My next crazy project
Last Post 09/25/2017 06:08 PM by 79 pmooney. 61 Replies.
Author Messages
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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02/02/2017 01:59 PM
First: the challenge.  Cycle Oregon announced its route last week.  The 30th.  Every 5 years, the course is a big one.  Crater Lake is often featured.  5 years ago, we climbed to the Crater Lake rim fomr the south, then the option to go around.  I looked at the course when it was announced, signed up, then started thinking that the fix gear TiCycles had just delivered could do it!  Huge grade changes but each day, except Crater Lake, was basically one or two very long climbs withthe descending late.  Makes for not many stop ans flip wheels ans only one cog change per day.  Crater Lake I could go around with just a 23 and a 12.  For 23 miles, there are no flat stretches.

This year's course is to Crater Lake again, from the north.  Very similar course profiles.  Jessica, the ti fix gear, would be perfect EXCEPT - there are three days with 15 mile grave options.  A couple of long climbs and a very real multi-thousand foot descent.  No way I'm doing those on 25c tires and a 54" (42-23) low just doesn't cut it.  I'll be 64 years old for crying out loud.

Then my brain dis what it loves to do.  It found a way to ride the course fixed AND stretch the ratios.  Ride the Mooney.  It can handle 35c ties easily.  Put them on for the three gravel days.  Ride 27c Opens the rest.  Bike has horizontal drops which I spec'd 39 years ago so it COULD be ridden fixed.  Now's its chance.

I have heard of using two chainrings and chainlines to get two very different gears on the same chain and with short dropouts.  (Mine is the classic and in the 70s very common Campy, not the long version.)  But two gears?  What two gears does a 60 yo pick to go up 8% gravel, down 10 miles of 5% plus and 20 miles of flat?  Fixed.

What about using a "dingle", two cogs fused together and screwed on like a single, on one side and a little descender on the other.  Three chainrings.  Googled the cogs.  Surly makes them but they are 3/32" and Surly recommends a 9-speed chain.  9-speed?  No thanks.  I want 1/8" track sprinter strength and reliability.  This body has seen its share of crashes, including a few from gear failures.  I want stuff that is stamped, approved and certified by the Department of Redundancy Department.  1/8" drive all the way.

So, how to make an 1/8" dingle".  And that 1/8" triple crankset.  Can I get the chainlines to work?  And what cogs and rings would I need and is it possible?

Last question first.  Actually not hard.  Yes, very possible.  45-32-38 or 36 allows me to go 45-13 (93"), 42-16 (71"), 38-20 (51" or 36-22 ((44") with room to push all the cogs one tooth in either direction.  So I could set up a 17-21 dingle and put the 12 on the other side. 

The dingle.  I spent hours at my desk, cogs in hand, wheel at my side with calipers and my AUTOCad open.  I saw that the large cog could be put on backwards, ie the outside, flat surface seated against the hub.  Cog sits right up on the spokes, but does seat properly.  Should work fine.  Chain is well clear.  The smaller cog would have to be machined out as it needs ot fit over the threaded base of the large cog, now extending outboard.  I drew up a bolted version with a machined spacer between and showed it to Dave Levy.  He didn't like it but thought that the cogs could be brazed together with a steel spacer, that probably a low temperature silver solder could be found that would keep the cogs below their heat treat temp.  (There's a reason I go to Dave when I am dealing with metals!)  That would make for a very clean assembly and plenty of room for the cog wrench.  (Bolted and nutted with nuts I would trust to 4 times a chainring bolt's load would mean that I would also need a FW style remover tool and a big wrench, not
my 16 ox aluminum chain whip that works so well.)

I'm not there yet on the crankset, but my thinking is that an older Sugino 130 BCD double with its nice straight low Q arms would be perfect.  Phil Wood BB so I can dial in the chainline to be as far inboard as possible.  Good thing is that I don't actually need clearance.  Bike is due for re-paint, so any damage I go this year doesn't matter.  And 531 is hardly going to care about some aluminum teeth.  I measured a crank spider bolt hole yesterday.  10mm.  I should be able to find a 10mm shoulder bolt. Pan head or flat head (would need a touch of machining to the inside rings if I go that approach - I'll have to see about chainstay clearance)  and the nut to the ouside.  Not pretty but should be bulletproof, even with a TA erector set style assembly of the bolt going through inner chainring, spacer, middle, spider and outer.

I think I can get chainlined below 6 mm off and if I can get the rings far enough in, maybe less than 3mm.  The high gear will be the worst.  I'll probably buy some aluminum round barstock, drill it down the center for the axle, then just cut spacers as required for the hub on the table saw.

Another plus of this crazy venture - Pete needs attention.  (Pete, my Peter Mooney.  "Pete' and "Peter" is just coincidence.  I had never known a "Pete" despite having brother,uncle and framebuilder named Peter.  All to my knowledge did not like to be called Pete.  The bike is "Pete" simple because I was riding one day, year three, and just realized out of th e blue, the bike's name was Pete.  It didn't come from me.  (Funny, I had a discussion yesterday about cats.  Was told that we do not name cats.  We call them names until we find one that works for the cat and it responds.  When I have named bikes, I always end up forgetting what I named it.  Pete stuck.  It will be formalized on the next paint job.) 

So this crazy venture is in real part about falling in live with that old bike again.  It has suffered from being a true all-arounder.  It isn't great at anything.  Anything except being the one bike I could ride anywhere I was going to live 12 months of the year anytime I needed to ride to stay sane over the years after my head injury.  For that it was superb and for that I will be forever grateful.  And now?  How many bikes out there can ride very hilly gravel roads fixed in style?  And I could even go crazier and throw panniers on it and tour in that mode!  It carries load very well.  (Jessica is my pre-derailleur TDF - but post paved roads - racer.  Pete is my 19th century tourer.)

My Raleigh Competition could do this except it has one huge barrier - a low BB.  It's a pedal scraper.  Wonderful a lot of the time, but scary as a fix gear and it will never do that.  The Mooney has a 10 3/4" BB height with small tires.  Very suitable for 175s fixed.  Barely lower than Jessica and more than my winter fix gear.

This also gives me a physical challenge.  I need that.  (And maybe, just maybe, get me into shape to ride a climb with Suzy Jones, my sister mountain goat.  We did a magic 15 miles of climbing together out of Ashland 5 years ago when we were both completely spent, day 4 of consecutive huge days of climbing.  Saw her for the first time since last Sept but wasn't remotely fit enough to stay with her.)

This could be fun!

Now off to rebuild my Sachs 7-speed.  New chain skips on almost all the cogs.  Picked up three used 8-speed yesterday.  In the future, Pete is going 130 so they may see use and I am betting I have some usable cogs in the meantime.  And I just bought and rebuilt some Power shifters just like I set it up with originally.  What great shifters!  What great shifting.  So I am off.  I'll report back as the 3X3 takes place.

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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02/02/2017 07:49 PM
Wow, Ben you are an inspiration!
Dale

Posts:925

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02/03/2017 03:19 PM
Beast! ...but but a beast without a camera or the wherewithal to post pics of all the cook stuff you do.

Would sure like to see photos of all the bikes and modified cogs you have!
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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02/03/2017 03:59 PM
No modified cogs yet. But I do have my 12-speed fix gear cluster, 12-23 straight. (All those cogs hung on a loop of bailing wire.) That cluster has now done 4 COs (but I don't think I have used all the cogs. I don't think the 15 has been ridden at CO and perhaps not either the 20 or 21.

This won't be my first time at drive train innovations. I rode Mt Washington in a previous millenium on a TA 28t single. I cut an old outer ring down to just the spider, then bolted the 28 directly to it on the inside. Perfect chainline to my middle cog. 13-21 5-speed FW wasn't far from perfect once the hill started. And the opening 1/4 mile of 28-13 - great warm-up though the two guys who started with me were out of sight when I hit the hill!

