Author Topic: Inferiority complex

Inferiority complex
« on: September 22, 2019 »
Or, My life as low bike on the totem pole.

It started so well, as an impulse buy at the LBS. Who isn't flattered to be the object of love at first sight? Marketed by Specialized as something of an edgy urban bike complete with skull tattoos, did that mean he fancied a bit of rough out here in the sticks? Whatever, I was swept off my wheels and carried past the shop's threshold jauntily over a shoulder like a bike-sized courier bag, because my new partner had come with another. It's a polygamous life.

A few changes were made, including a new rear hub,


but that’s to be expected. Miracle of miracles my saddle stayed, becoming his new standard for comfort.

I was his first natural born singlespeed in that I came with horizontal dropouts – no magic gear necessary. It felt good. We went places, an endless round trip home.

Although I knew from the start I was the ugly duckling (the paint job on the earliest Langsters divides opinion like Marmite, never mind the cranial art), I didn't really mind, beauty being a skim of paint deep. Together we even considered a makeover. He changed his mind at the last minute, securing me in his affections. Or so I thought.

After four years of happiness, disaster struck in the form of a [redacted]. It's difficult to beat custom-built, never mind titanium for those infatuated with the stuff. I was almost immediately relegated to the shed. This despite an unblemished record of service! I lost count of the number of times his other bikes made that trip up the workstand.

Oh, he takes me out once in a while, and always seems pleased. When he finishes with me it's back to the dusty shed until the next wet day. That's right: I rarely see the sun in all its glory.

He managed to fit me with mudguards, which necessitated a change of forks to accomodate the one in front. You should see the unsightly bodge in the back. It's enough to make a simplespeed weep. The newer forks are perfectly fine btw, but it's a large piece of yourself to say goodbye to.

When he jokingly binned me, it still hurt. Humour can be a form of violence you know. Sometimes I feel like this poor dead deer.

He says he'll never let me go, and I believe him. At least as long as he's got space in the shed. I have a contingency plan, just in case. Here's my profile pic for Plenty of Fixed. They also have a Freewheel section, though some lie to get more attention, which is sad.

Loyal, free-spirited, a bloody good time. Chain's not slack at all.

So that's my story. It isn't over yet. I'll stay true, whatever vicissitudes may come my way. That'll show him. Yeah.

Three times a Langster
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2021 »
I recently found myself the centre of attention because he needed to redo my brakes and bar tape. As my partner is inexperienced troubleshooting this part of me, I was nervous what I might be in for. At least he's still interested.

The last time he tried taping he quickly lost patience and that, I assumed, was that. Hint: it helps to have new tape.

It took three sessions to get everything right. The first was sussing out the braking system, which isn't terribly complicated, but still provides opportunities to fumble. The second was the taping. (To be fair, the mechanic had done a neat job; it's just that too much padding was left on one side, leaving me decidely lopsided.) The third was because he hadn't properly adjusted the lever, so he needed to do that and retape. We got there in the end, and he's happy not to depend on someone else to sort the issue.

Yes, I know. In an ideal world this gets another seeing to, perhaps after watching a video, which inexplicably he refuses to do.

He rebodged the rear mudguard while he was at it,

dispensing with the section he'd previously managed to install betwixt

tyre and seat tube. Judging by the lack of muck inside it's superfluous anyway, dear diary.

This is me about to come down to earth. How giddy am I.

Cheap, dependable, light AF.


Be quiet
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2021 »
Breaking the fourth wall here.

Mystery noises are the bane of my existence, a kind of Turing Test, as at times a bike seems mischievously alive.

The other day it was Langster's turn. It's been rattling up front, but only when riding no handed ("So don't ride no handed" - mechanic). Just a little pressure was enough to make it quiet. Intriguing. My thinking was either a slightly rogue cable housing where it goes into the brake lever, or something not quite right in the integrated headset. The latter seemed more likely, but you never know until you know.

After performing an initial inspection and adjustment of the headset the rattling continued unabated. Loathe to unwrap bartape, I simply switched the handlebars over. Fortunately I had another set for easy transplantation, as one does.

Noise gone.

Re: Inferiority complex
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2023 »
Quote from: Warren Buffett
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

Yesterday was my first outing this year, which would seem to put a value on moi.

The feedback I got was "Hmmm, actually this is a little big for me." How soon they forget. In fact, back in 2011 he nearly asked the framebuilder of this to duplicate my measurements!

Apparently I still offer an adequately comfy ride. So there's that.

You know who doesn't have an inferiority complex?

Hope I get out again before William is crowned.