Last night I put the finishing touches on routing and securing the wiring for the lights on the X bike and took some satisfaction from the project being done. Then I laughed at myself, realizing that since getting into bicycling again nearly 7 years ago, none of my bike projects are truly done.
It may amount to no more than a small adjustment, or it may be a major change like this one, but experience has proven that I never really ever finish working on a bike. I’m just a gearhead, and I’m fickle about finding the perfect setup for any particular bike, and how that bike fits into my mental plan for all of the bikes, even if it’s only two at this point.
So while the “current phase” of work on the X bike has come to a close, there are still a few issues remaining that I’m pining over:
The big one is the tires. I like the 32c Vittorias on it now, but I’m thinking I might like the 42c Kenda knobbies better. It would completely change the character of the bike from a sporty street machine to a more versatile multi-surface/pothole proof ride. The tire swap is not a big deal, but making them fit is. While the frame has enough clearance, the front derailleur is a high clamp, top swing Deore 600 off an old Cannondale. Great piece of kit, but that top swing arm rubs against the 42c tire when shifting to the big ring.
But I think if I try a low clamp triple FD, it will provide the clearance, but I’m not sure. So my challenge is to find an inexpensive low clamp unit and see how it works. If it does, then the punch sheet for this project suddenly appears and some more work is in order.
I also found a 22 tooth granny gear in the parts bin and made a quick swap, giving this bike the same ultra-low gearing as the Trucker. That should really help when grinding up some of the big passes in the region. Great move, but when doing so I noticed that the big ring is looking a little worn. So while it’s not a priority, I’m going to keep a lookout for a 46 or 44 tooth big ring, which will still provide adequate gear inches for blasting down some of those passes that I’ve just grinded up.
So riding in February has been a bust, with my schedule stacked on the one fairly warm day that we had. Still, I’m hopeful that I’ll get a chance to get the bike out for some shake-down rides and some pics soon.