzy is whipping up, and thereâ€™s lots of misinformation. We keep hearing that she suffered from a â€œdislocated knee.â€ While technically true that totally belittles what sheâ€™s been through. In typical response sheâ€™s been charged with 3 felony counts of assaulting an officer, so apart from healing her leg sheâ€™s going to have to deal with that.
The protest was a solidarity march with workers at HWH/Dragonland, a New York based food distributor accused of denying its workers the right to organize, as well as appropriate pay and overtime.
So just a couple of points. Alexâ€™s injuries are serious, and wildly out of proportion with the alleged infractions.
And the issues at HWH are serious. Especially in a global economy, the only way to pressure companies that abuse their employees (or the environment, the local community, etc) is through this sort of action. Itâ€™s about raising awareness, disseminating information, and simply saying, if you engage in practices I donâ€™t agree with, I will take my business elsewhere.
It was a peaceful protest. There is no excuse for this level of violence from the police.
Watch this space for updates, and best wishes to Alex for a quick recovery.