Monday, December 31, 2007

Remaining Heron Inventory

I'm often asked what Heron frames are left in stock. So, here is the complete list:

50 cm Road - Rockwell Red
50 cm Road - Primer
51 cm Touring - Shippingsport Silver
53 cm Wayfarer - Gooding Green
56 cm Rally - Rockwell Red
56 cm Rally - Primer

Frames that are painted can be shipped right away. Frames that are in primer can be painted any of the four stock Heron colors within several weeks. E-mail me at with any questions.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007


If it's November, it's NANOWRIMO time. NANOWRIMO is National Novel Writing Month. Challenge yourself to write 50,000 words in the month of November. It doesn't even have to be any good. I finished it in 2004 but failed in 2005 and 2006. I am even busier this year, but my failures were mostly due to illness. So, if I can stay healthy, who knows. Who's with me?


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Heron Production Ends

I have recently decided to end production of the Heron line of frames. Rest assured that this is not due to a lack of business or customer support. Rather, this is a personal choice and a difficult one at that.

A limited number of frames remain in a few sizes and colors. If you are interested in one of these final frames, please inquire at your Heron dealer. I will remain available for repairs, repaints, and warranty service. So, customers will not be left without support.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

eBay Alert - 64 cm Heron Road in Gooding Green

I'm selling a 64 cm Road in Gooding Green on eBay. The frame is new but had been scratched in shipping. Details here.

Tall people rejoice!


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Final (I hope) Website Update

Both the Heron and Tullio's websites should now be fully operational for all browsers. Thanks for your patience.


Another Web Update

It looks like the Heron site should be working for all browsers except Firefox. A Firefox fix (say that three times fast!) is in the works. Meanwhile, Firefox users should be able to access the site by using <> to access the site. Stay tuned!


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Website Update

The Tullio's site is back online! We are still working on making the Heron site accessible to all browsers and operating systems.


Friday, August 03, 2007

More Web Problems

The Tullio's website has been down for a couple of days now. My site host has had a catastrophic server failure that they are still trying to repair. I hope to have the site back up very soon.

Also, work is progressing on the Heron site. Some folks have had trouble accessing the site. It seems that some browser/OS combinations have no problem while others can't access it at all. If you are having problems, try going around the main page by loading one of the others (like

When I learn more, I'll post it here. Thanks for your patience.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Going Out of Town

I'm going to be out of town from Saturday, July 21 through Sunday, July 29. During this time, both Tullio's and Heron Bicycles will be closed. I'll be back in town and open for business on Monday, July 30. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Heron Web Resource

While I personally construct and maintain the Tullio's website, a good friend has handled the Heron website for me. Unfortunately, that means it takes a little longer to resolve problems or update site information. So, I have begun the process of integrating all of the Heron information into the Tullio's site.

Some of you have reported sporadic problems accessing the Heron site. If so, you should now be able to find the information you need on the Heron portion of the Tullio's site. Eventually, everything will be on one big site, and the Heron URL will forward to the new, expanded Tullio's site.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Computer is Back Up

I got the computer going again and am working to return e-mails. Thanks for the patience. Also, the Heron website is down, but I'm checking into that. Darned computers!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Computer Problems

Just a quick note to let folks know that my computer is down. Until it is repaired, I'll try to check e-mail from friends' machines. However, it might take me a bit longer than usual to get back to you. If you have something that you need quickly, give me a call at 815-488-1858. Thanks.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Discussion of Super Thin Spokes

There is one known issue with spokes with very thin middle sections like DT Revolutions. At some point while tensioning the spokes, the force required to turn the nipple on the spoke will become greater than the force required to twist the spoke at its middle. Beyond this point, it will be impossible to turn the nipple without temporarily relieving the spoke tension. This point will occur at a spoke tension that is less than optimal. The result is that the wheel will not be as strong as it should be.

It is possible to force the rim inward enough to relieve the tension so the nipple can turn. This will allow the wheelbuilder to achieve the optimal spoke tension. The downside is that this is such a pain-in-the-butt that many wheelbuilders don't do it. It will also be a pain-in-the-butt should you ever need to true the wheel.

