Often I have conflicting tastes. In bicycle chic there seems to be the old-school camp. Steel, lugs, merino, leather and canvas. Hipsters are a subset of this with steel, fixed/single, and tiny little handlebars. Then there’s the mountain bikers. Lycra, fat tyres, shocks, lots of gears, big straight handlebars. Roadies: lycra, carbon, weight-weenies, etc.
I swing between them all. I guess more like commuter-grognards. Wool works, steel is as real as carbon and aluminium, lots of gears is nice for lots of hills, and leather looks cool but ain’t that water-resistant. I like disc brakes, carbon blade forks, trekking bars, belt-drives, rohloff gear hubs and dura-ace groupsets. I’d love a Rohloff in a Trek District Carbon with Avid Juicy road brakes and a rapid-fire type shifter (don’t exist, yet). For the saddle a Selle Anatomica would be fine but the problem is the carbon can’t hold racks and has no eyelets for mudguards. So I’d be quite happy with a lovely lugged frame with all the eyelets and braze-ons you can think of. I’d use’em. One bike to rule them all (roads, trails and tracks). I think Rivendell are close to the point but they don’t like discs or internal gear hubs (from what I’ve read which is most of the site). Their frames are as beautiful as they are overpriced (about the same as a titanium frame).
Guess I’m in the too small a market-niche to exploit category… and that’s okay with me. I can’t afford it anyway.
Procrastinating on the Rohloff install for the Big Dummy. Got a long weekend coming up where I can fit it in so finally will get it done! Not sure why but I’m expecting it to take all day. Setup tandem-length cables in ex-mech & shifter, remove derailleurs, install OEM2 plate, install cables, install shifter, install chain-tensioner, install 185mm disc rotor, fit wheel, and test run.
Maybe some “brake noodles” for the shifter and on the ex-mech. Something like these:
My first Rohloff has arrived, not that I have a 2nd one coming, and I’m a bit excited to get it fitted on to the Big Dummy. A used item that has done about 5,000 kms so it’s just run in nicely, like a new car that has its engine break in period just finished. Ready to put in some power.
This is part of the Bike Build Bug Bites Back progress. I don’t really require a touring frame any more since the Big Dummy checks all the boxes. The only reason I could need a new frame is for overseas touring and I’m thinking a Bike Friday New World Tourist or a Tikit 11 (Alfine 11) with belt drive since a folder can fit in a small case for airline travel.
It’s fitted with a 160mm disc but my Big Dummy is set up with Avid 185mm discs that Wiggle don’t think exist. It was packed well with a softly inflated inner tube around it to protect the rim. Worthy seller on eBay! Now to get it mounted and tested before my opportunity to get compensation if it’s no good runs out.
So my bum is bitten by the bike building bug again. This time a do-it-all cyclocross-tourer – basically a 1970’s touring bike with all the bells and whistles of the 20-teens.
It’s looking expensive.
Genesis Croix De Fer in 931 Reynolds stainless tubing (drool).
Rohloff ex-mech disc speedhub.
Off-road drop bars (Salsa woodchipper 2, or On one Midge) with a Rohloff shifter something like this.
Avid BB7 mech disc
Cranks, whatever, probably some second hand Shimano 105.
Hubs – I’d like to run some boutique uber hubs: Chris King or Peter White, but may settle on good old Deore.
That’s pushing 5,000 buckeroos, but many weekend warriors part with their gear for a steal because their missus is busting their nuts over it (the psychology of that is really sad, seriously).
Any bike-hackers out there who can give some advice on how to put that Rohloff on the brifter – let me know.
Securing a contract has me dreaming of a new bike. It would start off like this but have a Rohloff internal gear hub added in. I think it’d be damned sexy and run like a dream.
However, I’d have to drop about $6,500 to get it done. Not money I have for such a dream.
So the next best thing comes to mind. A lugged cro-mo steel frame, modified for belt drive, with disc-brakes and lots of bidons for guards, racks, and such. Something like the Americano Rohloff, below, but with a nice Rivendell style lugged frame & trekking bars.
What is a minor bummer, the Rohloff shifter only comes in twist type – like a Nexus. I’d much rather a rapid-fire type shifter like the Alfine and almost all the Shimano mountain-bike stuff.
My Surly Big Dummy arrive and it’s very nice. The good folks at Lonsdale Street Cyclery did a superb job of packing the bike: easily worth the $50 that I paid for it. The seller in Canberra was great to deal with and very accommodating. My original intention was to make a road-trip up to collect the bike and transport it back. Then my car blew its water-pump and I was without transport. Now the bike has arrived, is assembled, and a few adjustments away from being a joy to ride.
To be a bit of a trend-follower I intend to fit a Rohloff Speedhub and either trekking, or Titec Jones H-bar, handlebars. All that remains at this point is mudguards (SKS of course, 26-inch P65) and the Xtracycle wide-loaders (aka. Cargo Vans, H-racks).