Rep The Colours!

Holy shit, action on the BnC blog!?

Things have been a bit quiet here, so we’re kicking things off good and proper. It’s been a long time coming, but the brand new Bottles and Chains team kit is finally here! It’s up for pre-order now, on our shiny new webshop. The pre-orders close on January 2, 2017 so you’ve got a little bit of time to rob some pennies, but it’s a busy time of year so don’t wait too long.

Get shopping here.

BnC Team Kit Pre-Order

Shit The Bed

Can you tell I’m bored on the internet tonight? Luckily for you hapless souls it means more pointless content that you’ll regret ever bothering to read. In fact, most of the time while I’m writing it my finger is hovering around the backspace key and my head is filled with with self-doubt and despair. It’s true.

A few weeks (months?) back the highly motivated and deadline-driven crew over at House of Pistard (by which I mean Xander) launched their webshop, which definitely hasn’t been delayed for the last several years and has had no mention of excuses as to its lack of existance or anything like that. It appeared on time and on target and anyone who says otherwise is a goddamn liar. Over at the HoP shop you can purchase attractive garments printed with clever and aesthetically pleasing designs. They’ll be posted to your door and you’ll be the envy of all your friends.

This all kicked off a while ago and in fact, I visited the shop the moment it was open and bought a bunch of shit. I decided not to post anything because otherwise I end up wearing the same t-shirts as everyone else and looking like a complete goose (more so than usual). So in the interest of self-interest and complete disregard for anyone else, I decided to be a bastard and leave you all to figure it out for yourselves. Given that HoP has a bigger following than BnC, that’s not really a concern, but I did feel a little bad about it. So now here’s a link to the HoP compound and also to their shop, so you can go buy some sweet shit and we can all hang out at the pub together admiring each others t-shirts and talking about how edgy and underground we are for wearing a courier-run brand from the other side of the world. Or maybe it’ll just be me.

The following website contains the teenie-tiniest navigation you’ll ever see, so if you’re some kind of hyper-GUI-sensitive freak or struggle to read anything smaller than font size 12 then it may be worth enlisting a nearby small child to help you out. I was meandering through Seb Kemp’s blog 2Flat earlier and he happened to link to a chap called Jordan Manley. I’m a sucker for a good MTB photo, especially one that kicks the tedious ‘high speed berm with ten flash units and mud’ cliche. Jordan’s work definitely does that. Not sure why I haven’t come across it before, but now that I have I’m happily appreciating it as much as possible via this here laptop. It’s photography like this that tears me out of my chair and onto my bike and I don’t think you can ask for anything better from a mountain bike photograph.  It serves as an awesome reminder of how epic it can be out on the trail and how the machines we ride may take all our money and make everyone else look at us funny but they rule our world with good reason.

Liam, Ben, Jordy, and anyone else who loves shutterspeeds and apertures, go have a look.

What is Good in Life?

Right, the weekend’s here. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a brand new mountain bike that is desperately screaming out to be thrashed to pieces on the local trails, but you’ve been smashed down by a stupid fucking dose of the flu and will instead spend the next two days snivelling at work and drowning in self-pity and MTB DVDs on the couch. Sucks to be us.

If you’re stuck inside due to some kind of illness or whithering disability then you’ll probably end up on a computer wasting time looking for weird porn on the internet, or trying to guess your mates’ facebook passwords. I’ve got a better idea. A few heads have been contacting me and asking for blatant product endorsement in exchange for bizarre sexual favours (I don’t know what your ‘link’ is, nor am I sure I wish to trade one with you) through the use of strangely template-like e-mails. However, given that I’m in a charitable mood (read: I’m hoping someone will send me free shit) I though I’d pass them on. Here are two that actually seems fairly decent and look to be good heads doing good things, which I think is good for everyone.

Firstly, the kids at the Gutter Bunny Project are putting together a bunch of footage from around the world. They’re after people with helmet cams (or anyone good at riding one-handed) to shoot some video of you cycling through an ‘urban environment’. It’s all going towards some kind of art project, which will hopefully involved an opening with free beer and maybe some cheese. Go have a gander at their website then dig out your old family camcorder and film yourself riding things.

