cyclofiend.com - peripheral thoughts & notes

October 2009
« Sep   Nov »
On the Road Again
Filed under: general, bike tech, bike commuting
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 9:05 am

Through a quirk of the calendar, 4 months to the day after someone popped their truck door open at
precisely the wrong time, the Quickbeam headed onto the
roadway again. After a frame check to make sure that nothing structural got bent or damaged, followed by attaching new handlebars, brake levers and stem (all replaced out of pocket because I’m still waiting for the other driver’s insurance to
settle up…), and another saddle swapped over, the bicycle seemed ready for duty.

Yes, I did set the brake cables using an underwrap of hemp twine, shellacked with, uh, shellac. (An intervention may be necessary, as I’ve observed before.)  Left the barends open, so they can take a core sample of anything that impales itself upon them. (I thought I had a set of Velox bar plugs - hell I know I do - but couldn’t find them before the ticking clock of “gottagetgoing” chimed…) Don’t think I’ll need to tweak the setup too much, but didn’t want to jinx it by wrapping everything into place. Commuted and did a short
errand after work, reminding myself again why I like this bicycle so
darned much.

Specifically -
It was great not to coast again.
It was great not to have to shift.
I really, really like the Jack Brown (Green) tires.  Had them set at 65/75 psi and they felt like velvet.
Having a front bag (the L’il Loafer) that fits exactly on the rack (Nitto Mini Front) makes my heart sing.

It was funny, the bike I rode most recently before this was the Zeus, which is nothing if not an acquired taste.  The frame is smallish - in the way we all downsized frames back in the last century - and between the lightish, standard gauge tubing and the significant leverage provided by the moustache bars, the bicycle flexes without hesitation under load.  With the 650B (584 bcd) tire conversion, it has the low stance of a badger, and the head angle and fork rake combine to give it a unique trail. The first mile or so on the Zeus are a lesson of correction, finding the combination of position and input to let the bike move the way it wants to.   Since I was using that more frequently, the idiosyncrasies became normal.

So, getting back on the Quickbeam took a little adjustment again - mostly to get used to a bike that acted entirely differently, but much, much more trustworthy.   Four months without riding this bicycle has been a travesty, and it felt wonderful to enjoy the cool sunshine of late October, pedaling, pedaling, pedaling the whole time.

Coasting is a Pernicious Habit