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Archive for the 'Working on bikes' Category

Brooks saddle tweaking?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

I have a Brooks B-17 saddle on my Long Haul Trucker. It was very comfortable for a long while, but lately it’s feeling less so. After around 6,000 miles, it had sagged a bit, so I tensioned it about 1/4 turn. That brought some improvement, but I can’t shake the feeling that something else needs to be done. The problem is the leather is a little higher in the center than on the sides. I also feel like it sits a little lower now so it feels like the nose is pointed up a little more, even though I haven’t changed that.

I think the answer is to add laces to the bottom of it, to push the sides up and provide more support on the sides. Has anyone out there done this? Was it successful? I’ve read about a few different ways of doing it and I thought I’d get some more input before I take a drill to my saddle …

Thanks in advance!

CIBA Swap Meet

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

On Sunday, I headed up near Indianapolis to check out the annual CIBA (Central Indiana Bicycling Association) Swap Meet. The trip was successful in that I got some great deals. There were things I was hoping to find that I didn’t find, but some unexpected deals balanced that out nicely. Behold:


  • SIDI Bullet 2 MTB Shoes
  • Sugoi wool baselayer
  • Canari short-sleeved jersey
  • Brooks leather mudflap and handlebar tape (these were the best deals I found, at $5 and $20 respectively).
  • Well-used, but nearly free, Zefal hpX4 frame pump

Surprisingly, everything I got except for the pump was new. But the prices were too good to pass up. If I knew more about bikes, I would’ve been able to take advantage of more used deals on components and such, but I often don’t know exactly what I would need. Alas.

I also ran into a few people who I knew and got to meet others who I’d heard of, but never met personally. There was a great crowd there. ICS, Nebo Ridge Bicycles, and other Indianapolis shops were well-represented.

New tire for the Trucker

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I got a new tire for the Long Haul Trucker, which until now still had the stock tires on it (Continental Contact 700×37). The rear tire was getting worn, and while it still has some life left in it, the tread was mostly worn off, the tire had a few deep cuts, and I was starting to have some traction problems, especially in wet conditions. The tire had over 2900 miles on it, which seems like a reasonably good life, especially for a rear tire. Since the tire is still usable, I’ll save it for an emergency.

The Continental Contact tires have been fantastic. Over the course of those 2900 miles, I’ve only had ONE flat tire in the rear tire, and none in the front. I ride in all conditions, and on surfaces … ranging from smooth pavement to rough, debris-strewn city roads, gravel roads, fire roads, grass roads, rail-trails, and singletrack. The one flat tire happened in Luzerne, Pennsylvania, after I rode through a bunch of broken glass on the road. A large piece of glass punctured the rubber and managed to get through the protective belt.

While I like these tires a lot, I wanted to try something different. Something more supple and perhaps a little lighter. I ordered a Panaracer Pasela TourGuard 700×35. I’ve read mostly good things about the Paselas, so I’ll see how they work for me. They aren’t too expensive, but I think they’ll be a step up from the Contacts. Some people seem to prefer the non-tourguard versions, but I really wanted the puncture protection.

I moved the front Contact tire to the rear, and put the new Pasela on the front. This way I can have the best traction in the front, where it matters most. I’ll post some thoughts on the Pasela once I get to ride it a bit.

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