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Sunday
Jan102010

A second project

I've been riding my Trek 1000 for a while now. I think it's a 2001 model, which I bought in Spring 2002. I was living around 13 miles from work, it was very flat, and I wanted to go fast. So I bought a road bike, and I kept it pretty clean. No rack, no mudguards, clip pedals. Messenger bag all the way. Oh yes. 

Then I started going on some drove ways. They weren't so smooth. Concrete, yes, but not smooth. There were some nice bridal lanes around as well, so I picked up my Kona Caldera. Still not adding anything like racks and put 1" slicks on it, but that worked pretty well. 

Working in Cambridge, I didn't realise that I was spoiled to have bike parking and a shower at work. A place to keep a spare pair of shoes, and a towel. That was a revelation when I moved to Brighton and had to get the train after cycling. So I've modified the Trek, put that rack on to carry lots of stuff, changed the gears down, made it about as comfortable as I could. But there are still three problems with it:

 

  1. The mudguards are so close to the tyres that the slightest bit of dirt rubs in a really irritating way, and bits of flint leave gouge marks. 
  2. There is major toe-overlap going on. This is a big problem on a couple of bits of the brilliantly-designed (spot the sarcasm) bike paths of Brighton, meaning that I find it difficult to turn the wheel far enough to get around the corners whilst pedalling. 
  3. When I have a full load of shopping (two panniers + stuff on top) and get up out of the saddle to try and get up some slopes, the back end wobbles. 

 

The thing that all of these problems have in common is that the only thing I could change to fix them is the frame. I've been eyeing up touring bikes, looked at Thorn and Dawes, and in the end I've plumped for a Surly Long Haul Trucker in blue.  I'm going to build the bike up from the frame, and use the Nitto moustache handlebars, Brookes B17 saddle and the rack from the Trek as it is at the moment. 

The bits have started to arrive...

new wheels

My Gorgeous Girlfriend is less than thrilled with the added clutter, but the frame is on backorder. I'll have to get the headset fitted by the bike shop, but I am pretty confident that I can do all the rest myself. I'm really looking forward to it!

Other plans for it include getting two sets of wheels - one for summer and one for winter. With the snow and ice we've had this year I'm seriously tempted to get me some studded tyres, but I'll see how I feel come November! I've got 26" wheels on this bike, so I can fit some pretty bike tyres in there come the winter. Just need to snow to clear so everything can get delivered - so excited!

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