domingo, abril 2, 2023

Birds Of A Feather – Bike Snob NYC


Firstly, Bicycling wrote about my helmet video!

[Loving the irony of the Buick ad.]

The one factor worse than being talked about is being talked about at Bicycling, however solely as a result of they spell your identify fallacious:

It’s a becoming adjective, however it ain’t my identify.

Secondly, think about the swan:

Elegant but aggressive, it calls to thoughts one other fowl I do know:

They might have named the corporate Swan as an alternative of Kestrel. Although I assume you don’t make the duvet of Bicycling with a motorbike named the Swan 4000:

I’ve, as I’ve stated repeatedly, grown extraordinarily keen on this bicycle. Not solely has it grow to be my favourite street bike to trip, however I additionally love immersing myself within the Campagnolo C-Report parts, that are each lovely and virtually comically overbuilt–an irresistible mixture for the compulsively inept house mechanic. Moreover, whereas general the bike is mechanically sound, at 36 years previous it’s bought its fair proportion of quirks, so I’ve been kind of working my approach by it to make it the most effective bike it will probably presumably be…or at the very least the most effective bike I’m able to making it, which is admittedly a fairly low bar.

All of that is to say I did loads of fucking round with this bike over the previous few days.

The very first thing I did was end rehabilitating the unique derailleur, and the ultimate piece of the puzzle was this factor, which I purchased on eBay for about what an honest new derailleur prices:

It was price each penny too, as a result of it matches approach higher than the piece I transplanted from the donor derailleur, which resulted in cursing and binding. So in the event you’ve bought an ailing first-generation C-Report rear derailleur in want of this half I can’t advocate it extremely sufficient. I additionally changed one of many chewed-up pulleys a reader was anal sort sufficient to level out, and completed all of it up with a “new” (truly 20 years previous however it appears to be in fine condition) 10-speed Campagnolo chain I discovered deep in my chain drawer:

Now the bike shifted higher than it has throughout any level in my tenure with it–together with when it sported a far much less attractive however objectively superior Shimano Ultegra derailleur. I’m guessing a lot of the enchancment is a results of the trendy chain, although that little piece of metallic from eBay can be an necessary issue. By the way in which, it’s the little factor sandwiched between the derailleur and the hanger, and I’m posting an image of it in situ as a result of again after I was making an attempt to determine what was fallacious with the derailleur within the first place and brushing the Web for data a shot like this may have actually helped me out:

[SEO Terms: Campy, Campagnolo, C-Record, I’m a huge Retro-Fred, help my vintage Italian derailleur is fucked, etc.]

With the bike in such good working order I might need stopped there. However success had merely whetted my urge for food, and the following day I delved deep into my bundle of goodies from Traditional Cycle, which–in addition to these candy grips–contained a 39-tooth chainring:

And a freewheel with an opulent 24-tooth giant cog:

Alas, these things arrived a mere 5 months too late for my shock journey to Switzerland, which I did in a 42×21:

As I’ve talked about earlier than, I’ve submitted the story of this journey to a well known journal, and also you’ll learn it simply as quickly as they determine to publish it…assuming they ever do, that’s.

Not solely did the brand new freewheel have further tooth, however there was some precise shaping on these tooth, which promised to enhance shifting much more:

After levering myself up all these large mountains I puzzled if that freewheel would ever come off once more, however it did, and fairly simply, too:

Both my arms are stronger than I feel they’re, or my legs are weaker than I feel they’re.

The appearance of freehubs and cassettes clearly made life simpler…at the very least for awhile. However now that there are such a lot of completely different cassette configurations I’m unsure that’s true anymore. Think about SRAM XD, the very newest in cassette expertise (regardless that satirically the cassette threads on like a freewheel):

I assume the entire level is now you can have a 10-tooth cog, which…so what?

However hey, at the very least the cassettes are a cut price:

So yeah, a freewheel that you simply simply screw on and off (and that will be had fairly low-cost) appears refreshingly easy now. Plus, with friction shifting, you don’t even need to trouble counting the cogs–although these are each 6-speed:

In my racing days I keep in mind shedding sleep as a result of I hadn’t upgraded to 9-speed but. Now I ponder why you want any greater than 6-speed, go determine. Plus, 7-speed and underneath stays a lot cleaner. All these further cogs are actually good for is catching grease and dirt.

Anyway, as soon as I’d swapped the freewheel and internal chainring I headed out for a trip:

As I suspected, the shifting was even higher:

And whereas the tight gearing had been a part of the bike’s classic appeal, clearly it felt good to climb at greater than three RPMs:

A less-dedicated (or maybe extra gainfully employed) particular person would have moved on from this bike to one thing extra necessary. I didn’t. See the shifters?

They’re truly mismatched, which it took me months to note. The proper is a “retrofriction,” and it really works nice. However the left is a daily friction shifter, and it must be tightened commonly or it slips. I do this whereas using with out even fascinated about it, however I nonetheless wished to repair it. So after repeated disassembly and far perusing of classic Campagnolo catalogs (Campy made roughly three zillion iterations of their shifters through the C-Report dawn-of-indexing period), I concluded there is likely to be an additional washer in there that didn’t belong. So I eliminated it, and thus far the outcomes are promising, as a result of whereas I’ve but to place in any saddle time since then I can lastly wiggle the lever forwards and backwards repeatedly with out watching the bolt visibly loosen, which is nice.

Then there was the headset.

Ever because it loosened up on my aforementioned journey it appears to have developed a case of indexing. Some individuals don’t care about listed headsets, however it drives me loopy, and so far as I’m involved it’s important to have the ability to trip a street bike no-handed (consuming, texting, shedding layers…), which you’ll’t do when the headset is listed. I’d regreased it and readjusted it a number of instances, however the indexing at all times got here again. So Paul included a possible donor headset in his bundle, and I figured I’d open the whole lot up and exchange any pitted races:

Nonetheless, after eradicating the headset from the Kestrel, I observed a number of issues Firstly, analyzing them each aspect by aspect, I spotted the 2 headsets had been in truth barely completely different and never cross-compatible. Secondly, the donor headset had a brittle plastic seal on the crown race, which I observed was damaged–presumably by me throughout all this futzing–and with out it the decrease bearings can be utterly uncovered, which was no good:

Thirdly, and most significantly, after completely cleansing and analyzing the supposedly “listed” headset from the Kestrel I discovered each single bearing floor to be completely easy:

Not trusting my eyes, I traced each floor with a teeny tiny Allen key, and encountered not even the tiniest bump or snag. Even the crown race was good:

So I reinstalled it and now it’s easy as will be. However, unnervingly, I used to be in a position to put the cups again within the headtube by hand–like, with out utilizing a press. They’re good and cushty, however nonetheless… Hopefully that’s not the underlying reason behind the headset points, and it merely wanted a deep cleansing. This looseness is just not an unusual factor, at the very least in my expertise; for instance, the Faggin additionally has a equally loosey-goosey headtube and it’s by no means been an issue. I assume I’ll discover out…hopefully in a “Dammit, the headset’s being bizarre once more approach” and never a classic crabon assplosion” approach. However hey, they don’t name me the Outdated Crap Check Pilot for nothing:

Lastly, by this level the Vengeance Bike was coated in greasy smudges, so I gave it a going-over with some Dumonde degreaser:

Hopefully the shifter and headset overhauls take and it retains using nearly as good because it appears to be like:

It’s turning into my White Whale.


Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles