I think I should quit qhile I'm ahead, honestly -- this will be a good bus-stop getter, but not much else. I've got it fixed up, and it works ---- but the chain tension leaves a little to be desired. Man, vertical dropouts SUCK. Without investing in a half-link and/or a new chainring, this is as good as it's gonna get -- and it's got about, oh... maybe an inch and a 1/4 of slop in it... BARELY enough for me to, if I REALLY try, get the chain to come off the front chainring. Would this ever happen during real riding... I really don't think so. But, it's just not as confidence inspiring as with track-ends where you can just yank everything taut and slam the track-nuts home. I wanted to be able to bounce a quarter off the chain, but instead its got a little sag to it. I test rode it, still brakeless, and it really works fine, even during a trackstand the slop isn't too evident. I even whipped out the Dremel and some aggressive metal working bits, and milled some of the dropout surface out to allow the axle to come backwards just a titch more, and it helped -- but that metal is pretty tough stuff. Trying to file down investment cast steel ain't easy - and for a beater, that's about all the elbow grease I think I want to put into her. After all, as I'm working the steel, the vibrations are producing a LOT of "rust-dust" from the chainstay vent holes. I mean, a LOT. I wonder if this thing will even make it through ONE winter, seriously. More salt and moisture, man I don't know how much metal is left in there. It's a real shame, because it feels FAN-tastic on the road. I'm also pretty darn happy with my rear wheel rebuild -- my self-confidence has improved with regards to wheel-building, as its nice and true after its maiden voyage and some light pounding. But, I have a feeling I'll be saving up some cash next season. Fixed gear on the road is fun, the Steamroller I used to have -- well, I do miss her. But, this really short gear, the knobbies, the way it responds to input, the way the short gear doesn't really require brakes - but is only good for about 12 MPH at normal cruising RPM....I'm beginning to see a strong notion for some off-road fixxie activity. A Surly 1x1 sounds REAL nice right about now. With all the rust evidence, and the hoaky dropouts - well, I'll ride her hard this winter, and then start shopping for a replacement in the spring - something new, that I can apply good coatings of Frame Saver to, something to put some decent parts onto. Heck, for what I'll be doing, I can just swap everything off this bike and onto the new frame, with the exception of a pre-built 135mm Surly-hubbed wheel, that is. Tasty.
For now, this Dude is ready for some winter bus-stop runs. Pub runs, short errands. Some Shawnee Mission Park single-track jaunts... Hmmmmm.....
You on the beast and me on the 29'er - I think some belgium ale after the ride... YUM!
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