I decided to start a blog today. I wanted to talk about bike stuff. Bikes I am building, new things I am trying, etc. I’m not sure about where this will all go. We’ll see.
I’ve become pretty interested in “gravel grinders” or “gravel centuries”. I haven’t done one yet, but soon. I built this bike for that purpose and end. I am pretty happy with it. It is a great fit for me, a comfortable ride, and performs as good or better than I could have hoped. Gravel Grinder News is a good place to go for information about these events. So is Guitar Ted’s site.
There are a couple things unique about the bike. The gearing set up is a little unconventional. My front sprockets are 46 and 30 tooth. What I might call a “touring compact”. They are mounted on a triple crank, with a bashguard on the outermost ring. I am a fan of the compact crank idea, and I think it works well with this bike. I found a triple derailleur shifted smoother than a double, even though I am only using two rings. Shifting from the 30 to the 46 is very quick and smooth, and vice versa. The larger 46 is ramped and pinned. I am using a Campagnolo “Racing T” on the front. (I love how you can easily remove a campy front derailleur from it’s clamp, and install it on another clamp in minutes) The rear shifting is your garden variety Shimano 9 speed, 105.
Another unique feature perhaps worth mentioning is the handlebars. The last item I was waiting for, Origin 8 Gary Bars, were delayed by a backorder or some such thing. Frustrated that I couldn’t start building the bike, one early morning I decided to try and bend my own. Aluminum is bent when rims and handlebars are first made, right? So why can’t you bend some aluminum bars a little more, the reasoning went. So, with the help of a wood jawed vise, and some brute force, I bent an old SR bar into the form I was looking for. No, the aluminum did not fatigue and crack. No, the bars did not catastrophically fail on the first ride, or second, third, fourth… I am really pleased with them. I would do it again.
I will write about this bike with some more detail in the My Bikes section.