Here’s to you Blue 1×7


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You ask so little and you give so much in return. Perhaps I will reward you with a set of studded tires.

I’ve been annoyed and frustrated with it as a vehicle for the past month, ever since I discovered the kink in the rear axle. During the holidays I started to consider rotating it out of the collection, letting the trucker take over commuting duties and rolling in something faster and roadier at the top of my bike collection. The cyclical logic path went sort of like this…

  1. Have to replace the rear wheel on the 1×7 which is going to cost $$.
  2. Even though it fits OK, the 1×7 isn’t really sized for me. (notice how far forward the brake hoods are in the pic above in relation to the stem. I’m almost in the ‘tri position when I rest my hands on the hoods where they spend most of their time.). As a consequence of that and its original mountain geometry, it ‘walks the line’ I decide for it at the beginning of a turn and doesn’t listen to any revisions.
  3. I’ve become stronger since I put on the 35t ring up front. Now I spend most of my time in the top 3 cogs on the back and don’t have high enough gear for the downhills. (for a winter bike this could almost be a good thing b/c I can’t get going too fast, then hit a patch of ice.)
  4. I could take all the parts I’ve been saving up from random clearance sales or birthdays and build a new bike with just a frame purchase, headset, and maybe 3 other parts.
  5. Surf the net, look at frames. Start with cheap solutions like Nashbar and Surly, progress upward through the range to custom frames. This step takes 2 days by itself.
  6. Ponder the absurdity of buying a brand new frame in the dead of winter or building a ‘lighter, faster’ bike when the engine is still built for a tank.
  7. Pause and do something else for a few days…
  8. GO TO 1

After 5 revolutions I jumped off that gerbil wheel. When I was in the basement last weekend cleaning up I pulled out the 7 speed hub that was attached to my original broken wheel from last Feb, cleaned, inspected, and lubed it. Next I took careful measurements and called up BBW to order a rim for a wheel build. It may not be my fave, but every now and then I have to put things into perspective for myself and remember its purpose – an old bike to ride through the nasty salty winters, lock up downtown, and generally abuse for all the right reasons. I’ve been doing a decent job of staying focused, but I get distracted whenever anything breaks.

In lieu of worrying about equipment choices, I resolve to do more of the following things in the meantime… ride, strength exercises, stretching, eating right, taking photos, reading, drawing, web design, javascript programming, LAMP server admin, math, fix some stuff around the house, figure out some MORE good stuff to do rather than surf the web…and build a wheel.

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