Sunday, March 19, 2017

Inappropriate Technology

With six bikes in the garage (at the time), but no fixed gear, something clearly had to change. My KM could easily be a fixed gear (track ends), as could the Technium or Polyvalent (forward facing horizontals), or even the Jones or Niner (EBB), but I like to do things the hard way: I converted my vertical dropout Rockhopper instead:

It was just dumb luck that this worked out so well: I could use my favorite 40x16 gear with a half link chain, no dropout filing required. With my cheap Nashbar touring fork on the front, I could fit 700c wheels and a moderate sized 34mm tire. It makes for a surprisingly fun bike to scoot around on:

Tire clearance is a bit limited in the back. I'm not sure I'll be able to fit a fender in here:

 Up front I have my Mary + bar end combo, a really nice setup for a variety of riding:

 Speaking of technology used incorrectly, the rear hub is my very nice White Industries ENO eccentric hub... converted back to a regular axle. Maybe I'll re-eccentric this some day:

I took the Rockhopper for a spin today, heading north to some still undeveloped areas in Jerome Village. I found an old, rough road, gracelessly hopping over logs on my fixed gear until I came to this quiet pond:

Maybe a nice camping spot, but I'm not sure if it's on private land or not. The road petered out shortly after this, and I had to turn around and head back.

The Rockhopper WAS my old around town bike, but this change was enable because I rebuilt my VO Polyvalent back into a city bike:

I stripped the VO down shortly after building it. I was a bit underwhelmed by the ride, and I wanted to use the 650b wheels on my Raleigh, and I had a buyer for the frame. But the 650b wheels didn't work out on the Raleigh, the buyer backed out, and I rebuilt it back almost to how I had it the first time. The only change this time was Surly Open bars in place of the Marys, now on the RH:

If the Rockhopper isn't the best bike for a mostly street 700c fixed gear, the VO is pretty darn designed to be a city bike. I need to give it a fair chance to see if I warm up to it.

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