Such a Clatter

Lately I’ve been riding my 50 yr old British 3-speed “Emma Thompson Bike” around town. It’s been pretty hot and a slow upright bike keeps me from rushing and breaking a sweat.


But she is a bit… well… loud.


Clatter     When riding a wheel on Sheffield steel folks definitely hear you coming. But the Boston area roads don’t help the situation. They are pretty rough. So I wondered if I could measure the state of the roads by the sounds that Emma Thompson Bike makes?   Clatter  

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[…] all that, we need something not about dead cyclists. Such a Clatter How about noisy ones instead? […]


Fenders, chain guards, baskets, racks. All of these can get loose on bad roads and cause a lot of noise make sure all the nuts and bolts are tight. You could also have a loose or stretched chain banging up against the chain guard when you go over bumps if you have a chain guard. I like the way you drew Bikeyface vibrating I know the feeling well biking on Main Street north of the Long Island Expressway here in Queens NYC ouch!


I wish I could share the photo of the designated bike trail entrance to Clyburn Arboretum in Baltimore. It’s a cattle grate … to keep the deer in the park and off the road. Because a cattle grate is meant to be inconvenient to walk across — keeping deer in — carrying the trike (33 pounds and not as elegant as a bike to carry) seemed not an option. It rattled my brains … a lot!

I’ll not be visiting the arboretum on my tricycle again.

Jon Webb
I actually have a PBP story related to this. When I started PBP a couple weeks ago I’d pumped up my tires for speed and man was it noisy. My rear fender installation was kind of iffy — trying to fit Berthoud fenders I ended up using stainless steel zip ties, and there were some “issues” — anyway on French chipseal roads things got really bothersome. Then I finally gave up and deflated the tires some and guess what; same roads, same klutzy fender installation, but no noise (though a bit slower). That’s what tires are there for, I guess,… Read more »

Check out this Bicycle Dutch post on testing cycle track surfaces

I’d like to try the ‘bottle test’ in Melbourne, although I’m certain I’ll end up with a pannier full of shattered glass!