Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day: Raleigh Updates and a New Niner

First off, Merry Christmas to all my B&P reader(s). We had an unusually warm Christmas day, so after opening presents (making the kids wait until 7:00am), playing new board games, etc., I headed out after lunch for a quick spin and some quiet. Jodi got me some new medium-heavy riding gloves that were just right for our temps in the low 40s (I now have four different pairs of warm gloves to span riding from the 50s to the teens).

I've done a bit of updating on my mid 80s Raleigh Technium:

Up front is a Velo Orange Grand Cru Course handlebar, basically a parallel type drop bar. I really like it so far, it looks great and has nice long ramps behind the hoods:

I ordered the mid sized 44cm version, though, and I'm wondering if the wider 46cm might feel a little better. But this is pretty good now.

I'm not having as much success with the brakes. The Odyssey 1999 brakes were pretty weak as delivered, not even able to skid the rear tire with the stock pads. I upgraded to Kool Stop salmon pads. That helped, but the extra braking power really brings out the flex and grabbiness of these calipers:

I guess I can't expect much from a $20 brake, but I wouldn't buy these again. I'm either going to try some centerpulls, or maybe wave my magic paypal wand and turn this bike into a Soma Grand Randonneur... but I'm scared to give up the wonderfully lively ride of this frame.

I changed my Suntour XC Pro mountain bike crank for a Ritchey 110BCD model, with 46/34 rings:

and replaced my stock Shimano shifters with Rivendell Silvers:

Partly, this was because I wanted some nice shifters with the power ratchet action, but I was also hoping they might hold a bit stronger and stop some ghost shifting I'm experiencing on the rear cassette. They didn't help. Maybe ghost shifting is the price of a flexy frame.

In other bike news, I'm still thinking that the B+ wheelsize might be good things for me: the traction and cushion of 29+, but less wheel inertia to haul around each corner. To that end, I picked up a Niner SIR9 frame to try this on:

Compared to my KM, I thought the EBB would let me raise the bottom bracket to compensate for the smaller wheels. But, even though I have the EBB in the upper position, the bottom bracket height is about the same, just about 11.75". Oh well.... I also got the Niner to size down from my KM, both for less front center and because I love the look of a mile long seat post on a mountain bike. I also prefer the BioCentric EBB to the Surly's track ends. And I'm tired of black bikes.

Up front, I picked up a used Ragley Carnegie bar:

This is similar to the On One Mary, but wider:

Plenty of clearance on the rear for my 2.5" Trail Blazer:

And of course, plenty of room up front on my Fargo fork for the 3.5"-just-kidding-actually-2.6" Fat B Nimble:

One downside of this warm weather is that our trails are a muddy mess right now, so I can't report any real feedback on the B+ wheels yet. Feels nice riding up and down the street, though. We should get colder weather next month for a better test ride. I'll have to break out my truly cold weather gloves then.


  1. It looks like the 2.8 trailblazer- or were you referring to the actual measured size? ;-) Thinking of diong the same and happy to see it works for you

    1. It is the 2.8 TB, measures about 2.5" actual.

  2. yeah- its a bit small for 2.8- I just emailed you a similar question- forgot I wrote this! Have you gotten out on the bike any more since your last post?

    1. I've only been out for one ride since I built it--see a few posts up. So far, so good. The small wheels are a really nice combo of traction, comfort, and maneuverability.

  3. Did you consider the dual-pivot Tektro 900A (72-92mm reach)? They are on eBay for $14 each.

    I'll never willing us single-pivot side-pulls again. I don't know how we ever stopped with them back in the 80's. I guess the shorter reach than what you need stop better, but I'm just too spoiled by dual-pivot now. My daughter's large 24" wheel road bike came with craptastic single-pivot brakes -- first thing I did was replace them with Tektro 539's (47-57mm) and Kool-Stop pads.
    -- David

    1. Hi David,
      In a few posts up ("B Pluses and Minuses") you can see where I tried a bolt on centerpull front brake (with the salmon pads) and a Tektro dual pivot on the rear. Neither brake could muster any significant stopping power when wet. Scary bad, in fact.

      I've since sold the old Raleigh and replaced it with a BMC Monstercross. V brakes for the win! Details soon.


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