Friday, August 19, 2005

Basket Woes

I've spent about 100 miles on the Stella, maybe more and I can't seem to get comfortable with the Moustache Bars. Part of it is that the basket interferes with using the brake hoods for a hand position. The basket should be lower.

There are some other solutions. Ahearne makes a wonderful rack, as does Paul. I put out a question to the BOB list and the estimable Kent Peterson sent this. I'll have to check with Acme to see if they can do anything.

That aside, I'm having so much FUN riding this bike. I just seem to become one with the bike. I love riding it. It's been a tough week, three morning of getting up before 5 AM and getting out on the road but when you get off work and see Stella there waiting for you, it all seems worthwhile.

What kind of bike

Jim at Oil is For Sissies writes about someone wanting to know what type of bike his Atlantis is. Reminds me of a conversation I had on the "Slow Ride" last week. I was riding the Stella and happened to mention I couldn't coast to a guy on an Aegis yellow carbon fiber thing.

He said something like, "Nobody makes bikes for this kind of riding, the kind of riding we do."

I said, "Well, there's Rivendell, Surly, Kogswell. They make sensible bikes."

"But those are niche producers, small. You have to get a Rivendell over the internet."

"Well, not exactly. They have dealers."

My point is that there are plenty of sensible bikes. As a category, "Sensible Bikes" is probably as attractive as sensible shoes. Maybe not, Birkenstock and Keen and Doc Marten sell a lot of shoes.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Here it is, 95% complete,

I've ridden it 4 times, tweaking it a little more on each ride. I think the brake levers are where I want them and I'll tape it after a couple more rides, commutes to work perhaps. The other thing I need is a freewheel and I'm not sure what size, most likely 18 or 19 tooth.

Before installing the basket, I should have taken a picture. But I'm going to ride with the basket so here it is.

In building it up, I found that the original brakes I had picked out weren't going to reach far enough. So I dug through the parts bin at Acme and found these Weinmann Centerpulls at Robert's suggestion. Robert is the former owner of SouthSide Cyclery. I installed Scott/Matthauser salmon pads on them. I'm told this originally had 27-inch wheels on it so check out the great clearance.

The handlebars are Nitto Moustache Bars, that I acquired from an i-Bob, along with the Nitto Technomic Stem, sanded down to fit the headset. Brake levers are Dia-Compe, unknown models that have a quick-release, also acquired through the i-Bob list. It has a 1/2 inch chain and the original, or at least the ones that it came with, crankset and gear. With the Surly 16 tooth, it has about a 67 inch chain. I'm using the larger of the pair as a chainguard. Down the road, I may install a newer bottom bracket. Petals are Lyotard, that Acme had available to fit the French crankset. Down the road again, I may install PowerGrips or new pedals, as wear and tear merit.