I believe that most wheels built with Revolutions are built with less than optimal spoke tension, and durability is usually sufficient. However, if durability is sufficient with, say, 32 Revolution spokes at less than optimal tension, it will be just as sufficient with 28 15/16 spokes at optimal tension. The weight of the spokes will be nearly the same.

I won't build with Revolutions any longer because I won't build with lower spoke tension and I don't want the pain of dealing with temporarily relieving spoke tension just to turn the nipple. Of course, should the opportunity arise, I wouldn't be opposed to using them on the left side of the rear wheel since those spokes are never at high tension.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Touring Front Derailleur Update

There is a new problem when using the Shimano Deore LX front derailleur with the Sugino XD600 (or similar) crank. The latest version of the LX front derailleur (and most of the other current Shimano front derailleurs) has a new cage that is more profiled with larger shift ramps than before. It is optimized for Shimano MTB cranks with 44-32-22T chainrings. When using it on the XD600 crank with 46-36-26T chainrings, the inner portion of the cage will hit the middle chainring when shifting to the large chainring unless the derailleur is mounted VERY high. When mounted high, the shift ramps are in the wrong places and will rub against the chain in many gear combinations thus requiring constant trimming.

The current road triple front derailleurs from Shimano have a similar cage profile. They are now all pretty much limited to use with Shimano's standard chainring combinations. This is true even with a friction shifter. As a result, I have now switched to Campagnolo triple front derailleurs. Their cages are also profiled but not nearly as much as Shimano's. They work extremely well with both friction shifters and Campagnolo Ergo shifters. The cages are wide enough that trimming is seldom required to avoid chain rub.

This trend makes me want to buy up any NOS straight cage derailleurs I can find on eBay. Those old derailleurs are very light, durable, and functional. They just don't index well with STI shifters.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Heron Site Down

The Heron Bicycles website is currently down because of problems at our site host. Hopefully, the problems will be resolved soon so we can get the site back up. I'll post any news here. Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wiggles Freak-Out

I have two kids, ages 1 and 3. They love the Wiggles. So, this afternoon I was surfing YouTube for Wiggles videos with Mary, the 3-year-old, and found this video. It's very odd, somewhat disturbing, and hypnotically addictive. Don't ask me why, but if you know the Wiggles, you need to take a look.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What is Your Ideal Religion?

I'm a little bit off of the subject of cycling for the moment, but it is a Sunday. What is the best religion for you? There is a way to get an idea. It's called (I'm not making this up) the Belief-O-Matic. The Belief-O-Matic is part of the Beliefnet website, and it's an online quiz that will rank 27 different religions (including atheism/agnosticism) based upon how compatible they are with your own beliefs. There are twenty questions to answer, and it doesn't take long.

Beliefnet seems to be a great tool for gaining a basic understanding of various faiths. They provide impartial descriptions of many religions along with resources to find additional information. If you ever wondered if you were in the right place spiritually, it might be worth checking out.

I'm no Bible-thumper nor am I looking to convert anyone (except maybe to the Church of Steel!). For a guy like me who gets turned off by hardcore proselytizing, it was a comfortable place to visit.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Nitto Stem Comparison

I've been asked about the quill length of the new Nitto UI-2 stems. It measures about 78 mm from the top of the quill to the minimum insertion line. This is slightly shorter than the quill of the Pearl stem, but since the UI-2s I received have a 90-degree extension, the clamp still winds up higher.

This photo shows the two stems side-by-side:

Here is the same view with a rod showing the height of the clamp of the UI-2 stem:

Another view shows the approximate installation angle:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Politics and Obama

I am often reluctant to bring up politics because some folks might decide not to business with me if they happen to disagree with my views. My friends in the bicycle industry are all over the map politically, and I support them all. I respect their views even when we differ. I would hope that most folks feel the same way.

