Friday, November 25, 2011

IRD Cafam Cantilevers

Latest addition to the LHT is these IRD "Cafam" cantilevers.

I'm hoping for more power than the CR720 brakes, with less grabbiness than the Tektro Oryx. (It's surprisingly hard to find a cantilever that will play nicely with STi road levers).  One happy coincidence of the geometry of these brakes is more room at the fork crown (the CR720 need the straddle to be down on the mudguard) - hopefully that'll be where my dynamo light goes once my dynohub wheel is built.

First indications are pretty positive - I've run the brakes for a week now, although I've not done a wet ride with them, which is probably the real test they need.

Huge thanks to James at Fine-ADC for getting me these - they're surprisingly hard to lay hands on locally, so I was glad I was able to buy direct from Fine.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Red Harvest

First published in 1929, "Red Harvest" is my favourite Dashiell Hammett novel.  Cleverer people than I talk about it, and its influence in its wikipedia page.

I remember this cover as slightly more striking than it is here (and it's not a patch on the beautiful Knopf first edition) but I like its simplicity.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Colour Comparison - Diamine Teal vs Diamine Blue Black

It's hard to see the green in the Teal colour when it's not set against another ink - here's a close up;

Paper is Bloc Rhodia (from a No.11 pad), pens are both Schneider Base.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Ryman Softcover Notebook (Pocket) vs Pocket Moleskine

Ryman are a UK stationers, with both High Street stores, and an internet shopping presence. The notebook featured here is also available in an A5 size, which costs £5.99 (and is included in the current 2 for 1 offer, making the A5 book effectively £3).

Ryman's pocket notebook (as tested here) currently costs £4.99 (although with their buy one get one free they are effectively £2.50 each). A pocket Moleskine costs between £6 (Amazon) and £10.

Both pocket and A5 books come in Purple, Red, Brown and Black covers, each having 192 sheets of cream paper.

Side by side - hopefully you can see that the Ryman notebook (right) is just slightly larger. The Moleskine here is a hardcover, although comparison with my softcover Moleskine planners suggest that the Ryman cover is somewhat stiffer.

Both books have 192 pages (96 sheets). As you can see, the Ryman book is slightly thicker, indicating a heavier weight of paper. This is borne out by the feel of the pages - the pages in the Ryman are smoother, and do seem thicker. The ruling is darker than in the Moleskine, and spaced at 6mm.

The rear is stamped with Ryman's logotype. Neither this, nor the smooth cover look quite as nice as the Moleskine logotype & cover. The Ryman book has an elastic closure, a woven ribbon as a placemarker, and a pocket at the rear cover, just like any notebook of this type. (The brown is actually darker than it appears here).


Ink Tests

In all images, the top page is from the Ryman book, the lower from the Moleskine.

Bleed through test - the reverse of the pages after being written on.

Show through test - how visible the writing is when underneath a blank page.

The Ryman beats the Mole on showthrough (can you see writing through the facing page) and is slightly better (I think) on bleedthrough (can you see what you've written when you look at the back of the written page) although neither is great in that respect.

The Ryman loses on feathering for some inks (Waterman Havana Brown, Diamine Amazing Amethyst, and J. Herbin's Pousserie De Lune), although the Mole feathers more consistently (weird, tendril like growths from the letters, as though the ink is following the paper fibres). The Moleskine is definitely better at handling J. Herbin's Pousserie de Lune than the Ryman book.

Some closeups - Ink in the Ryman;

And the same inks in the Moleskine;

The top set from the Ryman;

and the Moleskine;

Neither book is a patch on Ciak, Rhodia or Quo Vadis products, which have far better paper - and to be fair, neither Ryman nor Moleskine position themselves as "fountain pen friendly" notebooks. However, the Ryman notebook, despite being cheaper, performs better than the pocket Moleskine for all but a couple of the inks I tested. The Moleskine is worse for show and bleedthrough than the Ryman product.

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