Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dutch cycling terms

My mother in law (mijn schoonmoeder) is Dutch and was born in The Netherlands. So my wife is 50% and has sever 1st cousins (once removed) and 2nd cousins that live in The Netherlands. We had the pleasure of visiting many of them in the summer of 2013. We rode bikes in several towns and really enjoyed the cycling culture there. In anticipation of visiting there again in a few years I have been learning the Dutch language, including cycling terms. Here are a few to know from this cycling mad country.
Fiets (Omafiets)
Fiets (Opafiets)

In addition if you are riding a bike, you are Fietsen and you are referred to as a Fietser. If you are all dressed up in Lycra and riding a Wielrenfiets then you are a Wielrenner. Notice the lack of mountain bike terms, we simply there aren't really any mountains in The Netherlands unless you include the Dikes and Sand Dunes. Mountain is Berg but the Dutch simply use the English term of Mountain Bike.

One thing you will notice about bikes in The Netherlands is that they are not into flashy bikes. Simple bikes, the rustier the better, were the ones seen the most. There were also a lot of electric assist bikes as for many this is their primary mode of travel.

Here are the main Dutch brands I saw there

Monday, November 24, 2014

Adding "Suspension" to my bike

OK, not really suspension but rather larger volume tires. I've got a 2.4" big volume Specialized Purgatory Control in back with a few mm's to spare on the chainstays. Up front I've installed a Vee Rubber Trax 3.0" tire. Actual width is closer to 2.8" but it is BIG! The Karate Monkey fork has plenty of clearance for this tire. Both are set up tubeless on Velocity Blunt 35 rims.

I have also replaced the SLX rear derailleur and shifter with a SRAM X7 combo. The SLX rear derailleur actually made contact with my chain on the arm extension that is part of the "shadow" design. It also made removing the rear wheel impossible without removing the chain. The X7 doesn't share this issue so I gave Shimano a valid try (and other than the issues mentioned, liked it) but I am back to SRAM.