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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02/05/2017 03:02 PM
I'll bet they were back in sight pretty quickly!
Habanero

Posts:107

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02/13/2017 11:28 AM
Yes!!! We need pics!!!!!!!!!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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02/13/2017 11:44 PM
Of course, there is something else I have to get in order to make this crazy idea to work. My body. The past year plus has been less riding than I have done in the past 15. I am quite aware that setting priorities doesn't cut it. I have to carry out those priorities!

Got off the plane from a California trip (family service) past 11 Saturday to a forecast of three beautiful days. Got out yesterday for 38 miles fixed, 53F and light wind. 42-18. Today was the same except more wind, straight flags much if the time. Rode 52 miles, half on the 17, rest on the 18. Tonight? Whipped! Tomorrow ~ 30 miles. Wednesday (and I suspect the next 5 days) rain and a day or two on the trainer.

Since I am not working, I am going to try to ride three days in a row when we get windows of good weather. Should help at CO where I will be riding seven.

I keep thinking about what I need to do to get the Mooney (Pete) into true fixed gear climbing condition. On is the handlebar setup. Currently fairly narrow traditional road bars and levers with cantis. Cantis are fine. ('80s OEM Shimano calipers, really good!) But those handlebars and levers will get really old climbing fixed. I want pista or Cinelli 65 style bars with the sloped "shoulders" that offer such a wonderful seated power climbing position, huge levers and 43-44 width bars. (39s are best fit to my skinny shoulders but 44s offer easier climbing and more secure high RPM descents. (ANd more wind resistance. Most people think less wind resistance is better, but, believe me, more is better downhill when you are riding fixed, by a lot!! ) In the past on Jessica J I have used two "cockpits, a road setup with SunTour Superbe brakes and pista bars, huge hooded V-brake levers and dual pivot brakes. This year I want to keep it simple, so one cockpit. Plus this year there is one (1) day without a 2000'+ climb. The next easiest day only climbs 2500' but descends 7000.

So how to get V-brake hoods to work with the cantis? (The Tektro V-brake levers are much bigger than any regular lever.) I could go V-brake lever and a reversed travel agent but that doesn't sound simple and bulletproof. An idea I have had is to get the V-brake hoods. (This is Tektro - won't break the bank if I have to buy the whole lever.) Make a base, perhaps carved out of wood, that will extend a regular lever to V-brake length and make some longer metal straps to go around the bars. Put the big hoods over the extended lever.

I think I will try the V-brake levers as is with the cantis first. I don't mind losing a little braking power as you really don't want to lock things up on hard slows at speed riding fixed. (The Superbes and regular levers are a fair amount more power than I like going downhill.)

This is going to be fun! Pete gets to stretch out a little, do some things other bikes don't get to do.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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02/21/2017 06:06 PM
A lesson: go check your stock! Bought (2) chainrings, 47 and 39 All-City 130 BCD. Went to mount them on my old Sugino arms from my winter/rain/city fix gear. (Retired because a good portion of the cross section at the balls of my feet is worn off by thick socks and winter road grit.) Surprise! I've been riding 110s all this time. Went on line and there are lots of 110 1/8" chainrings. Most are cheap and boast of being 6061 T-6 like that is something special. (6061 T-6 - a good aluminum in high salt water environments and very corrosion resistant, moderately strong, hardened to decent hardness. As a bicycle chainring? Not crap but nothing special at all.)

I wish the BMX crowd was still into 1/8" and 110 BCD. The Haro ring I bought a long time ago was a seriously good ring and lasted me years. Kinda gaudy but I will live with that.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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03/12/2017 06:35 PM
Took the bike out fix gear today for its first time. Rode 50 miles out and back. The day was beautiful and warm! Light wind. Could have been May.

So far, it is just single gear. The Phil Wood BB arrived and I will put it in tomorrow. (Those things are beautiful! It's a shame to install it.) 2nd chainring will go on also to make ti a two speed. First guess at brake lever position and bar rotation felt so good today I will also wrap them. (Tekto V-brake levers - my hands love them - and late '80s Shimano OEM cantis. The jury is still to there. The levers stay. Are the cantis enough in the wet? We will see. I could put on V-brake (horrors!). Easy, cheap. Reverse Travel Agent?

I forgot why I love that bike. The ride. The steering. It is elegant, precise. Not a ti bike over the rough stuff, but forgiving enough that I don't make much of an effort to miss it. And it/he (Pete) has settled into his new role as a fix gear quite nicely; like he was meant to do that all along. Fun. It is a bigger, more open bike and position than I have ever had fixed. Feels like it will be perfect with big tires on gravel. (I rode 28 Paselas today.)

I"m predicting Pete will hit 50,000 miles next year. 44k now.)

Ben
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2146

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03/12/2017 10:28 PM
Hah...was just catching up on this thread and was reading about wanting wide HB. I'm thinking "no, no, no, no, NO!!! Narrow is aero! (And by a lot)". But then I read your reasoning and thought "totally makes sense now."

PICS!! We need pics!!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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03/13/2017 12:53 AM
Cosmic, where does aero make the biggest speed difference? Downhill. And where is added speed not a bonus when you are riding fixed? Plus, if you have rock solid steering you can let your RPM run a little higher safely.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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03/19/2017 06:17 PM
Second ride today. Pete's now a 2-speed; for the time being 46-17 and 38-23. Did some hills. Concept works really well. I don't yet have the cogs dingled nor have the custom chainring bolts so I do not have the outside chainlne and hace to flip the wheel for all my changes. Cool thing is that the flipped big cog, with its flat outside face snug against the spoke bends works really well. Never even thought about it while I was riding. The 38 tooth chainring is very close to the chainstay. I could hear it hit every revolution for the first couple of miles. But once I got into the ride, both chainlines were just rock solid 1/8" drive trains. Get this dialed in for cogs, rings and chainlength, put a quality $20 chain on and make it a point to check it over in 10,000 miles.

The bike is a blast to ride fixed. Not a racing ride, but a quality, elegant ride with the wonderful steering Peter Mooney's bikes are known for.

I am very low on the learning curve on installing fix gear wheels and dialing in the chain slack on this bike. My tricks on my other two fix gears don't work. Finally resigned myself to walking the wheel. Slow, but it always works. (Jessica was wonderful. I could always just pull the wheel back with my left hand at the left chainstay, pulling the rim over so the tire hit solidly. Tighten the right side. Straighten the rim and the chain slack was always on. I think Pete was cursed by an owner who rode 44,000 miles with QRs always set in the same place.)

After today's ride,I fully believe that not only can I do Cycle Oregon on this bike, its gonna be fun!

Ben
smokey52

Posts:245

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03/19/2017 07:44 PM
Ben,
When you have cogs on both sides, do you have any dishing? just curious.
smokey
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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03/20/2017 02:24 PM
There's just a touch of dish, about 2mm. Pushes the little cog out to the outside chainring and the outer dingle (the flat ground cog) in to the middle chainring. (Remember, the Phil BB is there so I can pull the chankset in until the inside teeth touch the chainstay,)

One of the joys of fix gear wheels. Adjusting the dish is easy. No super tight spokes. Since I built the wheel with marine grease on the threads and nipple seats, none were hard to start. I run DT Revolutions on both sides and have zero problems. You never realize how bad the modern highly dished wheels are by concept until you have ridden and maintained fix gear/single speed wheels built on hubs made specifically for that application. (The wheel I am using is just one of the flip-flop fix-fix wheels for Jessica J.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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03/28/2017 09:43 PM
Went for a ride on my new dingle. (Got it last Friday. Dave Levy (TiCycles) said that after machining off the inside of the 17t cog and a ring out of the 21t, they fit together so well he elected to just braze them. In the brazing, it took on a very nice flat black finish like it was intended that way. Told me he had high confidence in the braze and took me to put the 17 though any challenge I can.

