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Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Ti bike is ready

It was a massive ordeal, but I finally have a bike I can ride without worrying about broken this and that. I actually received the frame 2 Fridays ago, but an early build showed that the brake bridge was at 52mm, rather than 57mm, so I sent the frame back to Carl Strong. He graciously agreed to redo the entire thing and shipped it back to me next day air, so I got it back again on Friday. All day yesterday, Pardo, Mike Samuel and I moved the parts over from the Fuji. The Ti fork is still in transit, but Mike fortunately had an IRD steel fork that he could lend me. The IRD by the way has lawyer's lips and is only really about 52mm reach as well, so if you're looking for a fork that will clear 32mm tires this is not it.

Notes from the build: first of all, the spoke holder doesn't quite work. The holes aren't big enough for me to thread spokes through properly, and looking at it now, I don't see how it can be convenient to use on the road. It only holds two spokes anyway, while I normally need four on tour. My guess is, I'll go back to electrical tape and carry it the way I normally do: taped to the seat tube. 57mm reach is a bit too much for the brakes. Pardo had to file down the brake slots to get the brake shoots to hit the brake track squarely. Not a major problem, but my guess is 55mm is really the limit of the tolerance, if you don't want to have to do what we did.

I haven't taken it for a long ride yet, but as far as short first impression rides go --- it rides like my beloved Bridgestone RB-1 or my Fuji, which is what I wanted all along, so that part of the bike is straight on! It's been a long wait, and our work is not quite done. I'll need the new fork, which I hope wasn't built to 52mm, and also a new seat post so I can transfer the Fuji's seat over for weekend riding. I've ordered a new handlebar so I can put on my favored carbon brake levers and bar-end shifters for touring. And of course, lights and fenders need to be tested (and mounting systems deviced as necessary). I need to consider a triple. But as of right now, the Fuji is sitting in my brother's garage, and that Heron already has a buyer. I will soon be down to one "do-everything" bike, a condition that I haven't been in since 1992. And just in time for the Munich move!
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