Monday, July 7, 2008

You'd think I have enough bikes to cover a simple road ride

But, I really don't. I don't have a good bike for long road rides currently.


Fuji Aloha CF2 is set up as a time trial bike. With the aerobars set up it is not friendly to regular road rides in traffic. I am too lazy to swap the bar back to a regular road shifter/drop bar set up because I anticipate doing at least one more tri this summer.

Lapierre XLite is really a cyclocross racing machine. It currently has a side gig as my commuter and sub 2 hour road machine. The problem lies in its lack of any water bottle mounts whatsoever. Afterall, you don't need or want a water bottle during a cyclecross race. Its lack of water bottle mounts show that its rider is indeed a cyclocross junkie. It also makes it difficult to go on rides for much longer than 2 hours (less if it is a hot day) because the only water that I carry has to be in one water bottle that I stick in the back of my jersey. I can fit a 24 ouncer back there. I have gone on longer rides with the Lapierre, but it requires a route that has 7-11 or something similar along the route at an opportune time. This is not always possible when going with others.

Curtlo Singlespeed 29er. Well duh, one speed, fat tires, and again no water bottle mounts (I use a camelbak when mountain biking).

Curtlo S3 Cyclocross bike. Hmmm. Facially this seems like a bad match. It is built up as a 1x9 and the front ring is only a 39 tooth. Not big enough to maintain speed on the flats or on a slight descent. But the bike does have two water bottle mounts, because I forgot to tell Doug not to put them on. Maybe that is lucky for me. The rear cassette is currently a 12-25, or I also have a 12-27 and wait for 11-34. Yes. Anyone thinking what I am thinking yet? Gear junkies out there, it is time to perk up.

Most standard sized cranksets with a 130 BCD (Shimano/Sram) or 135 BCD (Campy) come with a 39 tooth and a 53 tooth set of chainrings. On many bikes the cassette mated with this combo is either an 11/23 or 12/25. In fact that is the very set up that I have on my Fuji. Back when the Fuji was set up with road bars I rode this set up everywhere and did just fine for the most part. The lowest gear, 39 tooth front mated with the 25 tooth in the back gives a 41.0 gear inch measurement. The top end, the 53 mated with the 12 cog in the back comes to 116.1 gear inches.

Now, then here is my thought; swap the 39 tooth ring out for the 53 tooth. The bike would still be a 1x9. But the front ring would be the 53 tooth and I would run not the 12/25 or 12/27 cassette (I wish I could push this all the time going up and on to Skyline, but that aint gonna happen) but instead plop on the 11/34. Yeah. Check out the gear inches range now: Low end is the exact same 41.0 and the high is now 126.6. So my 9 gears in gear inches would be; 41.0, 46.4, 53.6 60.6, 69.6, 81.9, 92.9, 107.1 and 126.6. Or to convert that to what those of you running a standard BCD would be like having the following gear selection (approximately): 39/25, 39/22, 39/19, 53/23, 39/15, 53/17, 53/15, 53/13, and 53/11. Really this is not too bad. Sort of large steps in between at times but not too bad I don't think.

Guess what I am doing tomorrow, Daddy is getting his new road bike ready, the Curtlo S3 Cyclo-Road! I can't wait. I will probably try to mount the 53 tooth on the inside of the crankarm to get a better chainline. I need to find some spacers to put on the outside of the arm. Right now I have a chainguard on the outside, but I suspect that it will look a little goofy since it was only made to guard a 42 tooth ring at the most. But that should be small stuff. The crankarms are old style Campy Record--carbon arms with the square taper bottom bracket. The Campy style 135 BCD makes it hard to find rings in anything but 39 and 53.

Anyway, off to bed. I am excited to try this out and I am finally feeling well enough to do so.

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