Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: La Rueda Tropical

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default La Rueda Tropical

    a note from e-RICHIE -
    this thread is a departure from the typical Smoked Out threads that are now common on V place. in an effort to diversify and cast the net out a bit, today we have a guest appearance by fellow V-ista, henry g. this man first made my radar a couple of years ago when i stumbled on a blog he keeps called La Rueda Tropical. it's an interesting mix of bicycle history, design, high-style, and culture. i can't go 2 days without checking it and hoping it's been updated. the layout and visuals are stunning. i think the site is a treasure and i invited henry to write about himself and further integrate his unique point of view into the V community and all who read here.


    =====

    At the end of 2008 I pulled my Rhygin Metax road bike out of storage. I'd been off the bike for 10 years and my waistline was showing it. I needed to get in shape and my wife insisted – why don't you get back on your bike? Well after some 'encouragement' I finally did, a few rides later I was again totally hooked. Before long I had my Rhygin and my wife's Waterford in pieces and was trolling the web for parts and information for a refit of the bikes. I was at the same time initiating a test of blogging platforms for my web design clients. I needed some content to do the test and as I had assembled a ton of info for my bike's renovation I decided to use that. Initially there where 3 identical blogs on Blogger, Wordpress and Typepad. After 2 weeks I deleted all but the Wordpress blog. I intended to continue the Wordpress blog another month or 2 before concluding the test and deleting it as well.

    Unexpectedly, the blogs traffic was growing quickly and I was enjoying the posts. I got an email asking if it would be OK if the emailer translated one of my posts into Chinese. The test was taking on a life of it's own -so “La Rueda Tropical” didn't get deleted, it became my personal bike blog. Had I known it was going to be around for more then 2 months I would have put more time into the blog name, which comes off a bit corny in Spanish, but most readers will never know that, as it's an English language blog.

    I'm a designer and photographer who is fascinated with the construction, history, sport and culture of the bicycle. Back in the early 70's, when I was a starving artist in New York City's Soho, a Campagnolo equipped Cinelli was for me right up there with the Maserati Ghibli and Ferrari Daytona in that fast, exotic, Italian class of unobtainable dream machines. My idea of beauty in a bicycle is still prejudiced by the elegant, impossibly skinny tubed, lugged steel bikes of that era - but I don't care for “retro” design. I don't miss down tube shifters, leather chamois or clips and straps. I still like the feel of standard light steel tubing and mix and match old and new to get the form and function that best matches my needs and preference.

    My avocation and occupation is packaging information for consumption. There is a lot of good information online adrift in a sea of noise. On the blog I try and grab what interests me online and repackage it in a way that is useful and enjoyable. I rarely review anything or do much in the way of editorial opinion as there are plenty of online sources with more experience and knowledge then I for that. I do what I do best and that relates to design and imagery.

    Some examples:

    Road Drop Bar Geometry : La Rueda Tropical

    Road Cycle Saddle Geometry : La Rueda Tropical

    MAFAC, Dia-Compe & Paul Centerpull Brake Specs : La Rueda Tropical

    iPhone Cycling Applications : La Rueda Tropical

    A beautiful poem by Neruda about the bicycle:

    Oda a la Bicicleta, Pablo Neruda : La Rueda Tropical

    Bike Porn:

    Waterford 650B Conversion Finished : La Rueda Tropical

    La Dolce Vita : La Rueda Tropical
    Mike Terraferma is a local builder and a friend. He is in the process of making a Corsa GT for me. You will see a lot of his work on the blog.

    Cinelli Speciale Corsa 1968 : La Rueda Tropical

    Along with the cycling content I post music videos. I'm a “Nuyorican” (Puerto Rican born in NY) and came of age during the heyday of the Fania all-stars and the Salsa craze in NYC. I spent a lot of nights till dawn in Latin dance halls in Manhattan. This video is from the bugalú era of the 60's that preceded the Salsa wave. Cheo Feliciano, the singer, went on to be a big star of the Salsa era and has always been one of my favorite singers:

    Joe Cuba – Bang Bang : La Rueda Tropical

    You will find on the blog videos from across the Latin musical spectrum. I think the music provides the right 'Miami' ambiance to the blog.

