October 17, 2008

The SnowBeast roars to life!

...and that gives me time to get the SnowBeast up and running. 
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.....

1 comment:

Chris said...

You on the beast and me on the 29'er - I think some belgium ale after the ride... YUM!