In the coming presidential primaries, I am supporting Barack Obama. If you favor someone else, that's fine with me. In fact, if you get involved and do something, it's great even if your candidate is not my candidate. If you do happen to like Mr. Obama and would like to support his campaign, I've set up a fundraising page. You can learn about his views and contribute if you'd like. You can see the page here.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Nitto Pearl Stems in Stock

I also received a bunch of Pearl stems from Nitto. These are cold-forged masterpieces and maybe the most beautiful stems of all time. Here's the scoop:

Quill Diameter: 22.2 mm for 1" threaded steerers
Clamp Diameter: 26.0 mm
Extension Angle: 71-degrees
Available Extensions: 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 cm
Price: $65 each

Note: Because Nitto measures the extension length through the center of the extension rather than the top, their sizes wind up being a little smaller. So, a 8 cm Nitto stem will be the same length as an 8.7 cm stem measured as most other companies do. Generally, you can buy one size shorter than usual.

New Custom Nitto UI-2 Stems in Stock!

As I wrote earlier, I've got the new UI-2 stems in stock. Nitto usually builds these with a 71-degree angle, but I asked them to build this batch with a 90-degree angle for a more upright position. Here are the details:

Quill Diameter: 22.2 mm for 1" threaded steerers
Clamp Diameter: 26.0 mm
Extension Angle: 90-degrees
Available Extensions: 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 cm
Weight: 272-319g
Price: $55 each

Note: since these stems have a 90-degree extension angle, Nitto's method of measuring the extension length will give the same figure as other manufacturers.

As you can see below, the UI-2 will give you about 1 cm more vertical adjustability than the Salsa SUL stem. With the longer quill and the fact that the extension mounts slightly higher on the quill, the UI-2 will give a taller riding position than the Salsa.

The Nitto UI-2 logo on the extension is actually a decal. It removes easily for a cleaner look as seen below:

New Custom Nitto M12 Front Racks in Stock

I've got our new M12 racks from Nitto. The old version was customized for us to place a threaded light mount on the right side support stay. This new version has a second light mount on the left support stay. So, if your looking for a clean way to mount two headlights nice and low, this is it!

Since the support stays are not adjustable, I'm often asked if these racks will fit a specific fork. My experience shows that the lower stays are flexible enough to fit most fork widths and crown heights. I haven't found a cantilever-equipped fork that didn't fit, yet. So, unless you have something really unusual, it should fit.

Price: still a low, low $50!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nitto Stuff Is In!

I just received my long-awaited order from Nitto. I haven't even had the chance to unpack it all yet, but I wanted to check out the new UI-2 stems and get a few pics (quick, improperly lit, and without tripod).

The UI-2 is a TIG-welded cromoly stem with a two-bolt faceplate. "UI" stands for Ultimate Ideal, and, as it says on the box, these stems are "Light Weight, Heavy Duty, Finely Made." The Nitto UI-2 logo on the sides of the stem is actually a sticker. I'm going to remove one to see how that looks. I'll get pics when I can. The Nitto logo is also etched onto the faceplate.

These stems are for 1" threaded steerers. The clamp diameter is 26.0 mm. I have them with 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 cm extension. The extension angle is 90 degrees. Price is $55 each.

I'll get some better pictures tomorrow and include some of the Pearl stems and M12 racks I also received.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

More NOS Freewheels on eBay

I found a few more NOS freewheels in my parts stash. They are all SunTours and include a 7-speed 13-24T, a 7-speed 13-28T, and a 6-speed 13-21T. You can see them in my eBay store here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ed's Oracle Update

A while back I asked folks to prod me about my progress on my novel, Ed's Oracle. Nobody has asked, and it's likely that nobody really cares. However, it helps keep me motivated. So, I'll do a pretend prodding:

So, do you have a publisher for your book, yet?

A publisher? I haven't even finished the rewrite!

Oh. So, how's the rewrite coming?

I have one chapter done (almost). Actually, it's starting to move along. I have to fit the rewrite in between Tullio's stuff, Heron stuff, other writing projects, family stuff (how in the world can two little kids such up so much damn energy? I'm exhausted by the time they go to bed!). So, it isn't going to be quick even if all goes well. I'm just trying to keep making progress.


