Saturday, May 9, 2015

Trek: Fixed, and 650B

I was getting closer to selling off my 650B wheelset, but decided to give it one last go. If I'm riding solo on the road, that usually means I'm on a fixed gear, or want to be on a fixed gear, so even my previous Trek single speed conversions haven't really given me a fair comparison to my ever faithful Cross Check. This time, it would be different: earlier in the week, I pulled the welded freehub off my beater 700c rear wheel, and fixified my 650B wheelset. I don't usually enjoy cracking into hubs, so I had been putting this job off, but it was actually pretty easy and satisfying to do. It was a good excuse to break out my cone wrenches, at least.

6:30 this morning, I was ready to hit the road to get a ride in before the soccer games started:

There's really not much to see here, but this freehub is welded shut. No longer free then, I guess... I shall deem it the fixedhub henceforth:

These Compass tires are still wonderful, and for whatever reason, I didn't notice the dartiness I had previously felt when cornering with this setup. Maybe I'm just getting used to the smaller wheels. On the other hand, in my previous 650B conversion of this bike, I didn't notice the way the long reach brake flexed forward 4 or 5 or 6mm when the pads hit the rim. It's not exactly confidence inspiring. I would much rather have some good, solid V brakes.

This used to be my go-to bar setup, but these days it feels a bit too wide for this bike, too narrow off road, and not as groovy as my Albastache bar:

But it was good enough for today's ride. I headed north up to the Home road bridge:

and then back down the east side of the river. I had spotted a nature preserve that I wanted to scope out as a potential extralegal camping site. To get there, I had to slide under a locked gate, roll past the "authorized vehicles only" sign, and then stopped at this "no bikes" sign:

I can take a hint to see that I'm not wanted... and with the various shelters and restrooms, it was too built up for my needs. No good for a campsite, but it was good to pull me off my usual ride loops and ride some new roads. I got home about 8:00am to a still quiet house. I sat down at my computer to see if any great deals had popped up in the last two hours when Kate snuck up behind me and shouted, "Boo!" I must have jumped up six inches in my chair, which she thought was the funniest thing!

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