Monday, March 12, 2012


... that rose colored Bridgestone mixte I posted about some time ago here?

Well, just a bit of an update, as I've changed a few things out on the bike.  Some of the changes are more technical, such as reducing the size of the chainrings, giving a lower and more useful gear range on the bike. Back when the bike was built, a 14 tooth small sprocket was the norm on the rear, with a 28 tooth large sprocket, so the 40/52 combination on the front made some sense. These days however, with sprocket clusters more typically having 13, 12, or even 11 teeth as the smallest sprocket. Paired with a 52 tooth big chainring that gives you a higher top gear than most mere mortals need, at about 108 gear inches for a 52x13 combination, even higher for the 12 or 13. The new arrangement has 36 and 48 teeth in the front, 13 - 30 in the back, which gives a rather nice range of about 32 to 100 gear inches. If you're old enough to remember when "10 - speeds" were the hot new thing, the top end is about what we had back then and the low is a bit lower, or easier on hills. I think that will work out well for this bike.

On the less techncal side, I've installed a shiny new set of Velo Orange Fluted Fenders, a Velo Orange Constructeur rear rack and a Portland Design Works Fenderbot tail light, bolted to the rear fender. One of the nice things about metal fenders (as opposed to the plastic ones the bike previously had, from SKS) is that they are strong and rigid enough to mount lights to, and can work in concert with a rack like the Constructeur rack to make a solid "system" of rack and fenders.  They look sharp too!

Remaining to be done on the Bridgestone? Cork grips are next, and after that, I don't know. We'll keep you posted.


PantsPants said...

Did you bolt the rear rack directly to the fender? I did this for a while too, but a couple heavy loadsand a lot of vibration started the fender cracking around the drill hole. I picked up a trick from Peter Weigel (maybe you know it too) to help take some pressure off the fender. Take an old hacksaw blade. Optionally you can grind the saw teeth off, but it really doesn't matter. Set the blade inside the fender between the brake bridge bolt and the rack bolt. Mark where the bolts hit, drill, and rebolt the fender and rack through the blade. Leather washers are a plus. Doesn't take long and provides peace of mind.

Tim said...

That's a trick I didn't know. Thanks for the tip!