Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sun Spider reconsidered

This whole idea so far has been mostly a failure. And other bike nerds told me so. And I'll add that I''m impressed by the great restraint they've shown in not publicly saying so. Because, well, I wouldn't show that restraint.

Anyway. Let's try this.

The oft-carried-on-about "river place" is pretty perfect for this one-trick-pony of a bike. The quick runs to the "sandy beach," the fishing spots, and the "end of the road" are in a series on a flat dirt road.
So that works well for the gearing on this bike. But even better: it works for the braking, which I think the Sturmey Archer guys sort of blew off in their eagerness to get the 2-speed kick back gearing figured out. I bombed down Howard on this bike today. There's a section there between 23rd and 21st Aves where it gets sort of steep. Laying on this coaster brake was frightening: the hub did a lot of knocking and even a bit of squeaking/squawking.

Whatever. So, the main destinations at the river are flat, and that's a good thing.

There's some sand here and there and some pretty wide open, but bumpy fields. So those attributes sort of justify the tires.

There's also a scenario that could be interesting whilst and at the same time is sort of irresponsible and stupid: the boozer is 3 miles of flat railroad away (or 3 miles of twisty rollers on 395 with no shoulder -- think closing time to complete the scenario). I got no other rubber that could handle rail rock and railroad ties like this Spider can. Just saying.

The bars, obviously, are awesome. Thanks Glen. I got a bit carried away with pushing them out, so I'll need to remedy that, but otherwise, they rule. The Lil' Joe bag fits a growler and a sweater in an eerily perfect way. Don't tell me that kind of perfectness happens by chance.

The only fix I need to make before it lives, forever, at the river, is to remove those super ultra bitchin Suntour bear traps and replace them with something suitably plastic and cheesy.

Party on.


Eustace said...

Don't fret about the utility of your purchase.

If nothing else, the Spider would be an effective tool to measure the depth of liquified hog manure retention pools.

Might work to measure chicken manure, too, but I'd first toss it into the hog tank and see if it floats or sinks.

Andy D. said...

Sorry to hear your fatbike experience is less than stellar, but it sounds like the equipment is to blame. Having just gotten a Pugsley a couple of weeks ago, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. In fact, it's so fun and versatile that I'm wondering why I'd ever want to ride most of my other bikes again.

John Speare said...

Eustace -- I'll have to ponder that advice.

Andy: I wouldn't extend my opinion to all fatbikes. I'm very specifically a failure in the "can I make a cheap sun fat bike a real fat bike?" realm. The answer is no. And really, the core issue is that the rear triangle is 120mm and it's an alloy frame. Both of these issues were known to me when I bought it. A good lesson in the folly of wishful thinking.

Andy D. said...

I hear you. I've bought bikes with similarly misguided optimism. Unfortunately it's a lesson I've not learned well enough.

Unknown said...

I'll buy it from you...