OK, so it's not the most interesting thing in the world. I'll put something about bikes up here soon. I promise.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

NOS 6-Speed Freewheel on eBay

I found an old Shimano 600EX in a box of parts and put it up on eBay. It's still new-in-the-box. Here is the listing.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

E-Mail Problems Fixed

It took a few days to figure it out, but I think I've finally fixed all of my e-mail problems. It appears that messages that I had sent were not being properly delivered. Unfortunately, I had no indication that there was a problem, and it may have been going on as long as two months. If you tried to reach me recently and received no reply, I apologize.

I should be able to receive and send mail now from my primary e-mail address,

Saturday, January 13, 2007

E-Mail Woes

I just discovered that many, if not all, of the e-mail messages I have sent over the past few weeks have not been properly delivered. I'm working with my e-mail service provider to figure out how to correct it. If you have e-mailed me and have not received a reply, I apologize. I am not ignoring your note. Hopefully, this will be corrected soon. --Todd

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Asthma and Winter Cycling

It is now wintertime, and with the cold weather comes an aggravation of the asthma suffered by many cyclists, myself included. I’ve seen the subject mentioned many times on various internet forums. I thought that I would write about my own experience here.

I have the asthma triple whammy. Mine is exercise-induced, allergy-induced, and chronic. Chronic asthma refers to a reduced lung capacity even when not having an “attack.” For cyclists, we are primarily concerned with the exercise-induced variety, but allergies and chronic asthma can affect any ride.

While some experience the classic wheezing when having an attack, I often simply found myself out of breath. This was especially true when I used to race. For some time, I simply assumed that I was getting spit off the back of the pack because the other racers were simply better prepared. However, after one race, I found that I couldn’t catch my breath even after thirty minutes of recovery.

My doctor advised a gradual warm-up before a race or other hard effort. This proved to be a problem at races, though. I would be able to go through a proper warm-up and get my heart rate up, but I would invariably have to wait at the start line long enough for my heart rate to fall. The massive sprint that inevitably occurred at the start would then trigger an attack.

My doctor also advised a preventative dose of an inhaler like Albuterol before exercise. I still do that today if I plan anything beyond a light workout. I also carry an inhaler on every ride in case an attack hits me on the road. My need for a gradual warm-up means that I often can’t ride with groups that go hard from the start of a ride. I frequently need thirty to forty minutes before I can ride at tempo. If I go too hard too fast, I can trigger an attack.

I’ve also followed advice from the book Reversing Asthma by Richard N. Firshein, D.O. He suggests that most drug treatments for asthma merely address the symptom while aggravating the underlying cause. This results in a spiral of larger doses and additional medications. Instead, he recommends a change in diet and exercise that can reduce or eliminate the need for medication. He also suggests magnesium as a supplement. In fact, intravenous magnesium is often given to treat severe attacks. I have begun taking this recently after my neurologist suggested it to help prevent migraine headaches. So far, it has helped with both problems.

Back to the cold weather. The cold, dry air of wintertime often aggravates asthma for many cyclists. When I ride in winter, I make my warm-up even longer than normal. During the coldest times, I wear a balaclava that I can use to both keep my face warm and warm air that I am breathing in. The lower part of the balaclava can be adjusted during the ride as needed. During the coldest weather, it can be worn all the way up over the nose, full-ninja style. This allows exhaled breath through the nose and mouth to warm the fabric and, in turn, the inhaled air. As things warm up, the balaclava can be slipped down from the nose so that it only covers the mouth.

Once I am warmed up sufficiently that breathing in cold air will not trigger an attack, the balaclava can be lowered again to expose the mouth. If warm enough, the chin can also be exposed. Used in this manner, I found the balaclava to be one of the more useful bits of winter riding gear. While it is not always necessary simply to maintain body temperature, it can always be used to regulate the temperature of inhaled air.

I have talked to enough asthmatics to know that what works for one will not necessarily work for all. However, I hope that everyone can find a way to keep riding through these colder months. If anyone has other suggestions, please forward them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Randonneurs, Need Some New Wheels?

Brevet season is coming up, and some new wheels might be in order. I've listed a great pair on eBay that feature a Schmidt SON28 dynohub, Campy Veloce rear hub, and Torelli Master rims. Check them out here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Randonneur on eBay, Again

The 59 cm Randonneur didn't sell the first time around. I've dropped the price $50 and listed it again. Check it out here.