Sunday, December 18, 2011

Workin' on the Hoopty.

After work today, it was time. I got to work on the Hoopty. There were several tasks to attack, and as I rode away, I was more than pleased with the outcome.

1) I removed the vestigial shifter mounts from the brake levers. My cheap old Shimano Altus brake levers have nicer quality barrel adjusters than you see on any but the most expensive levers today. That's the main reason I like them. Also, they were free. They had a circular area next to the clamp which used to be where a trigger shifter was mounted. I had no interest in those stupid old shifters, so I detached and disposed of them, just leaving the good part. Today, I used a hacksaw to remove the extra material. Then I filed down the rough marks and colored it in black with a Sharpie to match the rest of the lever. Professional stuff, here.

2) I removed the Chris King headset and put the Tange one back in. It's a funny situation when a Tange headset that I got for $11 can outperform a Chris King. The Tange spins like a dream, and all the Chris King could do was complain that my hi-tensile Chinese headtube wasn't reamed and faced to a precise enough tolerance. Touché, Mr. King.

3) I removed my barend shifter setup - Suntour downtube shifters mounted to triathlon adapter pods - and installed some inexpensive Falcon friction thumb shifters. By inexpensive, I mean that they are literally the cheapest shifters you can buy. Any cheaper, and they're free. Retail cost is $12 per pair - including cables and housing. My cost: $5.47. These shifters work great, and nobody ever needs anything nicer. Get whatever you want, of course, but it blows my mind how a person can literally spend hundreds of dollars on fancy shifters trying to chase down something that works better. In this case, simpler and cheaper IS better. I concede that racers need - or at least feel entitled to - expensive equipment. They can keep it. Falcon shifters are a well kept secret. Cheap; weigh nothing; always work. And they're so simple, a crosseyed moose could change out a cable with one hoof.

4) Ran new cables and replaced beat-up housing.

Everything works great. Aside from being a heavy bastard to carry up a flight of steps, I still have the best bicycle ever. It gives me great joy to show respect to this humble machine.

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