Monday, February 28, 2011

Chilly Hilly 2011

Well I made it again.  Chilly Hilly really lived up to it's name.  Freezing rain, sleet, snow, wind.  Fortunately this didn't really set in until the last 1/3 of the ride.  I'm glad I took the early (7:55) ferry.  Everyone loved my bike.  Not 10 minutes went by that someone didn't comment on it. I took this years Chilly Hilly nice and easy. 

The left knee started acting up again after only about 1/3 of the ride.  I just read over all my posts following last years Chilly Hilly up to and a little following STP and I believe the knee pain is due to lack of use.  I don't do a lot of long rides in the Winter.  Mostly just to work and back and the occasional 20 miler.  I'm 90% certain the knee needs to be conditioned to longer rides or hilly rides.  However this could also be because my cranks are 5mm longer now.  There's only one way to find out.  Start riding.  It looks like most of my pain resolved itself after about a month last year so I'll start easing in some 20 mile rides and then a 30 and a 40.  I'm not training for STP so I don't need to do as much.

On the down side I caught a nasty cold.  I had to work the night before Chilly Hilly so I only got about 6 hours of sleep, then got up and did the ride in the 30 degree weather, then headed over to Pyramid Brewery for my free beer, then home where I took a shower and a nap.  When I woke up I felt miserable.  I think I just beat up my immune system too much.

I don't know what my ride time for the actual route was since my new computer only has one tripodometer but I got the stats for the entire ride from my house and back.

Distance 44.78 miles
Average speed 10.58 mph
Time 4:13:56

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Deore/Mega range

I just upgraded from the 7 to the 8 speed rear cassette.  The rear cassette is a "Mega range" 11t-34t.  I can climb up walls with this thing.  Although the 34 tooth rear cog is to large for the old Sora derailleur so that was also upgraded.  My buddies at Velo Bike Shop suggested a Shimano Deore.  Looks good, works good.  Didn't break the bank.  Chain had to be lengthened. 

I also had Peter White ship a longer wire for my lights, specifically from the headlight to the tail.  Now it's routed the way I had originally planned, under the downtube, drive side chainstay and fenderstay.  Much cleaner look.

Chilly Hilly is the day after tomorrow. 

Odo - 2170 (13,502)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grand Cru 50.4bcd Crankset

The new cranks came in yesterday.  This is the Grand Cru 50.4bcd Crankset from Velo Orange.  As stated on their website "Classic 50.4 BCD cranks, like the TA, Stronglight 49D, and others are still sought after by randonneurs and cyclo-tourists. These cranks offer tremendous versatility (chain rings from 26t to 62t fit). They are also light and have very narrow Q-factors, or tread.

While the new Grand Cru crank looks like the classics, we have made several important improvements. They are cold forged 7075 aluminum alloy. The rings are thicker so they don't flex as on classic cranks. The BB taper and all threading is common sizes, no need for special tools and BBs. The rings have modern shifting aids so shifting performance is much improved
."

The look is classic.  The shifting is nice.  The Q-factor is damn low.  I jumped up the bottom bracket from 116mm to 118 plus a spacer on the drive side.  I probably should have went with a bottom bracket around 122mm.  In the highest gear the chain ever so slightly rubs on the chain ring derailleur but I cannot adjust it anymore because the drive side crank arm just barely misses the derailleur.  But it all works and the chain line looks pretty good. 

The crank came with 46t and 30t rings.  I've dropped from a triple to a double thus my bike is now a 14 speed instead of a 21 speed.  I was having a problem where I could only use the two lowest gears, on the rear cassette, while in the small chain ring which was a 28t.  I suspect there wasn't enough tension on the chain due to the rear derailleur not being able to handle the range/take up the slack.  Now in the 30t I'm able to reach more of the middle gears (probably all the gears) with no problems.  It's likely that without the big 52t chain ring I can shorten up the chain.  But everything is working fine now so I'll cross that bridge when I replace the chain.  It's almost due. 

Also I jumped the crank length up from 170mm to 175.  I'm not sure if I notice any difference in this yet except for the fact that the seat needed to be lowered 5mm.

Soon I'll start looking at 8 speed rear cassettes turning this bike into a 16 speed, hill climbing beast.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Chilly Hilly 2011

Just signed up for Chilly Hilly again.  Toyed around with the idea of the High Pass Challenge but decided I'll give Flying Wheels a try first.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

ROTD

I took a slightly different route to get my allergy shot today.  I followed a route recommended by google maps.  I don't know who at google thought that was a good bike route because there was a SERIOUS hill in the middle of it.  16% grade.  I liked it though and it was a great sunny day for it.
Here's the route - http://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=63148#.