Monday, March 16, 2009

Lotus 3000R Update

I made a couple changes to the Lotus over the past week or so. The big one is that I swapped out the handlebars for the drops that were originally on my Salsa. The 'Short and Shallow' bar is wider and more comfortable than the drop bar from the Lotus. What can I say... I have a wide stance. The width caused an unexpected issue with the brake cable length, so those got swapped out too.

So far: tires, tubes, cables, seat (re-use), handlebars (re-use), clipless pedals, and a seatpost bag for spare and tools. (Not too bad overall)

If I could change one thing that I did on it so far, I would have put tires with reflective sidewalls on it.

I think I am done working on this one for a while. It has been a pretty fun bike puttering around the neighborhood, but now I need to take it out on a longer ride.

Back to the other bikes...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi(e) Ride! 3/14

Today was quite possibly the best themed ride ever. I ventured out for my first ride picked off the Shift calendar. The Pi(e) Ride in celebration of 3.14 was led by John and attended by Severt, Evan, Jenny, Dave, Angie, Sarah, and myself. It was a bit cold and rainy but warm coffee and good eats more than made up for it.

We started out at the Bipartisan Cafe where the first order of business was a damn fine slice of cherry pie and cup of coffee. Once the group had gathered, we rolled up to Random Order for the next slice, peach berry amaretto with some of the best crust ever.

The next stop was quite a pleasant surprise. County Cork for shepherds pie and a pint of Murphy's Irish Stout. Not the first thing I would have thought of but, hearty, warm, and savory was definitely a plus considering the weather.

The last stop forced me to throw away everything I thought I knew about Key lime pie. I have never been a fan of Key lime, but Half and Half changed that forever. This was not your typical day-glow green gelatin. It was simply amazing.

All in all it was a great ride. I think the crummy weather made the pie taste even better. Thanks John for leading! If you wanted to run a Pi(e)x2 ride on 9/28 to hit some fall flavors (pecan & pumpkin) I would definitely be there!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rehabing the Xtracycle donor (Lotus 3000M)

I decided a while ago that I wanted to build an Xtracycle. My plan is to use an old mountain bike that was collecting dust. Having stripped it down to the frame and collected some necessary parts, I just got started on the rebuild. Due to cash flow, the build will be slow, but I will post as I make progress.

One of the issues with the donor bike was the bearings. Both the headset and the bottom bracket had major issues. Trying to be frugal, I opted to keep the threaded fork and just replace the headset. I picked up a Shimano 105 headset from an online seller. Then I learned a bit about headsets. There are two different sizes of bottom race on a 1" fork, 26.4 and 27mm. As it turns out, the one I bought was smaller than my fork. Sooooo, I had the fork turned down to fit the race. Welllll, as it turns out, the the stack height difference between a large sealed bearing and a smaller loose bearing assembly makes a difference as well. Thankfully I live in a town rich with bike shop goodness. Kevin at River City finally set me straight. I have a new Tange headset that spins like a charm and I got to keep the fork (damn that fork).

If I had opted to update to a threadless fork, headset, and stem, I would have only been out a few more bucks and had a much nicer setup. Lesson learned.

That solved, I put it in the stand and filled 'er up with frame saver. (Hindsight: Using frame saver in my basement next to a gas water heater water heater was probably not the best idea...) Let it be known that frame saver is nasty. End of story.

Up next! Bottom bracket problems!