    Well, that's my Smoked Out. Thanks to Richard Sachs for reaching out to me. I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy posting it.
     

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Coquitlam, British Columbia
    Posts
    8,378
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Quote Originally Posted by henry g. View Post
    There is a lot of good information online adrift in a sea of noise. On the blog I try and grab what interests me online and repackage it in a way that is useful and enjoyable.
    That's a great thing, thank you.

    How many times do we search for some information in forums, or on website only to have found completely contradicting information.
    Credibility is key, and presenting the information in a context that shows exactly what the facts are (like the handlebar bend example)
    really is what the web needs next!

    -g
     

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    705
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Thanks for posting. I've always admired your blog, as it's one of the most thoughfully written, useful bike blogs out there. The handlebar roundup alone is priceless - I've consulted it multiple times.
     

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA
    Posts
    923
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    I am glad e-RICHIE smoked you out. Your site has wealth of information. Thank you.
     

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    18,522
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    henry - what are your nyc cycling influences atmo? from the time line it sounds like we may have shopped at the same haunts -
    avenia's, gene's, the original stuyvesant's, that place on east 14th with the HUGE bicycle painted on the side of the building, etc.
    heck we might have sat tables away from each other at mcsorleys at one time...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    I went to Cooper Union art school 69-72 and was a regular at McSorleys. What little bike stuff I bought was bought at the original Stuyvesant's. I had a cheap but pretty Raleigh I got there to replace my beater and I did manage to buy a Cinelli buffalo hide Unicantor saddle which was as close as I got to the good stuff. That was my most prized cycling component. Back then I weighed 145 at 5' 11" and could have ridden a century on a 2x4 in jeans, no problem. I never raced or rode with any club, although I followed pro racing in the press, just used the bike for transport - hung out with fellow artists in Soho and made the rounds of the Latin clubs in the evenings made photographs and painted in my studio during the day. So I was pretty unaware of the local cycling culture.

    I went from a place on Avenue C on the lower east side to a loft on Spring street for a while, then to an apartment on Thompson -a rent stabilized 1 bedroom for $250. a month in the middle of Soho! That was pre-gentrification, it was still factories and a small Italian - Portuguese neighborhood, now it looks like a suburban mall.

    some NY photos circa the 70's:

    Raouls restaurant on Prince

    Bed-Stuy

    East NY

    Demonstartion
    Last edited by henry g.; 04-24-2011 at 11:35 PM. Reason: fixed link
     

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    18,522
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    thanks for the back story atmo.
    the home page was a good find for me -
    Hank Graber : Photographs
    i saw the jersey city stuff and felt right at home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    691
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Hi Henry-

    It's great that we're getting to hear your voice on Smoked Out. Your blog introduced me to the beauty and elegance in a lot of stuff that i just assumed was old and hard to work on.

    You say that it wasn't long until you had torn your Rhygin down and were looking for ways to rebuild it...why? Was it the time away from the sport that helped refine your aesthetic and technical desires? When is your Terraferma going to be done?

    Please keep it up.
     

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    N. Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    74
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Great, one more place for me to waste time on the internet. Actually, it has been for at least a few days already, one of e-Richie's recent FB posts linked me over to the blog and it's quickly becoming yet another place for me to stop by regularly. It is quite amazing to watch something you didn't 'intend' to take off to suddenly take on a life of it's own. The web is amazingly quirky that way some times. A million dollars can be poured into a website that flops, but a test of some software in a quiet corner of the web can grab the notice of one guy, who posts it in one place, and a week later you're traffic is off the chart. Obviously your writing and topics connect with the readers and they keep coming back. And it's always fun hearing from the person behind the product, be it a blog or a frame.
    Jon Fischer
    VeloBase.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    At first I thought I'd just swap out the fork. The delicate looking Time Equipe fork was probably the prettiest CF fork ever made but at my new weight class I thought it might not survive Miami's streets. First, I looked around for an old Colnago Precisa. Then I thought I'd like to cart my camera along so maybe a lower trail fork with a front rack. In the end I wound up with a nice sort of go fast Rando but after riding it for a year I found all it really had needed was fenders and lights. The front bag was way overkill and I found I hated not being able to see the front wheel. It was like a fat guy who couldn't see his dick.

