albino [this could be offensive]
vanilla [this is actually a pretty stupid name, nevermind]
vanilla latte [yeah… that’s much better]
angel [i was going for a reincarnation theme]
tupac [did you see the photos?]
monro [i like this name]
whitey [i think i’d get my ass kicked with a name like that, or i can just add, “my other bike is black”]
lumination [where did that come from…. i think this coffee is doing something weird]
anyway, back to my story. i rode my new nameless bike to work on wednesday. this was the first time i actually rode it further than up and down my street. i was pretty excited. this was actually my second attempt at riding it to work, the first attempt failed miserably because i couldn’t get it into 5th gear. i didn’t know how to adjust the gears, back then… or now for that matter, but they now seem ok.
it’s kind of weird test riding a new bike. i have to be super sensitive to anything that is bothering me. there were a few things.
1. the seat was too low, now any of the components fault, the the dork that put it all together.
2. the handlebars were tilted wrong…. again not the handlebar’s fault.
3. the brake hoods were too far down, i felt like i was sliding forward on the bars the whole time. ideally i should have tilted the bars down more, and put the hoods way up so i could rest on them.
4. the hub doesn’t seem to free wheel for very long. all the gearing in the hub provides enough resistance to prevent it from spinning freely for very long. i think i could feel this as i was riding, but it might have been something else.
5. the shifter worked well, but every time i shifted i had to stop pedaling for a moment, or even back pedal to let the gears snap into place. this could be kind of a problem for some people, but my old bianchi uses friction shifters, and the best time to shift is before you need to. in general, i think that people shift too much. i’ve seen people shifting gears while in the middle of some pretty rocky technical sections. then i usually see these same people on the side of the trail pulling their chain out of the little area between the bottom bracket and chainring.
6. the breaks were too loose. actually i don’t know… they may have been too loose, but maybe it’s just not what i’m used to.
7. i don’t like the pedals. they are huge. i’m a little worried to take these things off road. also, i couldn’t fit my spd’s into the clips. i had to ride platform all the way. i think they are too heavy as well.
8. on most of the little hills, 5th gear was too hard and 4th was too easy. i should look into putting a bigger chain ring on the front. right now there is a 38T. when i was figuring out the gearing, i think that my gear calculator was using the SP5 cargo hub, instead of the one that i have. anyway with the small tires and the really long crank arms, i think the bike is a bit under geared.
1. well the bike is super light. i think i can ride this bike up anything.
2. i really like the metal frame. it’s so much more comfortable than my road bike.
3. the padded bar tape is wonderful.
4. i love they way my bike looks.
i really can’t comment on too many thing, because there were so many little bad things earlier that once i fix the above i will have better things to say about the rest.
by the way, i really need to put a speed odometer on this thing… i really feel like i’m not going that fast. maybe i’m not, but i just gotta know. does anyone want to go bike riding with me? i need a feel for how i compare to other bikes.
i had to park in a high tech industrial area and jump over a barbed wire fence, just to get on the tracks. i could have got to it by entering a half mile down at the car crossing, but i decided on this. so i had to walk out to the underpass [btw, i don’t know if this is an under or over pass]. i tripped on some barbed wire while i was carrying my bike camera and bike stand. it wire kind of dug into my shin and i started bleeding a little… but i pressed on. i drove all the way out here, blood or no blood i’m taking some stupid pictures. so blood it was.
as i got there i was looking for all the graffiti that used to be there…but i couldn’t find any of it. all i saw were some discolorations on the wall where some vandals covered the art with a color that was similar to the background of the overpass. somebody should be taking care of our culture a little better, and let the artwork live!
here is a picture from the shoot
as you can see i didn’t have much to work with. a few more of the pictures can be seen on the “Bike Renovation” page, on this blog.
i finished the shoot blood an all, and i thought that i had enough time to test ride my bike, up flagstaff. i drove all the way to boulder and parked at the base and started getting ready. as it turned out i wasn’t really ready to ride a bike. i had no where to keep the tire tool because i was wearing one of my too cool pocketless jerseys, and my shoes would just not fit in the pedals. besides i didn’t have wrenches for the non-quick-release rear hub, no alan tools, and not even a tube. i wasn’t about to wear my soft bottom skateboard shoes either.
so i called off the test ride….for now. i just happened to drive by performance bike shop and noticed tht they were opened…hmm maybe i can pick up a few items. i was planning on buying some shoes from them anyway…. and i could use another multi-tool… and some tubes… 117 dollars later i was set for my “test ride”
this time i decided to try out hall ranch. this is after all, where i test out most of my new equipment. i still didn’t have cone wrenches for the hub, but i shouldn’t need to take off the wheel, because i was planning on patching a flat anyway. i still didn’t have a place to carry all my stuff so i had to use my messenger bag… pretty cool [sarcasm] to be mountain biking with a messenger bag. i parked out in lyons, which is a couple of miles from the trail head, so i could ride a little road.
the bike was great. i was flying up the up the road like it was flat. i guess it’s been so long since i’ve had low enough gears that it seemed pretty trivial. my new bike is pretty heavy at least heavier that you’d think, mostly because of the hub. there are still a few heavy spots like the bb, seat tube skewer, pedals, and the gear shifter. everything else is as light as it can be. i really should get new pedals, but these will do for now. the frame itself is not very light it is cromo. actually it is very nice to be riding a metal framed bike again. as i pedal i could see it twisting and flexing. this all helps in the comfort of the bike… not so much efficiency.
bottom line i would say that the road test was inconclusive [because it was too short], but promising.
as i got to the trail head i just continued on without stopping to do anything. i slipped it into 2nd gear and just crawled up my first hill. it was so cool to be climbing without effort. i think this bike has two granny gears. i think the first gear has a pedal to wheel ratio of .667. the next gear is something like .75… middle gear is about what my single speed is, and the next two higher gears are pretty heavy.
i just zipped up the first part with no effort at all… not even sweating. however when i got to the first technical section, or as we people who ride hall ranch like to call it, “the technical section”, things got a little on edge. i was afraid to really push down on the cranks because i think this hub is going to fail, and i don’t want it to fail right now… i haven’t even finished my test ride. i couldn’t clean the very first section, and i felt pretty lame. the next section i was going to go for it. i stood up on the cranks and pounded then as i went over some rocks. as i did that, felt the pedals slip. oh no here it comes, the end of my hub. anyway, i looked down and saw my chain was loose.
as it turned out the wheel was not tightened properly, and the chain pulled the wheel out of the wheel slots.
this caused the tire to almost rub on the other side.
i couldn’t ride the bike any longer, since i didn’t have the wrench. as i was sitting there looking over the situation, two mountain bikers passed by and asked it i was ok… “do you have any wrenches” i asked. nope, ain’t got no wrench. then one of them noticed that my bike was kind of weird. he asked about my internal hub, an i gave him my feedback. i couldn’t tell if he was impressed or amused.
on the down hills i could coast, and luckily there was enough downhill to not make me want to kill myself. i was a litle embarrassed because i was walking my weird bike…. all show no go i thought :(
so test ride was over… the mountain portion looked somewhat promising as well. i think i will have to change my pedaling to fit the geared hub. i can’t pound on the cranks like i do for the ss.