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Hafny FR03 Jones Bar Mirror

I tried a few different mirrors on my Jones Loop H-Bars.

The D+D Oberlauda UltraLite Bike Mirror mounted underneath the bars just before the weld worked decently, but the mirror’s clamp is annoying when you want to rest your hand on top of that part of the bar.

Oberlauda UltraLite Mirror

After further trials, I developed a preference for the Hafny HF-M951B-FR03. This opinion is shared by others.

The FR03 uses the same high quality glass and mount as the FR06 model Hafny on my road bike, but the two models have slight differences. The mirror of the FR03 is round, where the FR06 has a subtle teardrop shape. The bracket which connects the FR03 to the bar plug attaches to the edge of the mirror, where on the FR06 the bracket attaches in the center of the rear of the mirror. These differences make the FR03 better suited to flat bars, and the FR06 better suited to drop bars.

Rear View Tamalpais

A bike with Jones bar is a wide load, and a bar-end mirror makes it even wider. I compensate for this by only having a left-side mirror, which gets the job done. I also keep the adjustment bolt loose enough that I can tilt the mirror into the bars if I’m squeezing through a narrow passage.

Expanding the Fleet

In 2011 I visited R+E Cycles and ordered a custom Rodriguez bicycle. Since 2013 this had been my only vehicle. For the past decade or so I’ve been thinking about what a second bike may look like.

This year I decided I was finally ready to make a move. In the beginning of January I called R+E (once you’ve had them build one bicycle there’s little motivation to look elsewhere) and relayed my dreams. After two or three weeks of hashing out the build, I placed my deposit. 6 weeks later they shipped me a new bike.

Twin Peaks Baby Steps

Back in 2011 I was interested in a bike that could take me on any road. So it made sense for the second vehicle to be one that didn’t need roads. If it was 1994 this would easily be classified as a mountain bike. In 2024, the industry uses that term to refer to something completely different, and I have no idea what they would call this type of build.

The wheels are 26”, with a SON 28 dynamo hub in the front and a Rohloff SPEEDHUB in the rear. The frame is the same Reynolds 725 as my road bike, and in the same size, but with all the extra bits needed for a purpose-built Rohloff frame. Jones Loop H-Bars give me a range of positions.

Eldridge

This past summer, when I decided that I was ready to start thinking more seriously about a second bike, I first asked myself if I would rather spend money on my existing bike. If I had an unlimited budget, what would I change? And the answer was nothing. There may be some minor components I’d be interested in experimenting with here and there, but that bike is basically the idealized expression of everything I think a road bike should be. It took 12 years to get to that point. I’ll spend the next 12 years perfecting this one.

The Elusive Triple Crank

I broke the drive-side crank on my New Albion XDT crankset. I have strong legs.

New Albion XDT Crank Break

The crankset was only 5 years old. I don’t track distance, so I don’t know what sort of mileage it had – more than 10,000 miles and less than 100,000, on a healthy mixture of pavement and dirt – but it is certainly too new for these sorts of shenanigans.

New Albion is one of the many brands of local company Merry Sales. They are responsible for bringing a number of Japanese bicycle components to the American market, and are usually associated with quality equipment. The New Albion XDT is basically a clone of the Sugino XD – made from the same molds, in the same factory, out of the same 6061 aluminum. I also have a lot of miles on an actual Sugino XD (and I put an old one back on after this break so I could limp around town while deciding on a more permanent fix). I’ve never had any problems with that crank. So I’m prepared to accept that this was just a fluke, and it probably would not happen again, but I still wanted to replace it with something I could have more confidence in.

Unfortunately the dystopian hellscape that is the modern bicycle industry means square taper triple cranks are few and far between.

Fortunately Rivendell is still fighting the good fight. The best option I found was their Silver crank. These are made of 7075 aluminum, and Rivendell claims that they pass the EN 14766 mountain bike fatigue standard. They use a 110 BCD for the middle and outer rings, and 74 BCD for the inner. That makes them compatible with any triple chainrings a reasonable connoisseur would want to use.

I bought their full triple crankset with 44x34x24 chainrings. But as I was waiting for it to ship, I sat staring at my broken New Albion crankset and decided that its 48x36x26 chainrings were all still in pretty good shape (if in need of a cleaning). And while I was prepared to try Rivendell’s gearing, I do really like the big 48 ring for flying down mountain roads, and I’ve never really felt like I need anything lower than a 26 granny gear on this bike. So when the Silver crankset arrived, I broke it apart, stored its chainrings for later use, and installed the (cleaned) rings from the New Albion.

