Sunday, February 24, 2013

Moto Solo

Not that this is really news, or anything, given the last few posts, but this fuzzy iPhone picture is my Motobecane Grand Touring, now rideable in its latest incarnation.  I think of it as a town bike, but I'm not sure what the best categorization is.  It's pretty sporty, despite its upright bars and dated components and appearance -- not at all a sleepy city bike.

This weekend I re-dished the rear wheel by loosening the drive side spokes a turn, and tightening the non-drive side about two and a half turns.  It's just about properly dished, and laterally pretty true, from what I can tell without shop tools, but I don't really know how radially true it is, and I've no idea how even the spoke tension is.  At some point (likely in April), I'll get the bike into Cambridge (maybe even ride it in!) and over to Broadway Bicycle school to tension and true both wheels properly.

I also put a chain on it (an unused old Sachs chain, in brown, that matches the freewheel well), threw a tire and tube on the rear wheel, and bolted the 600/Mavic MA40 wheelset in, complete with its new XT axles, fancy spinning locknuts and chromed nuts with built-in washers.

All that stuff completed the drivetrain, but stopping is as important as going (as many have found out the hard way), and I encountered a small snag trying to adjust the rear brake (now that the wheel was properly dished).  The 600 brakes I bought for the bike have less reach than the old Suntour Superbe brakes I'd been using, despite both being advertised as 47-57mm, and the rear pads don't reach all the way to the rim.  Fortunately I still have the Superbe brakes kicking around, so I put the Suntour back onto the back.  The front brake is staying Shimano -- the reach is fine, and I suspect it will work better than the too-flexy Suntour caliper.  I also swapped the brake pads at both ends, having neglected to do so previously, and not wanting to find the limits of the ancient Shimano pads the 600 brakeset came with.

I took it outside yesterday for a few minutes, just as the first snowflakes were falling from the latest winter storm in Massachusetts (still going, as I write this, maybe 30 hours later).  Today I put 10 miles on this bike on my rollers, just to check everything out and settle everything in. A few tweaks post-ride were needed, but they were just tweaks, and were done about a half hour after my ride.  All that's left is to cut the kickstand down to size, and Le Mongre is ready to carry me around town, whether for flat-loop workouts or errands.

I'm excited!

All for now,


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