21 hours ago
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I tried a brifter on my CX bike this year for the first time. I dig it. Who says you never need to shift when you are standing? (Well, I know who says that, but what the hey?) Once you can shift while you are standing, you do it all the time. Especially accelerating and when trail riding tricky stuff. It's flipping rad.
When I say "I" put shifters on my Rawland, I mean that in the "royal I" way. More specifically, I watched Glen put brifters on my Rawland. The guy is a Jedi Knight when it comes to indexing.
It's a set of Sora brifters shifting a SRAM chain on Sugino rings with a 105 front and an LX rear over a SRAM 8 speed cassette.
I learned the following:
- Derailleurs have directions. And they matter. Once the shifting wasn't perfect (but it was suitable, by my low standards), Glen read the directions for the front derailleur to make it perfect.
- Housing shouldn't bend too much.
- Housing shouldn't arc too much.
- Cables and housing matter. The name of the indexing game is "reduce friction." Cheap-ass cables and housing can work, but they're not going to make things better.
So, indexing 3x8 works great.
I took a ride today with the new set up. The snow is deep and sort of lame so I had to get in a good washout-turn-wreck, my second in 3 days -- but the shifting was great. I really liek the funny little buttons on the "thumb" side of the levers to drop the chain down. It's dorky looking, but it's easier with gloves and without thinking to shift down than it is with the kind of brifter where there's a second lever tucked under the main lever.
The braking was just ok. The Sora brifters have a different geometry than the normal cheap-o Shimano aero levers. I don't know how they're different, but they were intended to pull calipers, so I'm guessing it's different enough than a generic aero lever that was designed to pull canti's or calipers. Maybe not, but in any case, it feels different and I will need to do some fussing to get the rear wheel more dialed. The front is ok, so I know it's possible.
We put new "organic" pads on the BB-7 too. We'll see how they fare. The other ones that they replaced had a surprising amount of pad left. But once we tore them all apart, we opted to put the new fancies in.