Quick update on the Troll. After powdercoating, I took the frame down to my local shop, Bishop’s Bicycles, to have the frame treated with framesaver and also to have the headset installed. Picked it up this evening, and started adding parts to make the bike more complete. Here are a few pictures for a tease:
Chris King Headset.
Brooks saddle looks at home.
Avid BB5 disc brakes in the interesting dropout.
More parts being added, more parts being ordered, hope to have everything finished this week! This bike is starting to look like a tractor!
Just keep spinning…
Today’s plan was to be out the door by 5am. That time came, and since I took today off, and it was raining, I decided the right thing to do would be to stay in bed. Call me lazy, I am fine with that. Maybe tomorrow I will get out the door a little earlier than the afternoon. We shall see…
The cool thing about living in a small town, is that most of the time you can bike to where ever you need to go, and it will be just as quick as driving. Today was a fine example of that, getting in my quick ride, and picking up some essentials from my local bike shop, Bishop’s Bicycles. Very quick little ride for today, but a ride nonetheless.
Decided to make the trip on Big Red. This bike today was especially fun, due to the steady drizzle. The roads were nice and wet, so every time I needed to stop, I slammed onto the pedal to activate the coaster brake and slid to a stop. This really put me back to my childhood, like I was a 10 year old again. One thing that my friends and I would do as kids would be to ride down the gravel road as fast as we could, and see who could leave the longest skid, and the most fishtails. Always a good time, and today, even though I was by myself, it was still just as fun. I recommend it if you have nothing to do today.
Today’s purchase was from the company Planet Bike. Just a set of fenders for the T500, which it desperately needed. This has been a wet December here in Ohio, and my Mountain Hardwear jacket shows. This will make my winter riding that much more enjoyable. Plus, Planet Bike donates 25% of their profits to cycling advocacy. A company that puts their money where their mouth is, fantastic. Thanks Planet Bike!
Today’s ride was of a different pace. I have been putting in some miles here lately, and my tires have taken the brunt of it all. Yesterday’s rides both had flats, on both the T500 and the HaroX. So for today’s ride, Big Red got the call from the bullpen.
Not much on the mileage today, just had enough time to run a couple errands on Big Red. It has been a month or two since Big Red has seen any action, but as usual, pull the bike off of the rack and ride. Nothing ever really needs fixed or tuned, just pick it up and ride. Maybe since it is a beater bike, I just don’t care to fix it up, but it sometimes is the most reliable bike in my stable. But it always is one piece away from a total catastrophe. That is part of the appeal though.
Today’s errands had me down to the local bike shop, Bishop’s Bicycles. Picked up a couple tubes for the busted bikes, and chatted a bit about the allure of a Brooks saddle. I can see a B-17 in my future for sure. From there, it was off to pick up some photos and then back home. Only around 3 miles today, but it was still time on the bike. Tomorrow morning, back at it. Half way down…
Got the XtraHaro back from Bishop’s Bicycles, had to have new derailleur cables and housing installed. The included kit did not work unfortunately. Another thing that did not work was the chain extension, which was not a nine speed chain. So I had to buy two new chains. Bummer. At this point, I don’t care. The bike is now functional!
Only a quick ride home from the shop, so not a true shake down, maiden voyage, but I plan on hitting the streets tomorrow once I am home from work, and of course some better photos. Here are a few teasers:
After just four days of waiting, the Xtracycle kit came today! Pretty speedy shipping from JensonUSA. I ordered from Jenson, instead of directly from Xtracycle, only because Jenson was in stock. Xtracycle would not be shipping anything until February or March. The only difference with my kit than from the company itself is that the freeloader bags are the older style. I’m fine with that.
The big heavy (19 lbs) box arrived around noon today, so my daughter and I took it down to the basement to at least open things up to take a look. I’m not sure if anyone has ever tried to do bicycle maintenance with a toddler around, but it is not too easy, and nothing every really gets done.
Once out of the box, I was amazed at how long the Freeradical is. It was as long as the Haro itself, at least the frame. After briefly looking through the included manual, which was very well done on recycled card stock it seems, I had a window of a few minutes to bolt everything together. All that I can say, is wow. This thing is long. Crazy long.
After my daughter lost interest, I patiently waited until my wife was home from work and tried to finish everything up. A couple interesting things to anyone interested in this kit. 1) The cables and housing that are included are ready to go out of the box for v-brakes. I am running discs. 2) You will need a larger rear rotor than a 160mm, the frame says 203mm. These are just two minor inconveniences, but still a little bit of a bummer. After I discovered these items, I took the rolling chassis down to my local shop Bishop’s Bicycles to have them finish everything up for me. They are a great shop, and they seemed jazzed to have a long bike roll in.
So that’s where the project pauses for the moment. I hope to have the bike back in the next day or two to really try it out, and see how this thing works. I am already stoked, and I haven’t even rode it yet, it just looks comfy and practical. Can’t wait to put it to use this year. Makes me think of a great Dr. Seuss book, and how it starts…
Today is your day.
You’re off to great places,
You’re off and away!”