Big Apples Do Not Fit

After an easy time mounting the tires and tubes onto the R20 rims, I threw the front wheel and alas, the mudguard stays will not clear the tires.

No big deal, right?

Except, my favorite tire source Bike Tires Direct had a massive fire and is out of commission for a while.

Apparently, the 20 x 1.75 size is a bit more difficult to find, so after much searching, I think I found some Schwalbe Marathons at Universal Cycle. Should be ordering up today.

Projects are always more involved than you think...


More Raleigh 20 info, original instruction sheet

Here is the original R2o instruction sheet.

http://www.bikexprt.com/bicycle/twntyinst/index.htm#pictopEach of the sections of the booklet enlarge if you click on them.)

Raleigh 20 Update

As yet another project continues to wend its' way though my life, here is the latest little bit of progress on the Raleigh 20 that I picked up a little while back.

I have been working on removing the ugly green brush paint from the frame, but it is tedious and the turpentine fumes do get to be a bit much after a while.

As such, my first sidetrack was to remove the front wheel. I took off the original 1.75X20 dry rotted tire and tube and tossed them into the trash. After some inspection, it appears that the front tire had never been removed. I ditched the factory rim strip which also looked quite virginal. I got ahold of my preferred rim tape, the cloth Velox style and stuck it on the rim, the tape looked to be made for 700c rim, so I used my trusty Swiss Army knife to make the cut.

Now here is the rub, I have some nearly new Schwalbe Big Apple Tires and tubes that I had in the cupboard from a Dahon that I upgraded. These tires are 20X2". Will they fit? I am pretty sure that they will fit the rims but as the mudguards are connected directly to the axle and not to an eyelet on the fork, I am worried that there won't be clearance between the fatter Big Apples and the mudguard stays. I will mount them up and see how it goes.


Andy Votel's Brazilika comp

The last time that I was in Gotham, I stopped at Rockit Scientist as is my habit and came up with the following, Andy Votel's Brazilika compilation.

The sourcing for the records on this comp come from the Som Livre and LGE labels. The liners say that the genre of post Tropicalia. It is hard to tap your foot to tracks such as these. There are psych interludes (like 2.40 into track 3) that in an earlier part of my life would have been more "heavy" but now are just weird. I don't mean that in a bad way. This set is oddly engaging, but I cannot imagine throwing it on as background.

Since it is from Brazil, there is the language barrier but I doubt that should scare anyone off.

A head swirler it is. Layers of fuzz populate the sound scape (3 min into track 5 for perhaps the most killer fuzztone. Nearly garage in primitive tone-- I am sold!) Abrupt changes in tempo and interludes provided a collage effect. Since all of this music is new to me, I am not sure how it sounded before it got the treatment from DJ Andy Votel. I think that I need to spend some more time with this set.

I feel that the best listening experience for this record s either through an old amp and speaker set up or via the headphones. I listened to the record in my econobox and it was not the same.

Here is a link to Far Out Recordings, who released this one.


A Weird Sighting

I was walking down Wabash around 1 PM today and I saw the vehicle above and below and just had to take a snap with the camera phone. It was a three wheeled vehicle about the size of a Smart Car, but was much lower. It had a fairly large trailer attached to it that was lined with solar panels. Very odd. It was starting to draw a small crowd.
Doing a search, it looks like, the company, q-cells.com is doing a world tour starting in Lucerne Switzerland. The name of the car is Smart Taxi. They have a cool photo gallery of Chicago.

Photovoltaics are definitely their specialty. Take that Prius drivers!


A New Addition to the Stable

As you can see, I succumbed to the temptation to purchase yet another old bike. This time around it is a 1972 Raleigh 20 folder. An acquaintance mentioned that he still had it available when I stepped into the LBS (local bike shop) where he works. He first mentioned it maybe 2 + years ago. I initially balked at picking it up as some tool at some point in the past had brush painted the frame. Over the ensuing couple of years I realized how hard it is to find an original complete 20.

When I went to check out the bike over the past weekend, I noticed that the paint looked like a latex paint that one may use to paint an old outdoor chair or something. I figured that I could get the paint off somehow, with some elbow grease and at the same time keep the original finish.

The bike rode and shifted well, so the deal was done and the bike came home in the Honda Fit. It is amazing how much stiffer this little bike is in comparison to the Dahons that I own. It is even more stiff than a Bike Friday that I once rode.

I have a couple of tubes and Schwalbe Big Apple tires that I plan to install at some point. At the same time, I need to replace the hardened brake pads, and I will replace the rim tape with the cloth type. I already replaced the heavy vinyl dual rail saddle with a single rail seat clamp and a lighter mountain bike saddle that I had in the stable.

After experimenting over the past couple of evenings, I think that I found the solution for removing the old paint. I tried Goo Gone, engine cleaner, but when I tried turpentine, the paint just fell off. (I am using one of those old kitchen sponges that has the green abrasive side to apply the turpentine and then using an old t shirt to remove the residual paint scrapings as well as the extra turpentine.)

See the detail pic below. You can see the chain guard and the seat stay where I have started to remove the paint.
Sometimes these things take time. Stoked to get this one back on the road!


RIP Isaac Hayes 1942-2008

You left us WAY too soon! You will be missed.


The Digging and The Damage Done Take 3

I went out to some garage sales locally and came up with the following after some HARD haggling, with a pretty mean Eastern European woman, with whom I have had some run ins in the past. I almost had to break out my broken Russian skills.

She had a nice box of records, which of course were not marked, so you know what that means.

"How much for the LPs?"


"No way, they go for $.25 to $1.00 at the sales around here."

