Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Morning Coffee

Coffee, a good friend, great weather and beautiful bikes to talk about!  Thanks for the great meet-up Erl!

The Potomac was like glass crossing the Memorial Bridge this morning. light was nice all around actually I wish I'd taken more pictures.

Erl and I met up at the Georgetown waterfront park just short of the Key Bridge seen here beyond our two bikes.

Left - 60cm Riv Saluki, Right - Riv Road.

Neat because both of these bike's have been projects over the winter and we've been keeping track of each other's progress. This was the first time we've been able to make a meet up work w/ both up and running.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Barlow Pass-Burley

Freshly re-shoed Burley on the C&O Towpath
I think the very first observation I made of the Burley Bossa Nova when I checked it out in the previous owner's garage was.... lots of clearance even with those 27 1/4 tires, I wonder how wide I could go with 700c?...  well I can now safely say that 700Cx38mm is a smooth fit on this frame.  I'd even say that if fenders weren't in the future that 42mm tires a la BG Rock N Road's would fit.

While I'm clearly a fan of larger tires at this point the 700C conversion of the tandem wasn't just to make a more comfortable ride around town.  In fact the 27 1/4 x 32mm Continental Gatorskins proved to be darn good tires/wheels as we've gotten used to riding the tandem.  Cushy enough but very confidence inspiring in turns and with a nice road feel.  No the main drive for getting fatter was to take on the C&O via tandem with luggage.  I've been wanting to do a Harpers Ferry trip ever since I realized it was a possibility, and the thought of completing the DC to Pittsburgh trip in toto is also on my mind!

First came the wheel change though, the 27 1/4 wheel size just doesn't offer many +32mm tires and the rear wheel with it's drag brake and freewheel hub also kept us down to a heavy, 6 spd max wheel.  I thought I had a solution when I made a trade for a Phil Wood wheelset where the rear was an older freewheel model but I figured I could have it respaced from 120mm out to 135mm to support the tandem.  Good idea in theory but two problems arose.... the 120mm rear fit the Bob Jackson frame perfectly and the re-spacing was going to cost $137 not including shipping.  The front wheel was pretty slick though and I kind of slow rolled the next move.  Then last weekend my wife and I had a spectacular 20ish mile ride up to Falls Church and back on the tandem and I realized I should bite the bullet and find the new rear wheel.

Lucky for me I was one 'WTB' post away on the iBOB google list from a slick Phil Wood cassette hub, 135mm spacing and 40 spoke.  48 spoke would have been preferred but between the fat tires, peter white wheel build and phil wood hub I think we're in relatively good hands.  The wheel arrived incredibly quick and I had nearly simultaneously put in the order for a set of Barlow Pass 700x38mm tires from Compass Bikes.  All of a sudden the tandem had a very smart all Phil Wood wheelset w/ brand new Compass tires.

The Dia Compe canti's provided plenty of adjustment to accept the slightly smaller rims which was a nice suprise. I have a pair of Paul Mini-Moto's that are intended for this bike but haven't put them on yet as I want to make sure they will work with the 38mm tires + fenders.

So the ride, well it was awesome.  The longer distances on the tandem really allows us to get in sync.  And the new tires do for the tandem exactly what the Hetre's do for my Saluki. It's like pedaling on fresh pavement at all times. Enough chit chat... on to the photo's.

Phil Wood rear wheel, 40 spoke with an 8 speed cassette and Compass Barlow Pass Tires.

Barlow Pass with plenty of Towpath dust (more later)

Front Phil Wood wheel, bladed wheelsmith spokes... not sure I like that actually but it seems like a very strong and properly tensioned wheel so I won't be messing with it.

The Olmstead Island boardwalk is one of my favorite destinations, the recent rain has really swelled the Potomac River and makes for a dramatic water way.

How many of these shot's are up on this blog in the last 2 years?!?  Well here is one more, doesn't get old.  Our noon-ish arrival meant that we shared the view with more people than I am used to  but even that was ok.  The view of two daredevil kayaker's shooting the rapids was also pretty neat.

Trail Dust!  I was so filthy after this ride it was incredible, not just my legs and arms either.  My face and hair were thoroughly coated with dirt from the towpath.  Anyone who thinks fenders are just for rain are kidding themselves.  On the plus side we realized that the stoker is effectively shielded from this dust by the captain, and in the rear the seat bag did a good job soaking up most of the rooster tail as well.  Fenders are getting ordered this week.

The rear didn't escape the dust any more than the front, some steel berthoud fenders are definitely coming soon.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Nobby Bombadil

The Saluki's re-entry into circulation allows me to finally tinker with the Bombadil... several new additions have been begging for a trial run most notably a pair of Schwable Nobby Nic 650Bx2.25" tires, new brake levers and some much needed replacement parts for my Riv Silver Shifters.

I hope to get out on the trail at Wakefield one night this week to see how this setup works for me.  I did take it on the little dirt route near my house, less than 2 miles but plenty of dirt, large roots and some loose stuff... I think this is going to be a fun build!

Nobby Nic's 'fit'...I'll have to remove the kick stand as it just rubs the nobs but otherwise it's pretty decent.  The clearances aren't great and for thick mud I guess I'd be in trouble mighty quick but I'm going to try it out for a couple rides anyway and see how it goes.  There was no cassette installed here as I stole it for the new tandem wheel.

