Wow, I’ve been slacking quite a bit lately; not on the bike, but on my blog. So, here’s what Ive been up to since my last post:
– I finished off 2011 with 3,475mi, which is quite a bit less than I did in 2010. Last winter was a wet one, and by the time March rolled around, I was already hundreds of miles in the hole compared to the year before. Still, it wasn’t a terrible year, and I had fun building up two bikes and 3 new wheelsets.
– I made some updates to my Scrambler Dinglespeed conversion, most notably different gearing and the addition of cross levers.
Over the coldest months (which weren’t too bad this year, thankfully), I kept running into issues with my chain skipping, and I began to think it was the 10-speed chain slipping on the Paul Comp. Melvin tensioner. After a lot of frustration–including buying a 9-speed chain and the problem not going away–I finally discovered the culprit was my cheap-ass 18T freewheel. What was happening was, the cold weather was causing the grease inside the freewheel to thicken, and not allowing the pawls to engage properly. It’s apparently a very common problem with cheap freewheels. So, I bit the bullet and finally purchased a White Industries freewheel. Problem solved!
I mounted the cross levers after having a few incidences of feeling like I was about to go over the bar while braking on steep off-road descents. Unfortunately, the cables coming out of the back of the levers continued to hit each other, so I ended up swapping from a 38cm to 42cm bar. With the freewheel and brakes worked out, I can finally ride the bike without having to think about it anymore.
– I finished off 2011 the same way I did 2010, with a metric century on New Year’s Eve day. Only, this time around I did it in St. Louis for a change of scenery. I hope to make it a yearly tradition, but that will be determined by the weather.
– I bought my wife a Fuji Absolute 2.0 hybrid in February, so now she has something more appropriate than a mountain bike to take on road rides.
That photo was taken before I put on a Selle San Marco Aspide Glamour Tri saddle, cut the steerer tube, and made a few other small modifications. I’m pretty impressed with the bike overall, especially considering the price. Thanks to my weight weenie disease, it’s already lost over 2lbs since we got it, and I’ll get rid of more excess weight as time goes on. The 32-spoke wheels are first on my agenda.
– Due to the unseasonably warm weather–the nicest winter I’ve ever experienced living in the mid-West–I’ve been getting in a lot of miles so far this year. I hit an even 400mi for February, which nearly doubles my old record back in 2010. I finished up with a 65mi ride on Leap Day, fighting a 35mph wind the entire time, with gusts well above 40mph. But, it beat spending the day at work, so I can’t complain.
That’s about it for now. I’ll try to get some reviews up as soon as I can, so check back.