Now we're back from Texas, y'all. It was a great time. Ace to see friends old and new and meet in person people i have known over the internet for some time. I need to do an entire entry about the super-ace hoppy delights sampled, and a further review of the 'show. In the meantime, we have electricity, again, at home after re-wiring to the meters and fuse boxes was required (after a little blow out prior to our leaving on holiday). It was odd to spend the day without the internet - good infact! but strange. Every time we needed to do something, there was a point we reached for a keyboard or the phones only to realise we were cut off. Isolation can be informatics/communication based as easily as geographic, weather or emotional.
And yes, the snow is still falling. Given that, it's time for some detail work. And - what with the horrific effects of the earthquake in Japan, with astonishing and gruesome footage of the tsunamis generated by the huge quake wiping out all signs of human activity in it's path - the weather here is just going to be accepted and our blessings counted. I truly hope that the venting of the nuclear reactor cores is enough and that meltdown of any one of the 5 damaged reactors is averted as that is the last thing that Japan (and indeed the world) needs.
Talking of which, i have just read an interesting if 'lite' article in Outside magazine about a visit to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (linked here if you want a read). Mother Nature has been filling in the blanks despite the abuse. Interesting how endlessly adaptive and persistent the rush for life can be.
Anyways, as mentioned: time for detail work. That means some work on BA post-nahbs. First and foremost, it was a trifle embarrassing to have so much excess steer tube on show, so thats getting a trim. Lets face it, i aint going to be running the terralogic/talas on any other bike and i'm not going to raise the bars so it is time to commit. I'll also slot a ti spacer in there rather than the king aluminium ones. Just cos.
Talking of King, they had their first 44 external headsets on show at nahbs - and although the cane creek has given me no issues - i'm going to have to invest. The only question is what colour....boring and monochromatic is my norm, but mango or gold are strong contenders - especially given the gold/mango touches already present on the bike.
Sean's bike was also sporting a Syntace seat post clamp. I have been using a Chromag, which is fine - big bolt and basic but does the job - but recently i have noticed that the clamp area has started bending inwards. i suspect this may cause uneven clamping on the post, and usually prefer offset slot clamps a la Campag.
I dont use qr clamps much, but BA benefits from occasional dropping of the post, so i'd like to keep the qr if possible. The Syntace has an offset slot, a clever 3d clamp lever and a scraper that will remove gunk from the post if and when its time to move it. The clamp is also tightened by a neat little nylock thumbwheel that should allow easy tension adjustment. We'll see how it goes.
I had some good chat with Jimbo while in Austin about the benefits of Gravity Dropper seat posts. I like them, particulalry due to the mechanical nature of their action rather than hydro. It seems the Rock Shox Reverb has been having some issues with the hoses that are requiring to be upgraded to a thicker or stiffer hose to stop them, well, stopping working. The Fox DOSS (drop on steep shit) post is apparently mechanical, but uses their tried and true seals, so this may be an option in the future. It also seems to use Thomson seat rail clamps - which are good. We'll see. The other things i like about Gravity Dropper is the shear range of sizes and that the cable exits on the static section of the post and forwards, minimising fuss with cable routing and extension.
The bike was transported in a trico iron case, which has to be commended for doing such and incredible job of protecting my bikes while travelling over the years. If you absolutely want the best protection available, you need to look at these...
However, one problem i encountered when packing the bike, due to the loop bars, i had to take the brakes off, which meant removing the grips. I am also completely head over heals with xtr M988 brakes, so i'm going to have to get another set of these for BA and the split clamp will help if and when its time to pack up again. They also have some mango anodised highlights, right?
Chainline will also see some action on BA. When built, it was optimised for 6 speeds on a singlespeed rear hub - albeit a 150mm wide one!. This means that with 9 speeds the chainline at the chainring end is a little wide. It worked well in Austin, even over rough ground and i had the full range of gears with no rub or major hesitation shifting (given i needed the wee dwidget on the rear mech) but I will use a set of Wheels Manufacturing chainring spacers to bring it in a few mm. I need to be careful because the e13 xcx guide (which is flawless btw) has a limited ability to deal with lateral movement. That give a better chainline. I'll also use a 36 tooth ring, rather than the 35 to give me a little more oomph with the 11-34.
What else? i have a couple of freak-bike tyres to test for Singletrack World. Initial impressions are 'sticky'. But clearly, details will be in the mag'.
If i'm honest, i also need to break out the hack saw and guide to remove a chunk of steerer from the 'cross bike fork....but then i might actually have to use my 'cross bike, and i'm not convinced my fitness would allow that yet....so we'll see....and the Jones?
Well it just needs ridden!