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Feb-02-10 01:51 pm
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

http://twitpic.com/show/full/111uk3.jpg

[Sung to the melody of "Slow Ride" by Foghat]

Snow ride, take it easy - Snow ride, take it easy,
Snow ride, take it easy - Snow ride, take it easy.

I'm in the mood, the weather is right,
Move away from the shoulder, we can roll all night.
Oooh, oooh, snow ride - oooh, oooh ...

Snow ride, take it easy
Snow ride, take it easy

Snow ride, take it easy - Snow ride, take it easy
Slow down, or you'll go down, need studded tires one more time
Holy, moley, snow ridin' bike you're so fine

{slide guitar solo}

Woo!

I'm in the mood, the weather is right,
Move away from the shoulder, we can roll all night.
Oooh, oooh, ...

Snow ride, take it easy - Snow ride, take it easy
Slow down, or you'll go down, need studded tires one more time
Holy, moley, snow ridin' bike you're so fine

(Snow ride, easy, snow ride, it be freezy - Snow ride, easy, snow ride, freezy)

http://twitpic.com/show/full/uz6j1.jpg

Feb-02-10 09:05 am
Building up a Ridley X-Fire cyclocross bike from the frame up
Category: Technical

Thanks, Joe. So far, I've had great experiences with this new frame.

I'm using a new 10-speed shifter that Performance (Forte) is selling. At a distance, they mimic SRAM Red (cosmetically only):

http://twitpic.com/show/full/uoas9.jpg

I found out that these are rebranded microShift shifters (http://www.microshift.biz/ppdtlist.asp?area=50.

They shift very well, but take a little getting used to if you've been using Shimano shifters. There's a paddle for upshift and another one for downshift. The 'throw' on the longer padddle, to me, seems a little long.

The front derailleur (FD) shifter is made to work with a triple. As far as I know, there is no double specific FD shifter. It can be used on a double chain ring, but you have to:

1-keep high tension on the cable to get it to shift in one move to the big chain ring, or

2-keep the cable looser, but use two movements to get it to shift to the big chain ring.

I'm getting very used to it now, but I'm still not sure how I'll do attempting to race with them.

Feb-01-10 10:25 pm
Building up a Ridley X-Fire cyclocross bike from the frame up
Category: Technical

I discovered that my carbon Giant TCR had a circumferential crack in the seat tube. I noticed something going on there earlier, but now it was a full-blown crack all of the way through the frame.

I've always wanted a cyclocross bike. They're very versatile--great for commuting, cyclocross racing, distance rides, and hopefully road racing.

Some are aluminum or a mix of aluminum with carbon forks, but many can now be found in all carbon.

Fatter tires can be used on them since the fork is wider than a road bike fork. This allows one to run skinny road tires (19 to 25 millimeters), wider tires (28 to 40 millimeters) with various knob configurations and studded winter tires.

Now that I had the opportunity to get the bike frame I've always longed for after discovering their existence (after already owning the Giant), I did not hesitate ordering a brand new Ridley X-Fire frame that I saw in an Excel Sports catalog. By the 21st of December 2009, it was living room. By December 24th, I got the frame back from a local bike shop--their task to install the headset bearings. In the meantime, I started to cannibalize the Giant.

Dis-assembly: Starting to pull parts off of the Giant to xfer to the Ridley.
http://twitpic.com/show/full/uneng.jpg

Stripped down Giant TCR carbon frame.
http://twitpic.com/show/full/up0ac.jpg

The Ridley's back from the LBS--headset installed.
http://twitpic.com/show/full/utml8.jpg

Turned one of my bike jerseys backward to use as a tool belt
http://twitpic.com/show/full/uttmi.jpg

From here, I installed:

    > handlebars and shifters
    > bottom bracket bearing assembly
    > rear derailleur
    > front derailleur
    > crank
    > pedals
    > chain
    > front and rear brakes
    > seat post and saddle
    > mounted Topolino wheelset

To this point, she looked like this:
http://twitpic.com/show/full/uu96f.jpg

Next, I measured, cut, and ran the cables for the brakes and shifters, installed bottle cages, and frame pump mount.

I did some preliminary tuning of cables and cockpit adjustments to set the handlebars and shifters to my liking.

I had to spend a lot of time on adjusting the v-brakes. I couldn't get them to engage the brake surface evenly, but finally I discovered their secret getting them to where I could trust them.

Last step--wrap and cap the handlebars.

http://twitpic.com/show/full/uvvy5.jpg

The next day, I took her out for a ride around Essex and Middle River looking for tweaks to the fit. Luckily, I didn't have to change much--just some handlebar and shifter angle changes.

http://twitpic.com/show/full/uz6j1.jpg

This is the first time I've built a bike up from the frame. I would have attempted the headset installation, but I did not have the correct tools.

As of today, this bike has over 1,200 miles on it already!

Feb-01-10 09:05 pm
Category: Social

revdesignwrks wrote:

Meant to put that in my previous post. Still can't figure out how it all works but it looks oh so great and (no offense meant) much better than the 3 previous sites combined.

Joe

I agree, but I will miss the Yahoo listserv. 

Here's why:

Maybe some of the guys can relate, but it was nice to catch up on reading "in the library" (if you catch my drift) over my internet compatible cell phone. You can still read these forums using a news reader (like Google Reader mobile) and subscribe to the RSS feeds for the discussion forums of interest, but now, you can't respond back via email. You have to wait to get to a PC or have a smart phone that will allow you to access the features of the discussion forum such as logging in and posting.

Many "regular" cell phones that have internet access can't handle viewing web pages directly. They get overloaded with graphics or they can't render the page properly if it uses Java or JavaScript.

This is the same problem with all of the discussion board software I've ever come in contact with, not just this one.

Many of the authors of these apps are not writing interfaces for mobile phones. Instead, they are putting the responsibility on the cell phone manufacturers to come up with phones that act like miniature personal computers.

The bane of progress I suppose.

Feb-01-10 06:57 pm
A little snow can liven up an otherwise fabulous ride
Category: Social
Forum: Ride Reports

Last Saturday, Bud Lippert and I biked around the Hyde Park area stopping here for coffee and snacks:

http://twitpic.com/show/full/10j9wk.jpg

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