I won't get the long chainring bolts untli perhaps Friday and Dave has both my small chainrings so I am limited to a singe chainring. I've been playing with riding with the wheel flipped, the dingle pushed outboard and the intended downhill cog location pushed inboard. Works nicely. All three cogs run nicely on the outer chainring of a double.

Today was my first try on the 17. Went out 42-17 against a stiff wind (front's coming) with 35c Paselas on, 60 psi. Hard, hard, hard! At the far point, flipped the wheel to the 16, cruised for a few miles then completely ran out of gas and just dragged my butt home. Ride felt completely old-school March, on of those hard rides that you are thankful for months later.

Best part? The bike was completely up to it. There is a little glitch in the drivetrain that is disconcerting, but once I started tiring, I never noticed it again. The dingle cogs are close. You can slide paper between the chain and the 21t cog but not when the industrial 1/2 link or the (2) quick-links go by. Every once in a while, the 1/2 link catches and a distinct click is felt through the bike

Tomorrow I will pick up a couple of cycling half links. I'm guessing that will help. (I like the industiril ones. instead of threaded screws for the pin, they have a pin with a cotter pin. We sailors like cotter pins. They never shake loose or unscrew. Shackles with cotter pins are used when speed of opening isn't a factor but absolute reliability is. To me, that describes fix gear chains. I am compromising using the pair of quick-links because that means both ease of adding or subtracting links and (perhaps more important) keeping track of how many links I've got.

Fun fix gear fact - '70s Campy horizontal dropouts, the common normal ones, not the long ones can accommodate a range of 5 teeth or 6 different cogs. With 3 links between the quick-links, I can run 16 to 22 teeth. Nice with the 17-21 dingle. I can leave the house with either a 16 or 21 on the other side and flip at will.

I ordered the Mooney with horizontal dropouts and clearances for big tires and fenders. The bike rides fix gear and 35cs like that was its mission in life from day one. Nicest fix gear ride I have ever had. (Sorry Jessica's, you two are ear-to-ear fun and ride like race bikes, but Pete's a Peter Mooney and rides like one.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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04/05/2017 01:09 PM
Getting excited here. I will pick up my chainring bolts today. Dave sent me photos.

I've been riding the bike with the wheel flipped the "wrong" way so the 1st two cogs of the dingle are pushed out and the single cog is pushed in. Nice. All the cogs sit almost exactly in line with a single outside chainring, giving me a very usable 3 speed except the ratio span has to be cogs that work on a Campy dropout, ie 6 possible cogs with the chain length just right (using a 1/2 link). Did two rides last weekend of 50 miles and 70 miles using 42 x 17/21 and 16. Now I get my 36 and 38 back. Time to find two quality Izumi chains in gold because that looks so nice on the bronze Mooney with its black chainring and cogs. The TiCycles 155 -22 black steel stem and black Kalloy post just add to the look. (The post may not stay. The seat really should be 1/4 click nose up from where it is but 1/4 clicks are really hard to do. I have distorted the seat lug a little shimming an undersized SunTour post for 30 years and a 27.2 is a scarring force fit now. If I find a sweet black 27.2 2-bolt post, it will be another trip to TiCycles for a ream, then Pete will really be riding in style. But it is also obvious that my current 27.0 cheapo post is close enough to ride, to do Cycle Oregon, to stay on another few years if need be and looks great.

Going triple chainline is going to be fun! I'm getting excited! (Oh, and I am going this with probably the lowest Q-factor I have ever had and my knees are loving it! Left crank is maybe a 1/4" off a long, sleek steel chainstay, right maybe a 1/2". A traditional 38 tooth inner chainring has enough clearance to slide a piece of paper between the teeth and the chainstay. Another cool feature (that could easily be done on any bike with fender eyes) - a really useful chain peg. Bike's got fenders. I ran a longer allen/pan head screw from the inside. Extending in perhaps a 1/2" with a nut snugged against the inside of the dropout, then extending out for the fenders and another nut. Probably wouldn't work for geared bikes as it is probably not higher enough to not interfere with the chain, but easy in a fix gear/single speed. (And they need pegs more - no derailleur to keep the chain on the chainring with the wheel off. Sweet that you can lay the bike down on its drive side and the chain stays in place while you change cogs or repair a flat. I got the idea from Jessica J where Dave drilled and threaded the ti dropout for a similar peg only that one doesn't do fenders.)

Don't ask the cost. This is one big $$ drivetrain. Wouldn't work inside a marriage. But for a lifetime love that has outlasted a marriage and all my other intimate relationships?

Ben
Dale

Posts:925

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04/05/2017 08:05 PM
Low q-factor. Reminds me of the line from Longfellow "Hardly a man is now alive. Who remembers..." Does anyone under the age of 40 know what that is, or more to the point, does any manufacturer know or even care? My knees like a low q-factor as well.
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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04/06/2017 08:05 AM
Good point Dale,
You can still get the super low Q, square taper stuff. But you need a frame and driveline to match.
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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04/09/2017 01:21 PM
Went for a spin around the block on my new triple chainline, the flat ground gear first then the big gear, going up the very short ~14% around the corner. All feels good. I am about to go try the setup to go to Newberg and back, ~40 miles and 2000'.

Running 46,42,38 X 13,17-21. Gears of 96", 67" and 51". The low will be real work coming home but should be doable. (Almost a piece of cake in a few months if all goes well.) The high will be perfect for the first descent, a little high for the second.

Off to try it, I'll check in later. (Call an ambulance if you don't hear from me. )

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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04/09/2017 06:50 PM
I did it. Bike works well. First climb the gear felt too low but the climb coming home had a steep sectaon that was a doozy. First descent was a non-test of the bike. Pavement suffered a lot over the winter and we had a serious wind storm Friday. I rode the brakes all the way down. Coming home though, big wind at my back, a descent I know far better and the road was much cleaner. 96" is fun!

I have a lot of work to do to get my gear changes to look like fine-tuned operations!

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/19/2017 01:22 AM
The next step in the evolution: High strength, self starting chainring bolts. I've been using custom fabricated conventional chainring bolts with the sleeve/nut long enough to go through the usual chainrings then a spacer and into the third outboard ring. They work but are a royal pain to do chianring switches. Takes me two hours with a stand and concrete floor so I don't lose stuff. But the plan is to change gears fr different days at CO. That approach will never work, working over grass or dirt and no stand, after 70 mountain miles fixed.

So, I asked Dave Levey at TiCycles to make me steel bolts with countersink inboard and 8mm threading outboard plus - very important - a taper from the 10mm exact tight fit with the chainrings/spider to the 8mm threads. The threads were to extend outboard with ordinary nuts and washers. Dave said yes but he would sleep on it until he figured out how it was to be done.

His idea: buy 8mm hex head SS cap screws and nice SS nuts. Machine the cap to a countersink. Fabricate a sleeve (titanium is is stock on hand!) and slide it on. Cut to length later.

Went by the shop Friday to pick them up. He had machined the cap screws but not the sleeves so I got to watch. He had a brand new huge lathe. Beautiful and VERY impressive. Threw a ¾” rod of ti in it and started machining it down to 10mm (0.394”). That lathe could machine the rod down in one pass! One beautiful ribbon of titanium. Dave machined both the taper and recess for the countersink while the piece was still in the lathe. Slide them on the bolts, worked them down all the way and now you cannot tell the sleeves are a separate piece. (The ti and SS look almost identical).

Threw them on the bike Friday night. Took me an hour the first time. The bolts do extend almost 3/8” past the nuts and look quite lethal. (Fix gear – no pant legs allowed!) Since all threading is both steel and very visible, starting the nuts isn’t an issue at all. (I was pretty certain I was going to strip one or more of the aluminum sleeves. And with far more machining time and threads, they cost me a lot more.)

