Thursday, April 28, 2011

Went and Did It or Not

I decided to bite the bullet and change my drivetrain over to Sram.  I bought Sram XO Twist Shifter and X9 Derailer for a very good price off Amazon.  I was leery as to how comfortable the twist shifter setup would be on the trike.  I know I have not been that happy with Shimano as they seem to require more maintenance.  Sram has always been spot on for me on my other bikes.  The parts came in and I decided to get to work.  Things seemed to be going along smoothly as I was making my final adjustments.  After way too many hours of frustration, I took my trike in pieces and brought it to my LBS.  He called me the next day to say the derailer cage was too short.  I looked at the box it came in and there were 2 stickers on there.  Long cage and short cage.  Obviously I got the short cage.  I decided to stick with what I had and asked my LBS to change out the derailer to a Shimano XT and new Shimano barend shifters.  Murphy's Law continued as the XT normal shifting derailer was out of stock everywhere.  I brought in my old Shimano LX and asked to put in line cable adjusters so if and when I decide to get the XT I will be able to make the change myself.  My LBS friend replaced my cables, housing, 2 in line adjusters for both front and rear, new barend shifters and did all my compulsive tweaks at a very reasonable cost.  I am a very happy camper.
If you are in the Central Jersey Area and need a good reasonable expert bicycle mechanic I suggest you check out Van at The Bicycle Rack in Hightstown, NJ.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Maintenance and Repair

Schwalbe Marathon Racer

Time for New Tires

Need Mirror and Grips 

New Marathon Racer

New Mirrycle Mirror and Grips

New Sram 970 cassette and KMC Z 9 Chain
It has been a great cycling year with a record 5354 miles.  Add Bike Florida with 3 days of rain and it has taken it's toll on parts.  Time to change out some basic components like chain, cassette, mirror, grips and tires.  Some cables and housing were done on BikeFL.  I had received the parts ordered and decided to make repairs on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day and I wanted to get things done quickly.  I got a 35 mile ride in to see how things faired.  At first everything was great.  Then about 1 mile into the ride I noticed problems with the 4th gear.  It was not smooth and tended to slip and skip.  I made frequent adjustments on the ride, but, just couldn't fix it.  I decided to wait until I got home and could place it on my stand.  No matter how hard I tried, the problem remained.  I decided to put back the old cassette and low and behold the problem was gone.  I realized my new Sram 970 cassette had a defective 4th cog.  I boxed and returned to seller at no charge.  I am now looking for a new cassette.
I have been a big fan of my inexpensive Tioga Comp Pool Tires.  Unfortunately, they are no longer manufactured.  I did much research and finally called UtahTrikes and asked their opinion.  They recommended the Scwalbe Marathon Racer.  They also run a perpetual sale on these tires at $25.  I am quite pleased with the ride quality and I feel no difference than with my old Tioga tires.
I am also looking into changing the drivechain to Sram 1:1 Actuation as it is smoother shifting with little maintenance.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back From Bike Florida

On My Way

Tent City


New ICE Sprint Full Suspension

Some Tour Easys

Catrike Expeditions.  Cool Paint

Rest Stop

Moss On Tree

More Bents

Couple from Missouri On Catrike Roads

Band at Rest Stop

One of Florida's Beautiful Bike Paths

Diane on Left friend from Home.  Linda on right new friend from North Carolina
High End Riders

One of Florida's Beautiful Springs

My Buddies for the week after the ride

Bike Florida was quite an adventure.  Unfortunately, I road for 5 days instead of the full 7 days.  I arrived on Saturday and had registered and had my tent set up by noon.  The weather was hot in the mid 80's.  I did the 35 miler which turned out to be more like 45 for the day.  Sunday was again sunny and hot and I did the longer route for another 58 miles.  Monday the weather changed and I got caught in some severe rain after the 1st rest stop.  My new rain jacket and the fairing made riding in the rain fun.  I decided to go for the longer route and did about 70 miles.  The rain and clouds continued on Tuesday.  I decided not to press my luck and did the short route for 40 miles.  Wednesday the weather was again bad and they only allowed us to do the short route for 38 miles.  I got back just in time to get the tent set up before it started to thunder, lightening and rain as depicted in the video.  It was quite a storm.  Thursday the weather was so severe they did not let us ride at all.  3 Tornado's touched down and there were reports of hail.  They arranged bus transportation back to your car or to the next overnight.  Since my things were so soggy and it would be only a 31 miler the next day I decided to end the ride and pick up my car.  I still managed to get in about 251 total miles.
There were many recumbents including, Tour Easy, Longbike Slipstream, Vision, HP Street Machine, many Catrikes and a few ICE Trikes.  Most riders were fast spandex types on their sub 20lb bikes, but there were many on hybrids too.  The roads were mostly flat and rural and we went on some beautiful paved bike paths.  Rest stops were spaced out about every 10-12 miles and were well stocked with PBnJ sandwiches, oranges, grapefruits, candy, water and Gatorade along with other items.  The BikeFL staff was excellent.
I met some old friends from previous rides and more importantly made new friends.  It doesn't matter what you ride, were you are from, what you do, or how old you are.  We are all the same and love cycling.
If you have never done one of these type of events, I would highly recommend it.  Where else can you wake up at 5 am, wait on line to do your business in a Porta-Jon, wait on another line to wash up, ride 50 plus miles in all kinds of weather, come back and set your tent up in the heat or rain, and wait again on line for a shower.  Do this for 5-7 days and come home and say.