So, as the UK hopefully starts to wake up to the corruption of our so called political “elite”, I went for a ride and did some other things.
The last week on here has been pretty quiet, the reason being everyone around me decided to get ill, so, I ended up mostly being a very poor doctor to them. This meant I had no time to ride either so I accidently had a rest week, I should probably have fewer rest weeks and more riding weeks.
I did try and use my time wisely though.
My last ride was a properly dirty affair. This worked out fairly well as I didn’t clean the bike afterwards as I was expecting to be out the next again day. My bike then sat rotting away in a heap of mud for the last week, this was great for a few reasons.
My Surly MDS chips and my Sultry Single Speed Bicycle Co Salacious Single Speed Adaptor Kit had arrived. I had also fitted a Thomson stem and if you have keen eyes you will see that the stem does not have the correct Thomson bolts, it has the Sultry Single Speed Bicycle Co Stainless Steel Sticks Together Sections Of Bicycles Bolts. I am attempting here to go with parts names that roll off the tongue.
Now, I love Thomson stems but I always have a problem with their bolts corroding. They just do not seem to like Scottish weather so I decided to ditch them and have some bolts made in the UK out of stainless steel.
The above Thomson bolt has spent a year sitting in my dry garage, it is not really a good look and I always have had an irrational dislike to the fact I have to use a 3mm hex for them. So I am using a 4mm. You can completely disagree with me and please feel free to do so. The other thing that annoys me is that they sell their replacement bolts in packs of 2, now I have never broken one but have only ever had them corrode so I have to buy 3 packs as all 6 bolts corrode at the same time. I plan then to offer the bolts in singles, doubles or 6 packs and all will come with a lovely sachet of anti-seize compound.
What then did the bolts look like after a week of sitting in mud and water?
Pretty much like brand new. You may also notice the Spurcycle Chinese bell knock off here. I posted about it before and I did not really know about the whole internet furore behind the bells. You may also notice that the bell has changed colour.
This is because I have run a few little mods to sort some of the issues that people have with them. I will be running this bell for the next little while to make sure the mods work and we have a nice looking retro bell that does not cost a fortune and more importantly works. I just want to bring people simple parts at a nice price that work and do a job well.
Now cassette spacer kits. I knew I would be going back single speed shortly and today seemed like a great day to do so. One thing that I think all cyclists are never aware of enough and give shop staff a terrible time about is chains and chain wear. My bike has had a new SLX cassette and chain since November 2017, it also had a new chain fitted in late December. Today when I went single speed and looked at the cassette all that we can take from it is that it is fucked. It was going nicely shark toothed and so were jockey wheels.
I have been bikepacking on the bike and as well have been out in some terrible conditions, mainly because it is winter and therefore impossible to avoid those conditions and it is better being outside than sitting inside going stir crazy. I also only half-heartedly did any maintenance, this shows how quickly you can kill bike parts and is part of the reason I like single speed bikes, I have more money to squander on things that matter and not new cassettes and jockey wheels.
It also brings me to a point many people never understood when I worked in a shop. Don’t buy that XTR or Dura Ace equipped bike if you cannot afford to buy the parts. Why buy a bike with top of the line parts and then slowly downgrade it, I have seen this happen so many times I wonder what people are thinking about when they have scrimped and saved or bought on the never-never a bike that they cannot afford to actually ride? How many people will truly benefit by being higher up than 105 or Deore? Not many is the true answer.
Anyway, I digress and now follows a small thing about our spacer kit that is also forthcoming. The idea here is to offer the kit with a load of spacers and you may not need to fit them all but they will allow you a lot more freedom to space your cog to enable you to run a great chainline, not a slightly off of centre chainline. I see many kits come with just two spacers and have met many people who these kits do not work for and as such I have to try and avoid that trap. The next issue is that most kits only come with 16 or 17t cog, this is great if you ride on road but may not be as great as you age or if you ride offroad. I will then be offering these kits with either a 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 or 22t cog, which will nicely be made of stainless steel for maximising your enjoyment. You can also buy it with all the cogs so you can experiment and find what works for you.
Today I ran a cheap Chinese cog in 16t, just to see how well they work as well and also because I could get it in green, because you know we all like doing crazy things like that sometimes.
Now I am off for meetings about getting more people into cycling and secretly I am hoping that green cogs and dubious stickers are the way to do that.