Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Various Items

I now have around 200 miles on frame 090105. It continues to please - its an all day riding bike. Speaking of which, Sunday afternoon at about 3PM I headed out for a ride. Planned to be home by 6.


The temperature was in the mid 40's (F), there was a low overcast and intermittent rain. In other words, great riding weather. Don't get me wrong. I like cool weather, especially when properly dressed. By the 20 mile mark I had my jersey unzipped about 6 inches. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears were playing football and the White Sox were getting ready to play game 2 of the World Series that night. Combined with the weather, there weren't many cars on the roads, and my lights caused most of them to leave me plenty of room. All this had me in a zone, as I maintained a comfortable but steady pace North into the wind. At about the mid-point of my ride, I felt the familiar thump start in the front wheel - I had a flat.

Normally, this wouldn't be much of a problem. But, I'd forgot to bring a pump. The bike hasn't yet a frame pump, so I've been using pocket size pump - which is easier for me to forget. So, Monday afternoon, it was off to the LBS to find a pump. The Zefal HPX is nice, but none of the shops around here carry it. There was a nice looking Blackburn on sale, however, so that's what came home. I've measured the space under the top tube about 20 times. I looked carefully at the package and what it said about sizing, and selected a large. Guess what, the package is wrong. It's too long. So, it'll have to go back to the shop for a medium.

Seat Post
The new fork is done, and the front rack is essentially done. So the goal is to have these on the bike for Saturday. This means dismantling a few cables, and the frame needs a good cleaning from the weekend, so it seemed like a good opportunity to strip everything down, fix a few bits of paint, and put everything together again.

Naturally, this means pulling the seat post. Guess what, it was frozen in place. I've never had this happen before. My guess is that the brushed finish caused a couple of problems: a) inherently more friction with the seat tube than a polished one; b) the aluminum post's oxidation was cleaned up while applying the brushed finish; c) the brushed finish gave more surface are to speed re-oxidation of the post; d) insufficient grease on the post given these circumstances. Anyhow, URGH!!!!

After trying to spread the ears of the seat cluster, and repeated applications of penetrating oil, it seemed likely that the post would have to be cut out - thank goodness it was old and cheap. Given that the paint isn't particularly good, it seemed like it would be worth trying some heat first. So out came the torch - and the paint of the seat clust didn't like it, but it freed the post up. Yea!!!!

One thing I've seen for a while is that repeated paint "repair" efforts have left the paint real thick is some places. I'm thinking that in January it will be time for a bead-blast and a pro paint job. Meanwhile, I'll be living with sort-of-ugly rust protection.

Speaking of which, during my ride, I used a strap-on (the seat post) rear fender - which helps, but it's time for real fenders. The LBS had some Bike Planet Freddy Fenders - which I bought. Tonight I scuffed them up with some 320 grit paper - shot some primer and put down a coat of color. I think they'll look pretty good.

White Sox
The White Sox just beat the Astros in a sweep to take the World Series. I think the team and the organization earned and deserve the title. Personally, I think they're a class act - with no star-fever, just a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.

Tri TT
Well, this should catch me up for a while on the bike. I'll be receiving my new jig soon from Joe B. Then it will be time to finish Sarah's bike - I've started collecting parts for it already. A few more bikes are lined up to be built after that so there will be plenty of further antics.

However, with this milepost down, my next post will return to my Tri TT rumblings and pursue where we might best head in term of Tri TT frame designs.

More soon.

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