Lezyne Classic Floor Drive Pump

I can name off a long list of floor pumps that I’ve had love-hate relationships with – Scott, SKS, Silca, Topeak, yadda, yadda.  When they are brand new, everything is wonderful, but within a matter of weeks or months things start heading south until you spend as much time trying to get the pump to work as you do actually pumping air into your tires.

I’ve bought replacement heads, rebuild kits, new hoses and even made my own gaskets trying to keep my floor pumps alive, but to no avail.  The three figure Silca was probably the most disappointing, as it never seemed to work great and probably cost more than the other combined.

I’ll admit that it’s still early in the game, as I’ve only been using this Lezyne Classic Floor Drive pump for a few months, but I’m smitten.  But the big difference with this pump is that there are many small indications that this one is finally going to last: extremely high quality constructin and materials, awesome gauge, super smooth head engagement, fast disengagement and accurate pressure measurement.  

The Lezyne Classic Floor Drive pump in black

The head operating is not intuitive, so you’ll have to read the instructions the first time.  No funky levers or switches that push down against a rubber gasket when switch from Schrader to Presta, just a different sequence with the awesome CNC collar.  It’s no surprise that the ABS2 pump head is available separately as a way to bring other brands or pumps back to life.

Lezyne’s ABS2 head is available separately

I’ve used the Lezyne for the presta tubes on our bikes and for the Schrader tubes on our Burley and my daughters Linus bike, and I can honestly say that the pump works equally well for either, which is a big deal for some folks.  At the same time, the dual-functioning head is – maybe for the first time in floor pump history – not a detriment to using it for just one valve type.  A roadie could use this for his or her presta valves for years without even knowing that it works on Schrader valves as well, and the same goes for someone who has never even seen a presta valve.  Heck, I even used it with a needle adapter to pump up a soccer ball.

Finally, I love love love the huge 3 1/2 inch gauge on this pump – so squinting or bending over to distinguish between psi and bar!

Raleigh Record Ace

Raleigh Record Ace

Raleigh is one of the few bike manufacturers that never gave up on steel, and the latest Record Ace model goes a step further by offering Campagnolo components, in a polished silver finish, no less! Built around proven Reynolds 631 alloy, the Record Ace comes in a respectable range of five sizes. While I’s be more enthusiastic about a polished Athena grouppo, the Veloce parts spec probably makes more sense for a 631 frameset. The fork is lugged steel with a flat crown, which matches every other part of this bike nicely; a carbon fork just wouldn’t look right on this bike. The downsides? Well, the parts spec isn’t fantastic – while the FSA headset is nice, the Joytech hubs are nothing to write home about, and it would be really nice to see Campy hubs. Also, I’m not a big fan of the sloping top tube, but it’s a pretty mild slope and only detracts slightly from the classic lines of the rest of the bike. The Record Ace comes in any color you want, as long as it’s black. Cheers!
above: the Raleigh Record Ace (raleighusa.com)

Ritchey Road Logic Frameset

Since Raleigh stopped offering their International frameset, it’s been more difficult to find a higher quality, production steel road frame. Ritchey has been selling their Road Logic frameset for a few years now. It has a somewhat classic, understated appearance in a great black paint scheme. The Ritchey Logic tube set is triple-butted and heat treated, which is unheard of in a $1000 frame and fork. The fork is all-carbon and is mated to an included Ritchey integrated headset. The best part? It’s available in six sizes; being tall, I’m not a big fan of the semi-compact geometry, but most people should be able to find a size that fits.

above: Ritchey Road Logic frameset (image from Ritchey Design)

Ritchey notes that up to 28c tires can be used with this frame, and you’ll find builds on-line run the gamut from racing bikes to commuters. Cool!!

Public Bikes

A friend of mine and his wife recently bought a pair of Public Bikes city bikes, which reminded me that I had perused their web site last winter. The inexpensive, imported bikes are not typical low-quality Taiwanese imports – a careful inspection of the parts specs will show some surprisingly nice pieces for such low cost bikes. Other reviews you’ll find on-line repeat similar opinions: surprisingly decent finish details and touches like painted fenders, nice rack options, etc.

A couple of my favorites are their R16 road bike, simply because this type of classic steel road bike is now very hard to find (see also the more expensive Pashley Clubman Country).
above: Public Bikes’ R16 road bike (image from Public Bikes)

They also have a series of mixte frame options, which is also not easy to find (also check out the Soma Buena Vista, available as a complete bike or as a frameset). The M7i is available in a great Dutch orange scheme with an internal shifting rear hub. I’s like to see a three speed option in this bike.

above: Public Bikes M7i mixte (image from Public Bikes)

Perhaps my favorite choice is the Public Bikes V1, a single speed city bike with some nice parts, great details like painted fenders and chainguard, and a crazy low price. A matching front rack is available, and can be used to mount a basket. My friend flipped the bars upside down, path racer style for a hipper look and more efficient position.
above: Public Bikes V1 city bike (image from Public Bikes)

Samsung Does Not Support Updates for Their Own Blu-Ray DVD Players

Filed under Stuff Dave Does Not Like: our recently-purchased Samsung Blu-Ray that will no longer play most new Blu-Rays. As it turns out, many others have realized that Samsung stops providing the necessary firmware updates for their Blu-Ray players after just a few years. As new security features are added to Blu-Ray discs, Samsung Blu-Ray players increasing can’t play them, while other manufacturers regularly provide firmware updates.

See these articles:
Why Your Samsung Blu-ray Player May Not Play Your Movies

Samsung BluRay Complaints
“the service person putting his hands up and saying that they didn’t have the appropriate firmware update to play the DVD! What??? Seems that Samsung firmware was not always up to date. Plays regular DVDs okay and I get get to Netflix. So I tried it again with another Blue Ray DVD just recently (August) and it did the same thing even with a firmware update.”

“the player would not play hardly any blu-ray disk because of no support for the new protection.”

“It was used maybe 10 times and it won’t play Blue-ray DVDs, only regular DVDs.”

“My father had me look into his Samsung BD player that only plays DVDs and not BluRays.”

“Of course, after the warranty runs out, I get a new firmware download and my blu-ray will not play any discs.”

Bondhus ball end hex wrench set 20399

I’ve been using these hex wrenches for about a year after deciding I needed a second set to keep in my garage so I didn’t have to keeping shuttling them back and forth between my shop and my garage. I’ve owned an outstanding set of Wiha MagicRing hex wrenches for about 5 years, which I also highly recommend for their durability and ability to hang onto a loose bolt. But the Wiha’s are not cheap – about $50 for a set of metric and standard on Amazon ($81 MSRP!).

So my second set is from Bondhus – set 20399. Aside from getting great reviews on Amazon, one thing that attracted me to these is that the metric and standard sets have different colored finishes (gold and silver, shown below), so they are easy to distinguish, even when loose. They are also half the price of the Wiha’s, about $25 on Amazon ($45 list). The ball ends work great for hard to reach bolts, and I don’t miss the Wiha’s MagicRing bolt retention feature when using these for minor adjustments in my garage.