06 March 2011

More than the rear triangle

Walk bike out into snowy landscape, because at least there's sunlight and sufficient linear distance out there.  Find place to prop bike.  Notice huge, horrible, yellow-of-the-soul-of-evil-mustard "ATM inside" sign in background.  Move bike.  Take pictures of bike.  Bring bike back inside.  Notice, lo!, no memory card in camera.  Curse stupidity of self.  Wait 20 minutes for snow to melt off tires.  Place memory card in camera.  Repeat.  Aoife gets bikkets[1] twice; is now curled up emanating feline pleased-with-universe feelings.

[1]an inescapable ritual necessity; when I come home, she gets treats. She sees no reason there should be any kind of time limit related to how long I'm out of the apartment for, or why; opening the outside door in an arriving sort of way means treats.


orc said...

That's a lovely bicycle. I am particularly impressed with how long the chainstays are; I suspect that you'll be able to drop down twisty hills as if you were on rails with a long wheelbase like that.

Did you consider the feasability of putting on a front rack as well as the pannier mounts? You might find that that's a good place to tuck a camera kit for easy access.

2x9, or 2x10 gearing? Berthoud saddle, I presume?

Graydon said...

Thank you!

I'm most pleased with it so far.

I had quite the discussion with Hugh about the chainstay length; he does not normally go past 46cm, and I wanted 52cm between verticals (centre of crank to the eyelet that holds the downward support for the ear rack), almost purely for heel clearance on panniers but with the reputed steadiness in mind. Turns out the 46cm limit-of-design-comfort was for 7/8" chainstay tubing; he could get, and used, 1" with (I believe) greater wall thickness, but wanted to be sure I understood he had never done that before and so could not guarantee the results. So I got my 52cm, and this is why I refer to it as The Experiment.

A front platform rack would get in the way of the light, and not having to fight with anything about light placement seemed a like a good thing. There are mounts for an Arkel "Big Bar Bag", which is where I usually keep the camera.

2x10; SRAM Apex, since that seemed like just the thing on paper. Have to see how it comes out in practice.

Berthoud saddle; it has about 500 km on it ('cause I wanted to make sure it would work for me before I actually had the bike) and I've been very pleased with it. Comfortable from the first ride and (as was noted when it got installed last Friday) the leather thickness is about twice that of the equivalent Brooks saddles True North stocks. Haven't put the supposed-to-be-night-waterproof to the test.

Mark (Z) said...

I see that the new frame is festooned with brackets for assorted baggage. I am certain you are heartbroken when confronted with the requirement for speciality luggage so did you get new bags or just redeploy existing equipment?

Graydon said...

I cleverly pre-purchased new front panniers -- not having previously possessed any bicycle with a front rack, I had no such luggage -- and have re-purposed my existing the bar bag.

The trunk bag is likewise re-purposed, and the (admittedly new) rear panniers I am chalking up to having suffered dis-satisfaction with the incumbents, rather than having a new bicycle.

So a smaller degree of extravagant than the bike itself, so I can feel safely virtuous about it. :)

Janice in GA said...

Nice looking bike! I can't wait to read the ride reports. I've never ridden a fully loaded tourer, but I do a good bit of utility cycling with various bags or trunks. Not the same thing as loaded touring, but it's all I got.

Happy miles and tailwinds to you!

Janice in GA said...

Sorry to double-comment, but I just had to say that this is the first bike I've ever seen with the third water bottle cage between the top tube and the rear tire. Wow. That's clearance. :)

Graydon said...

Janice --

I've never ridden a fully-loaded tourer, either, and am contemplating trying to build a complex balance beam to assist in packing.

What touring I have done has been things like toddling around the Niagara peninsula, which is pretty easy and involves motels. I'm hoping to work up to more ambitious trips. I'm also hoping to do a lot more bike birding, now that I have the heel clearance to ride without rigid concentration on not kicking the telescope in the shopping bag pannier.

And yes, clearance, but the bottle cage was a side effect of looking at the final drawing when the "lugs and guides" email arrived and asking "it looks like a bottle cage might fit back there?" Can't take any credit for planning the resulting neat effect whatsoever.