Today I did a variation of my loop around the Chehalem “mountains”. The passes are ~1300 feet. 68 miles. Forgot to put on my dingle. Never occurred to me until I was 20 miles from home, separated by that 1300’ pass. I had recently learned a somewhat easier way to go over (and with far less traffic) s I took it. Longer climb, straighter descent. I did have my high gear, 46 x 14. Not super high, TG because there were a bunch of little, not always gentle, uphills on the descent.

And the bike? It’s getting there! Crankset feel solid! (I am seeing that the chain has been chewing on the inside of the outboard chaining when it is on the middle ring. Certainly worse when the chain tension is loose. But the chew marks might flunk the bike out of a show, but will never matter anywhere else. Wow, does the crankset now feel solid! It doesn’t have the wonderful round of a Sugino 75, but it is decent Sugino and the eccentricity and chain tight/slack quite acceptable. I do have to rotate the crank ½ turn after my first guess. That will take me to a tight or loose. If that is acceptable, I’m good to go. So bolting on the wheel after a gear change is slightly slower than on Jessica J where I could usuallyu get it first try.

That done, the Mooney shines like it never has before. What a pure, clean ride! Downhill, what steering and feel. Uphill, even grunting at some low level of RPH (revolutions per hour), it still feels great. And mile after mile of flat. What a ride! I don’t know if I said it before, but I put on 28c Vittoria Corsa Graphenes. Those tires are a joy to ride! Fast and smooth. Really confidence building on corners. Wonderful on bad pavement. Ribbed tread! Best of the tires of my old racing days. (Yes the mixed tread Criterium Setas were better than any of the ribbed tread tubbies I rode but that was because they were high quality silk and latex tires, not because of the tread pattern.)

The fit is also getting very close. I still have all the pieces of tape on it for reference and more tweaking but today I never thought about the seat or the brake levers. I had a touch of numbness in one hand, down from being a real issue for both. (I moved the levers down to basically horizontal to get a natural angle for my whist when I am coming far forward while standing. Today I stood a lot.) Found that when I moved my hands further down onto the flats when I am in the drops sitting, that numbness went away. Easy fix! I have also purchased and modified a Jannd toolback to hold the Pedros Trixie fix gear wrench/spanner so access and replacement is in seconds. (And really cool! I knew that Pedros had gone to a slightly smaller, thinner tool with a new feature or two. I really wanted the old one which is a shop quality tool all the way. Rode to Universal Cycles after seeing that they had one in stock. On the way there, I went past my favorite shop, Citybikes, a coop owned place with boxes of old parts and mechanics who really know the good old stuff. Stopped in and asked. They had two; old ones they had for years! Score! So Jessica J and Pete no longer have to share a wrench. (Last week, I rode Jessica and flatted 7 miles from home. Wrench was on Pete! 4 pm Sunday. Gas stations, even full serve ones only have an impact wrench available for tires at that hour. But the plaza I stopped at has a Dollar Tree. And 100 cents bought me a vice grip that has now done its one and only job.)

So to-do: remove tape (later). Cut down the chainring bolts (when I feel up to doing some quality work!) Make a sexier tie between the front and rear brake housings. I tie them about an inch apart so I don’t regularly drag my left knee over the rear housing when I stand. I run my rear to the left of the HT.

Pete has risen from bike #5 to the nicest I have ever owned.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/19/2017 02:36 PM
Still no pictures in this thread :-(

My Diverge road bike just had 11-40 cassette installed on compact drive train with eye on Hellracer July 8 (250 kms; 150 of which are gravel, 5,000 m vertical, the key climb is 8 kms at 13% on gravel with steepest pitch at 22%). 32 mm hardshell tires. Will be trialing the 34x40 gearing on some singletrack with week, clear that path, roadie coming through LOL.
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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06/19/2017 05:39 PM
OC, what derailleurs and shifters work with your setup? Is it 10 or 11 speed?
PS: photos would be great!
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/19/2017 05:57 PM
Long cage Tiagra. It's a 10-speed cassette. Derailleur theoretical capacity is close to maxed out with setup. I think I could have gone to a 42. Seems to shift pretty good based on quick trial (weather sucked this weekend).

I'll provide a ride report w photos once the Hellracer is survived. Should be the most epic 1-day ride I've ever done. We'll be 8 from club with 4WD sag wagon support. Well outside cell phone range.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2146

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06/19/2017 09:27 PM
I don't even wanna think about any climb that requires a 34x40....nope, fook that.

Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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06/20/2017 05:12 AM
I'm a "sit and spin" style of rider and like riding gravel roads in the mountains here in VA. Steep pitches are common, and often are rough due to erosion and/or washboards. I had mistakenly thought Shimano's road systems only would alow up to 32 in the back. So OC's setup is very interesting.
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/21/2017 01:12 AM
Went for a solstice ride this evening. Beautiful cool summer day. Pure R & R, never got my wind up. (But it was windy!)

Absolutely love the bike. It has become the most comfy in-the-drops bike I have even known. I think the only tweak I will do fit-wise is start lowering the stem by little increments. It is very close now. I put on a 44-18 and going upwind was easy.

Ben
Nick A

Posts:523

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06/21/2017 10:55 AM
OC, LOL. A thousand words are worth a picture? Just razzing you 79. This is still fun to follow.

Nick
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/21/2017 11:00 AM
Was hesitant to sidetrack Ben's thread but given that LSD found some interest in it, good stuff.

Actually rode a 13k 7% (max 12%) gravel climb on the Orbea (23 mm tires; 34x25) the other week. Definitely maxed out on steeper pitches and needing to come out saddle to keep momentum going, taking the accompanying loss of traction for granted. That's where the granny gears will come in.
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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06/21/2017 01:42 PM
Thanks OC. Still a tad confused b/c big S's webpage sez the tiagra does not go beyond 34t. Just because they say that doesn't make it so. I will watch your posts with great interest.

(We geezers and perhaps including OP Ben recall that the old Campy Record claimed it would work up to 28 t, but it didn't really, as I found out on Mt. Washington when I wanted to get out of the 28 to something bigger for the rare easier stretch - wasn't going to happen. 42x28 all the way up.
You may now return to the present century.)

Fellow gravel grinder and sit and spin steep climber tech heads, please let me share an epiphany:
With the Di2 option, Shimano offers an alternative to SRAM, who previously held the monopoly on the combo of mtb gears and drop bars/brifters.
If I successfully put aside a few (zillion) bucks, I'm dreaming of something new and shiny with 985 levers and XT derailleurs with a 2 x 11. Maybe 650B rather than 700c. And a suspension fork with lockout.


Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/21/2017 02:31 PM
Test...

[URL=http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/Jos_Beckers/media/19146115_824130714423360_8185318693635542338_n_zpsraqcxn5z.jpg.html][/URL]
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/21/2017 02:39 PM
Cool...still remember how to post pics.

Anyway so I never noticed max sprocket and just went by maximum capacity calculation which is 45T range for Tiagra long cage so 50/34 and 11-40 works...just. Full intensity test on Friday to see how it does under pressure.

And while you're awake (and apologies to Ben for derail), here's some pics from gravel adventure of 2 weeks ago.

