Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeCyclingSon Of Singlespeed – Bike Snob NYC

Son Of Singlespeed – Bike Snob NYC


It’s getting colder, which suggests I’m spending much less time on the highway and extra time on the filth:

Not like these foolish individuals who dwell downtown, I’m lucky to have quick access to quite a lot of trails. By now I figured I knew each inch of filth from the Bronx to the Tappan Zee Mario Cuomo Bridge, however as is so typically the case I used to be improper. Not too long ago I used to be on a highway journey when somebody on a mountain bike emerged from the woods, revealing to me the existence of a path I’ve been unwittingly using proper previous for years now. So yesterday I went to test it out, and I really feel like a whole fool as a result of it was a number of enjoyable and like 20 occasions higher than the opposite path I used to be using proper throughout the road:

As for the Riv-ified Jones, I’m actually having fun with it. Getting up this type of factor with a super-swept bar is a little bit of an issue:

However apart from that it makes the bike each comfortable and playful, and anyway, as I ultimately found out, you’re presupposed to journey down the path and never up it.

Then after I was nearly residence I observed a brown substance on my glove:

I had no concept what it was (although I had my suspicions), nor did I do know when it acquired there or what number of occasions I’d touched my face since. This was extremely disconcerting, and I instantly scanned my environment for an animal responsible. This one was like, “Hey, don’t take a look at me:”

In the meantime, additional to my most up-to-date Exterior column

…in it I prompt that the perfect solution to filter out your elements bin is to construct a elements bike. In reality, not too way back I did simply that:

Sadly, it hardly made a dent, so in the present day I embarked upon one other one.

My older son’s been having fun with the velodrome, however now that it’s the low season I figured it will be good to get him doing a bit of little bit of so-called “mountain biking.” He’s lengthy outgrown his first mountain bike (to not point out his classic one), and we’ve been type of sharing the Jones, although I’ve old-man-ified it a lot it doesn’t actually appear acceptable for him anymore. So I figured I’d construct him his personal singlespeed–however first I took my very own for a fast spin for inspiration:

Again in 2010, only for the hell of it, I purchased a type of super-cheap singlespeed 29ers from Bikesdirect. Right here it’s after I fell off of it on Lengthy Island:

Although ostensibly a “Dawes,” the bike had no decals or branding in anyway, which was type of cool–although I did briefly flip it right into a Folgers “collabo” bike, which was even cooler:

Whereas the bike appeared like a discount, it actually wasn’t, as a result of I ended up altering just about each single half on it briefly order. Then I acquired my Engin, and ultimately cannibalized the Folgers bike for different tasks and caught the naked body within the basement, pondering it’d turn out to be useful for my son in the future. And right here we’re.

For the wheels, I had the finances pair I constructed myself–initially for the Folgers bike, because it occurs, although I’ve used them a lot since:

Regardless of the actual fact I constructed them they’ve held up very effectively. The entrance hub is a Deore:

And the rear is a Nashbar-branded cassette singlespeed hub you used to have the ability to get for subsequent to nothing, although different manufacturers additionally bought the very same one for significantly extra:

It weighs about 500lbs, however it’s extraordinarily straightforward to service and and to vary cogs–although to get a 17mm wrench that was really transportable I needed to order one from AutoZone or one thing like that, I don’t keep in mind precisely:

The distinction between bicycle wrenches and automotive wrenches is that bicycle wrenches are costly and have built-in bottle openers, whereas automotive wrenches are low cost and incorporate options which are really helpful, like ratchets.

As for stopping this bike, each the body and the wheels are absolutely disc- and rim-brake suitable. Moreover, I had rim brakes, mechanical disc brakes, and hydraulic disc brakes readily available. Ordinarily I’d have opted for one thing cable-actuated, since I don’t like coping with hydraulics:

Alas, I didn’t have sufficient cable housing for rim brakes or mechanical discs (the body has guides, not stops, and requires a full run), and as all the time my aim is to spend $0, so hydraulic it was:

One factor that annoys me about disc brakes (dry or moist) is that the distinction in thickness between a brand new pad and one which wants substitute is like half a millimeter. These appear fantastic for now, however in 1 / 4 of a millimeter they’ll should be changed:

Another excuse I used to be loath to make use of discs was that I’d by no means used them on this finances body earlier than, and I didn’t belief the tolerances of the cheesy-looking rear disc tab, particularly along side a horizontal dropout. (In your nicer singlespeeds the disc tab is slotted, or else slides with the dropout.) It’s straightforward to account for rear axle place and all that stuff when putting in rim brakes, however with disc brakes fudging it may be rather a lot trickier, and even should you favor discs I’d put forth that when placing collectively a elements bike there’s a robust argument to be made for saying, “Fuck it, I’m utilizing rim brakes.”

Nonetheless, I pressed on, and as I suspected it’s proving fairly difficult to align the rear caliper, although I think I’ll have the ability to kind it out within the coming days. Additionally, the opposite day, I tweeted this:

These brakes have been sitting buried in a bin since I pulled them off the Marin again in like 2017 or one thing, and the rear specifically did in actual fact go all gentle, in all probability as a result of no matter air was within the system made its means right down to the caliper. Vigorous lever-pumping does appear to have restored firmness, however maybe a blood-letting bleeding is so as…or perhaps not, since I collect haphazard long-term storage like this can in all probability lead to softness it doesn’t matter what. (I’ll defer to the Brake Freds on that one.) Both means, I suppose in some unspecified time in the future I’ll must get used to coping with hydraulic disc brakes–if not for my very own bikes then for my youngsters’ bikes, we’ve already acquired two others with the issues together with the Woom–although I reserve the correct to complain about them.

Nonetheless, the fantastic thing about the singlespeed mountain bike is its simplicity, and whereas I nonetheless must dial in that rear brake and do another stuff I had it principally collectively in comparatively quick order:

Oh, wait, improper bike:

Gearing is 32×21:

Brake strains are too lengthy, however higher that then too quick:

And if it rides like I keep in mind it then it ought to go down the path fairly properly regardless of its relative heft:

Perhaps ultimately I’ll improve it to v-brakes.



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