Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Even more carrying on about my bike projects

This should just about wrap up the Project Posts of late. I'm mostly done with Projects 2 and 3 for now.

The "mountain-bikify the Rawland" project is as done as it's going to get. I put a longer stem on it and moved the stem down to get a bit more stretched out. I also put Stuart's bling saddle on there since I stole the B17 for Project 2. The last detail I need to work out is getting a new brake caliper mount for the front fork. The one that's on there is wonky and the entire pad doesn't grab the disk. I'm borrowing some hydraulic brakes from Glen to see if they're the bee's knees or not.

As for a mountain bike, I'm pretty much resigned to just finding one that's ready to roll. Main requirements are a decent suspension fork and hydraulic disks. I'd prefer steel. I'd prefer 26" wheels, but those are preferences, not hard requirements. The perfect looking bike to me right now is the Voodoo Bizango, but I'm pretty sure it's around $1500 more than I'm looking to spend at the moment. So I'm spending time on Craigslist and poking around the LBSs looking for last year's close outs, which it looks as if I've missed by about 4 months.

The Kogswell came out nicely. It's grand to be back on the Hetres. The super low trail (30 mm) of this bike is a bit too lively for me. Before I put the rack on it, I took it on the trails last night and blew right off the trail for a pretty good spill. I'm pretty sure it was a combination of the super low trail that is super sensitive to steering input, the zero-tread Hetres, and the now-dry trail conditions which is sand over hard pack (think ball-bearings on wood floor).

I've since put on the front rack, which has slowed down the steering a bit and it feels even better with a bit of weight in the bag.

I'm going on an over-nighter this Friday night and I'll bring the Kogswell. With my sleeping bag under my saddle, I should be able to fit all the other crud in the front bag.

The Kogswell is a nice bike, but with the OS 9-6-9 tubing, the steel is pretty dead compared to the Kogswell Gen2 frames and most of the other bikes I prefer that have standard diameter, thinner-walled tubing.

I wonder how many people read that statement and think, "oh what bullshit! You can't detect a real difference between tubing wall thickness and diameter... what a show-boater." Plenty probably. Oh well.

In any case, the Kogswell is a fun bike and it will be fun to tool around on until Glen finishes my Elephant Gifford. Glen will be using standard gauge 858 tubing for my bike, but aside from that (big) difference, there's not a huge difference, geometrically speaking, in the bike Glen will be building for me and the Kogswell P/R.


Willy said...

I agree with the "get a real mtn. bike" idea, but you could try some flat bars on the Rawland, it'll feel way different.

John Speare said...

Willy. Agreed on both accounts. The risers aren't working for me. I assumed since I like higher bars, then I'd want the rise, but as you know, with the monster head tube on this bike, getting bars low is the challenge.

Unknown said...

That's not a skinny tubed P/R? Is it a "stout"?

John Speare said...

Ryan - In Kogswellian terms, this is a non-stout version, 1 1/8" tubes all around. I guess that's considered standard -- but I expect to see a 1" top tube. Regardless, I'm not feeling that magic -- but I need to ride it more.