Wednesday, June 30, 2010

this is our rig!

The little girl and I went for a good long ride tonight, on 'the rig'. It's really funny, these things- trailer bikes- have been around for YEARS, but most everyone has never seen one before (maybe since Wal*Mart doesn't have them?) so wherever we go, we literally stop traffic. We count how many "that's cool!" we get (tonight was more than 6).
I've had this trailerbike since my first child was about five, and now my second in 7 so it's her turn. In a few years, child #3 will have his turn, so I've really gotten my use out of it.
I'm trying to convince child #1 to follow us on his bike, but so far in his life he's only ridden on paths in the park, and it's no longer possible to pack everything up in the car to take them to the park. So he's going to have to overcome his fear of riding on the road and come with us.
Since he didn't go riding with us, he had to go for a walk with his Mom and baby brother (I think we had more fun).
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

the Surly Pacer is getting there!

Surly Pacer with flat bar
Surly flat bar detail
I have ordered the longer Salsa stem I wanted, a 90 degree 11cm steel unit. Should put my arms out where they need to be.
I took it out for a ride last night, and it is great! No hand or palm pain, the bike handles very well, and brakes are great with those levers! Now, I know I said earlier that there was some twitchy steering issues, but I think a lot of that is/was due to the trailer bike. I'm really liking this setup and am excited again about riding.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Free Spirit Ten Speed restoration project

I got this bike from someone in the community we had worked with getting some things done. He had it in college and hadn't ridden it in some time; I figure it's from the early '70s, America's First Bike Boom.
Free Spirit was the line of bikes marketed by Sears; they didn't make them; rather, like most everything else at Sears, was a rebadged item from someone else. In this case, this generation of bicycle was made in Austria by Puch. Not a high end frame, but a well built, industrial style (read: not clean welds) frame with alloy Shimano brakes, Suntour gears, and a forged Sugino crank. Good stuff.
This is going to be my vehicle to tow the trailer bike. Got some new tires on it now, and a new chain. Just need cables and we are good to go!
Suntour GT changer and Shimano 5 speed freewheel
Free Spirit bars

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

so who is the secret follower???

Noticed that my blogger dashboard says 2 followers, but only one is showing. Blogger quirk? or is there a lurker here?

Stem is Too Short

I mentioned ealier that I think the 9cm Salsa road stem I've been using with the mustache bar would be too short with a straight bar.
I was right.
It's not so apparent just cruising around, but it is a real concern going down hill and braking; I got the distinct feeling of falling over the front of the bicycle! The bars are too tucked in under me and my arm angle is too acute, like 80 degrees I'd imagine.
Steering too is a bit quirky. A longer stem will slow that down a bit.
SO I'm planning on trying a 11cm Salsa 90 degree. I like the look of a 90 degree stem and this'll stretch me out a bit longer.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

new handlebar setup sideview

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry, so that's why each picture is a separate post. Anyway, you'll see I'm running a Salsa road stem upside down to get it parallel with the top tube. The levers are the way I usually set them up, at about 45 degrees. I still have a few spacers over the stem, since it allows me to play with the height (measure twice, cut once!)

view from the top

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry, hence the crappy picture. It's not that appranent, but the handlebar ends flare forwards, which (I think) will put my hands in a more natural position. We'll see; easy enough to change. Cables are long right now, until I get the position all settled.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Cockpit

Pictures soon to follow.
Got my new setup installed, cables still need to be cut and brakes fine tuned, but initial impressions seem good. stem is short, yes, but the angle of my arms and back seems correct. remember the bar is a vintage Answer hyperlite. its a 3 degree version; I actually mounted it reversed. the reason being it more closely matches how my wrists are angled normally. looks a little odd, but comfort is the plan here, aesthetics second.
I removed the trailer bike hitch mount from the seatpost as well. I won't be using this bike anymore for trailering duties. we have a new to me vintage early 90's Diamondback mountain bike for that. I ripped off the derailluers and am running it singlespeed (budget version, kept the 6 speed freewheel and triple crank) and installed some fat Electra townie tires.