[URL=http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/Jos_Beckers/media/18953064_820692904767141_8693149989665458026_n_zpsratkagvn.jpg.html][/URL]

[URL=http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/Jos_Beckers/media/19060214_820693754767056_776539693032464148_n_zpsgdzm7r4i.jpg.html][/URL]

[URL=http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/Jos_Beckers/media/19059195_820693994767032_334137411133058594_n_zpsytsboutn.jpg.html][/URL]

[URL=http://s1378.photobucket.com/user/Jos_Beckers/media/19025160_820757854760646_1659940708025015_o_zpsxhvsecxs.jpg.html][/URL]
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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06/21/2017 03:37 PM
Beautiful photos
That bike in the last photo definitely does not have a 40 in the back.
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/21/2017 03:41 PM
lad, back to last century, Mt Washington. I rode it twice but never with the classic Campy setup. 1975, the year before I raced on my Lambert with its Lambert/TA triple, 52-42-28 x 13-24 as a tourist (when you could do that; just pay the auto toll and ride up). 1978, the TT. I knew from doing it before that 42-28, the Campy standard, was way over-geared. I also knew the only time you needed a remotely big gear was the first 1/4 mile of flat from the toll booth to the trees. You can lose a bunch of seconds in that 1/4 mile, but if you can trim a pound, you come out way ahead! (Yeah, you lose drafting opportunities by being slow at the start, but drafting on an 8 mph average climb what is steeper at the bottom than further up costs you how much?)

So, being the engineer geek, I came up with a Mt Washington solution. A 5-speed setup. 28 x 13-21. Bought a new TA triple 52-43-28 for my future custom (the yet to be 79pmooney). Took an old TA outside chainring and cut it down to the bolt circle. Bolted the 28 tooth chainring to the spider. Made up a chain to length. Tested it on Boston's steepest climb, a block or two off Beacon St near Brookline. Woked great, though the ride out was tedious. 28-13. 58".

One of my challenges was that the day before was the Mt Washington road race. I had to be able to do the switch to the hill climb setup while being fully stupid. It worked out really well. Got a lift after the race to the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) "hut" at the base of Tuckerman's Ravine, the favorite place to start the climb up on foot from. Swapped my rear wheel from my race wheel to my training wheel with the 13-21 FW. Pulled off the cranks and mounted the TAs. Swapped chains, simply bypassing (far under) the front derailleur. Took off the bottle cages. Done. Next morning I coasted down the 1000' or so to the toll booth.

We started in groups of three. My "mates" pulled a horizon job on me at the start (52-13 being slightly faster that 28-13). In a mile I passed mate #2. A mile later, the other. At the tree line I had to walk a stretch and then again later. (The 5 hours of racing the day before with the first 3 against a hard, gusty fall NW wind, being on of two tallest on the bike riders in a field of 39 Cat 1s and 2s took its toll.) I went up the final wall without stopping only because I knew I would fall over reaching for my straps. Clipless - I would have walked. 1 hr, 18 minutes and change. (I never got my exact time.) Based on that, I am quite certain I could have pulled off 1:05 the year before (before my head injury) with no road race the day before. (I was a Cat 3 - didn't qualify.) 1:05 would put me in pretty elite circles. The record then was 1 hour even. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Oh well.

So the take from this? I guess just that Ben's been having fun with cranksets a long time!

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/21/2017 03:46 PM
lad, back to last century, Mt Washington. I rode it twice but never with the classic Campy setup. 1975, the year before I raced on my Lambert with its Lambert/TA triple, 52-42-28 x 13-24 as a tourist (when you could do that; just pay the auto toll and ride up). 1978, the TT. I knew from doing it before that 42-28, the Campy standard, was way over-geared. I also knew the only time you needed a remotely big gear was the first 1/4 mile of flat from the toll booth to the trees. You can lose a bunch of seconds in that 1/4 mile, but if you can trim a pound, you come out way ahead! (Yeah, you lose drafting opportunities by being slow at the start, but drafting on an 8 mph average climb what is steeper at the bottom than further up costs you how much?)

So, being the engineer geek, I came up with a Mt Washington solution. A 5-speed setup. 28 x 13-21. Bought a new TA triple 52-43-28 for my future custom (the yet to be 79pmooney). Took an old TA outside chainring and cut it down to the bolt circle. Bolted the 28 tooth chainring to the spider. Made up a chain to length. Tested it on Boston's steepest climb, a block or two off Beacon St near Brookline. Woked great, though the ride out was tedious. 28-13. 58".

One of my challenges was that the day before was the Mt Washington road race. I had to be able to do the switch to the hill climb setup while being fully stupid. It worked out really well. Got a lift after the race to the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) "hut" at the base of Tuckerman's Ravine, the favorite place to start the climb up on foot from. Swapped my rear wheel from my race wheel to my training wheel with the 13-21 FW. Pulled off the cranks and mounted the TAs. Swapped chains, simply bypassing (far under) the front derailleur. Took off the bottle cages. Done. Next morning I coasted down the 1000' or so to the toll booth.

We started in groups of three. My "mates" pulled a horizon job on me at the start (52-13 being slightly faster that 28-13). In a mile I passed mate #2. A mile later, the other. At the tree line I had to walk a stretch and then again later. (The 5 hours of racing the day before with the first 3 against a hard, gusty fall NW wind, being on of two tallest on the bike riders in a field of 39 Cat 1s and 2s took its toll.) I went up the final wall without stopping only because I knew I would fall over reaching for my straps. Clipless - I would have walked. 1 hr, 18 minutes and change. (I never got my exact time.) Based on that, I am quite certain I could have pulled off 1:05 the year before (before my head injury) with no road race the day before. (I was a Cat 3 - didn't qualify.) 1:05 would put me in pretty elite circles. The record then was 1 hour even. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Oh well.

So the take from this? I guess just that Ben's been having fun with cranksets a long time!

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/21/2017 03:51 PM
lad, back to last century, Mt Washington. I rode it twice but never with the classic Campy setup. 1975, the year before I raced on my Lambert with its Lambert/TA triple, 52-42-28 x 13-24 as a tourist (when you could do that; just pay the auto toll and ride up). 1978, the TT. I knew from doing it before that 42-28, the Campy standard, was way over-geared. I also knew the only time you needed a remotely big gear was the first 1/4 mile of flat from the toll booth to the trees. You can lose a bunch of seconds in that 1/4 mile, but if you can trim a pound, you come out way ahead! (Yeah, you lose drafting opportunities by being slow at the start, but drafting on an 8 mph average climb what is steeper at the bottom than further up costs you how much?)

So, being the engineer geek, I came up with a Mt Washington solution. A 5-speed setup. 28 x 13-21. Bought a new TA triple 52-43-28 for my future custom (the yet to be 79pmooney). Took an old TA outside chainring and cut it down to the bolt circle. Bolted the 28 tooth chainring to the spider. Made up a chain to length. Tested it on Boston's steepest climb, a block or two off Beacon St near Brookline. Woked great, though the ride out was tedious. 28-13. 58".

One of my challenges was that the day before was the Mt Washington road race. I had to be able to do the switch to the hill climb setup while being fully stupid. It worked out really well. Got a lift after the race to the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club) "hut" at the base of Tuckerman's Ravine, the favorite place to start the climb up on foot from. Swapped my rear wheel from my race wheel to my training wheel with the 13-21 FW. Pulled off the cranks and mounted the TAs. Swapped chains, simply bypassing (far under) the front derailleur. Took off the bottle cages. Done. Next morning I coasted down the 1000' or so to the toll booth.

We started in groups of three. My "mates" pulled a horizon job on me at the start (52-13 being slightly faster that 28-13). In a mile I passed mate #2. A mile later, the other. At the tree line I had to walk a stretch and then again later. (The 5 hours of racing the day before with the first 3 against a hard, gusty fall NW wind, being on of two tallest on the bike riders in a field of 39 Cat 1s and 2s took its toll.) I went up the final wall without stopping only because I knew I would fall over reaching for my straps. Clipless - I would have walked. 1 hr, 18 minutes and change. (I never got my exact time.) Based on that, I am quite certain I could have pulled off 1:05 the year before (before my head injury) with no road race the day before. (I was a Cat 3 - didn't qualify.) 1:05 would put me in pretty elite circles. The record then was 1 hour even. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Oh well.