The Silver seems to have a slightly wider Q factor than a Sugino or any of its clones. I run a Phil Wood bottom bracket with a 113mm spindle, just like God intended. After slapping on the Silver, I was getting some chain rub on the big chainring when in the two outermost sprockets on the cassette. I was able to adjust the derailleur to account for this, but that makes me think that a couple millimeter shorter spindle would be needed to maintain the same Q factor as I had before. The difference is minor enough that I don’t notice it when actually pedalling. It rides great. And it looks pretty good too.

Rivendell Silver Crank

The other options that turned up in my search all disappointed in one way or another.

The Velo Orange Grand Cru 110 is pretty, but they recommend a 124mm bottom bracket. I didn’t want to buy a new bottom bracket.

The Rene Herse Triple is pretty and passes the EN 14781 racing bike fatigue standard (which I’m guessing is lesser than the mountain bike standard), but is prohibitively expensive, and they too recommend a wider bottom bracket. Their instructions also state that “if you have broken cranks in the past, we recommend that you do not use lightweight components like the Rene Herse cranks.” I now belong to that rarefied coterie, so they’re not for me.

Sugino triples are still to be found here and there, but can be difficult to locate. I wanted something stronger than the 6061 aluminum of the XD, if only for my own psychological comfort. Some years ago I ran a Sugino Alpina 2 Triple. I don’t remember what kind of aluminum it was made of. I stripped the threads on the drive-side after I wore down the bearings on my previous Phil Wood bottom bracket until they were mush and rounded the spindle (they said it couldn’t be done – I took that as a challenge). So I didn’t really want another one of those.

If I had been displeased with the Silver, I would have purchased a Spa Cycles TD-2. This is another Sugino clone – made in the same factory, out of the same molds – but it is made of 2014 aluminum, so ought to be plenty strong. (It’s also a clone of the Alpina 2 rather than the XD. That means the 5th bolt is easy to access, rather than hidden behind the crank, which makes swapping around rings easier.)

But as it is I’m very happy with the Silver cranks. If you need a well designed and well built square taper triple crank – and who doesn’t – I’d say just buy one of those and be done with it. I see no reason why the cranks shouldn’t last me forever. When I need new chainrings, if I don’t want to go with the 44x34x24 gearing from Rivendell, I’ll probably buy the Spécialités T.A. rings that Spa Cycles sells. (I’m pretty anal about staying on top of chain wear, so it may be a while.)

Battery McIndoe

Screwing, Redux

Since I outlined it in 2018, my EDC tool kit has not changed much. It is still based around the same titanium Fix It Sticks, and intended primarily as a vehicular repair kit.

Sticks of Fixing

It is still carried in the same cuben fiber packing cube from Mountain Laurel Designs (since discontinued and replaced by the otherwise equivalent Ultra X 100 Packing Cubes), though said cube is much worse for wear. Some of the smaller bits have poked a couple holes in the bottom of the pouch. I’ve patched this with Tenacious Tape on both the inside and the outside.

The bit selection has been augmented slightly. Installed in the Fix It Sticks are my most frequently used 1/4” drive bits.

  • Torx T20s
  • Torx T25s
  • Phillips #2
  • Hex 4mm

In the bit holder, I carry additional 1/4” drive bits.

  • Hex 1.5mm
  • Hex 2mm
  • Hex 2.5mm
  • Hex 3mm
  • Hex 5mm
  • Hex 5mm x 50mm
  • Hex 6mm
  • Hex 8mm
  • Torx T8s
  • Phillips #0
  • Slotted 0.6mm x 4.5mm
  • 4mm MicroBit Adapter, holding a slotted 0.25mm x 1.5mm

Keen eyed readers will notice two 5mm hex bits. The longer, 50mm bit is needed to reach into my Gevenalle CX Shifters to adjust the mounting bolt. This longer bit can also be used to provide a turning tool to be used with my Pitlock key. (In 2018 I discussed using the longer Torx T25 bit for this. I now carry a standard length T25s, since I need the longer 5mm hex for the shifters.) My rear Phil Wood Touring Hub takes two 5mm wrenches to remove the end caps. Doing this allows the cassette to be removed from the wheel, providing easy access to repair a broken drive-side spoke without messing around with cassette removal tools.

Mini Knipex Cobra Pliers are only used infrequently, but are so useful when I do need them that I put up with their extra weight in the kit.

The Fix It Sticks tire levels and chain breaker still live in the kit, though I have been debating removing the chain breaker. It is compact but heavy, and it has been about 15 years since I last had an incident that required a chain breaker on the road. It would definitely be in the kit for any multi-day trips.

