Monday, July 7, 2008

Update on the Curtlo ring swap

Please excuse the boring posts lately, my lungs are still filled with something that looks like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ooze that I had has a kid. It makes doing any activity seem like I have been a pack a day smoker for about 20 years or more. But at least I feel good otherwise.

Anyway, so I took off the driveside crank and tried to mount the 53 tooth ring on the inside of the crankarm, instead of the outside where it is normally mounted. I left the chainguard on the outside even though it looked silly. I did so because in order to tighten down the chainring bolts I need it there. Without it the bolts would not have been tight against the single ring. I didn't have any washers to take up the space instead Then I put the crank arm back on the bottom bracket, but the ring is too big. It hit the driveside chainstay of the frame. Dang it.

Then I swapped the 53 tooth on the outside and put the chainguard on the inside. Again the chainring guard, which is slightly larger than a 42 tooth chainring hit the chainstay. Well it didn't actually hit it. But it was about 10/1000 away from it and any sort of torque on the crankarms would have made it rub. So back to the drawing board.

This entire time I kept thinking that I should just mount up the two chainrings and then I could run the 53 tooth or the 39 tooth whenever I wanted. Without a front derailleur I could have still done it with my foot if I wanted to go down from the 53 to the 39 (I have done this before a long time ago on another bike) or just moved it back the the 53 by hand in about a second or two. Or I could never use the 39 and just let it remain something to space the chainring bolts enough to tighten down the 53 tooth ring. But this is simply not an option. If I had both rings on--even if I never intended to use the 39 tooth again people are still going to think that I am using a normal drivetrain. But dang it I am not, this is one of the coolest 1x9's you will run across. The shifting for the rear deraileur is accomplished with a dura ace bar end shifter mounted to a Kelly Take Off. The Kelly Take Off is about the coolest thing for a 1X9 cyclocross bike. It allows me to shift from just about any position on the bar. I can jam the shifter on multiple shifts faster than a regular STI road shifter will do at times. Also in the mud the shifter seems to work better than the regular road shifters, or at least my old shimano ones. I mean it is not quite as ergonomic, but for cross it works and that is all I care about.

Anyway, leaving the ring, even as a dummy ring was just not an option. I finally went to the shop where I found we had not chainring bolt spacers. I had to go and buy them at Bike Gallery. And after messing around a bit with the number of spacers, breaking a torx wrench multi-tool, and making my wife wait on me more than I should have for somethings she wanted me to do I was finished. Really, I made a simple operation an overly complicated and tedious affair. Not sure why, but making simple operations complicated is what I do best sometimes.

Now the bike looks clean. I looks like I am just a hammer because the only ring I am rocking is a freaking 53 tooth monster. The mountain cassette is there of course but that is not what you immediately notice. This bike is pretty sweet. For cross, don't let Brianero read this, but I think the Curtlo is a bit sweeter for cross than the Lapierre. Most of it is the set up, but still, some of this feeling is becuase it fits me so well. The frame's build has been thoughtfully revised a few times and each time it gets a little closer to perfection. The Lapierre still has yet to go to battle and so I am at the beginning of the learning curve with it, so to speak.

Well, hopefully soon I will have more to report than boring tales of easy maintenance made complicated by yours truly.

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