This post has been a few weeks in the making, but please forgive me. I’ve been riding my new bike when I haven’t been working. It’s nice that even though my workload has increased, my riding miles have also increased because of this new bike.
The great thing about this bike is that it doesn’t matter where I take it. It can handle trails OR roads. Now I’m not doing Scooby at the SFA Rec Trails on this thing, but I can get a dose of dirt on it when I need one.
I took the opportunity today to get some daytime pics of the bike. I’m still trying to get good nighttime pics that really show off the glowing frame, but that’s much more challenging to actually pull off than you might expect. Since my first pics of this bike (in the dark on my patio), I have added some reflective tape on the fork legs and the seatstays. I used Duck brand reflective tape from Walmart. It advertises a pretty serious adhesion, so I put down some black electrical tape first in case I need to remove the reflective stuff. So far so good with it. It’s a pretty flexible tape that works well for this sort of application. When I install fenders, I’ll be putting more of it on, but I wanted to get started.
I’m really loving the mustache bars. If you don’t recall from a previous post, they’re Mungo bars from On-One. I really like the comfort of these things for commuting purposes. I settled on a 110mm stem with a 17* rise, and 25mm of carbon spacers IIRC. This position is upright enough to maintain visibility, but aggressive enough to keep a relatively aero position when I need to cut the wind.
I commute with a 2010-era Magicshine headlamp on a 6.0mAh battery from Geomangear.com. Geoman’s batteries are pretty solid. I also have a pair of his 4.0mAh batteries that I use for mountain biking (one of them for my second lighthead that my wife will use, or I will loan to friends who need one since my wife doesn’t night ride often). I plan on adding a Magicshine tail light, and moving my old Blackburn blinkie to the back of my helmet.
Have I sung the praises of Brooks saddles yet? I might start sounding a little hipster for this, but I dearly love the one I put on this bike, and I’d buy a new one at full retail for my next bike with no hesitation. Several people have commented on how hard it is. Honestly, it’s the most comfortable saddle I’ve ever had on a bike! It does squeak a bit at the hardware on the front, but a little lube will take care of that. It’s easily worth the comfort, though.
I keep going back and forth about the drivetrain. I’m running 46×18 gearing right now and it can be a little on the high side for the hills. But then I’ll go the other way 5 minutes later and say that as my leg strength improves, it’ll be less difficult to ride up the hills on my commute. They’ve always been doable, but my major complaint is that I can work up quite a sweat, even when it’s 43 degrees F outside like it was the other morning. I definitely don’t want to be sweating like that when it’s warm out. I may push the taller gears this winter, and then drop the gearing for summertime to reduce my exertion.
Another note about this bike: if you chose to build one with On-One’s fork, do yourself a favor and start out with Centerlock hubs AND Centerlock rotors. I bought a wheelset with Centerlock hubs because On-One “recommends” Centerlock on this bike. And for the frame, sure, I’d go with “recommend” as a reasonable term. 6-bolt is tight on the back end, but you can make it work. The front end is a different story altogether. I attempted to install Avid Cleansweep G2 6-bolt rotors with the Origin-8 Centerlock adapters. When I got everything installed, the wheel would not rotate! The bolt heads were hitting the fork leg, preventing the wheel from rotating freely. I had to break down and order some Centerlock rotors. I ordered the Shimano SLX SM-RT64 rotors, and so far I like them quite a lot. They were such a breeze to install with the same lockring tool I use for my cassette. Even with the proper rotor, the clearance on this fork is TIGHT! Here’s my recommendation: don’t even try to use 6 bolt rotors or adapters. It’s entirely possible that some combinations might work, but is all that trial and error really worth it?
And finally, it’s been a little while since I posted any videos. A photo project on mtbr.com convinced me to pull the GoPro out and get some video of my commute. I tried a couple angles, but these were the only ones that worked out. Helmet and handlebar. I’ve seen some pretty disastrous handlebar mount vids, but I think that option works out great on the road bike. I tried a stem mount pointing up to get a view of my face, but my stem angle prevented me from getting the aim right…and all you could see was my torso. That one needs an extension on this bike, and I didn’t have a lot of time to fuss with it.