So the take from this? I guess just that Ben's been having fun with cranksets a long time!

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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06/21/2017 03:52 PM
The elite record was in the 1:00 range back then, in the pre-doping era. Yes, 1:05 would have been an excellent time in any era.
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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06/21/2017 03:55 PM
The elite record was in the 1:00 range back then, in the pre-epo era. Yes, 1:05 would have been an excellent time in any era.
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/21/2017 04:15 PM
Posted By Frederick Jones on 06/21/2017 03:37 PM
Beautiful photos
That bike in the last photo definitely does not have a 40 in the back.


No that was the Orbea with road climbing gearing 34x25. Little bit tough on gravel climb but doable.
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/25/2017 04:39 PM
LSD - long story short - the 34x40 worked beautifully until it broke. Would share some pics but photobucket's a pain momentarily. Did about 4 kms of 10% singletrack as part of an overall 12km climb. Then went on to do back of Grouse Mountain, rough rocky forest road, mixing it up with MTB crowd. Shifting was perfect but must have caught a rock somewhere, derailleur hanger broke off 2 km below top. Hiked up rest on one of the ski runs and took the bike down on Gondola. Getting it fixed now and hopefully this was a fluke and won't repeat for Hellracer. Other than the break the setup seemed to work perfectly. That was one rough trail.
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/25/2017 06:09 PM
OC, sounds like you need one of my 3-speed fixed gears. Yes, you have to stop to change gears, but think about it, no hanger to break. (That climb sounds like one of the climbs in the (either first or very early) trans-continental bike rides. And he didn't even cheat and use 3 gears. (I also don't believe that guy ever resorted to a ski lift.)

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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06/25/2017 06:20 PM
Yeah someone commented I should just go for singlespeed option. I'll consider it LOL.
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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06/30/2017 12:37 AM
Went for a 50 miler this evening on the 44-17. Too low! Felt too low going out into a light headwind, and definitely too low coming home. Did the ride in ~3 hrs flat, no stops. Last 4 miles were in traffic then a MUP trail I don't ride fast. I felt the ride but I also think it is time to bump up the chainring. (The drawback to custom "dingles" is that I need to refinance my house if I want choices. So 17 teeth in back it is. I htink I will get a 48, out that on the outside and the current 46 outside in the middle. 46-17 will give me 73", a good workout gear. (These will all come down for CO. Day one I'll be cursing. Day 4 after Crater Lake? All will be well (I hope).

Except for the gearing issue, wow! am I liking the Mooney as it is set up. What a great ride! Pure elegance. There really is this thing that classic steel bikes have that is so wonderful, something the English framebuilders have known for many decades. (Peter Mooney being English and apprenticing with Holdsworth.)

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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07/10/2017 01:37 PM
I wrote this post in answer to OC's post re: his epic ride last weekend, then thought "I don't want to de-rail his thread".

So, in the context of OC's epic ride: My goal riding Cycle Oregon this year is to get into good enough shape that I can do CO, enjoy it, stay injury free and (maybe) ride one of the big climbs of the week with "sister", the woman I rode up Dead Indian Memorial Highway out of Ashland with 5 years ago. (3000' in 15 miles after 3 consecutive mountain days.) She missed the next three years with a (lifelong) chronic issue that meant she cannot sleep on hard ground in a tent. Every year I would ask about her at the Candlelighters' campsite. Last year I was told she and her husband were sleeping in that RV - pulled up to the Candlelighter's area. The RV was donated (and apparently driven) so she could make the ride! Between that and me being given a spot on the ride and CO waiving the strict rule re: transferring ride spots, we knew we were the two "graced" riiders of the 2000. I didn't catch up with her until Thursday eve. Knocked on her RV window. She opened it, saw me and started telling me how they got her. We were both in tears.

I tried to ride with her but it didn't work. She has to ride hard the first 10 miles to get past the pain of her condition and she is strong. I wasn't trained at all last year and even though by late week, I was doing a lot better, only going straight uphill would I have had a remote chance of staying with her. This year, if the opportunity is there, I want to give it my best so we can arrive at a big climb together. Then it is brother and sister. We are both mountain goats. Seeing her climb gives me what I need to go as hard as I have to.

It's coming along. I've been trying to do blocks of 3 to 5 (once 7) days straight of riding, playing by ear what I should do for the rides. Sometimes it has been fairly fast disciplined 60 to 70 miles, some days climbing, some days easy. Recently I"ve been throwing in steep climbs, taking advantage of strength I haven't had in recent years to "loaf" up the steepest pitches. (In a 44-17, loafing is a relative term.) One of the most gratifyingmarkers is once again being able to do a real tuck at the bottoms of hills with my legs flying so I can carry that high RPM far up the next one. Now that is fun! and the real benchmark of fix gear supple. (It will NOT be appreciated by some of the geared folk in September and it WILL make me the talked about rider there. So be it. Actually I don't think this year has all that many rollers, so they may be spared.)

I also want to do the climb up from Diamond Lake to the Crater Lake summit and the loop around and be fully present in one of the magic places on the Earth. I rode the exact same roads that CO 5 years ago, but only because I took a wrong turn and went down nearly all of the 1600' to Diamond Lake before I realized my error. With just enough snacks in my pocket to get around the loop to lunch, this was a near crisis. The climb back to the rim was not fun. I did luck out. The CO organizers were completely taken by surprise when nearly 1000 riders decided to do the loop. (They figured on several hundred max.) I arrived at the rest stop right after a van showed up with energy bars to the stripped bare rest stop. Still, I was just dragging myself around the rim to lunch. Stopped several times, but the sights barely registered. I want this year to be different!

And I want to be able to fully savor the gravel as I understand some of that is also in magic country that I know nothing about. Can't do that in survival mode. It's coming along!

The cool part of all this is "getting it". Getting that injuries and burn-out are as bad as insufficient training. Getting it that if I start training early enough, I get to go easy, not ride for several day blocks, bail on rides where things are just "not right" is all OK, even for the good for this 64 yo.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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07/10/2017 02:26 PM
You got this Ben. Good luck on ride. Hope to be able to do that kind of riding 12 yrs from now. Inspirational.
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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08/14/2017 01:15 AM
The crazy project went for a dry run today (except it turned into a wet run - first rain in 2 months). Took it out with the gravel gearing and the 35c Paselas. So, the gearing was 44-42-38 by 14 and 17-21 (flip-flop fix-fix hub with a "dingle" on one side) plus I carried a 24 and the cog wrench from Jessica J.

Rode up the Portland west hills on the 36-21 and down into NW Portland on the 44-14, then up Leif Ericson trail, the firm, well maintained gravel road into the Portland's Forest Park on the 42-17 for about 7 miles to its junction with considerably steeper Saltzman Road, also dirt. At the junction, I unscrewed the dingle and put on the 24. Climbing on the 36 x 24 fixed is a blast! Never rode fixed in a gear so low! When I hit Skyline, I went to the 44-14, lugged it a couple of miles then rolled down to then down Germantown Road, lugged it up to and over the St John's Bridge and down into St Johns to go to the Oregon Handbuilt Bicycle exhibition.

The show was fun. New location and small turnout but I think it will grow. TiCycles and Ren Cycles had the biggest presence there. I didn't see everybody. Andy Newman with his Strawberry bikes and tooling was there. I always love seeing his bikes. Mentioned that to Dave Levy, TiCycles, builder of my bikes, stems, seatposts and now several other repairs, modifications and projects. Dave said "Go look at Jeffrey Bock's bikes". (Jeffrey came out to the show from Iowa where he has been building bikes since the '70s.) Wow! Lugs thinned to almost invisible. Workmanship up there with anybody. Won the Oregon Handbuilt award for best of show. And of course, my Mooney got its share of attention.

