Monday, October 03, 2005

Reaming Again!

My steerer reamer arrived today! It's another cheap Indian adjustable reamer from Enco. I couldn't wait to try it out.

The tube only needs a tiny bit cleared off. Even so, its slow going. This reamer only lets me make the tiniest adjustments at a time. I'm guessing that this is because the tube diameter (7/8") is so small. The tighter circle probably makes it harder for the reamer to plane off nice smooth shavings.

So far, the steerer has only been cleared down to the upper headset cup. There is 8" of steerer above the cup, so this is a bit of work already. On the other hand, I have a Nitto Technomic stem (can you say long) - and need to ream the tube down farther.

All of that said, I couldn't wait to finally see how this bike rides. Remember, there's no chain on the bike yet, nor brakes. But, I popped the new Thompson stem in, mounted my Brooks conquest sprung saddle (guessing at the height), and the wheels with my nice 28mm tires.

Putting my foot on the pedal was a little hard. When I tried to turn it right side up, the crank would spin away. Anyway, having got my left foot mounted, I pushed off several times with my right, the way we did when I was a kid - thus getting up some speed (maybe 5-7 mph) and coasted several times around the cul-de-sac. So far so good - nothing breaking, nothing rubbing, and no lack of control. So, it was launch again this time up the block. Then back down. A few more laps and I was done.

Results: 1) It felt great. The ride over the bumps (old concrete street) were muted. I think this is more due to tires than seat, but I've accomplished one design goal. 2) It felt more comfortable no-handed than my Trek. I should qualify this. At some point (maybe less than 3 mph) wheel flop becomes excessive on the new bike. This is with a 73 degree head angle and 61mm of rake. The front tire is way out there. Above that, there is still some flop on center - but it feels predictable. The Trek has always felt skittish at all speeds - this bike feels much better even with its flop. And, when it is turning, the flop seems to go away. That is, it's an on center phenomena that seems to disappear as the bike tips and makes its way around a curve. Finally, with both hands on the bars, I don't feel the wheel trying to flop, even on center. Obviously, mounting an chain and some brakes will allow me to further explore handling - over a much broader range of speeds. 3) Wheee!!! It's fun to finally be on my bike - even though its incomplete.

My decal paper has arrived, and I think my decal sheet is ready to print - so I'm positioned to finish finishing the bike. I'm also charged up again to make progress. The Steerer needs some more reaming. The paint work needs completion. I'd like to do some polishing of the dropout faces. And, then all the gear needs to be installed and fiddled to proper operation. Naturally, the paintwork will be the slowest part of all this. But, I'll be showing the complete product to my friends shortly. Yahoo!

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