Service life fulfilled on the little plastic washers on my Silver shifters. I was down to multiple tightening's needed on every ride the last couple times.  Luckily Riv stocks the replacement part and I stocked up.
New plastic thingy installed = another 5+ years of silvery shifting goodness.

I don't think I ever provided shots of the Nitto RM14 (dirt drop) bars before but I had thrown them on in lieu of the 48cm Noodles a couple weeks ago w/ the same interrupter lever/old shimano lever set up.  I was THRILLED at the suggestion I got from SPOKES Etc mechanic (Dre) to use inline cable adjusters to fill in for the interrupter levers preventing me from having to replace the housing and giving me some added adjustability!

I'm really excited about the new Cane Creek SCR-5's as well, they have a shorter reach from the drop position to the lever and the hoods are significantly more substantial than the shimano's they replace.  As much as I love the cross levers the RM14 just doesn't have enough room for them on their short flat area.  My thought for this bike right now is more of an 'event specific' bike than daily commuter/city bike anyway which is where I'd really miss the extra levers.  Bartape is coming, probably tubes to start with but I'm going to go cork once I'm set for the cable's.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Back in the Saddle (Saluki Saddle)

Build nearing target configuration... the Saluki is riding again. Today was the first commute since the not-so-lucky one that ended up with my crash for this bike.  The bike handled great, fully loaded with work clothes and laptop/notebook load so it was a critical test.  Nothing like that new drivetrain feel, silky smooth.  The fenders and racks stayed where they were intended to stay which is always nice. I'm very happy with the decision to go with the Berthoud steel fenders, those things stay where they are meant to stay, no noise!

The dyno hub is emitting an annoying chirp at least on the return home trip and I did have some interesting shimmy on the front end w/ my heavy morning load.  Otherwise the Saluki completely reminded me why I wasn't riding anything else much up till the day I crashed her.

Pictures at the Jefferson Memorial seemed appropriate. I love swinging by on my way into work when I have (make) the time. It is a privilege to have such amazing scenery on a daily basis.  I'll post a more detailed photo exploration of the build soon.  For now here are the glamour shots!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rolling Again

And now off to happy hour... and yes I'm going to ride the bike!

The Saluki's Back!

Back from the powdercoater and ready to build... which is going to happen today!

I'm really happy with the green and the kind of 'semi-flat' topcoat that I got, the cream headtube looks great to.  The lug detail painting is a bit of a disappointment unfortunately.  I was going for british racing green tone in a flat finish. I think I just missed that deep dark green by a shade or two but given computer monitors and selecting powder sight unseen I think it's close enough.  The finish feels pretty nice and I'm hopeful it proves very durable and long lasting.

Here is a dump of pictures.  I think I'll end up trying my hand at cleaning up the lug painting when I get some time.

Exit hole for my internal cable routing (bottom of seat tube). There is a matching one up on the down tube as well. I ended up drilling it myself and using a deburring tool to clean it up.

Cable guides for the dyno wiring were added. Pretty nice brazing work I think

Thanks to Rob at OC for the expertly wrapped package... dyno cable's for the build, a King Cage and a pound of coffee!

The build is officially started...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Re-Building the Saluki (Components Highlights)

It's been almost 9 month's since the Saluki and I ended our regular commute home with a spectacular and damaging rear-wheel over front-wheel  single bike accident.  I was healed and riding again within a month but the bike repair has lingered, a frustrating project from start to finish with alot out of my control.  It has also been more expensive by far than I ever imagined.

But it would seem that the frustrations are close to being wrapped up and I am expecting the re-finished frame, fork and fenders to be returned by the powdercoater 'soon' (I'm hoping w/in a week).  Anyway I've decided to focus some positive energy on the fun part, the build... and the REALLY fun part, the ride.

This build is meant to make the Saluki my ideal everyday commuter here in the DC-VA area and nearly everything has graced one of my bikes before, many were on the Saluki during that fateful ride last August.

I'm glad I splurged on this before I saw the full costs of the frame refurb!  Regardless I'm excited to try out the legendary CK headset on this bike.

No drama here, I had this exact crankset on the Saluki when I crashed.  I love the solid feel I got from this set and when I look down and see the perfectly straight chain ring that also felt good.  I could always throw on a VBC double if I needed the flexibility in the future.

The one and probably only shot of the BB... it came with the original 'Purple-Luki' and is still going strong.

Retro Paul Lever's, the sticker is starting to fade but the finely machined aluminum is holding tough.  I love these levers! The Ergon grips on Nitto Albatross bars will complete the cockpit.

What better pair for the retro Paul levers than retro Paul 'Stoplight' Canti's... these are sweet brakes. I do need to locate another canti post 'sleeve' which I appear to have lost.

Another oldie, practically NOS Nitto stem... I love the scalloped sides and the 'arrow' on the top.  

Vice Pedals, doesn't get better than this.

I'm told that 'scooping' a B67 is pretty rare... well here you go.  Probably only comfortable for me at this point but paired with the Albatross I'm mighty comfy for my regular commute distances.  Longer trips would require one of my Brooks Flyers most likely.