So I came up with these:

The Digging

Beastie Boys "Fight For the Right..." Def Jam 45
Curtis Mayfield "Superfly" Curtom 45 Pic sleeve
Electric Prunes "Mass in F Minor LP
Jerry Garcia "S/T" Warners

The 45s were sort of beat, but I think that I can clean them up. The LPs were mint, though they are missing the paper sleeves.

The Damage


Like I said, this lady was brutal, but I have never seen the Garcia record in the wild, pretty sure it went out of print immediately. But in the end a few bucks from me was better than nothing.


New Mix--The Waite

This mix was a ton of fun to mix live powered by Iced Tea as the humidity lays its sloppiness over the area.

The title is a reference to a family name, but it could also refer to the weight of the hunidity here as well. The cover model is my faithful pet, known as Chooch.

I tried to keep it pretty funky in general, even when the soul is in the house, I still leaned to the funky side. Many of the 45s in this baker's dozen set are DJ items with both stereo and mono mixes, in which case the mono mix was consistently selected over the stereo. Many of the discs have been on the mental want list for quite some time, so it was most excellent to finally score some of these and get to spin them for y'all.

As per usual all of these original 45s were mixed live in cratedigger labs on the 1200s.

Please leave a comment, and let me know your thoughts!

Some random notes:

  • Rasputin's Stash is a great Chi band, glad to finally get a copy of one of their 45s.

  • I am a sucker for Andre Williams, and the '69 track shows him in fine Chitown funky finery.

  • The Charles Wright was found in a dirty pile of records recently and I was able to clean it up so that it sounds pretty good. Freaking love that quiet intro!

  • Funky Meters- really swinging track there.

  • Try it Again is Byrd in the funkiest. The mono mix is LOUD here. Love the horn charts over the guitar. RIP Bobby!

  • Spill The Wine was a request from Heavy Soul Brutha Dave. It is a rather surreal version of said track. Lalo was the man. Killer use of Moog noodling in there.

The Waite Tracklist

01 Your Love Is Certified Rasputin's Stash (Cotillion) Mono
02 My Part Make It Funky Pt. 4 James Brown (Polydor)
03 It's Gonna Be Fine in '69 Andre Williams (Checker)
04 What Can You Bring Me Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St Band (Warners)
05 King Kong Pt.1 Jimmy Castor Bunch (Atlantic) Mono
06 Get Ready Rare Earth (Rare Earth)
07 Good Old Funky Music The Meters (Josie) Mono
08 Cold Blooded The Bar-Kays (Volt)
09 Mighty Mighty Children Pt.1 Baby Huey & The Babysitters (Curtom)
10 Here Comes The Judge Pigmeat Markham (Chess)
11 (I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind Joe Quarterman & Free Soul (GSF)
12 Try It Again Bobby Byrd (Kwanza) Mono
13 Spill The Wine Lalo Schifrin (MGM)

Download here


A new edition to Cratedigger Labs

At long last, Cratedigger Labs, now has a Marantz. A.Toots and I were out at garage sales over the past weekend, and she saw an old stereo cabinet next to some opera records. I was hoping to find some good vinyl in the stacks, but came up empty handed.

A.Toots opened the cabinet and inside was this Marantz 2230 receiver from 72/73. Nice! I turned it on and the 30 watts and strong tuner put out a clean sound. I was able to pick it up cheap (with an old Garrard turntable with all the attachments).

I cleaned up the unit a bit and installed it in the Cratedigger office, as this is not a part of the reference system. I hooked up the 2230 with my Rega 3 turntable and my Paradigm speakers.

It sounds awesome, and it looks great too as all of the lights work, which is a rarity for old Marantz units.


New Eno and Byrne Project

Just came across this site this morning.

Always been a huge fan of the Eno / Talking Heads phase, so this will be worth checking out. They are also touring!
Never thought that this would happen.


Fuel for Cratedigger Labs-Visions of a "Modern Moonshiner"

I hate to admit it, but sometimes I drive north of the border to get beer. I am a fan of Point beer as long as it is in the returnable, refillable bottles. The car was pretty loaded down.
Visions of a "Modern Moonshiner"
I hope to have an update on some new Hifi equipment that I scored over the weekend as well.


Raleigh Grand Prix Update

Well, The Grand Prix project that I started on earlier this year has had some upgrades. I ordered a black Brooks B17 saddle, so that went on the bike. On Friday I put some nice Schwalbe white wall tires (along with new tubes and cloth rim tape) on the bike.

Both of these items had a major positive effect on riding this bike. The position is perfect and the seating is improved as well. The white walls also set off the black and white on the frame.

The pic above was taken (with a Blackjack2 smart phone) at the beach.

All is not perfect, as I noticed a weird feeling in the top of the pedal stroke on the left pedal. I removed the pedal and put a Campy one on for a AB test and the feeling was still there, I know nothing about bottom brackets, but I have a feeling that my issue is due to something down there. Bummer.


The Digging and the Damage Done Take 2

The weather is warm, the sun is high, and the humidity is rising. So it must be time to welcome the great unwashed back to the windy city for Lollapolooza.

My antidote is to go digging.

The Digging

Luther Ingram You Were Made For Me (Koko)
Luther Ingram Aint Good For Nothing (Koko)
Ernie K-Doe Mother In Law (Minit)
Jimmy Soul Don't Release Me (SPQR)
Blackbyrds Soft and Easy (Fantasy)
Blackbyrds All I Ask (Fantasy)

And the Damage:

$2.29+ The Highest Sales Tax in the US.

Not sure of the quality here, but at these prices, it hard to complain.