Monday, February 27, 2023

Gents Race: Bike Choice Part 1

My Twin Six Standard Rando v2
Believe it or not, but April isn't all that far away. In fact, April 1st I am tentatively scheduled to be in Slater, Iowa for the Gent's Race. 

I've got a LOT of getting ready to do before then, and part of that is getting settled on what bicycle I want to use down there. The choices I have are a blessing, and I understand I have a situation most do not have in terms of what I could go with. I mean, most people have a single choice. I have more than I can count on one hand. 

So, by no means is this a post that should be interpreted as being a "woe is me" type thing, or even a post where you should think I am complaining, or saying this is a problem in a negative sense. It isn't any of that. But the fact remains: I can but ride one bicycle for this event, so I have to make a choice. 

So, looking at it from that standpoint, I figured that since this event is run on a very flat course, and since it typicallis windy, that I can eliminate bikes like my Fargo Gen I, which has a more upright seated position, and that is not conducive to windy day riding. 

Out of all my gravel oriented bikes, three make the most sense here: The Noble Bikes GX5, my Raleigh Tamland Two, and my Twin Six Standard Rando v2. The BMC MCD could also be that bike, but it has a taller front end than the others, so I am eliminating that one for now. The Tamland Two is also on the back-burner for this go-round at the Gent's race simply because I've ridden that bike at that event several times already. I wanted to take down something a bit different this time. 

The head set issue was solved by using a taller spacer.

You may recall that earlier this week I had wanted to ride the T-6 but due to a swap of the handle bar, the head set was loose and I needed to solve that issue. Well, I solved the issue alright. But I thought that it might be interesting to some of you to understand just what was going on here. 

First of all, you may be thinking, "How can a handle bar swap affect the head set?" You'd be right- it doesn't affect the headset. But.....I changed the stem as well. Part of the point of swapping the bar out was to see if this Easton bar had any comfort features baked into the carbon lay-up. I was going to have a hard time figuring that out with that Redshift suspension stem I had on there. So, I swapped over to this Easton stem I had laying around. 

Now, that in itself shouldn't present an issue either, should it? Well, if everything stays the same dimensionally, it wouldn't have affected the head set adjustment, only it did, because the Easton stem had a shorter "stack height" than the Redshift one did. 

Not by much either, only a millimeter, maybe two. But that was enough to make it so that the head set would not adjust up snugly. A carbon steer tube must always  have a spacer above the stem to be safe. I had one on the Redshift stem, a 5mm one, but I ended up with this 10mm one to make it work with the Easton stem. The too-short spacer allowed the bottom of the head set cap to touch the end of the steer tube before the head set would adjust up. 

So, in brief, that's what I had to do. Anyway, the T-6 is ready to go and a brief test ride confirmed that the head set was good to go. 

Next: I'll talk about what the plusses and minuses of each bike would be for this event. 

Bonus Listening Material: A new podcast went up last week where I and N.Y. Roll interviewed Rob Versteegh, Kyle Sedore, and Bruce Reece of the Gents Race. You can listen to that HERE if you want, or search for the "Guitar Ted Podcast" wherever you get your podcasts from.

1 comment:

teamdarb said...

You are not alone. April 1, I am to be in PA to rando their 200k. The calender date is getting super close, and here I am still in Texas! Plus the added dimension of building up a new rig, Handsome XOXO, despite have 2 others in que. I have assembled the frameset in a number configurations. Recent, it was stripped down to run the latest 105 groupset, minus the disk brake hardware. Then while settin up a rare set of Dura Ace cantilever arms, it dawns on me the brake pads will not settle on the rims because they are disk brake rims. Ugh. So I did what any other sane person would do by disassembling a perfectly working bike for the correct components. In an effort to reduce stress, a bicycle case was purchased....just in case.