We make holes in teeth!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

So You Need to Borrow A Bike?

My note to a guy in town who is borrowing a bike from me for a charity ride next weekend. I don't know the guy, nor his wife, who is a friend of my wife's. I figured this was entertaining enough to share.

Hey John,

Sorry I wasn't there this morning to help with the bike. I've got it setup now, tires & chain are set. I put 1 bottle cage on but didn't have another laying around to throw on. You can get one for a few bucks at HG if you need it. If I find one before you get the bike I'll toss it on there.

Few things you'll want to know about the bike which will help make your ride a bit better...hopefully.

1. The bike is setup 1x9, which means the front has no gears. I raced a full cross season with it a few years ago which is why it's setup this way. If your route has a lot of hills you may curse me by the end of it. Scratch that, you will curse me, bank on it.

2. If you shift into biggest cog in the back, on the hills presumably, the rear derailleur will rub against the spokes. I'd avoid that unless absolutely necessary. I really don't ride that bike anymore so I haven't bothered to take care of it. If I get a few minutes tomorrow night and you have not picked up the bike, I'll try to take a look. Alternately if you bring it down to Jim at HG and tell him it's my bike he'll fix it up for you at no cost. Just mention it's my bike and you're borrowing it. He may laugh. He does that.

3. The biggest pain to start is going to be the shifter for that rear derailleur. It shifts into easier gears as it's supposed to. But shifting to harder gears doesn't work like it should. So when you click the inner lever, both parts of the lever move. In one of my crashes 2 years ago I got something stuck in there and it's never worked itself out. So what you need to do is hold the outer lever and click the inner one. At first you will, again, curse me. But after a few minutes you won't even realize you're doing it. Hopefully.

4. Ok, now you've gotten to the top of the hill and you start to scream downhill. This is a bit of a bad idea, as the brakes are designed for cross races, which are typically muddy. The brakes are setup to give plenty of room for the mud to clear the wheel, but they do not provide the stopping power that normal road brakes do. Most cross courses are flat, so braking power is a non issue. But screaming down that hill, you may curse me a 3rd time when you realize they don't work that well. But the bike is heavy, so it will bomb downhill like a champ. You can leave your friends in the dust, sweet!

If it's raining, it's exponentially worse. Just be careful with the brakes.

I think those are the main points. The tires are cross tires so you'll have to work harder. I pumped them up to 70 PSI which is the max on those. So I can't even make them rock solid to help with the rolling resistance. So again, if it's hot and there are a lot of hills, I'm sure you'll be cursing me as your cohorts all sail along while you toil to keep pace.

So in summary...

* the shifters suck
* the brakes suck
* the tires suck for the road
* the bike is heavy
* the saddle is actually bent (sorry, I just remembered this one)

However, I'm fairly sure the chain is rock solid. And there's a bottle cage on the front. So you've got that going for you. Which is nice.

Let me know if you have any questions.


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