My Pitlock key is on a Flex-o-loc key ring. The ring also holds a spare KMC CL559R Missing Link, a Maratac Titanium Peanut Lighter, and a CountyComm Titanium Piccolo Capsule that holds two small security bolts.

A small cuben fiber zip pouch holds my patch kit and one FiberFix, including that little spoke wrench that comes with the FiberFix (annoying to use, yes, but agreeably small and light).

EDC Toolkit

My drive-side chainstay is cord wrapped.

I use the reflective Ironwire that Lawson makes for Durston, tied in a spiral French hitching wrap. It helps to protect the chainstay, but mostly it looks cool.

Chainstay Cord Wrap

At 2mm, Ironwire is slightly thicker than the 1.7mm Kevlar cord that ships with the FiberFix Replacement Spoke, but my guess is that I could unwrap some of this cord and use it with the FiberFix hardware. I have yet to break a spoke this eyar, so I haven’t had an opportunity to test this.

Hafney FR-06 Mirrors

Last May I lost my right-side Sprintech Drop Bar Mirror in the baggage car of the Amtrak Coast Starlight. The right-side mirror is less useful than the left-side, so I didn’t bother about a replacement until after pedaling the 1,200 miles back home.

Upon returning, I decided to explore what other mirror options there may be rather than immediately purchasing another Sprintech mirror. I rode with a Take A Look Helmet Mirror for a few weeks, but found it to be less convenient than a mirror mounted to the bike. I messed with the D+D Oberlauda UltraLite Bike Mirror for a couple days. It’s a nice mirror, but I couldn’t find a mounting position that I was happy with on my drop bars. (While messing with this mirror I ended up moving my bell from the left to the right side.) Finally I purchased an FR06 from Hafny Components. I was immediately smitten with this, and bought a second FR06 for the other side a few days later.

The Hafny FR06 uses actual glass for the mirror. It is slightly convex – though less so than the Sprintech – and has a blue tint that does a great job of cutting back on glare. The optical clarity of the mirror is really excellent. This is entirely unnecessary for the application, but once I used it I didn’t want to go back to Sprintech’s chrome-coated ABS plastic.

Hafney FR06 Viewport

The FR06 fits snugly into my Rene Herse Rando Handlebars, even with the tail of my leather tape tucked in. After inserting, a bolt is tightened to expand the assembly, locking it into place. The mirror itself is attached to the mounting assembly via a ball and socket joint. A separate bolt allows this joint to be locked in place. Since the mounting assembly can be rotated in addition to the pan-and-tilt of the mirror joint, positioning everything takes a little trial and error. Once the correct position is found, everything can be tightened down enough such that a smart smack will not cause anything to budge. Or it can be left loose enough to allow for in-flight adjustments. I’ve switched between both approaches, and in neither case have I had any issue with visual clarity or the mirror moving of its own accord, even on rough gravel roads.

I mount the FR06 with the logo-side of the assembly facing down. I think this is considered to be upside down, but it allows me to tilt the mirror up a few degrees higher than I otherwise could, providing a better picture of what’s behind me above the actual road surface. With the logo on the assembly facing up I found that the mirror ran into the top of the assembly just 1 or 2 degrees shy of where I wanted it.

  • Hafney FR06 Mounting
  • Hafney FR06 Mounting

The shape of the FR06 mirror is different than the old Sprintech. I don’t find the shape of one to be superior to the other. Both provide me with the image I want to see at a quick glance. But the higher quality look and feel of the Hafney offering makes me happy, and I think contributes to the overall sex appeal of my ride. This is something I prioritize.

Cockpit

The Carradice Super C Handlebar Bag and its Modifications

I bought my Carradice Super C Handlebar Bag sometime in 2010 or 2011. I think I learned about it while reading one of the blogs of Emily Chappell as she was preparing to leave her London courier job to ride around the world.

Twin Peaks Hydration Experiment

There’s no shortage of bicycle handlebar bags out there. Most of them have more intriguing designs than the Super C. The Super C is a simple box. The sides and bottom are rigid (with corrugated plastic). Inside, it has two open top pockets on either side and a zippered pocket near the back. On the outside, either side has mesh pockets. These do not expand much. I move my shoulder mounted OC to one of these when I am not wearing a backpack, but otherwise these external side pockets are mostly useless.

The Super C has two killer features that I think make it superior to the vast majority of its competition.

