Topeak Rack on a Radmini

The Radpower rear rack is frequently (and currently) out of stock. It’s a bit hard to find concrete information on what other brands of racks fit on the Radmini, let alone photos of them installed. Some commenters have recommended Topeak racks, but there’s several versions to choose from. I tried the Topeak Explorer.

Here are some photos of the Explorer on a 2019 Radmini. Short version: it fits. There are at least three different holes near the dropouts that the rack can be installed on, resulting in three different heights. The highest hole put the rack closest to the seat but too high above the wheel for my tastes. Using one of the holes that the derailleur guard attaches to (the matching hole on the other side is unused) didn’t work because part of the rack stay rubbed against the bike frame and the rack couldn’t be leveled. I settled on attaching the rear stay to the same hole that the rear fender attaches to. The bolts that came with the Topeak rack are long enough that the rack and the fender can be attached together.

The Radmini’s taillight cable is long enough that, after snipping four zipties that hold it to the frame, it’s possible to attach the taillight to the rack without needing an extension cable.

The Topeak Explorer rack also has a spring-loaded hinged bar on the rack that can hold down a jacket or other light things. It also works with the Topeak MTX QuickTrack system. It A rack without the spring, but otherwise identical, is available for a few dollars less.

So far, the rack and bag (Topeak Trunk Bag MTX EX) are tight and rattle-free.

The Rack: Topeak Explorer (Non-Disc) (W/ Spring)

The Bag: MTX Trunkbag EX.

More Volkswagen x Trek Bikes

Those 90s Trek VW bikes keep showing up. Who knew you could get a bike jersey and other swag, too? An unused ’97 purple bike with paperwork is up on Facebook Marketplace now [edit: or not – possibly sold?].

The original VW saddle – Nice embroidery!
You could be the first person to ride this!

More on the VW/Trek collab is here and here, but contact the seller directly [edit: looks like it might have been sold] if you want this one. Seller is asking $750 and it’s in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Perfect for the Volkswagen or Trek aficionado.

Back in the G-Shock World

After flirting with vintage G-Shock watches and learning about resin rot, I cashed out, making about a $30 profit on a $1 watch + battery, and forgot about them for a while.

When Casio added a step tracker to some of their watches, I decided to dip a toe (or rather, a wrist) back in the G-Shock waters.

I’ve had an Apple Watch, a Fitbit watch, and even a Pebble watch (some people still remember them), and the most useful thing to me was the pedometer.

There are only a few G-Shocks with a step tracker. I chose the budget-minded GBD800 ($100) – part of the G-SQUAD exercise-oriented line. It has the usual suite of timer and alarm settings, but no ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) functions. To get those with a pedometer, you have to step up to the GGB100 Mudmaster, which costs almost four times more.

Casio G-Shock GBD800-UC3. Source: TCM.

Volcon Grunt: Big Wheel EV Motorcycle

This looks interesting: An all-electric off-road motorcycle with fat, fat tires and a retro headlight. The Volcon Grunt will hit 60 mph in 60 seconds and has a range of 100 miles. Added bonus: the Grunt is waterproof (IPX67) and, Volcon says, can be driven underwater.

The Grunt is, like most cycles, rear-wheel drive, but it looks a lot like the two-wheel drive Rokon motorcycle, a gas-powered go-anywhere grunt that has been around for over 50 years. The Rokon Trail-Breaker has eight-inch wide tires and hollow wheels that allow you to float it (sideways) over any stream too deep to ford. The Grunt is also analogous to the Yamaha TW200, a more traditional dual sport motorcycle with a seven-inch tire in the back. The TW200 does not float.

If you want an electric 2×2 motorcycle, the Ubco is your bike, although it tops out at only 30 mph and its tires look positively skinny compared to the other three bikes.

Volcon Grunt
Rokon Trail-Breaker
Ubco 2×2
Yamaha TW200

The Grunt will be $5,995, not bad considering the Ubco EV bikes start at $6,499. Wanna stick with gas? The most basic Rokon is $6,975 and a new Yamaha TW200 starts at $4,699.

Finished: Huffy Santa Fe Cruiser Bike

Huffy cruiser bike

OK, now I’m done messing with this. I found this Huffy bicycle on the side of a road. Aside from trashed tires and one flat tube, it mostly needed just a cleaning to make it presentable. The final result is here. I shelled out for two new, slightly wider tires (no whitewalls), tubes, and handlebar grips, removed the decals, and added a bell and reflectors I already had. The front fork and chainguard were a very dull silver (a.k.a., gray) that detracted from the look of the chrome fenders, so I sprayed on two coats of Rustoleum gloss white. I believe it’s ready for a boardwalk.

Cleaned up
As found

The Orvis X Barbour X Land Rover Sweepstakes

Source: Orvis

Orvis and Barbour have been teaming up to give away restored classic Land Rovers (like this green one, which was won by a Massachusetts woman and her dog ). 2019’s sweepstakes vehicle was a 1994 Defender. Looks like the winner flipped it for cash (maybe to pay the taxes on the prize). A ’95 Range Rover, restored by Congleton Service was the most recent prize. No word yet on where it ended up.

Sweet tartan upholstery on the Land Rover Defender. Source: Bring A Trailer.
The most recent Orvis giveaway: 1995 Range Rover (sweepstakes just ended). Source: Orvis.

Hokey Smokes, it’s the Honda Hunter Cub!

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub in Matte Fresco Brown. Source: Honda Japan and

After re-introducing the Super Cub to the U.S., Honda is now releasing the CT125 Hunter Cub, a more off-road ready bike that’s an evolution of their 1960s-1970s era Honda Trail bikes. The Hunter Cub will be released in Japan in June and may (or may not) also come to the U.S.

Honda CT125 Hunter Cub in Glowing Red. Source: Honda Japan and

G-Shocks, Resin Rot, and Avoiding an Obsession

Browsing a garage sale, I examined a plastic bag full of watches. It was mostly junky stuff, including a lightweight piece that said “Rolex” on it, but there was also one Casio G-Shock.

Before it all fell apart. Casio G-Shock DW6800. Source: TCM

Not that I needed another watch, but I had been casually looking at new Casio G-Shocks, which have a reputation for toughness at affordable prices. This one, however, had been sitting in the sun all morning and when I picked it up, the plasticky looking watch felt like it was melting. I ended up paying a dollar for it, the price helped by the fact that the bezel surrounding the watch face cracked in my hand while talking with the seller.

Carhartt – Are You Keeping the Faith?

Source: Carhartt.

After writing about Lee’s Union-Alls the other day, my thoughts naturally turned to Carhartt’s coveralls, the archaeologist’s cold-weather friend.

The Carhartt company, coincidentally, was founded the same year as the H.D. Lee Company, 1889, when Hamilton Carhartt started selling bib overalls in Detroit, Michigan. Carhartt’s coveralls appeared by the World War II era, and likely earlier, but Lee’s claim to be first seems valid.

Source: Popular Mechanics January 1946.

Like the original H.D. Lee company, the Carhartt company proudly proclaimed their support of Union workers. The modern Carhartt company, unlike Lee, is still a family-owned business, and about half of their workers are Union members.

Source: Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen’s Magazine 1919.