Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas parcels and a new gizmo

I mailed out a big batch of Christmas cookies and treats today.  Every year for many years now, I've made cookies and toffee for people who I'd like to remember this time of year, but who don't really need any stuff from me.  This year it's a bit smaller than usual, partly because I'll see more people in person this year.
Anyway, once everything was all packed up, I loaded some of the boxes on Gilbert's rack, and carried a pair in a bag slung over my shoulder (not ideal, but I wasn't going far).  It was quite a stack behind me- I had to employ an auxiliary bungee.

This evening, I was remarking on a gizmo that I installed recently- it's a spring tension wheel stabilizer,  which keeps the wheel mostly straight forward when you've got it up on a double legged kickstand like so:
(look ma, no hands!)

I had one of these on Robert that I tracked down in Barcelona when I was visiting, but the attachment to the downtube wasn't great.   This one came from Velo Orange, and it is much easier to attach and adjust.
There's a bracket which fits on the back of the crown brake bolt (I had to drill it out so that the "Sheldon's fender nut" would fit through it)
This isn't for everyone, but if you have a double legged kickstand, and often have a heavily laden bike,  it's extra insurance against dreaded front wheel flop that can take the whole bike down.


  1. We have one on our "Simple City" and it is a big help.

  2. nice review of the wheel stabilizer. i ordered one from VO for my wife's bike, only to find that the circular clamp wouldn't fit the oversized downtube! good to know that it really works! does it affect how the bike corners? do you feel the front wheel wanting to center when you make a sharp turn?

  3. Cool. Civia put these on the Loring - there is a braze-on on the frame just for it.
    I have one of the VO stabilizers but use it with a single kickstand. It makes the front less erratic when trying to load the front rack. It seems to make it easier to keep the bike straight when riding with a front load but it hasn't been an issue if I need to turn quickly. You can also adjust the tension (with a screw and by re-positioning the round clamp further up or down the tube.

  4. you know I was thinking of you today. I had ridden the sorte tothe train b/c I was going to do some major xmas shopping for the kids and knew I would have two huge shopping bags of stuff. I knew I would never fit it all on the halfway and while I rode toward home with my two bags happy in the box I thought "yeah- regualr panniers wouldn't hold this stuff" and then thought of you and knew you would find a way to carry such a load on mere two wheels.

  5. I have the VO Wheel Stabilizer too (hate that made up name. would prefer "fork stabilizing spring" or something). I feel no effect of it while riding whatsoever, which is ideal. I bought for my flop problems when I wasn't riding it. Whenever or wherever I parked the bike I was constantly finding the bike and its basket had fallen over and twisted around whatever rack or pole it was locked to. The Stabilizer is 100% effective. Best $10 I've ever spent on my bike.