Sunday, February 24, 2008

Rehab the snabbed cycle

I'm at Eaton bikes after hours. I want to swap around parts on my Diamondback and my Diamond Back. The Diamondback (compound word) is the younger bicycle of the two, and the bike that I call my City Bike even though it does everything. It's a cheaper super-beefy hi-ten frame, but I love it more. I'm here at the shop after work so I can clog up two work stands and the entire workbench with no interruptions. Steve came over, so we're each drinking two tall Budweisers and listening to music from my iPod while I work on my bike. Silver Sun Pickups, My Morning Jacket, Nirvana, Iron and Wine, other artists.. I'm experimenting in the spirit of trying out everything possible, and goofing with bikes. I'm putting drop bars on my Diamondback - reclaiming my recovered City Bike. I have a Technomic quill stem by Nitto with a shorter than average extension. This stem is paired to some cheap anatomically bent black drop bars by Dimension with some new Shimano aero levers. I'm using the original cantilever brakes - cheap as hell, work good. City Bike is getting new wheels. I'm using the double-walled eyeletted Zac19 Weinmann rimmed, stainless steel 2.0 gauge straight spoked, Shimano RM60 cassette hubbed wheels that were intended as my temporary wheels for the Diamond Back. The City Bike's original rear wheel was thoroughly goosed for weeks before it was stolen. I hit a curb pretty hard when I first got to Key West - by the Home Depot. That was when I was still sleeping in Truck House. I kept riding on that wheel in the spirit of riding whatever still works. Now I'm upgrading. Previous to theft, I installed a J&B 'Tall Cool' (their name) stem. It does not mate properly with the Raleigh Sports-born northroad bars I was using - requiring beer can shimming. This worked worse than mediocre. This situation was going to be amended before it was stolen, but then theft got in the way. Now I can finally address the handlebar setup. Additionally, I'm installing a rear rack by Delta: tubular aluminum, black, rated to 60lbs, holds a u-lock perfectly. This rack replaces the uniquely substantial steel rack made by who-knows-who. The steel rack has no bolted or movable hardware - the struts that attach to the seat stays are a welded integral part of the rack. It just so happened that mated to the City Bike it leaned back to the precise angle necessary to allow for a hose-clamped milk crate to clear the back of the saddle. But now I'm changing it for this Delta rack. Dunno... just am. I also have my eye on a new alloy seatpost to replace the obviously functional steel beast-post. Dunno... just do. So we'll see if this bicycle is acceptable with drop bars. Of course it will work, but will it be fun and comfortable for me? That's the name of the game. That's the purpose of this evening. As Dave from West Chester said: "So, I guess you're all wondering why I've called you here this evening." I got a kick out of him saying that.

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