Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Cycling Update

Well warmer weather has finally come and it's about damn time.  The cold was starting to effect my mood.  But all is good now.  The days have gotten longer and I've been out a few times on my bike and even back to steady commutes on the Ti General Purpose bike.  

The winter seemed extra long this year not only because of the bitter cold but late last year I upgraded a couple of my bike's rider interface components and hardly had a chance to enjoy them.  I was anxious to put some time on the Brooks B67 and really test it out so when the first warm day came around I took off on the bike trail.  I did encounter a few icy spots but most of the trail was dry and I logged 33 miles in two and a half hours.  

My Brooks saddle continues to amaze me.  It just seems unbelievable that a bike seat can be so comfortable.  I hit the trail after two months of not even touching a bicycle and sat for hours with absolutely no discomfort.  Don't worry though I'm not giving up on the recumbent. 

I picked up some new tires during the winter for the Ti GP bike.  These Michelin slicks are a tenth of an inch narrower than the old rubber I was running and much lighter.  My old tires were durable yet heavy and made the bike feel sluggish but as the years past I just got used to it.  

1.40" equals out to about 36mm and on my old 26" mountain bike rims they seem to be a perfect balance between comfort and speed.  I'm happy with the ride quality and the snappier acceleration from lighter tires is very welcome.  They are folding bead and only set me back about forty bucks. 

When I got the Bosco bar I wrapped the exposed alloy with old fashioned cotton bar tape. The tape has a little strip of adhesive on the backside just like modern bar tape to hold it in position.  I learned that back in the day cyclists would mix up a little shellac and coat the tape once their bar was wrapped.  At first I liked the cloth look and just left them as is.  

After some time went by I noticed the cotton was starting to fuzz up a bit and maybe starting to lighten just a touch.  It was staying tight but the more I thought about the shellac the more I realized it might be a good idea to slap a little on the tape.  At the local hardware store I picked up this little pint of premixed clear shellac. Nice! I didn't even have to mess with the raw flakes and denatured alcohol.

I used a foam brush to dab it on.  At first the cotton really soaked it in and once dried the appearance hadn't changed a whole lot.  After a few days I put on a second helping and the wrap picked up a little more gloss.  Now it look great but best of all the the fabric won't fuzz and those wraps will definitely stay tight.

It's been raining all week but the weather is looking up for the weekend so I'll be out there for sure.

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