Troll Build

Completing the Troll build was great. I rode it without bar grips or tape for a few days then taped up the Velo Orange Crazy Bars with Lizard skin 3.2mm tape. Nice.

Riding it for a month or two I realised some shortcomings of the Rohloff; much to my chagrin. I really wanted the Rohloff to be bicycle perfection. It’s not. Sensitive to chain tension and axle position makes it annoying in terms of chain leaping off when racing over bumpy ground. This eventually resolved after the paint wore off the dropouts enough that the quick release had more friction underneath so that it stopped being pulled forward on the drive side because of take-off torque.

Then the fitness increase came and I was hitting that point where the effort to ride >25kph all the time was no longer bothersome and you get a flying feeling. That is until you crash and break your clavicle. 28mm of separation and a hook plate later I’m 6 weeks off the bike and missing it every day.

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Troll Build

Troll Build Notes and Jokes pt. 1

I bought a Surly Troll in Pea-Lime Soup green colour and am building it up to be a Trohloff; that is, a Troll with a Rohloff. It’s been a funny and frustrating process so far.

First, I assumed I didn’t have disc rotor bolts for the front rotor and went to buy a pack from the local bike shop. Tore open the rotor packet and there were six shiny silver disc rotor bolts. Ah well, I wanted black anyway. At least it was only $6 for the bolts. Although that was an annoying process. They originally said 50 cents each; $3.

Next, I’d previously assumed, for some weird reason, that I had a 203mm rotor. It was a 185mm that I purchased and a 200mm rotor that I got in the pack of stuff second-hand with the Rohloff.

So I went to put the 185mm rotor on the Rohloff because that is what the Big Dummy is currently set up for. The axle plate screws were in so tight I stripped out two heads of T20 torx M4 screws. Bugger.

Next purchase was a Sutton Easy Out. This ought to do it. Nope; it snapped after I cautiously and patiently drilled the hole into the M4 screw – there’s not much room to do that without error and by hand-held cordless drill. On top of that I hoped to use my Ryobi One+ Impact driver. The Easy Out doesn’t fit its chuck.

So I bought a set of Speed Out bits. They were useless as well, but at least they didn’t snap. Also they didn’t fit the Ryobi One+ Impact driver.

Thankfully a good friend was a fitter and turner and I asked him about solutions. Impact screwdriver. A hammer driven screwdriver. I was worried the Rohloff Speedhub would be fragile in the threads but reluctantly went ahead. That was my last chance before I’d have to take it 35kms to Commuter Cycles. I’d already spoken to Huw about it and he was happy to give it a cracking good try. My friend was a lot closer at only 8kms. The impact screwdriver worked. One of the axle plate screws was a hex head, and only 2.5mm, so tiny noodle-like piece of steel. That one sheared off and then the axle plate was loose since it was the last screw meaning all tension was removed. It was easy to twist the sheared screw out as well (no more tension).

Happy that the axle plate was off I gingerly removed the little plate of steel and took off the ex-mech box. Underneath the paper gasket was torn. I thought if I don’t mess with it then it will just tighten back up with the new screws and be fine. Well, to get the new screws I had a choice. 6 axle plate screws for 2.99 pounds or 6 axe plate screws with paper gaskets for 2.99 pounds. I chose the latter and then the axle plate was remounted. Not wanting to over tighten them I left them loose until I could get my hands on a torque wrench. So of course the hub started to leak. I had not tightened the axle plate so the gaskets weren’t doing anything except absorbing a bit of Rohloff Speedhub oil. Hand tightened them so they were cinched up but not cranked hard. The leak was sorted; oh, and I had the 185mm rotor mounted.

That leads to the next part of the funny story. Since I thought I had a 203mm rotor I went ahead and ordered two 203mm IS to PM adapters thinking I could fit the Rohloff between the Troll and the Big Dummy; not having to purchase two Rohloff hubs (yikes)! Well, that turned out to be wrong. I did not have a 203mm rotor at all. I had a 185mm and a 200mm rotor I completely forgot I had at all. Plus the 160mm rotor that was on it but I had already changed that.

The rear of the Troll uses a 55mm spaced IS disc brake type mounting arrangement in the dropout. The supplied Surly IS to PM adapter only handles 160mm rotors. I was stuck with two 203mm adapters coming in the mail. Was it going to fit? Will I have to change the rotor back to the 160mm?

Eventually the adapters arrived and in the time before I figured, “You know what, the 203mm might just work with a 185mm rotor on this weird 55mm spacing.” I was right! It fitted just fine and has no rub at all. Easy, perfect, rear wheel disc fit and brake alignment. So 203mm standard rear adapters will let you put a 185mm rotor, with plenty of room, on a Surly Troll; which also means on a Surly Ogre.

Only waste has been $6 in disc rotor bolts, $15 for the Easy Out, $5 for the Speed Outs (but they might work on wood screws), and $3.50 for the extra 203mm rear disc adapter. Not quite as bad as it sounds in the above roller coaster of errors.

Now with the front rotor it half rubs and half clears, but that will be part of further tales of Erring-do and Dashing Assumption.

Troll Build Notes and Jokes pt. 1

Rohloff put off (delay)

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:

Rohloff put off (delay)

Rohloff Arrived – BBBBB pt. 2

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.

Here it is
Here it is

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.

Avid disc 185mm wigglewrong At least Wiggle sell those rotors cheaply.

Rohloff Arrived – BBBBB pt. 2

Bike Build Bug Bites Back – BBBBB pt. 1

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.

Bike Build Bug Bites Back – BBBBB pt. 1

Bike Dreams

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.

trek_carbon_district

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.

americano_rohloff

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.

Guess this will all stay a dream for some time.

Bike Dreams

Bike Savings Goals

I’ve sorted out my BAS and have decided on a savings program to support my next large purchase. This next large purchase will be either;

  • Cross-tour & Audax bike that has:
    • Rohloff speed hub (or SRAM iMotion 9 if the reports at the time are favourable and my patience to save has run out)
    • Belt-drive
    • Disc brake only (likely Avid BB7, or Juicy 5+)
    • Attachment-points for mudguards
    • Attachment-points for racks
    • Moderately aggressive frame geometry (MTB)
    • Titanium frame (slightly customised Thylacine Arete Ti, Rohloff dropouts, coupler for belt-drive)
    • Forks will be ridgid but I’m not sure if I’ll go CrMo, Al, Scandium, or Ti, OR
  • Carbon high-racer by M5
    • Shimano 105 or Ultegra groupset
    • Ceramic-needle bearing hubs (M5 specials)
    • Carbon tail-bag/fairing

Why? I want the ultimately versatile low-maintenance bike OR the fastest bike available.

Bike Savings Goals