Left the show, rode back over the bridge to Germantown and back tracked my route to Skyline, climbing on the dingle low then descending into a town west of Portland to meet friends in the big gear. Home 5 miles on the 42-17. Everything worked. Everything felt right. Yeah! Setting up the chain slack is harder than on Jessica J (road Sugino GT crankset and $30 chainrings isn't the presision of the Sugino 75 with Sugino or Campy track rings and I have to always check slack, then spin the crank to see if now too tight or too loose. Also with the fat tire, I have far less room to "walk" the hub forward or back. But my skills are coming up and the routine is getting pretty fast.

And, as I have said before, what a sweet ride! I knew I would never part with the Mooney because we have been through so much together and I owed so much to that bike (like my sanity and maybe my life - no exaggeration there) but now the Mooney stays simply because it's a keeper. WIth the fix gear, the drive train I love so much, it is completely "right". Fun that it is so right off the pavement.

Now, the next test comes Saturday. A bunch of the Bike Forum C&V guys are meeting to ride the Trask trail over the coast range to Tillamook. I've said I would join them on this bike. Still don't know if I have the guts so I am leaving it as a "game day" decision, but after today, I think I am going. I'll keep you posted.

Ben
Nick A

Posts:523

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08/16/2017 02:40 PM
Sounds really cool. I had a mountain bike in the early '90's, and having come from the road, I never felt comfortable on it. A gravel bike may be in my future. Distant future. Money, ya know. Sounds like some nice terrain.

N
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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08/16/2017 06:40 PM
Love my gravel bike. Can be done cheap, if you don't mind riding a pig. Sturdy heavy steel frames are floating around. Rummage around your and your friends' parts bins.

Back to the OP, "My next crazy project": Fascinating interview with Floyd Landis on cyclingnews.com. Wow he is full of rage and resentment. He's selling weed now in CO (his crazy project). He might become his own best customer.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2146

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08/17/2017 08:28 AM
Couple of riding buddies just got bacl form Leadville 100...said Flandis was one fat and bitter man.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Nick A

Posts:523

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08/17/2017 01:43 PM
What a shame about Floyd. Enjoy these long posts. Now granted, sometimes I have to wait to have to time to actually read them...LOL.

Nick
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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08/17/2017 06:50 PM
I"m scared about what I am getting into Saturday but also getting psyched. Went for a real easy ride at noon, maybe 30 miles on the good bike with all its gears. (This is where I love triples. I went up a bunch of hills in neighborhoods I have been riding around but never through for the past 20 years. Steep! But easy on a 28-23.)

The really cool think is I am just about 2 pounds over my old racing weight. Took no real effort. The medication I've been taking since late May to cleanse my liver of the toxins I absorbed building boats in the early '80s did reduce my appetite (basically a mild chemo regime - July was not fun). I still have a week to go, but I now feel fine. I wonder/hope that the low days were my body seeing the toxins in its system that had been in my liver. Already I have noticed some changes back to how I used to feel in the '70a that I thought I wlould never see again. (Need to try on my old wool clother - one of the casullties.)

So Saturday is gong to be a big day of riding like I haven't done i s a while. Up at an un-Godly hour, pancake breakfast, on the road at 5:30. More food and caffiene at a coffee plus outfit 25 miles from home and pushing off with the guys (and a couple of gals) at 8. 60 miles, two very real hills, descending all we climb and a bunch of other stuff later we pull into the coastal town of Tillamook. Grades hit 12% going up, 14% going down.

I just got and mounted a folding 38c Pasela in front. (The 35 is as big as I can go in back and I better not damage that wheel!) Pretty sure the guys I am riding with have consideralby more off pavement experience than I have. Pretty certain I am a notch better climber. Hope I have what I'll need to pull this off.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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08/20/2017 02:33 AM
Well, the bike passed its first test nicely. The concept works. The 38/35s were a blast! The big fix gear downhill is really a blast! But the ride today was hard. There were stretches so steep with loose "gravel" that it took everything I had to get to then next slightly more level stretch. Then I hit one I couldn't do, came to a stop and fell over (from the crown do both ways were the down side). I knew as soon as I hit that I will be feeling this tomorrow. Also that stopping and assessing damage was asking for more pain.

So, if a stone on the road is 1 1/2" long, does having enough of its buddies around make it gravel?

The bike has never seen road conditions remotely as tough as today. A GPS reported we did 6500' of climbing, ending lower than we started. The warmup was close to 600' and the big one twice that. 58 miles, about half paved. Lots of smaller paved hills but all the big stuff was gravel, both up and down. Lots of washboard and gravel filled potholes. I'm dreading cleaning the bike and seeing what happened to the paint. The Paselas seem to be fine, but if there is internal damage, all I can say "not surprised". I did some rude things to them.

I'll have to give the bike a full check up. If it passes, it is cleared to go to Cycle Oregon and its gravel. I can't imagine the using roads this bad or courses and hill this tough.

The part that had me scared was downhill control. Could I get my weight far enough back and have control? Yes! Its not a mountain bike by a long shot but in the drops, arms straight and pushed back, staying light on the saddle, what I can ride over and the control I have is impressive. Now the first descent had a very sharp hairpin right after a very steep washboard. I barely made the turn, but I knew the whole time if I had to ride off into the bushes, I would be doing it with complete control!

What a day. Time to go to bed.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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08/27/2017 07:40 PM
Last Thursday was a day of very mixed emotions. Went for my Bald Peak ride; my now traditional once per week ride fixed up to the summit of Bald Peak (1600', a little over 20 miles from home). Felt really good, both climbing and into the wind after.

Got home, then that evening opened Volume III of this year's Cycle Oregon handout. They canceled the gravel options! Said the roads had deteriorated too much. So all this work and ~$1000 is for naught. (Well not really. The Mooney has upped its place in the hierarchy big time.)

And this after having the bike completely shine in its dry run.

I took the 44-42-35 chainrings off last night and put the road 46-44-38 back on. Rod today. Gears felt big and I was feeling small injuries and tears. Oh yeah, 7 straight days and 245 miles of riding, some uphill speed work and no longer young. August is to be a 900 mile month. I am right on track. I plan to ride the next week, then loaf the last week before the ride starts. So I am right where I should be.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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08/31/2017 09:48 PM
Did my last long ride, an 80 miler. Came home to an E-mail from Cycle Oregon. Ride canceled. Wild fires. There are fires along the alternate routes now. As of today, only 2 of the 7 days are along routes without heavy to hazardous smoke. With in all likelihood, a week to two more of no rain, the situation will be worse when we arrive.

A huge let down.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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08/31/2017 10:17 PM
Sorry to hear that Ben. That is a major bummer.

Hellracer ride skirted a wildfire area first major one of season and we had trouble breathing. Many more huge fires have ravaged BC since and are still going on. Y'all were the recipients of our smoke for a while. This week's been the other way around and Vancouver got Oregon smoke. Couple of my friends will be cycling down your coast shortly. They're in WA now and will go all the way to san Diego.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2146

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09/01/2017 08:02 AM
That sucks, Ben....really sorry to hear that.

A few years ago, they cancelled Ironman Lake Tahoe literally minutes before the race was supposed to start....athletes were in the water, ready to go. But, similar to your situation, there were wildfires in the area and they couldn't risk it. I guess you at least had some heads up....not that it is much consolation.

I can't imagine the disappoinment of putting in that much training and not getting to do an event.....especially if it was an Ironman and I was in the water, ready to go.