    Looking back I'm almost sorry I changed it. It was a classic period piece 1st gen 9spd all alloy Record, The Time fork and Campy Montreal rims with a Metax frame. However it served as my lab to discover what exactly I wanted for the kind of riding I actually do (as opposed to the riding I would like to do). I did discover that I really like 28c tires and a lower trail (47) then the bikes old trail of 56 -not that I was unhappy at all with the bikes previous handling just like this a bit more. I found a great local framebuilder and I learned a lot about a lot of parts new and old.

    On the GT Mike's got the materials in -OX Platinum tubes, long point lugs, Imperial oval blades and crown, braze ons for MAFAC competition (shortest reach of all the MAFACS), Columbus XCr oval chainstays (Mike would normally spec round cromo stays but he agreed my power output would not be pushing the limits of the XCr's) so I can polish the drive side stay. The frame will be in production in about 2 or 3 weeks I think. Will have a Campagnolo Suoer Record 11sd drivetrain. I have to order some handlebra wraps.
    Last edited by henry g.; 04-29-2011 at 06:04 AM.
     

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    feral, USA
    Posts
    2,699
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    WOW- what a great trove of resources.
    Now I have to spend the rest of the day entering all of the saddle geometry into CAD...
    Thanks Henry and Richard for sharing.

    -m
    mickey.denoncourt
    Product Manager- Commonwealth Cycles

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    5,696
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Nice to have you Smoked Out Henry. Next time I'm planning to ride in Miami - I'll send you a message. Us South Floridians need to stick together.
     

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    691
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    So is the Terraferma your dream bike?

    What's next for LRT?

    Would you rather have the vitus 992 or the Look you posted recently?

    That waterford 650b conversion you did was gorgeous. How long did that take?
     

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Tough choice I love the old CF Looks but I think I'd take the Vitus. For carbon fiber if we are fantasizing with money no object I'd go for a modern Crumpton or Cyfac.

    The GT would qualify as my dream bike -geometry, construction method, tubing and components all are in the -if I could have anything I wanted what would I pick category.



    .
     

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    392
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    i have used your handlebar resource a couple times. really singular in its precision and detail. thank you for putting that together.


    it would be more technically demanding, but i would be extremely curious to hear your views on the different tires--their dimensions, uses, and construction.
     

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    18,522
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    yo henry this is pretty cool.
    what's the back story atmo?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    yo henry this is pretty cool.
    what's the back story atmo?
    That's a standard Terraferma Corsa 650B: silver brazed lugs, standard OX Platinum tubing with imperial oval blades up front. Terraferma Cycles: CORSA 650B
    The client specced a satin pale blue paint - doesn't show so well in the pics but the edges of the lugs are shaded a bit. Todd Kissinger at Boulder Bike Crafters did the paint. The bike will be ridden in this year's Paris-Brest-Paris. With that satin finish I expect it will have a nice patina by the end of P-B-P :)
     

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Miami
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Just got a look at a very cool merino blend polo collar jersey that's made in Miami by Road Holland
    Check it out:
    Made in Miami: Road Holland : La Rueda Tropical

    Love to wave the flag for the local guys that do good work.
     

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sierra Foothills
    Posts
    119
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Quote Originally Posted by henry g. View Post
    Just got a look at a very cool merino blend polo collar jersey that's made in Miami by Road Holland
    Check it out:
    Made in Miami: Road Holland : La Rueda Tropical

    Love to wave the flag for the local guys that do good work.

    I found these guys in this forum and ordered from Johathan since I wanted a nice orange short sleeve jersey ... it arrived today and exceeded my expectations, great quality and good fit for the ah, less than slim crowd...
     

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    10,524
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: La Rueda Tropical

    Digging up an old one here...Henry, the road bar and saddle geometry tools are great. I'm glad to see another south florida local here too. I'm not sure I'd know how to spot you, but I hope to see you out on the road one of these days.
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-19-2008, 04:26 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •