No slogans, just 14 facts.
The latest incarnation of my Crosscheck
Thanks. The mediocre picture quality hides some of the blemishes. Much yet to be done, but I love riding it so much I don't want to tear it down.
"The automobile became a hypnosis, the opium of the American people..." -James Agee, Fortune, September 1934
Rode 100+ miles, 6900' of climbing on Saturday:
Rode the 1st 45 on the 17t cog, the rest on the 19t, I really never should have used the 17 at all.
and I am totally going to go geared next time. Wow.
Last edited by HardyWeinberg; 07-25-11 at 08:31 AM.
Here is mine. A Tom Teesdale (an Iowa builder a few miles down from my home) put together by my fav LBS from components scored from Ebay and Velo Orange. My contribution to the local economy.
OK here's mine.
It's a Motobecane titanium cross bike with 700x28 Continental Grand Prix 4 Season tires and some assorted small packs. Mostly Ultegra except for the compact crank and canti brakes. I messed around with handlebar bags and saddle bags but found that a rack and trunk bag work better for me with a little stem bag to hold my dog spray, credit card and cell phone. I keep front and rear lights in the trunk bag until they are needed which is rarely unless I get caught at sunset on a training ride. I bought this bike with frame clearance and eyelets for fenders but this being central Texas and the fact that we are in the drought of the century means they are pointless this summer.
I've only done a couple centuries on this bike so far but I really like it for distance riding. The titanium frame is really lively. It really sings over the rough roads around here compared to the full aluminum Cannondale road bike that it replaced.
My latest century bike, Salsa Fargo, set up for a mixed tour:
This is in addition to my custom Indy Fab (upthread somewhere) and my long departed fixed gear Cross Check.
Looks like you've branched out a bit, Mike. Are those cable-activated disk brakes? How do you like them?
fast touring to fast packing on mixed surfaces.
Photo is from a ~230 mile 2 day through trip to visit family. ~50 miles of forest service (NY state, Adirondack park) dirt road, a bit of trail, in conditions ranging from pulverized, wheel sucking fine stone, sand, to baby headed rocks dotting well traveled and packed dirt. Was wishing I was on the IF with skinny tires for most of the paved sections, but when the road turned rough (typical in the NE), and when it turned to dirt - I was glad to be on the 2.1s. Could have likely done it on 32 or 35s, but this was a shakedown ride of sorts - gear, mental, etc. The Vulpines roll nicely on the road when pumped to 38psi. I dropped them to 28 or so on the sandy washed out dirt sections. Its likely that the speed hit I took was a wash with the comfort I had in the wide tires.
Original route was for 2.5 days and ~300 miles. Had more dirt, and snomo and mtb trail, but my time was cut short, so I needed to eliminate some ~30 miles of connecting trail that had 15miles of questionable conditions / terrain / swamp in the middle and another ~20 miles of scenic forest road.
Those are 'road' BB7s, like em well enough. Pretty sure I have a warped front rotor, can't dial it in to eliminate the chirp when I stand to pedal. Likely to swap the front to a larger rotor. No complaints, still putting this setup through its paces.
Total kit weight (no food / water) was something like 16.8 pounds on the bike (including cook kit, bear spray, shelter, and bag) and 3.2 pounds on my back. Add in water and food to suit the conditions which pumped up the kit weight from 6.5 pounds on average to 20+ on my water / food haul to camp (could have carried less water, but didn't want to mess around with purification, and wanted to test how my body handled ~20 miles after 100 with added load to get to camp).
Next time out I'll have a proper frame bag and water will be on the bike and off my back. In my pack will only be personal stuff and an extra layer or two, with room to carry food to camp or extra water. I could likely get everything off my back for summer riding. I've carried more 'stuff' and a heavier load for a fleche and 400k!
More pics here and here.
Still need to get my head around a write up on the blog.
Your recent bikes are looking sweet!!!!
Last edited by bmike; 08-11-11 at 07:48 AM.
Good stuff, Mike. Good to hear your family is leaving you some time to ride!
Thanks for the good words about the newer bikes. I feel like I've learned a lot by experimenting with the French stuff, but I also started to feel like slavish imitation of stuff that was cutting-edge in 1940 had its limitations. So the Rohloff bike is definitely a new and interesting direction for me. I really like it! But it's still not perfect, which is one of the reasons I ask about the brakes. I'm getting some tire creep on the back when the rim gets hot - without suspension, I have to keep speed in check during steep off-road descents, and 30 minutes of riding the rim brakes, well... Cable-activated disks would be easy enough, but I've heard a lot of complaints like yours. I love the feel and function of hydraulic disks, but nobody makes them for road levers. Compromise...
Have you seen these? Not elegant - but once this gains some traction, especially since discs are now cross legal, I see someone picking up and doing a proper road lever with hydro capability. Seems like it would be up SRAMs alley...
4 week old and 3 year old have taken up most of my recent time.
Loving wife makes it possible, for sure.
Eesh, 3 year old and 4 week old. Our youngest is almost 2...
I took a long look at the various cable-to-hydro setups and decided they were all too kludgy for my tastes. I'm also quite interested in the belt drives, but think the current ones aren't ready for prime time. I'm hoping that in a few years there will be both road-ready hydro brakes and a good belt system - the one Gates promises to release may be the one - and then I can build yet another in my never-ending series of "ultimate" all-road bikes.
Stephen Huddle did the TD on a Rohloff belt drive this year. He changed the belt 'for good measure' halfway down. Not sure if he had a prototype belt and cog to test. I've seen the open cog setup here in Burlington. Local shop got one in for a customer who commutes all winter... pretty slick.
Yeah, the conversions are inelegant for sure. I was pretty frustrated the first time I set up the BB7s on my singlespeed, but they wore in, and I figured out how to dial them in. Only a matter of time before I get it right on the Fargo. Currently cables are too long (still playing with stems and positions), and bars and levers keep shifting. Likely by winter I'll have the fit dialed, and I'll bend up some aluminum tubing from the hardware store for my brake runs. (or buy one of the manufactured sets...)
I wish the Fargo had the cool new 'alternator' drops like on the current El Mariachi. Then I could go IGH if I wanted, without a tensioner or EBB. Maybe next year...
On the whole, I think you'd like the Rohloff. It's a bit heavy and - in certain gears - a bit noisy, but really is a good fit with an all-road bike. Since I finished the Rohloff bike I haven't actually ridden anything else, even for club rides and such. Of course, the fact that we moved to the mountains and the bike has a 20" low gear might have something to do with it.
The belt, I think, would be a great addition, if they get it to work as promised. As it stands, it takes me about half an hour to get the bike completely clean after off-roading on our dusty trails. Even without derailleurs and a cassette, most of that time is spent on the drivetrain. With a belt, I imagine I could simply hose the whole thing off and call it done. Which would be nice.
Last edited by Six jours; 08-11-11 at 08:49 PM.
bmike, that's a great setup you've got. I work at a shop and always love to see Salsas and Voodoos come through. They seem to capture the spirit of biking in a way that major manufacturers have forgot. Have you ever toured on a regular hardtail mountain bike? I'm curious to know the comparison.
The Fargo you say. I got Salsa Vaya for mixed surface touring with more emphasis on road than dirt. I did a 6 day loaded tour with the Vaya on very mixed surface. We were on everything from freeways, paved roads, graded dirt roads, rutted all the heck dirt roads, singletrack, and technical slickrock. The bike did well but just left something to be desired. About a month ago I pulled a BoB trailer from Pasadena to San Diego (135 miles) and back with all my stuff for a week long work conference. The trailer weighed 51 pounds on the way down and 40 on the way back. The bike was super squirrely on the way down with all that weight. Once up to speed it's a freight train, the problem is getting it there. Maybe I am asking too much from a jack of all trades bike. I guess I feel like the steering is too relaxed. The bars keep flopping from side to side. I'm thinking of selling the frame and getting a Fargo. Different bike I understand but would allow for more off road oriented adventures.
I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity
haven't toured on a hardtail, i sold off my soma juice to help fund the fargo - i do miss my singlespeed, and for technical terrain i do miss flat bars - but i sought out the fargo for the drop bar friendly geometry.
absolutely love it. i have a few nits with it - cable routing, crank that comes stock, etc., but overall, a good value out of the box.
not sure how it would handle with a trailer like your situation. does fine with the little one in the burley, about the same overall weight - but its 2 wheeled and i tend to just run errands with it - no serious hills, or trying to set a pace.
i'm thinking about a work trip this fall - but don't know if i'll be able to make the time commitment. 180 miles one way, and my laptop has to go, as i'm teaching - so i'd be borrowing a bob trailer to haul myself down and back. would have to add 2 days down and 2 days back... don't think i can pull off a near double century with a mobile workstation laptop load... i'd probably have a similar load as yours.
i looked at the vaya, and felt there was so much that my rando rig with different tires could handle that the vaya would overlap. if i had a different quiver, its likely the vaya would be in my stable. i haven't run skinny tires on the fargo yet, pretty happy with the race kings for dry trail riding, and the vulpines have proven a great mixed terrain tire. not sure i'd run them as my only MTB tire, as in the NE we see alot of wet roots and rocks, but for dirt road, buff single track, and the occassional tech section, they've worked out. i plan on running this as a singlespeed with tensioner over the winter and mounting up my nokian extremes. and i'm curious to see how the fargo handles with a 2.2 or 2.4 nevegal, which is what i ran on my soma juice.
The only Centruy I did I did on a 1994 (ish) Trek 720 700x38c! Before I do any other long ride the 700x38's (Currently 700x45's I love my LBS, I love my LBS) will be 35's these are on order and should be in a week or so; then I will like the ride a lot better! I will more than likely get 28's (assuming i can get the money for the 28's) before doing another century; 40miles on 35's yes and to 70 maybe on the 35's; more than that I want as close to road/touring as I can get.
Good luck out there Andrey. You should be starting soon!
I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity