Thursday, January 22, 2009

gears, thoughts and updates

Dan and I went out on a night ride last night. Will this be the first of many Wednesday Night Rides? It was a perfect night for a ride. Rain had been in the forecast but it was clear and about 60 degrees. There was just enough moisture in the air to soften the starts a touch. We rode up the Arroyo and around the Rose Bowl a couple times. We mostly avoided typical car routes so it was nice and quiet. There were many moments when I was just tuned in to the whir of my gears. I love that sound when everything is lined up just right – it makes me feel like I could spin forever.

Lat week, “Totally Eighties” road bike got a replacement small chain ring. When I first got that bike it was set up with a pretty tight gear ratio. I changed to a bigger freewheel a couple months ago, but that still wasn’t enough for the hills. Up front, the small chain ring was a 42-tooth. Just the other day I changed that out to a 39-tooth. (Note: when removing the cranks, don’t forget to remove the washer after the crank bolt or you might strip off some threads from the crank when trying to pull it - like I did - but luckily not too many threads stripped and it all still works.)

And for the gearing on the fixie, I’ve decided to move from a 14-tooth cog to a 15-tooth cog. Hooked up to a 39-tooth chain ring, this will change the gear inches from 75 to 70. I think this will make it easier for around town rides when I don’t really feel like punishing myself. (Or maybe I’m just getting old.)

Lately, I’ve been noticing that a lot of the higher end road bikes around have really noisy cassettes. When the rider is coasting it sounds like they’ve just landed a marlin that’s taking out line. Which got me to thinking… Shimano makes bicycle cassettes and fishing reels. They’ve even got a reel called Tiagra. I wonder how much technology overlaps between fishing and biking…

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