miniature bike changes

As mentioned the Etrex mount took a beating on the last long ride. I tried fixing with epoxy, but it comically fell apart into even more pieces as I glued the pieces together. Next up I started engineering a replacement using some more plastic gift card scraps (I’m starting to sound like a fanatic), epoxy, and a few microscopic screws from a scsi drive I tore apart 5 years ago.

All totaled it’s 7 card pieces sandwiched together. It has a few structurally weak spots that I have to monitor, but hopefully it will stay alive and I won’t have to do too much revisionary engineering to make it last. First ride and it held up to B-More city streets without exploding into a million pieces. Hurrah!

Thousands of miles pass and I finally replace my tires. The Vittoiras are much thinner than the Schwalbes (≈33mm as opposed to ≈36mm) for the same stated 35c sidewall. First impression is… QUIET! 3900 miles of the same sinusoidal wave noise from the half-moon tread scallop pattern on the Marathon Supreme and I’m glad to enjoy silence. It appears that a smooth center line on the tread is a new prerequisite for me.

Also, are the time pedals are back. I picked up some Keen Springwaters in size 13. The larger size gives some room for thick socks which is nice. I got shoe covers on sale too but they need a little augmentation to work perfectly b/c they are a bit small. With any luck it will stay warm and I won’t need them for a bit. Being clipped in again made saddle adjustments necessary, and I spent a ton of time trying to get that and the cleat position right. No toe overlap with the front wheel and I’m adjusting the clips further back to try and get off the toe a bit.

Last but not least, the back rack is gone – not because I think I will reap amazing benefits from losing 15oz of weight off the bike but simply because I am TIRED of looking at bikes with racks on them. That’s it. If I get the chance to go on a 2 week tour of Ireland, I’ll get my allen wrench out and put it back on. Until then I’ll just make my grocery runs on the beater bike. I also ditched the 3rd bottle cage for the same reason.

A quick 12-15 miles was all I could spare this weekend, but it went smooth and felt good. Need to do a roll-out test and get the computer back in sync…


4 thoughts on “miniature bike changes

  1. I got some Keen’s on sale a little over a year ago because it seemed like a cheap way to try clipless on the LHT. They just never felt right. The sandals were stretchy when I stood up or pushed hard. I was never sure how to place the cleats either. I gave up on them and went back to MTB platforms with spikes. I did gain about a mph speed wise over long rides wearing them though. If you figure out a method to make them work for you, I’d be interested.

    • The Springwater is Keen’s full shoe (added a link above) so I don’t know if my opinion will be much help. I love my sandals, but I can’t imagine any sandal being stiff enough to make a difference being clipped. The big difference for me isn’t with hard efforts or climbing like most people say but rather in maintaining a smooth cadence over uneven surfaces and during shifting. When I got clipless the first time the tech at the store just pushed the cleat all the way forward in the shoe (I suppose to minimize the possibility of toe/wheel interference) and I never questioned it. Now I’m trying to be more precise but I still don’t know exactly what I’m looking for from a biometric standpoint. Still reading up on that…

  2. I’ll look into the link. I suspected I hadn’t given clipless a fair shake with sandals. Just couldn’t see shelling out $150 plus for an experiment. Cleat adjustment seems awful fiddly. I’ll be interested to see how you work it out.

    • that’s pretty much how I feel. I liked the first pair of clipless shoes I had and then put them away for a few years because I replaced them with something cheap I got on sale that I didn’t like. If you get new shoes, try them on for a long while in the store first. If you’ve got something that works for you with the platforms, then just roll with it and enjoy! They both have their ups and downs, and I will miss being able to move my foot forward/backward on the pedal a bit.

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