Monday, August 31, 2015

Brompton Accessories #17 : ABEC-7 Brompton Easy Wheels

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #17 : ABEC-7 Brompton Easy Wheels
                                                   AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                                  
I have gone through several types of rack wheels, trying to find the best ones that roll easily even on rougher or uneven ground. I got my Brompton with the original rack wheels and found them hard to roll over uneven floors or carpeted areas as they were too small and did not give adequate clearance from the floor. So immediately I got the Brompton Eazy Wheels. Yup, they were much better but the clearance was still a bit low even when rolling over carpeted floors the rack scratched the carpet.

(Photo from Unfold & Cycle blog)
So the search for alternatives began. One consideration was to use in-line skate wheels which some of my friends used. But a couple of things nagged me on using these, firstly the wheels are broader and there is tendency to have heel strike. Secondly, longer screws are required to take in the wider wheels. The problem is that Brompton screws have different pitch from most screws. These longer-pitch screws together with the corresponding nuts can be obtained from hardware stores in some countries; but here in Malaysia most hardware stores don't stock them and one have to search for them from shops specializing in selling screws. There is one such shop in Jalan Loke Yew.
(... to read more about the heel scratching, click here to read Unfold And Cycle blog on this mod).

(Photo from Bromfication)
A friend of mine gave me a set of these Easy Wheels from Brompfication and I tried them on immediately. These wheels looks good, narrow and streamlined.
But they were not to my satisfaction, their diameters where about the same as the standard Eazy wheels and the low rack clearance problem persisted. And a major disadvantage was that the rubber tire rings have a tendency to dislodge especially when rolling over rough surfaces; one had to carry spare rubber rings in case this happens and the rings got lost. I had these fixed, but after a few ring dislodgements I changed back to the stock Eazy Wheels - see where I come from the road surfaces are rougher. There is another model with a larger diameter which looks even better, but the ring dislodgement problem was still there (... for those keen on getting this, click here to go to Bromfication site node on this item).

I was in luck! After a few weeks of misadventure of trying out different wheels, a friend posted that he had these ABEC-7 Easy Wheels from Taiwan. The photos he posted even had wheels with different colored rims, ones that could match the color of individual Bromptons. However those he brought in only had black rims with a clear polymer tires. Still they look good and a bit hi-tech with stub spokes that could be seen through the clear polymer.

The good thing about these are that they came in a set of fours complete with screws of respective lengths to suit. There's no need to hunt for screw as in the case of the in-line skate wheels.

The bearings are also super smooth, making it easy to roll the bike.

A look at my well-worn Eazy Wheels which had taken me to many a places. Don't get me wrong, even looking like this, they still have miles of life in them.

A photo comparison of the ABEC Easy Wheels with the Brompton Eazy Wheels.
The ABEC is only about 3mm wider than the Eazy Wheels thus heel scratching seldom occurs.

The two wheels assembled at the suspension block end. The longer screws provided ensures that these two wheels are well anchored into the frame. Please pardon the worn rusty look of my bike; this was before I had it copper plated (.... see Copper Plating the Brompton blog).

The four wheels fixed in. The wider wheels give a better stability when the bike is folded.

The larger diameter of the wheels gives a better clearance from the floor, affording smooth rolling even over uneven ground.

An overall photo of the wheels with the bike. Though larger than the stock Eazy Wheels, they do not look as cumbersome as the in-line skate wheels.

Overall, after a few months of using them, I am happy with the performance of the wheels. They give smooth rolling, better floor clearance and they DO look good too!

Related Blogs :

You may also like :

Brompton Accessories #14 : Mini-O Bag Packing Light & Tight

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Brompton Accessories #17 : ABEC-7 Brompton Easy Wheels
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via facebook or twitter)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cycling Sarawak Gawai 2015 Day 5: Goodbye Sarawak!

