Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crank Swap -- Part 2

Today I finished up the crank, bottom bracket and pedal swap on my road bikes, and I think I've got them all to a point where they'll work for my knees, now.

My Kestrel 200 SCi was equipped with a Phil Wood bottom bracket, but as it turns out, that part is a 111, not a 108, based on my measuring today. I don't remember ordering a 111 -- I remember ordering a 107 or 108. But it's been a while, and this wouldn't be the first time I received a bottom bracket with a different length than I thought I was getting. Or that I forgot what I had. In any case, it's now wearing a 108mm (as measured) Shimano UN-73 part, and the same 105SC cranks it had before. The Q should be around 149, which should be what it was, originally. I've got a set of MKS track pedals on the bike, now, rather than the Look-type (Performance clones) that I had on there previously, per my last post. That bike needs tires, too -- the rollers are killing the ones on there now, and it looks like the casing is messed up on the rear, too. That or the tube is folded over at one spot and destroying the casing.

My Motobecane Grand Touring now wears the 111 Phil Wood bottom bracket and a similar pair of 105SC cranks (the Kestrel's original parts). I almost thought I couldn't go with this one, because the down tube protruded just a little bit into the bottom bracket shell. This is no big deal in most situations, but it wouldn't clear the Phil's aluminum shell. A few moments per side with a grinding bit in a drill carved the tube back enough to allow the bottom bracket to slip by. The Q on that bike is now down around 153, which my knees should be OK with. I've got a set of track pedals identical to those on the Kestrel on this bike, as well. These have been on Juliana's Fuji (and I think the trailer bike before that), but I've appropriated them for now. I'll give her a set of Rivendell/MKS Grip King pedals that I once had on the Schwinn, but didn't care for. If she doesn't like them, she can have the track pedals back, and I'll use the Grip King's on the Motobecane or Schwinn.

While I had the Motobecane on the stand, I also evened out the loops on the brake cables up front --the front brake cable housing was noticeably longer, so the loops were lopsided. I've also tie-wrapped the cables to the handlebar stem bolt to keep them centered near the stem, which looks neater, still. I'm still looking for a 26.2 seatpost on the cheap, and when I pick one up that bike will be ready for the season. I'd planned to get tires for the Motobecane, but I gave the tires on there a good look today, and I think they'll be OK for another season. The treads are fine, and the sidewalls still have some life in them, too.

My Schwinn Sports Tourer now has installed a 128 mm Shimano UN-52 bottom bracket, and the SR Apex crankset that was original to the Motobecane. The Q is around 152. Screwed into the cranks are the touring pedals that were also original to the Motobecane. With the crank swap, I had to adjust the front derailleur's location and upper and lower travel limits.

I also took some slack out of both derailleur cables that appeared through the different parts swaps I've made on it the past couple of years. And I took a small wrench to the front Mafac calipers, in an effort to toe-in the pads a bit. Toe isn't adjustable on either the pad mounts or the pads, but you can generally apply a little leverage with a small wrench to just slightly twist an aluminum brake caliper to adjust toe. I'm not sure if Mafac ever recommended this technique for its Racer brakes, but I've seen Shimano installation manuals advise this. We'll see if the front brake quiets down any, now. It is much easier to work on bikes in a stand -- with the wheels free, adjusting the drivetrain and testing the brakes are a snap. And working on a bike is far kinder on the back and knees when the bike is up at shoulder level.

The Schwinn is otherwise pretty much ready to go for the season, though I still need to twine the tape on the left side of the bar (it's been like that since last winter, though, and it may stay that way).

All of this swapping around leaves me with a 111 Shimano bottom bracket and Phil Wood stainless rings in English threading. I've had the thought to go measure the bottom bracket on the Paramount out hanging in the barn (I think it's a 118), check the Q to see where it stands, and eyeball the crank/chainstay clearance to see if the 111 would work on that bike. If it was an option, I could put the 118 (assuming that's what it is) on the Schwinn bringing the Q way down to 142 or so. I'm not sure I want to go down that narrow, but it's something to think about. As it is, a range of 149-153 across my road bikes should be tolerable.

As to the reason behind all of this juggling, my left knee is doing OK. Not great, but OK. Getting the clipless pedals off seems to have been a good idea. And to let me adjust the angle of my feet on the pedals more naturally, I picked up a pair of Nike running shoes with a fine waffle tread to bike in. I still need to get to a doctor about the knee, but I've cut back on training and with the other changes, the situation seems improved a bit.

All for now,


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