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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New bling for the Wayfarer

Why yes, there will be talk about the Crested Butte very soon. But first, some talk about my other Raleigh bike, the Wayfarer! After getting a rebuilt rear wheel and a new Linus rear rack, there was not much else I could do with this lovely bike, so I declared this bike "pretty much done". But somehow I found three ways to improve this almost-perfect-to-me beauty.

First: a new headlamp. The Spanninga Micro FF LED Dyno Headlamp with Safe Stop did a fine job after almost two years of use, so there was nothing wrong with it. But while the light is bright in comparison to a lot of battery powered LED lights, it's on the bottom end of the dynamo-powered LED spectrum. I knew this when buying it last January, as it was the cheapest option available. I was already spending so much money on a bike that I didn't know if I would end up liking or not, so I was okay with spending $42 for the headlamp. Now that I really know I like the bike (and dyno lighting in general) it was time for an upgrade.

Enter the B+M Lumotec Classic headlamp. It's basically the Lyt in a classier package. (I used to have a Lyt on my LHT before the upgrade.) It puts out a nice wide beam, and at 25 lux, it's quite bright. Not to mention the "classic" aesthetic matches the Raleigh quite nicely. The only thing that's a bit off is the janky light mount that I used with the Spanninga. This may change.

And now up to the handlebars. The shellacked cork grips were still workable, but cracking. So I finally got around to a new set of cork grips, the Miesha's Portuguese Tree Cork Grips from Retro-Grouch emporium Rivendell were just the ticket. Very classy looking, especially after two coats of shellac, the recommended amount as advice by Andy. This was the first set of cork grips that I glued to bars, as I've always just put a layer or two of electrical tape on the bars underneath the other cork grips I've used. My first foray with Gorilla Glue was mostly successful, but some of it "squeezed" out the ends and through a crack in the grip that was caused by my own stupidity. (Oops.) The Portuguese Grips were also shorter than my other cork grips, so I rounded out the rest of the length was shellacked cloth tape. (I would have used more appropriate and Riv-approved twine, but I couldn't find my ball. Oops.)

Finally, a new bell. Yes, my old Crane bell was still good, but when I saw and heard the great ring on the Crane brass "rotary" bell, I knew I had to have it. And I knew what the appropriate bike would be.

Keep it classy, folks.


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