Part of this weekends plans:
I’m finally crawling out of my shell and heading down south to ride some of the extensive trails in the Phoenix area. I’ve never even seen “the valley” in daylight, and am scared of it. Too big, too hot. The high for Sunday down there is 70! Won’t have to worry about the cold!
Cold is part of the reason I’m here, bailed on riding up to work to grade papers (which I’m doing, multitasking and all). I also wanted to make up for last night. After wolfing down some tasty steak burritos of my own creation, I fell into a mindless TV trance, and then wandered aimlessly for a while and fell asleep. It’s the change in physical activity in the last few weeks, my body NEEDS sleep, and kicks me in the ass if I try to mess with it. Hopefully, especially as it keeps getting lighter and thus easier to wake up early, I’ll get back in the farmer’s schedule of sleeping 9-5. I love being awake early, but darkness makes that significantly more difficult.
I’ve also been committing the sin of covetousness and cliche by reconsidering my gearing. The latest iteration has been a dingle, 30:20 and 34:16, switching manually by loosening the rear hub. I’m not satisfied however. I miss the ease and versatility of the old 1×3, so I might go back to it after SSAZ next month (sorry you had to read this here, M). Being able to shift for the road or the mountain without stopping is nice, and I also worry about my unprotected 34 ring with all the rocks in this here state.
The plan: 34 and bash up front (need a new bash), 16.20.25 in the rear (would need a 25t endless cog).
A random lurker on MTBR pm’d me during a bashguard search this summer that Blackspire will make a 94 bcd lexan guard in the esoteric “5th bolt behind crankarm” pattern that my Suginos use. I like the 5 bolts and low Q-factor of the Suginos, so I’ll me inquiring about that guard. I ended up with a thin alu Spot guard, which does the job and fits easily, but tends to stick and bite on logs rather than sliding. A bare ring and chain actually works better in this respect, plus clearing larger piles in my prefered slow, finesse mode requires a distinct off-camber weighting of the bb area to get over. So I want plastic.
I’ve also been sold on the fat Surly cogs. Super quality and value. I used old, separated cassettes for my previous experiments, and they cut into my (steel) Hope hub unless pinned together with the spacers, which was tricky and limited options. With the above idea, my numbers would be:
34:16 61.9″ road gear
34:20 49.5″ hard SS gear
34:25 39.6″ easy SS gear
Yes the road gear could be taller, yes the easy gear could be easier. Two observations about having few gears (for me): it still rides like a SS, plus I like to spin things a bit. Also, with too low a gear (I had a 30:28 for a while) you end up with a gear that is too tough to spin, and too easy to stand and push.
All this will, besides a bit more extraneous cash, require changing my category for TransIowa! No!!!!!! I think to a certain extent the “pure” SS is internal peer pressure on my part, and rather silly. I’m still a one-bike guy, and this setup gives more versatility while maintaining the SS simplicity and riding style, which I like.
All hypothetical for the next couple weeks, anyway.
PS: We now have an updated Firefox, which auto-alerts when I misspell things. Annoying as hell, with it’s little red line, but my spelling has always been dicey and this is great enforcement.