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Cycling Sarawak Gawai 2015 /  Day 5 : Goodbye Sarawak!      |     Go to Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4
                                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                   
Cycling Sarawak Gawai 2015 Day 5: Goodbye Sarawak!
Kuching & Siburan : 3rd June 2015
Medium-sized Group Ride - Downtown Kuching.
Cycling & Distance Covered: Not tracked as casual ride.

The previous day we had met up with some local cyclists and had a quick tour of Kuching downtown with them. We then left to visit the Malaysia-China Friendship Park before later proceeding to Freda's place in Siburan for another Gawai feast.
Today would have been a free and easy day for us to individually do whatever we felt like doing in Kuching.... or so I thought!

7:00am - I woke up for a pee break and to my surprise the whole house was full of activity. "What's happening?" I asked amid all the cacophony. "We are heading out to Kuching town centre." "Aren't we suppose to have an easy day today?" I enquired. "Why waste time and the opportunity?" was the reply I got.
Well there's a certain logic there and I pulled my weary bones forcing myself to change. With time just to wash my face (no bathing and I hope I am not stinking!) and we were off cycling down to the ferry terminal and crossing the Sarawak River by boats, right into the town centre with our bikes in tow.

In town, we rode pass the iconic Cats Statue at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
Kuching in Bahasa Malaysia means cat, and the city has many places tied in with cats.

Not expecting to ride today, Nash had already packed up his bike into boxes (ready for checking into the flight later); fortunately for him Simon's bike was still around. I must say that he did looked very at home cycling in his red outfit on the blue Java bike with plastic boxes at the front and rear carriers. He looked like he just went marketing somewhere.

We not only explored the streets of the town, but also went into the back lanes. It's at the out of beaten path that sometimes interesting spots can be found.

While the rest of our buddies went to the main street to have their breakfast; I accompanied Nash to Fauziah Cafe a couple of streets away to have some halal food. I had this Malay-style Sarawak Laksa, it was okay only; the one I had a few days earlier at the Demak Commerckial Centre was much better.

Okay, now it was time for some serious sight-seeing.... and shopping!
First on the list was the Tua Pek Kong Temple that sits conspicuously on a raised platform. It is the oldest Chinese temple in Kuching.

Besides being located in a prominent location, the temple has an excellent view of the Sarawak River. (... see more at Tua Pek Kong Kuching blog).

Shopping time, and where else to go than Main Baazar Road! Here there are many shops to cater for tourists... ok, should be touristy prices here but scouting around we were able to get some good bargains.

Some of us bought this tribal basket-weave basket to use as water-bottle containers. Quaint and convenient!

Other than the shops, the corridors in front were a place to find some good bargains too - many vendors had set up tables to sell the layered cakes that Sarawak is renown for. Sorry, no photos of the cakes as I was too busy bargaining and forgot to take photos.

Along the corridor was this man too, he does wood carving on drift wood and other hardwood.

12:15pm - We were at the food court at Carpenter Street opposite the Hiang Thian Siang Ti Temple, wanting to try out the famous Kuching Satay there. We were early (the satay stall only opens at 1:00pm) so we sat around until the stall opened. No we are not greedy pigs, just keen to try out the local specialities!

And.... this is the satay. It may not look as good as satay from other states, but it was certainly delicious nonetheless.

Back at our homestay, many were excited about the local purchases; exchanging notes and views with much "Ooooohs" and "Aaaaahs".

Sunset viewed from Kuching Airport.
Later in the evening we flew back to Kuala Lumpur.
Sarawak, you and your people has been most kind and warm to us.

This blog comes in a several parts. To go to other parts click on the following link to return to the summary page:

Related Blogs :

Cycling Sarawak Gawai 2015 Day 4 : Of Zheng Ho & A Siburan Feast 2nd June 2015

You May Also Like :

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Cycling Sarawak Gawai 2015 /  Day 5 : Goodbye Sarawak!      |     Go to Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via facebook or twitter)