note to self

Always, always take a roll of packing tape when taking a parcel to the post office. You're gonna need to re-tape, or re-package something.

72 cans of "beer" in the bag

One popular method to measure the capacity of a bag (backpack or messenger style) among cyclists is "how many beers?" For instance, here's a roundup of bags that hold at least 24 beers.

I recently acquired a Timbuk2 Especial Tres (2014 edition) and was curious about its capacity. It's officially a 40L bag, but it's not clear if this is before or after expansion, or pushing its limits. Today's test doesn't really answer the "How many liters does it really hold?" but it does demonstrate that this is one capacious bag.

Before we begin, here are the tags that came on the bag.

Here is the bag before we begin. I don't actually drink beer, so I have two 24 packs of diet coke and a third 24 pack of assorted drinks. A 12oz drink is a 12oz drink, yes?

Here's the first layer of a dozen cans.
When I did the second layer, I realized I could fit 2 more per layer, so here's two layers of 14 (28 cans).
Here's after 2 more layers of 14. So, 56 cans.
At this point the bag was basically at "normal" capacity. I had filled to the normal top. I closed it up and here's some photos with 56 cans inside.
Now it's time to start expanding.
I don't think the expansion zipper thing on the sides actually adds that much room, but that in addition with using some of the above the roll top line, I got all the rest of the cans that I had into the bag, all three 24 packs, for a total of 72 cans. Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo with all the cans inside. I got the additional 16 cans in by laying a bunch on top and then shoving the others down alongside the cans that were already in the bag. I had no trouble closing the bag, and I probably could have fit a couple more inside. Plus, as you can see, I still haven't even touched the stretchy pockets on the outside.
You can see from that last set that I had to extend the top straps, and I could only just fold the roll top. I would not recommend actually trying to wear this bag with this much weight in it, but they do fit pretty easily, and it is definitely "closed" and fairly secure. You can also see that the bag is bulging. It's not straining at all, but it is very nearly totally full.

git up

I've just discovered git-up. I like it.

gem install git-up
rbenv rehash
git config --global git-up.bundler.check true
git config --global git-up.fetch.prune true
git up

I had to do a rehash to get rid of

git: 'up' is not a git command. See 'git --help'.

more about the marin hamilton bicycle

There's a good post/review of an older marin hamilton here.

That year was quite different from the 2013 that I have, but some points still pertain. It's an excellent commuter/all around bike. His model was single speed, I think, while mine was a 7 speed. (Mine is currently a 21 speed since I swapped in a triple ring crank and front derailleur).

He wishes there was disk brakes on his hamilton. The answer to that is to get a marin muirwoods 29er, which has disk brakes and 24 speed drivetrain.

The 2014 muirwoods has hydraulic brakes, while the 2013 had mechanical disk brakes. Personally, I prefer mechanical.

my latest bike: 2013 marin hamilton 29er

Near the end of last year I bought a 2013 marin muirwoods 29er to keep in the bay area, for when I'm there working.

fresh new bike!

One reason I bought it was that it was on sale at the marin factory store in san francisco. It was a "bargain" and a bike that I thought would be really good for the riding I do in California. I ride around the city, in the east bay, and then also go for long rides in marin and berkeley hills and mt diablo with my friend Dave.

Lunch time

I liked it a lot. Really, a lot. 

Recently, I noticed that these bikes were coming up for sale on ebay. For a lot cheaper than my "bargain". (They're selling for about $350 plus shipping, where I paid $600.) Also, the lesser twin of the muirwoods, the hamilton, was coming up for sale.

The only differences, as far as I know, between the 2013 hamilton and the muirwoods 29er is that the hamilton has rim brakes instead of disk, and its a 1x7 drivetrain instead of 3x8. I had been thinking that I'd prefer the rim brakes because of the reduced complexity, and that it's easier to get a rack on.

I bought a 2013 hamilton for about $250 + $48 shipping.

The seller wouldn't ship to Hawaii, but I had it shipped to Dave in California, and then I mailed the frame to myself (another $40) and took the rest of the bike on the plane in a checked bag.

The hamilton was delivered to me in it's original box, unassembled. It never got assembled as originally designed. To get it from California to Hawaii, I disassembled it more, and then I already had plenty of changes to make before I rode it the first time.

  • 100mm, 25 degree salsa stem
  • schwalbe marathon mondial tires (622-47)
  • charge scoop saddle
  • problem solvers backstop
  • cranks, triple front rings and top pull front derailleur (from my other 29er)
  • microshift twist shifters
  • black soma clarence bar
  • spurcycle grip rings

That's the basic changes I made. I did actually put on the original tires and rode those for a day before I put the schwalbes on. I ordered the stem, the saddle, the backstop and the shifters, and had them ready and waiting before I got the bike home. The other stuff was already in my collection.

I've been riding it around here, at home, and still liking it. I'm nearly convinced that these bikes are fabulous. More people should be buying them. And there are still real bargains on ebay, if you have a mainland address.