Monday, March 31, 2014

Tanager's been getting a lot of maintenance these last two weeks.

Today I noticed the rear tire nearly bald and, in some spots, wearing through to the puncture resistant layer. That one only lasted about 4000 miles. It's hard to believe the wheels I built just over a year ago have 4000 miles on them already. So, anyway I switched the tire out for a new Schwalbe Marathon Plus. This one in the size of 700 x 35. Still fits nicely under the fender.

The brake pads are almost completely worn down. They wear so fast in the winter rainy season here.

Also wanted to re-route the shifter cables from the bar end shifters up under the bar tape to come out by the stem as opposed to the traditional method where they come out of the tape under the drops. I think this looks cleaner and the cables aren't as in the way if I want to put something on the front rack. I still love the braided steel cable housings that I bought from Velo Orange so I ordered some new kits. The kits are pre cut. Only problem is the way I want to route them the pre cut cable housings weren't long enough. I was able to make due by using some of the old housing and joining them with an inline barrel tensioner. One more thing. The shifter cable for the rear derailleur wasn't even long enough. I had to pick up a tandem length cable to make it work.
At the same time I purchased some new blingy brake levers by Tektro. They have a bit of a classic look but a modern feel. A little button on the side releases a little tension on the cable so you can get your tire/wheel out easier. Very helpful with my canti's. Some new bar tape and we're on the road. Feels great, shifts great, brakes great.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Drive Train

So the new chain I put on about 2 days ago didn't agree with the rest of the drive train that the old, very worn out chain, tore up. The first problem I ran into, the next day riding to work, was chain skip under load. A lot of chain skip. So I picked up a new rear cassette. Chain skip resolved. The second problem was major chain suck whenever I was in the lower chain ring. In fact riding in the lower chain ring was impossible. So I replaced both Velo Orange chain rings with TA Specialites. Velo Orange is always out of stock. TA is like the only other brand I can find in this BCD. However TA chain rings seem to be about twice as expensive. I guess that's made in France vs. China. I was afraid that the cranks wouldn't perform the same, when it came to shifting, because Velo Orange's are "ramped and pinned" where TA is just a flat chain ring. But shifting, in my humble opinion, is no different. A slight front derailleur adjustment was needed.

The rear cassette is now a 11-32 vs. the 11-34 that I had before. However the small front chain ring is now a 28 as opposed to the 30 so climbing walls should still be no problem.

It's been so long over due for the chain that I am completely amazed by how much the shifting improved. I had no idea a worn chain made such a difference.

The VO Orange chain rings and that Shimano rear cassette made it nearly 10,000 miles.
Odo 11,800.

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Chain Time

I checked the chain for wear today. Way past due. 3231 miles on the last chain. About twice as many miles as I usually put on a chain. Bike Odometer is at 11774.