Sunday, February 20, 2011

Escape the City!

The city just seemed too crowded. The press of people too much. So after being frozen in indecision on Thursday morning, I packed up and headed out of town that afternoon. Been camping in the bush for the three nights and will do a few more before moving on.
Happiness is my tent in the bush with me in it:)
The bike has been going good. I found that I needed to put the tent at least on the front rack to give some weight to the front climbing hills. Other wise all is as I expected.
About the Troll: I'm running 165mm road cranks, because I like the shorter strokes. It also improves pedal ground clearance that little bit.
Back has a Rohloff hub, laced to Rigina (spelling) rims with black spokes. I'd probably to for silver spokes next time. They seemed to be thicker and don't rust. The hub gear gives easy positive changing all the time. I know you can change under load, but I tend to ease up and then change. I like the neat chain line, the low maintanence, no derailer hanging down and solid build of the wheel. Solid build because there is no dish needed. Also the cogs can both be turned around doubling their life.
Tires are 26x2.00 Schwelbe Marathon Tour Plus, wraped up in Planet Bike Zefal mud guards. These guards are old and I haven't seen them in the shop in a long time. I think they are the best, as the clips that hold the guards in place can disengage easily. This is useful on the front wheel on bush tracks when a branch gets caught in the spokes. The clips pop open allowing the wheel to turn. The branch usually clears the forks, but certainly the mudguard doesn't scrunch up into the fork. A few minutes restores it all to as good as new. There is heaps of clearance at the front fork for fatter tires. The rear is another story. I could go to larger tires if I put the wheel further back in the rear dropouts. Since I'm running 2.00 tires, and have the wheel almost all the way forward, there isn't a huge amount of space left. About 2.5 cm more and the tire would hit the rear stay brace behind the seat. The is a bit more clearance at the bottom chain stay brace. The Tubus Cosmo rack has heaps of clearance, and isn't the limiting factor for tire size.
I can get measurements if people want of the spaces. I know that there is some info on the web on the Surly site about how large a tire can be placed. I think its 2.75 if you have the wheel right back in the dropouts.
I'm presently running Shimano hydraulic disk brakes, but might change them to mechanical disks sometime. Since I want a front rack with a platform, the hoses from the brakes exit the levers at a bad angle, and want to project forward. A change of levers would fix this. But also the rear brake caliper bleed point is right were my foot will knock the cap of all the time. Previously I made a cover to stop this. My hoses on the brakes are too long still and I'm not sure I'm going to get a nice neat line of the hoses at the front. Sticking out as they do, they are a concern for snagging them. Least with mechanical brakes, I can easily fix up a new cable. I don't carry spare hose and brake fluid. Something to think more about.
I've used the Tubus Cosmo rack on the front also. I might cut the rack down a bit - where the platform bars slope upwards. When I had the spring to stop the front wheel flopping, the rack didn't hit the frame. The cable tie holding the spring broke, the wheel will flop around until the rack hits the frame. Either I make a better mount for the spring, or shorten the rack so it doesn't hit the frame. The front wheel floping also stresses the hydraulic hoses and gear cables. I feel the gear cables will survive that better, where as I'm not feeling so good about the hydraulic hoses being twisted so much.