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11/09/05
Dark Commutes, Spacers, Shims & Entropy
Filed under: general, rides, bike tech
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 10:16 pm

Rode home tonight in the first “full dark” commute.  I’d been cutting out early last week, and although  the lights were on, it was more dusky than dark.  Nothing horrifying to report - in fact it was one of those rides where you find youself bettering the speed of traffic while heading up hill.  The lack of light did make me think seriously about building up a generator hub lighting system. The  little cateye on the front is really a “visibility” light more than anything which can illuminate when you suddenly run out of streetlamps - which I suddenly remembered happens just when cresting the last hill and beginning to head down at a decent speed. Pretty danged dark all at once. I need to have something in the meantime - the old NiteRider is toast, but I do have some of the VistaLite stuff in the closet.  Better charge that up for tomorrow…

As I wait for the cranks to be passed through the innards of Ritchey, I’ve begun resetting the bars and stem on the Cross Bike.  Back in September, I’d received one of the lugged threadless stems from the fine folks at RBW and had them send me a noodle bar as well, which matched the width of the “ergo” Cinelli which had been used on the initial build.  I’d been wanting to get rid of the big honkin’ Titec stem which had been the only thing lying around when the build began.  Part of the problem was that it has a 1″ steerer (OK - I don’t think that is a problem, per se.  It just has effects now that the industry has decided I needed an inch and an eighth head tube diameter).  The lugged threadless stem was built for the larger diameter - which I’d kind  of forgotten until I pulled the old one out. Now I need to find some shim stock (or a shim kit) which will take up the 3 mm difference.  Since the height of the stem where it attaches to the steerer is shorter, I need some more spacers.  Everything I have in the parts bin is for the wider steerer tube on my mtb.  Of course, my headset cap won’t fit any longer either, as it is too narrow, and drops down into the center of the stem. Since the front end of the bike is getting classed up by stem (and more graceful curve of the bars), all of a sudden the black spacers I had originally used and the the black canti hanger look pretty wrong.

I do enjoy the process, but sometimes you just have to laugh at how the little details conspire against you…in this case it should be a much more direct fix than trying  to match the paint on the Zeus.

Kind of poked at the iBob list tonight after realizing I don’t have the parts I need, but couldn’t get too enthused at responding.  Everyone seems to be a bit cranky about onshore/offshore production and it just didn’t catch my interest.  Hope  those OT threads finally wind down. 

Commute Head Tunes:
“Sweet Emotion” version by Phish and Leo Kottke
“Regyption Strut” by Frank Zappa

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