Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back to Normal

Finally, after riding New York's Bon Ton Roulet with 10 speeds, courtesy a 32-tooth granny gear, I began working on converting the little red tandem back to a fixed gear machine.

First chore was to rebuild the rear wheel with the new Phil Wood hub, since we had stripped the lock ring threads on the original one.

After riding this as a derailleur-equipped bike for over a thousand miles this summer, it was refreshing to feel the smoothness of the fixed wheel, again.

This weekend, we're taking it to Hotter 'n Hell in Texas.  Good times.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

BAK 2017

Well, since the fixed gear hub got some important threads stripped out at the end of the Cottwonwood 200, we ran the fixed gear tandem as a 5 speed.  Glad we did, actually.  Not for the hills, but for the relentless wind and heat that blew at us all week.

So now, we have a month until our next ride, the Bon Ton Roulet in New York, which promises grades up to 12%.  SO, I spent last night turning this once-upon-a-time fixed gear into a 10 speed!  Yikes.

The TA cranks accept a wide range of chainring sizes.  This time, it's seeing a 32t and a 46t.  The range is pretty good, from about 30 gear inches up to about 87.

The generic rear freewheel goes from 14 to 28 teeth in pretty even steps

The rear derailleur is an ultegra, the front derailleur is a Suntour, the shifters are power ratchets, I think.  It all works very smoothly!

But, I miss the fixed gear.  We'll run out the summer like this, but I already have the new fixed gear hub to replace the trashed one, so I'll embark on building a wheel here shortly.

Friday, June 2, 2017

2017 rides

Being laid off from work means more time to ride!

After January 2017, we both had plenty of time to ride, so we did.  1400 miles through May.  All on this fixed gear tandem bike.

We rode:
Newton's Chisholm Trail ride
Hutchinson's Sandplum ride
McPherson's BamFam ride
Wichita's Wicked Wind
Cottonwood 200

The Cottonwood 200 had us feeling really good about riding this bike.  Despite the six or eight times we *had* to stand to get up a hill, we really felt the fixed gear helped us keep momentum, even going up inclines.

About five miles from the end of the ride, we lost the drive chain.  Well, it was worse than that -- the lock ring had come off with some of the hub's threads and the cog followed.  Rats.  We had been looking forward to riding this fixed on BAK again this year.  Oh well.  Back to a five-speed, I guess.