Sunday, April 29, 2012

more progress with the San Jose

I got the rim tape on and got the rubber on the rims. I got the Afine back together (shift components) and set up the chain. I decided to leave it at 38/20 which is where it was the last time I rode it. Technically it was this past winter but I didn't really put much time in on it. I had some trouble with the studded tires hooking up so I got a little gun shy for a bit. The drivetrain is all good to go. I mounted up the front disc and caliper. The Formula adapter is pretty sweet but it seems to push the rotor outboard quite a bit. Look how much clearance (or lack) there is between the rotor and fork.

This might have to change. I am not sure if there will be any flex in the front end that will cause the rotor to hit the fork. I will find out when I ride it. If it becomes an issue I have two ways to solve it. The first may be the easiest and that is to order and centerlock rotor. I was trying to avoid that because the brakes already came with a rotor that I can use. The second option is to dimple the fork leg on the inside where the rotor is close so that there is more clearance. Since I plan on doing some drilling and brazing to the fork, I could do this method and then repaint the fork. We'll see!

I like the look. I do wish they were hydro! hmmm, next build
 I have the cockpit all set up. I talked in the last post about being able to adjust it a little by flipping the stem. Well I got on the bike to check out the position and was not satisfied with it. I went ahead and flipped the stem and now it seems to be right on.

Salsa woodchipper bars courtesy of Mike B.
 So, it seems that I am down to the tedious tasks of finishing everything up. I need to run cables for the brakes and IGH, wrap the bars (which I always cringe at doing) and mount up the rear brakes. I ended up going with the AVID shorty ultimate cantis. You can set them up in either wide or narrow depending on your needs. They seem to be made well and hopefully they perform well too.

Hopefully I can get a bit closer to being done with it all tonight. I'm eager to get it rolling and I need some saddle time before 5/12.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

my 100th post, FrakenBianchi

I just realized that this is going to be my 100th entry on this blog. Honestly I should have way more posts than that but nonetheless, it is a milestone. So, what to talk about? Well, why not the latest on what's up. I have the Bianchi coming together very nicely. I put a King headset in place of the original. I felt that when replacing the fork it was a good time for the upgrade.

look at all those colors
I brought the bars up with a spacer for a neutral position. I will be able to tweak it a little by flipping the stem over if I want to bring it up a little more. Maybe for the 400k!

I got a Soma fork that is used on the Double Cross. It has a very similar rake and A-C measurement as the fork that was on my San Jose. I have plans to drill the legs on this fork to add bosses for Anything Cages. I had Scott of the Porcelain Rocket make me some bags that are designed for the cages. This is one of them:
I think these bags will add a nice feature to the rando rig for long rides. There are a lot of creative solutions for getting gear on the bike and I think this is a great one.

I want to keep the fork clean and tidy. I will drill a hole just above the dyno connector and run the wires inside of the fork leg and then bring it back out up high to the light. It will look cleaner and keep it out of harm's way.

These mods will take place at a later time. Right now I want to focus on finishing up the build and getting some miles on it to shake it out. I have just less than two weeks until the 200k and I want to do it. I'm not sure how much suffering will take place but with my recent set backs, I look forward to it.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Gravel Grinder that got away

After two weeks of ridiculous pain behind my right knee, I finally went to the doctor two days before the GG. They found a blood clot. MEH!

I am under treatment for it now and after just a few days it is feeling tremendously better. With a little patience and tender care, I will be back in the saddle again! It seems that I keep finding set backs. Or more so, they are finding me. I have about three months to the day to get my sloth like existence into a state of being that will allow me to survive a ride (not a race in my case) of about 30 miles of single track on a single speed bike.

Back to the Grinder:

 It was a gloomy day. Cold, stiff wind and no sun to speak of. That didn't stop some 150 people from participating in the 5th running of this event. I have to say that this particular type of riding is my favorite. Suffering on some climbs, bombing some downhills, and dirt. I love it. Not this time but I have and I will again.
 There was an aid station at about half way and it was set up in typical "George" style! Everyone was having a great time. The weather doesn't ever seem to put a damper on this event. I have done it will mud and even snow and it is still awesome.
 That, my friend, is the spread. Bananas, pretzels, twizzlers, meat sticks, cheese, and BACON. Even chocolate drizzled bacon. I resisted any of the aid station delights and reserved them for the riders BUT....
  I did partake in some necessary refreshment. After we felt everyone had come through the half way point, we packed up and headed to the finish where we got the after ride delights set up. Freida's of Stowe hosts the after ride food with some delicious chicken tacos with homemade tortillas. Excellent! There was even a keg of Vermont's own Long Trail on tap.

Moving on! Next up is SSUSA. I don't know if the SS frame I'm building will be done in time so I think that I am going to set up my Voodoo with the King/Stan's wheelset if it comes down to it. As much as I think I will never be ready for it, I can't wait to do it.

More to follow!

Monday, April 9, 2012

San Jose facelift

While I regroup and set up my plans for this years' riding season I have decided to make some changes to the Bianchi. It will maintain much of its luster but I will change a few key things and give it an upgrade on stopping power.

First up is the cockpit. My Friend, Mike, loaned me a pair of narrow woodchippers. I have been thinking that I can keep it compact but add some stability and control by taken advantage of the flared drops.

This is my quick time assessment on how I want to run them. I won't know more until I take it for a spin. I will run some new cables and take it for a spin before I wrap the bars.

Next up is wheel work. I don't like the Velocity Deep V at all. It has been a real problem over the last two winters. I laced the Alfine IGH to it and the biggest problem is getting a tire on or off the rim. The last issue was pinching a tube while changing to my summer tires and putting a hole in the tube. My other friend, Jim, had a set of Mavic rims that I plan on lacing up for the San Jose. Still going with the Alfine 8 speed in the rear and I will lace an Alfine dyno hub to the front.

time to build some more wheels

I will lace these wheels up with double butted spokes. The beauty of the Alfine hub is that it accepts centerlock disc rotors. Which brings me to my next change, disc front.

I have been a bit shy on the down hills since I had my accident last Spring. I want to try to add a level of stopping power that I can't find with the canti brakes. Enter, the Avid BB7 mechanical disc brake. I can change the fork on the bike to accept disc on the front but I have to stay with canti in the rear. I will upgrade to a better brake to increase rear wheel braking power and give the whole bike a fresh new feel.

Avid BB7
Avid Shorty Ultimate
That is the long a short of my plans. I want to have this bike rolling again ASAP. The Gravel Grinder in Waterbury is in two weeks and I want to use this bike. I don't think I will have the new brakes on the bike or the front wheel. I do plan on having the rear wheel rebuilt and the bars figured out.