Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tinkering for the Near Future

In past years, even if I ride through the rainy winters, my mileage significantly decreased during the early part of the year; as the weather gets better and days longer, mileage also showed corresponding increases. I decided to ride a few brevets this year and will likely see a large majority of my recreational miles in the first 7 months. The tinkering that goes with regular riding also rears its head early.

Lighting
I completed two 200k event with battery-power Dinotte LED front light. This light is bright enough for short uses, and somehow my rechargable batteries drain way too fast (possibly because of the cold temperature I have exposed them to during the rides). I have a built up SON 20 wheel and a B&M IQ Cyo light waiting in the wing. It's just the matter of installing the wheel and light, and figuring out a semi-graceful way to route the wire--I can only see Hiroshi cringe at the thought of one of his beautiful Ebisu's having light wire exposed, instead of going through some sort of internal routing. That was a glaring oversight on my part when I placed the order, but life has to go on and I need a reliable light source for anything beyond 200k. Status: undone


Fenders
The fender clearance on the Ebisu is a little tight. Hiroshi said I can only use 35mm tires with fenders to achieve good fender line. He is almost 100% right--while I have successfully completed 3 120-mile+ rides with no issue with 40mm Hetre tires and 49mm Honjo fenders, the last two times the front fender got nudged just enough in the car transport to the start to make ever-so-slight rubbing when I climbed off saddle. Not a big deal, and some minor adjustment will probably take care of it. But Hetres--my favorite tires--might not be the best permanent solution. I am waiting for the arrival of a pair of Pacenti Pari-Motos (38mm) in March, but Kirk Pacenti won't make them in red unless a strong demand for red emerges. Grand Bois is holding off its 38mm tire project since the niche might have been filled by the Pari Moto. Either way, I might have to live with black tires for a while, or red Hetres with tight clearance. Status: fender adjusted; no Pari-Moto until march.

Lighting for M.'s 700c Ebisu
M. has expressed interest in doing the night brevet (200k) in June, and her bike will need reliable lighting as well. I scored a SON 20R/B&M IQ Cyo combo over christmas at a very low price and just need to get rims to build it up. This seems straightforward enough, right? I am a little bothered (abstractly) by the narrow width (19mm) of the rims on her bike right now--they are Mavic MA40 (front) and Open Pro CD (rear). I also have a pair of silver Chris King hubs waiting in the wing. The idea solution, if I have extra cash and time, is to build a pair of wheels using Velocity Synergy rims and SON 20R and Chris King rear hubs (I can then sell her current wheelset), but most likely I will just find a Synergy rim to build up the SON 20R hub right now and use it with her current rear wheel. The silver Synergy rim won't match the pewter rear rim, but I guess it will be used at a night brevet, and hopefully the mismatch will be less pronounced in the dark. Status: needs to build up the SON 20R wheel.

Cyclometer
 I have a Cateye Vectra wireless cyclometer on my Ebisu. It provides simple information such as clock, current speed, trip distance, odometer, and maximum speed. It however, does not provide elapsed time (to measure riding time), nor does it have a scan function so I can read through the set of information without clicking through them. Also, I am not sure if the dynamo lighting will cause interference with the cyclometer. I have been eyeing a Knog 12-function cyclometer for a while. These elegant looking accessory performs all the functions I need, can be installed without tool, has a backlight so it's viewable at night, and is light-interference-proof. I am just a little hand-tight at the moment to spend that extra $60. If I do get a new cyclometer, I will move the Vectra to my Kogswell, so the unsightly wires--no good option exists to route cyclometer wires along cantilever brake cables--will be gone. I also need a cyclometer for my fixed gear Raleigh One Way. Status: need Knog cyclometer.
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