Author Topic: s/he is my bicycle  (Read 1018 times)

grace

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s/he is my bicycle
« on: October 26, 2017, 05:25:15 AM »
I say, beware of any enterprise requiring new clothes and not rather a new wearer of clothes.


I went with durability over lightness so this is no weight weenie rig; what's important to me is that it's not likely to break plus it slows me down and makes me want to stop and smell the roses.

In the background is Lords Cemetery Road east of Toomsboro GA - wonder what's around that bend?


As an aspiring internet provocateur ;) when I learned of Surly and that they had arguably the most versatile touring frame ever in the guise of a mountain bike... well, what else but a Troll?

I looked online for a used one for months to no avail and on the very day I was going to my local bike shop (The Great Divide in Pueblo CO - Hi Lee and all you lot! Thanks for the help getting everything set up) to order one lo and behold CL came through!

More specifically a guy in Chattanooga did and having done my research as to whether a medium frame would be big enough (hopefully, just barely) sent him some money and s/he arrived via bikeflights a few days later, in very good shape overall with only minor misrepresentation regarding the drivetrain in the listing.



Long story short: s/he's a dandy and after quite a few heavily loaded miles still suits me well enough I've given no consideration to a replacement any time soon, although recently when I was having shifting issues a Rohloff hub and belt drive were singing a siren song through the aether; we'll see about that later but for now all is well.

(note to self)


The rear rack is a Surly and while it's big and solid I note their quality control, hardware wise anyway, sucks. After trying the third set of parts I still ended up drilling out pieces so the IMNSHO overly complicated mounting mechanisms could be assembled - huh?!

Still and all it's not shifted a bit since installation so there is that.

After much consideration I chose Soma Fabrication's Porteur front rack which is incredibly solid with its 5 point mount (make sure you get the second generation as the first only had 3) and I believe this monster would hold 100 pounds plus in a pinch, if you could handle the bike - remarkably strong.

The Arkansas river a few blocks from my home in the background.


Attentive viewers will note the conveniently placed tape.


As an aside and 'cause I can here's Salida Colorado's own Janie Hayes (third overall and first female in the 2017 Trans Am race who had me LOLing in short order) demonstrating the strength of the front rack.


Pizza anyone?


I can't resist so sue me. ;)


I tried to use as many of the parts that came with it (the previous owner kinda cobbled some average quality stuff together) but upgraded to Microshift shifters instead of the handlebar space stealing twist grips he'd used and as they fit me much like my 1984 Schwinn High Sierra (loved that bike and put many miles on her) am pleased with the ergonomics.


They do the click shifty thing and can be easily converted to friction - just the kind of redundant versatility all kit should have. :nod

The original bars had too much sweep so TGD ordered me a bar for not much money which so far has fit me just fine, even on a few long days pedaling a lot of weight.

I've long used Garmin's eTrex GPSs and the 20 is a very workable choice for the navigating I do in addition to being easily portable with the attachable clip, on my belt.

From Charleston to Beaufort SC - almost completely flat with a tailwind - sweet.


And after putzing around town later that day.


My lock is the one I purchased new 1984ish and look how well it fits, with no fancy schmancy holder or anything! Don't tell anyone it's the old style which allegedly can be picked with a BIC pen


or that I have a spare key secured to the seat tube: mum's the word!


I'm tickled pink with the Schwalbe Marathon HS 420 Wire Bead tires (1.75 but I'll go with 2.00 next time) as they're comparatively inexpensive (~ $40), roll well and are holding up fine after quite a few loaded and many more unloaded miles plus they're adequate in sand and the like.

Not being the type to gamble with rubber I don't push my luck wearing them down but reckon I'll get a minimum of 4k miles and that's not bad at all.

Have I mentioned ZERO flats so far? (knocks head) I even pulled a few goat heads out with impunity - wowser!

The Blackburn Expedition Cage easily holds a 2 liter and larger things and the Profile Design cage on the lower down tube also expands to accommodate a bigger bottle; those, combined with an MSR water filter and dromedary bag give me enough capacity to get  me through just about anything, short of a desert trek.

I like to compartmentalize for packing items you want at hand so a small bar bag, a Revelate Feed Bag and a frame bag for tools etc. are working out well.

$6 shipped to my door from fleabay and it saved the day not five miles in my first tour when due to a poorly adjusted derailleur the remove by hand master link (read: weak link) went missing.


