Let the Wrenching Begin

The Soma Oxford handlebars showed up on the front porch last night, so I hauled the X bike into the family room and began taking things apart.  (It’s far too cold out in the garage.)

The Oxfords are identical in shape to the Albatross bars, except that the finish is better and the tubing between the ends and the middle is narrower.  I tried to clamp down the computer and found that I’m going to have to cut some more shims to snug up on the bars.

When I was setting up the stem I managed to twist the Plug, and completely strip the small wires that connect to the USB port, so for now I’m just going to pick up a star nut and run the bike with lights only.  The brake levers are mounted, as well as the bar cons.

The front V-brakes are mounted, and I might run a cable tonight.  The Kool Stop pads don’t fit in the mounts however, so that’s a little disappointing.  Eventually I might upgrade the brakes because although they’ll work just fine, a close look shows that they are really pretty cheap and rough looking.  For the price of some Tektro’s, I’ll get something much better looking that can fit the Kool Stops.

Once the bars were mounted, I swung a leg up over and tested the fit.  I was thinking the stem might be too short for the Oxford bars, but since I had them a little lower than the LHT, the bike felt really good.

There are still a lot of little things that will take time, like the front rack and basket, re-running the lights and coming up with a mount for the tail light, taping the grips, etc…, but all in time.  My plan was to put the 42c knobbies on it, but the 32 Vittorias without fenders look pretty cool for the time being.  I’ll need to run the narrow tires for now anyway until I get the front derailleur sorted out.

Even at this early stage, the bike looks good.  It’s upright, but has a sporty vibe to it, and its really light.  I think it will be a fun ride.

They’re calling for another storm with 12″ possible on Wednesday, so if I’m stuck in the house on Thursday it will give me time to work some more.  Hopefully I can shoot some pics soon.

Or, if this keeps up, I might just break down and buy an ECR with studded tires.

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