Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fuji's Transformation, Part II

Last night I led the "Gears Seminar" at Bikechain (the U of Toronto student-run bike repair/education facility; see its appealing dungeon-ness at right.) Since Fuji's gears hadn't been set up yet, this was an ideal opportunity to do so and to show others how simple such a task really is. (Of course, it's especially easy with downtube shifters.) I began with a little history of the derailleur, then handed around some derailleurs from my parts box for inspection (a historically-relevant Simlpex SLJ, a new Campagnolo Chorus, and a Suntour and IRD FD). Then we proceeded to gear setup. It all went very smoothly. (I think the trickest element of derailleur setup is not getting RD indexing to work, but getting FD stops set properly...)

I walked Fuji to the seminar and rode him home. I was quite impressed with his cushy 35mm tires, and the 46-tooth big ring really is ideal for normal riding. When I got home, I couldn't resist finishing Fuji off. All he needs now is bar tape. Photos follow.

Nice fender lines and nice high handlebars without a ridiculous amount of quill showing—Fuji looks better than he ever has!

The "Chang Star" Dia-Compe copies (the Dia Compes being copies of the Mafac tandem brakes...) not only work well but look incredibly cool. I absolutely love the huge straddle cable triangle. Isn't it wonderful how the things that look best so often also work best?

Lots of triangles: I like how the mountainous Fuji logo mirrors the shape of the straddle cable, and how it's framed by the rack tang.

The GB Randonneur bars add to the "triangle" theme! (They'll look a lot better with bar tape, of course!) The brake levers are Shimano Exage. "Cheap" as they may be, there are two wonderful things about them: they have little quick-release buttons like current Campagnolo and Tektro (and like my favourite levers of all, the Santes); and they're not anodized, so can be polished up. Thet work as flawlessly and are as comfortable as all other Shimano brake levers...

The glorious Sugino Mighty Tour cranks. These came to me (from Dale Brown of the CR list—thanks!) with 52/36 rings. I swapped a 34 small from my ring collection and bought the nice 46-tooth Sugino ring at Urbane for $35. The cranks are pretty and have a nice narrow tread. With a 115mm Shimano BB, they both have plenty of clearance from the chainstays and centre the big ring on the cassette.

Perfect chainline! The big ring centred on the cassette (a lovely 13-28 Uniglide).

Some of my favourite derailleurs: Shimano 600s. For some reason, there is no vogue for these, and they come cheaply on eBay (99 cents Canadian for this one!). They work extremely well; you don't have to "wait" for them to shift. (They're thus a perfect match for a non-ramped Uniglide cassette.) The shifting is noticeably better on this setup than on any of my Hyperglide-type setups; immediate, "crisp," and "snappy." But you do need to "unweight the pedals" when shifting...

Another gratuitous look at my beloved Chang Stars. And Fuji's brake hanger, the Paselas, and the 600 FD (which, like my Sante FDs, has a weird "slant parallelogram" geometry which pushes the cage straight in and out. I wonder why they did that...)

Lights! I just bought the Planet Bike lights combo at MEC. The front light is Blaze 1/2 Watt. With some modification (very easy—just some spacers) I mounted it to this VO light bracket. I'm fairly sure this will loosen, as the setup is pretty awful. But I'll wait until it does before trying out my various ideas...

The rear light setup is pretty fool-proof. I used some valve-tightener-things as spacers and mounted it onto the rack eyelet.

Once Marta starts riding this bike, I'll have some final photos!


Neil said...

I have a front light mounted in the manner you used on the rear, and it works well. Nice bike!

AH said...

Thanks for the tip! Yes, I already took apart the front light, and now have it mounted on the left low-rider mount... even there I'd a bit worried it will loosen -- but it's much more stable than on the rack!

Neil said...

I've had it mounted for a month now, and it's still OK. I can adjust it pretty easily as required (i.e. to see or be seen), and although the streets of Ottawa are pretty rough this spring, it hasn't moved on it's own yet.