Tuesday, February 01, 2011

California - Day 8 - TsunamiTwo

I just like this picture so I put it here.

I finally got out on the bike. Finally.

Now I can't blame anyone but myself for a lot of it - I get distracted easily, so when I, for example, go inside to get a part for the bike, I may detour to the the coffee machine, grab a cup, nuke it (I know, it's terrible), then while it's nuking go and check email or something.

15 minutes later I realize, "Oh, hey, I came in to get the cap for the fork. Let me get that and get back out there!"

Anyway, I left just the chain, tape, the SRM wire, and minor adjustments for this morning. I finished the rest of the bike the previous night, at least in my mind.

It took me a while to get going (see "easily distracted" above), and when I finally did I did everything in the wrong order. I put the chain on, taped the bars, taped the Cane Creek Speed Bars, and then taped the SRM wire onto the bike.

My trusty SRM wire.
I've taped the two separate wires together to form one stronger cord.
My apologies for a poor picture.

The chain is, for now, a Dura Ace chain. Nice, shiny, and not packed in really sticky greasy stuff. I had to fight decades of habit and pushed out the pin so that I had two identical ends, the inner links, on each end of the chain.

For me that's usually disaster, but this time I did it on purpose - I finally bought some reusable links, in my case the KMC MissingLink (for Shimano 10s chains).

Chain box (I didn't take a picture of it when it had a chain in it), MissingLinks, and a sticker spot which shows that I used one.

It went together pretty easily and my mind decided that these things weren't all that bad.

I taped the bars after redoing some cable housing routing. It's different rerouting housing when it all runs in the frame, so the 10 second rerouting job ended up taking a lot longer. I'm still debating how I'll handle the housing in front of the head tube, but for now I'll let it be.

I did realize that my frame is really, really small, and, frankly, the housing affects a minute amount of area.

In other words it really doesn't matter.

I installed the SRM wiring harness and remembered a really nice thing about black frames - electrical tape disappears on it. I lay long strips of tape to hold the harness to the frame. Impossible to do discretely on a custom candy orange frame but easy on a black frame.

With the bike together, I took it for a short spin. I had to drop the post but since it was already bottomed out, I had to cut it.

I went out again with the post a lot lower, another 100 yard test ride. Everything seemed okay, I had to tighten some cables and fine tune the rear derailleur's cable tension, but I felt almost ready to ride.

I got my frame pump, tried to put it on the fork (where it's cool looking and usually out of the way). The newly taped Cane Creek Bars were just a bit wider, and that and slightly different cable routing combined to make it impossible for the pump to sit in my favorite spot.

I looked at the top tube.

No, I shouldn't. I didn't want to.

Oh, what the heck.

I popped it under the top tube and it fit perfectly.

So be it.

I also put two cages on the frame. I don't know why I didn't get two side loading cages because it works pretty well, but the pump under the top tube makes it a bit tricky getting one bottle out (the top load cage one naturally).

Finally I got the saddle bag on, with its various supplies. One thing I couldn't find was my multi tool, with all the different allen wrench sizes on it. I set off with a couple 5 mm, one 6mm, and not much else.

I rode, oh, about half a mile, and realized that my saddle height was all wrong. I rode a bit more and decided the delta was great enough to justify turning around.

I returned to home base, raised the saddle a lot (arbitrarily because, to be completely honest, I forgot if I have my saddle at 67 cm or 67.5 cm BB to top of saddle) and got back on the bike.


I went out to the ocean, headed north into Carlsbad, looking for the Starbucks where a group ride meets on Wednesdays. As in tomorrow Wednesday.

It took me 45 minutes to get there without hurrying.

The bike seemed fine with a few teething pains.

Cables continued to stretch (and housing settle), making the shifting just a bit loose, but still within usable range.

The headset was a bit tight, and combined with gusty crosswinds and an aero front wheel, I rode a drunken line much of the time.

But what about the good stuff?

Well now.

The rear wheel sits noticeably closer in under my saddle. When I stand it feels like I'm right on top of the rear wheel. For the longest time I've stood and adjusted my weight distribution to force some weight on the rear wheel. Although it works and became automatic, it robs me of a little bit of... something.

It's like trying to run really fast on a balance bar instead of the track. There's an element of "I can't run as fast on a 2x4 as I can on a running track".

Likewise, my automatic rearward weight emphasis took some juice out of my jump.

Now I have to learn how to stand without adjusting my weight distribution, to use all of my jump to jump.

Handling-wise it's great. The bike wants to go where I point it. I see skateboarders around here all the time (Tony Hawk lives around here) and I realized the short chainstays make my bike feel like a skateboard doing a wheelie. On such a skateboard you are anchored on the rear wheel and can turn anywhere you want.

On my bike I'm anchored on the rear wheel and can do whatever I want with the front end.

The front end isn't special in any way. That's a good thing, by the way. I don't want a special front end - I just one that's stable at speeds over 50 mph and lets me slam the bike into turns. Stable yet responsive.

The 3T fork works fine, although I haven't done a 50+ mph descent to test rigidity. It feels nice and rigid when I torque the bike out of the saddle or carve S-curves on some empty stretches of road.

I hadn't taped my Cane Creek Speed Bars before - I wish I did. They feel so much better now. Before, on the bare bars, my hands would slip on them a bit, the coarse anodized finish not doing much for grip. With the tape, the increased bar diameter (they're already undersized at about 22 mm diameter) and better grip makes for a very secure feeling position.

I didn't use them that much though. I haven't been feeling 100% anyway so I didn't push too hard. I did a jump up the hill just before home base but I shook my head at myself and sat up.

Overall I give the bike a thumbs up. With the Jet 6 front and Jet 9 rear wheels, Cane Creek bars, the bike weighs 19 pounds even.

First weigh-in. 19 pounds.
Note no cages, taped Cane Creek bars. I had to cut the post a bit more.
Also note boxes of Girl Scout cookies. I have a source if you have a hankering.

It should lose almost a pound with the Bastognes, a bit more with the tubulars. I regret not bringing the heat treated 3T bars, as they'll take another 100g or so off the bike, and make the front end feel even lighter.

Kitted out for a training ride it weighs a bit more. Bag, two tubes, a little chain tool, extra dropout, two valve extenders, two full bottles, a pump...

24 pounds. Yikes!
It's fully loaded though.

Well 23.94 as the scale says.

That's a bit heavier than I'd like.

I'll redo the loadout to reduce weight a bit for tomorrow. I'll swap out the front wheel for the Bastogne. Double check all the nuts and bolts. Slip in a 4mm Allen wrench in there somewhere.

And we'll see how the ride goes.


Broerie said...

Lovely bike an setup!
Don't bother about the weight, weight means nothing. Besides that's just the training weight. It 'll only make you stronger.


Anonymous said...

24#'s. Nice. At least you won't have to worry about the UCI weight restrictions.