First, it mounts with a Rixen & Kaul KLICKFix bracket. This piece of Teutonic wizardry allows the bag to be attached or detached from the bike in about two seconds. Most other bags utilize straps of some sort, which are fine if you’re out in the back of beyond, but fiddly for frequent donning and doffing. In an urban environment, I want to be able to quickly pop the bag off my bike and throw the strap over my shoulder whenever I park. When disembarking a ferry or train, I want to pop the bag back on the bike immediately so that I’m not causing people to stack up behind me and wait while I’m routing straps. When I’m walking around with the bag over my shoulder, I don’t want to worry that I may discover a loose strap fell out when I get back to the bike. The KLICKFix addresses all of these concerns. When the bag is on the bike, it is held securely. I’ve had the Super C on plenty of miles on bumpy gravel with my skinny 32mm tires, and never had an issue. I’m sure there is some maximum recommended weight limit for the bracket, but I’ve never thought about it. As long as you aren’t loading the Super C with lead, it’ll probably be fine.

Second, the Super C has a detachable light bracket on the bottom. Either because of their height or how much real estate they take up on the bars, most handlebar bags (including the Super C) are not compatible with lights mounted on the handlebar. Most bags do not provide any alternative solutions for a headlight, instead expecting the user to workaround the problem with some sort of fork mount solution or an accessory cockpit bar mounted above the handlebars. Those alternatives work, but I find them annoying. The Super C provides a simple bracket that pops into the bottom of the bag. Anything that can mount to a handlebar can mount to the bracket. If you don’t need the bracket, you can twist it off and leave it at home.

Super C Light Bracket

The rest of the Super C is pretty basic. I’ve made a few modifications that make it more useful to me.

A D-ring on either side of the bag allows a shoulder strap to be mounted. I keep Peak Design Anchor attachments on mine, to which I usually keep attached the original model of the Peak Design Leash. When I’m out on a weekend ride, I’ll often have a camera or binoculars in the bag. Both of those have Peak Design Anchors on them. Keeping Anchors on the bag as well allow me to have a single strap I can move around to whatever thing needs it.

Surveillance Package

The lid of the Super C sports a removable map case. It attaches via two snaps near the handlebar-side of the bag, routes under a piece of webbing on the opposite side of the lid, and then folds back over itself. This was a key feature in the pre-pocket-computer-age when I bought the bag, but these days I rarely attach the map case. Instead, I used my awl to add what I will optimistically call bartacks on either side of the webbing, just a few millimeters from the edge. This provides a channel which allows me to slip in a Duraflex Siamese Slik Clip on either side. That, in turn, allows me to attach a simple zippered pouch on the top. I appreciate having something like this for small items I may want while underway.

Super C Cyberpunk

On the underside of the lid, I added a similar length of webbing with clips on either side. This allows me to run another pouch inside, which won’t get buried in the main compartment. I frequently clip my first aid kit in here.

Super C Under Lid

The lid of the Super C closes with two side release buckles. These are very inconvenient to open or close when underway. You can do it if you’re motivated, but it takes concentration of effort. This shortcoming is where the Super C differs from most randonneuring bags on the market, which usually close with a piece of shock cord that gets pulled back and looped around the stem. Fortunately this is easy to add. I routed shock cord through the webbing that the buckles attach to, and ran an ITW GTSP Cordlock through either end. This works great to secure the lid, and makes it easy to get into the bag midflight.

Super C Shock Cord Closure

I left the shock cord much longer than it needs to be to wrap around my stem. The front of my bag has a JK/47 Cyberpunk pin, secured via locking pin backs. If I close the lid with the buckles rather than the cord, I can use the cordlock to extend the length of the loop enough to run underneath this pin. That gives me a “V” of shock cord on the top of the bag which I can use for extra carrying capacity. I use this to carry lightweight but bulky things, such as a puffy jacket in an UltraLiteSacks Zippered Cube Ditty Bag.

  • Super C Shock Cord Expansion
  • Super C Shock Cord Expansion

The front of my Super C also features a panel of loop velcro. Since the bag has a hard liner, I glued it on instead of sewing it. I think I used Fabri-Tac. Originally I thought I’d use this to mount my Orfos Pro light, but later I decided that using shock cord to attach the light to the Super C’s light bracket was a better option. Now the loop panel is just used for fun morale patches – mine usually sports the emblem from Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.

Super C Lighting

Carradice products are handmade. They include a tag where the maker writes their name. My Super C was made by Kelly.

No longer will I lay my bike down in the dirt like a savage.

I bought a Click-Stand. My Max-5 model weighs 3.4 oz, including the fat foot for soft ground. I tried it out on a picnic ride today and it worked great.

Click-Stand Picnic

Click-Stand Picnic