Link: The Gutter Bunny Project

The next one is a little more commercial, and I usually shy away from posting this kind of stuff (I think? Maybe I always say that but keep posting it anyway). Regardless, I’m a huge fan of companies doing things ethically and with a decent amount of respect for fellow humans and the planet we live on. If everyone supported local industries and did their best to look after the people who work with them, the world would be a better place (and I’d hear less whinging about the internet from my boss). Now they did actually refer to us as ‘bikes and chains’ at one point in their e-mail, so hopefully by ignoring that and showing plenty of good will and co-operation they will in turn send me a bunch of free stuff (size S thank you, I’m a skinny cyclist after all). It’s all eco-friendly and you can track the journey your garment has made across the world using google maps, just as if your t-shirt was a real person. These kind of small companies are doing good stuff and setting standards that will hopefully be taken up by the bigger guys as people start realising how important it is. But anyway, they’re a clothing crew based on some island called Wight, and given my general appreciations of islands in general, I’ll now post a link to their website where you can give them your money in exchange for eco-friendly goods. I’ll be waiting for mine in the mail!

Link: Rapanui Eco Brand

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for some gruesome injury photos that I’ve been promised by a damaged reader.

Random Shit

Ah, the soft lull of winter! Everything quietens a little, and apparently the BnC website is no different. Things are still ticking here, albeit slowly and softly. Sometimes it’s just hard to crawl out from under the couch doona and away from the world cup. Never mind that the TdF starts next month, which will lead to a few more weeks of hibernation and bleary eyed days. But it’s winter, right? That’s what we’re meant to do.

Not everyone’s dead quiet though. Jordy and the BnC crew up in Launceston have been tearing it up on the streets of the city. They’ve kicked off the Launceston Fixedwheel Club (LFC) and have been trashing wheels and tearing tyres fairly regularly by the seems of it. If you’re in the area you should get involved. Can’t go wrong with skids and beers as far as I’m concerned. Go check their FB page for details and snaps and good times.

On a more selfish note, I’ve got some more shit for sale. What’s the point of a blog if I can’t flog my unwanted shit on it, right? Most of this is pretty decent gear, so get involved.

Item #1
Wheelset – DT Swiss XR400 rims laced to a 15/20mm Chub front hub and a DT Swiss 340 135mm rear. Double butted black spokes and alloy nipples. Never ridden, never installed. Throwing in a set of new Kenda Small Block Eight tyres and some tubes. They’re $600 (or about $1,300 if you built them yourself). Came off a build kit last week.

Here’s a picture, click to make it big:

Item #2
Brakeset – Avid Elixir CRs with 6″ rotors. Alloy levers. Again, brand new and never installed. Awesome brakes, just not what I wanted. Grab ’em for $420 (inc. postage within Australia). No photo, they look just like the ones on the website.

Item #3
Bicycle – This one’s a pearler! A vintage Michalo road bike in beautiful condition. Sized at 54cm square (c-c). Built by Ron Mitten in Tassie back in 1983, it’s barely been ridden since then. Tubing is Tange Championship #1, their top end tubeset. The componentry is a bit of a mix of Shimano, Sachs, Suntour, Dia-Compe, Tange, etc but all looks to be in great condition. Windowed lugs. Beautiful bike that needs little more than a clean up to become a prime road machine. Someone really needs to ride this thing, ’cause it doesn’t fit me and deserves better than my garage. Out the door at $600!

This is a kinda shitty picture, but you get the idea…

Item #4
Bicycle – Another old schooler. Columbus tubed vintage roadie decked out in a bit of a mix of Shimano and Campagnolo components and wheels. The frame’s super nice, but it has a couple of small dings and scratches, and the paint job kinda sucks (British racing green). Lots of nice bits on it though. This one’s a 56cm square (c-c). Selling it ’cause I never actually got around to riding it. No pictures, but hit me up if you might be interested and I’ll take some snaps. Chasin’ $350 for that sucker.