After much consideration I chose Lone Peak's P150 and P500 panniers: very water resistant while still allowing breathing Ortliebs don't, and much lighter (and < half the price) than the incredibly durable Arkels. So far, so good and time will tell.

Finally: the kick stand. One of the benefits of hosting so many touring riders via www.warmshowers.org was the chance to see kit and hear recommendations, several of which I adopted.

One rider told me he'd ridden with others who didn't have kickstands and they often wouldn't stop for a break or pic op because it meant laying their bike down so having made the decision to go for durability and practicality a kickstand was a no-brainer.

Except Surly recommends against installing them apparently due to some crushed chain stays as a result of people over-tightening stands to keep loaded bikes up. What to do?

Well, one of the glories of the intertubez is someone has probably been there and done that and here's one guy's solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96a9lezOejQ

3D printed pieces which fit snugly into the Rohloff mounting slot - nicely done!


For frame of reference size wise.







But all that said (yikes!) one of the touring cyclists I hosted summer 2017 had made it from the east coast to Pueblo on a $130 Malwart bicycle trouble free so don't let gear get between you and the ride you want to do.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 09:27:56 PM by grace »
Seriousness is not a virtue ... Satan fell by force of gravity.

G.K. Chesterton

mattbur

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Re: s/he is my bicycle
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 08:39:45 AM »
That is one hell of a front rack. I thought the one on my Surly was big but you got me beat. lol...I do like it though.

The kick stand is great. We have Greenfields on three of our bike that we can't use the regular "behind the bottom bracket" type kickstands. When I got my Surly Disc Trucker it didn't come with a ks. And with it being a disc brake model I couldn't mount the Greenfield ks to it as the brake mechanism was in the area of where the seat stays and the chain stays meet. I ended up making a collapsible and foldable ks that goes from ground to the top bar. It's been working out well for me.

When I saw your ks I watched the video on youtube, but unfortunately the Disc Trucker doesn't have that same slot that yours has :(

You have some nice pics on this posting.

Tony
A calm sea never made a good sailor.

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grace

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Re: s/he is my bicycle
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 06:12:15 AM »
That is one hell of a front rack. I thought the one on my Surly was big but you got me beat. lol...I do like it though.

The kick stand is great. We have Greenfields on three of our bike that we can't use the regular "behind the bottom bracket" type kickstands. When I got my Surly Disc Trucker it didn't come with a ks. And with it being a disc brake model I couldn't mount the Greenfield ks to it as the brake mechanism was in the area of where the seat stays and the chain stays meet. I ended up making a collapsible and foldable ks that goes from ground to the top bar. It's been working out well for me.

When I saw your ks I watched the video on youtube, but unfortunately the Disc Trucker doesn't have that same slot that yours has :(

You have some nice pics on this posting.

Tony

It tends to flop the front wheel around more than a typical rack when you're using the kickstand and doesn't pack all that well when boxing things up to travel but given it'll hold at least a case of beer I'll live with compromises. ;)

After a lot of fussing installing the Surly rear rack I was much less than enthused with how complicated their front rack is and decided against it.

And Amtrak has no issues with the width when you're using that option so so far so good.

Thanks for the kind words and welcome.
Seriousness is not a virtue ... Satan fell by force of gravity.

G.K. Chesterton

mattbur

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Re: s/he is my bicycle
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 10:37:59 AM »
When using Amtrak, did you need to box your bike or did you just load it already assembled? I'm planning a trip for next spring and am having trouble with the logistics of getting me and the bike to point "A" to begin my trip. A U-Haul van is super expensive...a rental car is a little cheaper. Neither of those two choices always offer a one way drop off option.

Just curious on what you do.

Tony
A calm sea never made a good sailor.

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grace

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Re: s/he is my bicycle
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 03:23:42 PM »
When using Amtrak, did you need to box your bike or did you just load it already assembled? I'm planning a trip for next spring and am having trouble with the logistics of getting me and the bike to point "A" to begin my trip. A U-Haul van is super expensive...a rental car is a little cheaper. Neither of those two choices always offer a one way drop off option.

Just curious on what you do.

Tony

Just roll it it on - easy peasy and only $20 extra!

And I'm told by a warmshowers host that Greyhound will let you ship your bike unpacked.

She has done :nod and I'll  explore that option in future.
Seriousness is not a virtue ... Satan fell by force of gravity.

G.K. Chesterton