I guess on the bright side you got to test out some new bike options that maybe you wouldn't have....again, not much consolation.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Habanero

Posts:107

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09/01/2017 01:51 PM
UGH!!! So sorry to hear of your let down. No fun.
longslowdistance

Posts:1472

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09/01/2017 06:52 PM
Weather is just crazy this year. So relieved to learn from Pres. T that global warming is a hoax. That's one less thing to worry about.
Orange Crush

Posts:1995

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09/01/2017 07:57 PM
T is deranged. Then I saw McCain op-ed in WP today. He's delusional. Pick yer poison LOL .
Nick A

Posts:523

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09/02/2017 08:50 PM
That sucks. Sorry to hear...
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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09/20/2017 11:40 AM
Going for a consolation ride Sunday. The Harvest Century. A ride of the Willamette Valley. I rode it once years ago. Much of it is on my regular riding roads. No super climbing. A few hard but finite length hills. Probably do the ride with no gear changes. Attraction is that I can ride the 20 miles to the start, ride the century, take the MAX light rail train back to 5 miles from home, stretch that 5 miles to 8 and finish with a fix gear mileage of twice my age.

Sunday is supposed to be a decent day, weather-wise. Partial clouds, no rain, light wind and highs in the low 70s. Sounds perfect for a long day on the bike with dark at the beginning and perhaps the end.

Maybe I'll have to make a goal of once a year, riding my age X2. Wonder how long that could last?

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1734

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09/25/2017 06:08 PM
I got nailed by the sore throat/cold going around Thursday. (After 3 days with just one 35 miles ride in light rain to celebrate the clean air! (Non smoke.) Stayed off the bike and laid low. Decided Saturday to go to bed early with everything set out to ride and both bikes ready to go, the Mooney and the TiCycles, fixed and geared. Set the alarm for 4, went to bed knowing I would get up, shower, dress to ride, make coffee for one WB, eat a bowl of granola, go oit to the garage, grab the bike that felt right, put on those shoes and go.

Woke up with the alarm and starting going through the above. It was very clear early on that riding fix gear was out. Not strong enough. Never considered it again. I wanted to be out the door by 5 for the 21miles to the start. Made it by ~5:12. And right away, it was magical. So quiet! Totally dark except street lights and my light. Clear sky. Too many trees and city light to see but a couple of stars but I was on track to get out further while it was still very dark. Even the big streets had no cars. Took me back to riding out of Cambridge, MA at the same hour many times on my way out the the famous "Allis loop" of the Boston racing community 40 years ago.

But as I got out further, I encountered on and off low fog. No stars. But still magic. Then the slow lifting of the darkness and the very early dawn. And all this in no wind whatsoever. Later I would be seeing limp flags but for now, it was just a quiet celebration of the lack of wind I hadn't seen in months.

All the while, I was riding easy, shifting a lot, completely enjoying the best DT shifting bike I have ever ridden with the absolutely perfect 13-23 9-speed. 42 x the perfect cog. Big ring a couple of times going down and knowing I had the 28 for later. Keeping the ride really easy but shifting back up for all little downhills to keep the speed up when it was easy. This was all on my home turf; roads I know better than the backs of my hands.

Pulled into the city of the start. Now I had to pay a little attention. I knew roughly where the start was and a little better that roughly the layout of down town but I knew once I got close I'd start seeing bikes. All worked out just fine. Arrived at the backside of the event wearing my night riding vest and when I inquired where I should sign up, got asked if I was a volunteer, that she could sign me up if I was! "No,no; I'm just a rider." "Over there" and she pointed.

I was clearly running a little behind, but not much, so I took my time, had a cup of (excellent) coffee; a great perk of Portland rides, ate a little, shed a layer, sorted my stuff out and headed out. A mile out of town and into beautiful Oregon Willamette/Tualitin River valley farmland and the sun came out. Directly behind us. Rode no hands casting a long shadow and bathing in the light and perceived warmth. That didn't last long but still, it was a wonderful "the ride has begun and the day will be good!"

I should step back here. Enjoying this ride was going to require managing my symptoms all day. That shower upon awakening? Hot to clear sinuses and chest as best I could. (I take my showers before bed, not in the morning.) Alka-Seltzer Plus every 4 hours. (Works quite well just dropped into water bottles.) Cough drops also in my jersey pocket. And on the riding: going hard was not permitted, ever. My wind was to stay down. Spat and snorted all day. Filthy gloves. Many, many hand washes and sanitizers.

As I rode, almost all solo, the morning unfolded. The fog stayed, on and off; very localized, obviously in patterns the locals would know very well. It was not thick and never enough to bother glasses, just a very gentle, cool-ish blanket around us. And just enough that when we returned to clearer views, we absorbed the views that had been hidden. But for the next few hours, it was never far off and we never saw distinct shadows.

The rider had 6 stops spaced quite uniformly but increasing in distance between. I stopped at all. Made a point of drinking a lot, hence needing the "break" at each, plus I ate cookies and trail food at each. This kept me solidly as one of the late riders, but I was keeping on a good schedule to finish on time. No awards and less options for food? They weren't my goals. For me, it was all about the ride.

The second quarter of the ride was along roads I do on 60+ miles and 2000'+ days although yesterday we simply rode around the entire range of hills. Still early enough for very little traffic. No more fog, just a beautiful early fall Oregon morning, riding gently rolling roads, still in no wind. (And I was still enjoying that rarity.)

Then we peeled off to the towns and farmlands south of Portland and soon east of the Willamette River over a bridge I had never seen before, an area I had never been. Wonderful easy descent through rolling farmland, again, Oregon at it's best, then residential, a mile or two on decent 4 lane streets then a couple of miles on a 4 lane state highway. Now the wind was back, not hard but we were riding straight into it. The riding I hate. 4 guys passed me then got bogged down with other riders. I latched on, staying a full bike back but enjoying the 18/19 mph pace (we triggered a speed sign) and the nice shelter. They were really good about hand signals for debris (there was a fair share) and the last rider always passed the signals on to me. Those miles now went fast. Then a left turn toward Champoeg Park (pronounce "shampoo-ee" and another rest stop. Then south again into more wind, then east then north, all in very rural country. (North on Butteville Rd to the town of Butteville.) Then we followed the river downstream a few miles to the town of Canby and down a small road toward the river. Another rest stop where we could see below us the river and the ferry running back and forth. We walked down the hill, boarded the ferry and shuttled across. (My interest here was in the ferry itself. It ran on cable; a big one that ran bank to bank and over guide wheels on the ferry and three overhead electrical cables that a harness on pulleys rode to provide power. Impressive. Well thought out, well run and quite quick without ever going fast. Docking and un-docking were very easy. Turn-around time 7 minutes? I used to ride the big Seattle ferry and got to run stability calculations and be aboard one of the trial runs of the next generation big ferry. Also be on board on my commute when the ferry did a full crash stop for a misplaced fishing boat at night. You want to feel power?!! A 410' ship stopping in maybe two lengths. So my interest was earned.)

Now the climb! Say 200' at 15% starting right at the ferry ramp. Just getting clipped in was a challenge! Two guys, one my age, shot up the hill like I used to years ago and were gone in seconds. I paced myself up, riding alongside anther rider who bested me by a little. The rest were well behind. (I may be sick and in full pace-myself mode but I am still a mountain goat.)

Now the countryside was sprouting more residential areas, less farm and more towns. Headed back to civilization. North for 6 miles along a wide street I have been crossing at its north end for 18 years but have barely ridden. Every time I ride it, I get reminded why. Finally at the crossing and left onto my most used route. One mile later the ride turned right into one of my favorite roads but I went straight, rode my old fix gear loop adding another 5 miles to my total, then rejoined the ride 5 miles from the finish. Rolled across to the sounds of a few cheers and cowbells, taking an hand-up of chocolate milk (a tradition I believe Cycle Oregon started). Things were winding down. Post ride dinner was still being served, the bluegrass band on its last 3 songs and I was done! 125 miles. Took the MAX light rail home 13 stops, got off and rode the final 5 miles. 133.6 I rode more than twice my age. Goal accomplished.

Slept 12 hours! Today's been a quiet day.

Ben


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