Between longer rides on the LHT, I’ve been toodling about on the X bike, trying to get it dialed in as a trail tourer. My biggest gripe was the gearing. The 48t big ring was fine with the drop bar setup, but was just too high and too big a jump with this configuration.
Over the weekend I picked up a 44t big ring to finish the conversion to a true mountain triple with pretty low gearing. The good is that it feels much better with both the overall gearing in the big ring, as well as the transition from moving from middle to big.
The bad is that now my front deraileur is all wonky since its meant for larger rings. It would only lift the chain into the big ring if I was also in a fairly high gear, although things did improve a little as the ride progressed. More concerning, though, is that I’m getting rub against the tire when in the middle ring because of the short chainstays. I have a bottom pull mountain FD that I’ll try to mount up and see how that works.
When out on the ride, I was impressed at how “steady” the bike felt. The big tires create this sense of sure-footedness, and the tread whirring along the pavement sends the message that we’re ready to take on some rough stuff. The bike sure isn’t fast, but there is still this constant forward momentum feel, even while taking pretty steep hills. It’s like a truck in 4 wheel low gear.
While taking one of those hills, I managed to downshift and completely miss the granny, getting the chain tight between the BB. I futzed with it, but it was pitch black and I forgot that I carried a small Maglight in the stem bag. Since I was only a mile from home and it was mostly downhill, I just coasted halfway. Then when I got off to walk up a hill, I heard the chain gingerly drop back into gear, and finished up riding the last leg.
I need to get this deraileur issue sorted out, and I think installing a Jumpstop like is on the LHT will help, but I like that this bike is so fun to ride.
In other news, Red has been having some sciatic issues that look like she might finally have some progress with treatment, but she is thinking that riding might be better for her than walking. Last night I pulled out the Marin, pumped up the tires; and then we took a 20 minute ride around the neighborhood. She really enjoyed it, so I’ll be encouraging her and perhaps we can motivate each other.
Misc. Miles: 3
Distance: 6.7 miles 2014: 344.9