Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Riding on New Wheels

I took a 14 mile test ride Saturday. The new fork and front wheel are awesome. No complaints there, at all. I may trim the front fender back a few inches to prevent heel strike, but it hasn't been a problem yet, so maybe not.

Rear wheel? The used rim I cannibalized was pretty dinged up. Well, OK, it was pathetic and I ignored that because I really liked it. During my test ride, hard braking was downright scary. The wheel locked up too easily, nearly dumping me once. I didn't even try any hills on my ride - just flat cross-town riding.

Monday night I modified a C-clamp by polishing the fixed side of the jaw, and attaching an oak block to the screw side. Then two whole hours were spent, turning the wheel, pinching here and there, measuring, applying brakes slowly, pinching more, marking, (filing the awful seam welds), and adjusting until the rim had a gentle respect for the brake pads.

Today I rode to work (11 miles), then rode home. It was such an incredibly beautiful day (almost 70 deg - this is November, right?), that I decided to take the long way home and rode along the river to the other bridge (an extra 6 miles). There was a stiff wind at my back which enabled a steady 22mph cruise along the path. I really wanted to keep up with that brunette on the rode bike who got on the path in front of me, but by the time I reached the end of the path, she was ahead by 1/4 mile. Dream on.......................................
"Jack, wake up! You're slobbering. By the way who's Natasha?"

Anyway, the rear wheel brakes smoothly now. Odd thing is, now the v-brakes squeek (very high-pitched) and tend to get sensitive after 5 or so seconds of steady application. maybe the rubber has overheated, or is wearing out. I'll try some new pads and see how that changes things. Not a show stopper, ridability is good. I'm happy with the mods.

Only mod left is to fix that dang front derailleur!



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