My Rides

Monday, April 25, 2011

S.U.B. (Sport Utility Bike) - Build, Part 3

Progress:
  • Installed Headset Spacers (9 x 10 mm, Origin8 Silver from Amazon.com $6.20)
 
  • Installed Front Disc (Avid BB7, $45.99 from Jenson USA)
  • Installed Downtube Shifters (Rivendell Silver Shifters, $42, from Velo-Orange)
  • Installed Pedals (Crankbrothers Mallet C, moved from other bike)
  • Installed Brake & Derailleur Cables (Novara / REI, silver housing @ $1 / ft, teflon cable, $6 each)
  • Installed Rear Wheel & Tire (from other bike)
First:  I love the look of the bike with the downtube shifters.  It keeps the bars, and the whole bike very clean.  There's only about 12" of derailleur cable housing on the whole bike.  The front derailleur will be only cable.  The 12" is used for the loop between the chain-stay and rear derailleur. 

It's been over 10 years since I used friction shifters, and probably 15-20 since I used downtube shifters (on a bike my dad had).  The Rivendell Silver Shifters are just so nice and simple.  I wasn't sure using them would seem as natural as the trigger shifters I've become used to.  Well, it was a piece of cake.  Just reach down, shift, and then feather a little as you pedal.  I definitely feel I prefer the trigger shifters for true mountain bike riding, where you need to shift quickly & precisely, but for a utility bike, these are very nice.

On the first couple of rides around the yard (chasing kids), and around the neighborhood (at a casual place) I feel like I want the chain-line to move inboard a bit.  Right now, the middle ring on the front lines up with the middle ring on the back (which probably makes sense if all gears would be used equally).  I expect to rarely be in the large ring (furthest outboard) up front, and expect to be in the 5 larger (further inboard) gears in the back. 

ISIS spindle bottom brackets seem to come in 3 standard axle/spindle lengths - 108 mm, 113 mm, 118 mm.  I have the 113 mm.  If I switch to the 108 mm I'll move the chain-line inboard 2.5 mm, or about 57% of a gear (gear spacing on 9-speed cluster is 4.34 mm). 

Overall, it rides nice.  I'm happy with the fit & comfort (so far).  The frame size is right.  I like the handlebar height (yes, I'm keeping all of those spacers).  It's definitely a more rigid ride - I need to get a bigger / softer rear tire.  I'd like to be able to fit a Schwalbe Big Apple 29x2.0, but I'm not sure that it will fit.  I have the 28x2.35 on the front and love the "suspension" that the "balloon tire" gives.

The rear tire on there is a "37mm", and it measures 1-5/8" wide, with about 3/8" clearance each side, and about 5/8" in the front, and over 1" on top.  That seems to indicate that I'll have 3/16" on each side, but I don't know about the front - maybe I'll try to find a shop who has a 29x2.0 tire on a wheel I can try to fit...