2011 Update

It's been a few years since I created this webpage, and I have made a few changes I thought I would document.  One change was that I swapped out my XT rear derailleur, 8 speed 11-28 cassette and Rocket shifter for a Sram X9 derailleur and shifter with a 9 speed 11-26 cassette.  With the original Rocket shifter I often shifted two cogs when I only wanted one.  I thought the 1:1 actuation of the X9 might eliminate that problem, and it did.

I really liked my old 16 spoke Aeroheat front wheel, but then I backed the car over it. The damage was remarkably minimal, but one sidewall of the rim was distorted and it caused the brakes to grab unevenly.   I decided that was a good excuse for an upgrade and built this wheel with an American Classic hub and Velocity Fusion rim.  I actually still prefer the look of that 16 spoke wheel, but this will do for now (until I run over this one, too).

This fall my big ring got bent somehow (no, I did not back over it with the car), so I decided that was another good excuse for an upgrade.  I think these FSA rings (53/39/30) look really sharp, and they shift better too. My old rings were 52/42/28. The shift from the 28 to the 42 was too big and often went poorly.  When the shift went especially bad the chain would jump off the  42 and jam between the small ring and the frame.  The 30 to 39 shift is much better, and the 39 to 53 shift also works great.  The two shifts are now much closer to equal size (on a percent basis), so I like that better too.  And did I say I like the way they look?

When daylight savings ends and it's too dark in the evening to ride, I get bored and start thinking of things to change on the bike. This fall one thing I did was make myself this new front derailleur cable stop. I got a shaft collar from W W Grainger, drilled a hole for the cable and did some sculpting with a belt sander and file. Then I polished it with rubbing compound and car polish, and did same to the front derailleur mounting tube.  I think it looks a lot less "homemade" now.

My latest project was this modification to the steering. I wanted to get rid of the bulky MTB stem I was using to connect the riser to the bars. So I bought a new "top load" stem from Rans, and made a new riser. The new riser needed a lot more bend than the original, and I thought it would be hard to get that much bend without it kinking. It turned out to be much easier than I expected.  I cut and sanded a form with an 8 inch radius and then just bent the tube (1.125" x .058") around the form. I had read that filling the tube with sand first would help prevent kinking so I did that too. It worked out just fine. I also bought a new set of handlebars from Performer. The new bars are a little bit narrower than my old Terracycle bars.  With the narrower bars my hands are now almost fully in the shadow of my thighs, so it should be more aerodynamic.

This picture also shows the nice Zotefoam seatpad I bought from Don Smith.  I just read that Don is working on a new model with a thicker foam, and deeper channels for better airflow.  He also  plans to put a thin strip of colored foam in the bottom of the channels.  Cool.   I'm thinking red might look really nice.