This Space for Rent


Birkenfeld project bike

I took the project bike out to ride Sellwood-Birkenfeld-Sellwood today and discovered that though the first 90 miles of the loop was excellent, the last 60 miles became progressively less so.

It’s a pretty heavy bike, and 48/38 chainwheels combined with an 11-26 cassette leaves me with not very much in the department of climbing gears. Which was less than desirable on the last big climb (Old Cornelius Pass Road+Skyline Blvd) of the day, and was completely undesirable on the little steep ramp up to Vaughn St. I should probably put a more conventional compact double on the thing, even if that means I have to sacrifice the biopace chainwheels in favor of boring old circular ones :-(

Other things that didn’t work:

  1. The rear wheel is not completely dished, and when combined with a rear fender that doesn’t have much clearance it resulted in a intermittent rub after I bounced the bicycle over one of the bridges on the Banks-Vernonia linear trail.
  2. The roll-top porteur bag, as expected, isn’t the greatest thing to use for a rando bag (because you can’t just open it up and fish around at speed) but it does have the advantage that I can carry a lot of stuff along.
  3. I need to repack the MKS AR-2 pedals, because they got too much bearing grease washed out when fording streams on Cedar Canyon Road last week.

Things that did work:

  1. This bicycle has the xtracycle nature in that if it’s pointed down a steep ramp it accelerates as if it was dropped out of an airplane. It made the descent down Germantown Road very interesting, particularly when I reached the hairpin curves near the bottom of the hill.
  2. Rubber-banding the gps to the handlebars works well over a longish brevet.
  3. The compact drops make it very easy to spend 10s of miles living in the drops.