Just e-mail info[at] if you’re interested in anything. Give me money and I will provide you with quality goods! Sweeeeet.

Anyway, enough of the selling shit. Continue on with your day!

Bigger Cages, Longer Chains

Anyone want to buy a nice wheelset? I’m selling the wheels off my CX bike. They’re sexy as hell and haven’t been ridden much at all. Probably 300km at the most. Have we established that I’m lazy yet?

The details:

What: Velocity Deep Vs (blue) laced to Shimano 105 Black hubs. 32H. Black DT Swiss Competition spokes. Black alloy nipples.
Condition: Excellent! Professionally built (by me), running beautifully true.
Location: Hobart. Can ship interstate at buyer’s expense.
Price: $350 firm.
Contact: E-mail mischa[at] or call (03) 6224 4234 during work hours.
Here they are in all their glory:


Joel came into work yesterday and pointed my eyes at this thing…

It’s a Vassago Fisticuff. I guess the small text under the big text in that picture kinda explains it, but it’s still confusing. It takes 700c wheels, but can run 650b with wider tyres. It takes disc brakes, or rim brakes. Goes geared, SS or fixed. I’m sure it’d work with drops, flats or risers. I really don’t really get it, but I do know that as soon as I saw that picture I decided I want one. It may jsut be the bike-hoarder that lurks just below the surface in me, or maybe it’s all this stickin-it-to-the-man that Matt and Ben have been doing lately. Either way, it gets me a little hot under the collar. It’s been belting down with rain here all afternoon, and that really looks like the kind of bike that should be thrashed in the mud.

So yeah, fairly pointless post, but maybe someone will like it and buy one, then they can bring it to the shop and I can take it for a ride.


A random link showed up in the BnC inbox today, which looked a little dubious. Pretty Boy promptly sent through a message re-stating the link, which could either be a seal of approval or a suggestion towards a healthy dose of BnC-style cynicism and heckling. Either way, I went and visited this website and saw what looks like a bunch of Alien and Leader frames built up with custom colours, fancy spoke patterns, painful saddle angles, dubious brake set up and odd rim drillings. There’s a lot of talk about lifestyle and aesthetic and paradigm shifts and other such stuff. It’s difficult to avoid getting a little BSNYC about it all, so instead I think I’ll just open it up to the discerning readers of this fine website and allow you to start flinging the stinky stuff around. Have at it!

It’s OK, Everything’s Fine

I stumbled upon a nifty little thing today. Everyone loves a good singlespeed conversion, but when you’re converting a frame with vertical dropouts, you run into the age old problem or chain tension. There are several options available to you, the main contenders being the use of a chain tensioner, an eccentric hub, or an eccentric bottom bracket. All three have their downsides. A tensioner works a treat but takes away that clean, derailleur free aesthetic. Eccentric hubs are nice, but force your hand a little when it comes to wheel choice and don’t allow for a quick and easy conversion. Eccentric bottom brackets are even trickier, as you need a frame that is set up to accept an oversized BB, and they don’t work so well (read: at all) with new crank designs. Or at least, they never used to.

We were doing a little research in the shop today and found this nifty unit from Forward Components. It’s an eccentric bottom bracket designed for use with the new style external bottom bracket cups, and it fits into any standard 68mm bottom bracket shell. It’ll work a treat for singlespeed, internal gear hubs, and fixed gears. You get all the advantages of an eccentric bottom bracket, without having to buy a special frame. I’m not really in the market for anything like this, but there’s something about the simplicity and straight-forward look of these little thing that’s really struck a chord with me. It fits into the classic singlespeed ethos of keeping it simple and elegant.

They’re not super cheap (US$150), but in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge outlay and it’ll solve a lot of problems in a very elegant manner. Hopefully someone will find it useful.

If anyone ends up buying on I’d love to hear how they go. Do they cut the mustard? Are they as good as they look? How the hell do you tighten it into the frame?