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stompy, version 2.0

Posted Jan 03 2010 8:18pm
I spent much of the afternoon swapping parts over to my new race bike:

I went for the Redline after realizing that (a) I was going to be more comfortable riding a mountain bike for both short-track and 'cross; and (b) I couldn't possibly find anything else this decent for so little money. (I swung a shop pro-deal to get it through my distributor.)

Parts swapped in include:

New -- brakes, grips, stem, bottom bracket, chainring and rear cog
Used -- handlebar, brake levers, cranks, pedals

Most items came from Stompy, Version 1.2, which I raced on this year and whose frame was a little small for me. This frame fits me better and although it will be slightly more challenging to carry on a 'cross course (the downtube is a little larger in diameter) it only weighs about a pound more than the Kona frame did. The extra weight is worth the better fit to me. Also, I can save a little weight by getting rid of the Convert kit; the new frame has the rear-facing dropouts of a dedicated singlespeed bike. (I will probably swap in enough used parts to make a the Kona complete singlespeed bike again, which someone will probably want to buy. I hope.)

I got a little stuck this afternoon when the factory-installed drive-side crank bolt simply would not budge, even after I applied a little oil and let it soak in for an hour. (What did they install it with, power tools?) If I can't move it tomorrow morning I'll take it to work and use the shop's larger leverage tool (and then I can remove the factory cranks and cartridge BB and install the external BB and hollowtech cranks I yanked from the Kona).

I have this wild fantasy of saving up for a pair of -- sit down now! -- carbon fiber bash guards from Ruckus Components here in Portland. The thing that's keeping me from going there (and possibly damning my soul to hell in the process) is that Shawn's chain guards, while light and oddly beautiful, cost 80 bucks apiece. Yee-OWWCH!

Yeah, probably not gonna happen. But a gal can dream.

The only bummer is the brakes.

The bike came stock with V-brakes, of which I'm not a huge fan. V-brakes stop well but they collect mud like an old-school Vibram hiking boot sole -- and are almost as hard to clean on the fly. So after reading up on low-profile and wide-profile options I tried a set of Avid Shorty-4's in front. The apex of the straddle cable hung well below the bottom of the fork crown, which was less than ideal to me. So off they came. In their place I set up some Tektro wide-profile cantis, which work very well -- but in the rear my heel strikes them while pedaling. Since they clear the fork crown in front when set up properly, I'm thinking I'll keep them on in front and swap in a set of low-profile cantis in rear -- and hope the apex of the straddle cable clears the bridge between the seat stays. If the brakes give me what I want and don't require me to change my pedaling style, I can live with mis-matched brakes front and rear. All I know is I really don't want to have to use a V-brake if I can help it.

Initial test-ride feels good. The bike fits me better than the Kona. The main triangle is a little taller, not so squat, which gives me leg room. It also allows me to move the saddle back a little more and get stretched out comfortably without overdoing it.

Meanwhile, I should have the drive-train fully swapped by end of day Tuesday and I'm excited to take this over to Woodlawn Park and play around on it next weekend.

More pix can be found at my Flickr page.
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