Tuesday, May 21, 2024

No-Coast Plans

I put studded tires on in January that never needed to be used.
I have a rule of sorts around here. If I have a bicycle that isn't getting in the rotation for use, I need to change something so it will get used, or it goes away. I have two bicycles at the moment that are in this stage with me. The old Salsa Cycles Mukluk that I dubbed "Snow Dog" and this Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross that I call "Orange Crush". 

The old BMC hasn't seen much use over the past few years since I pretty much retired it from gravel grinding. It has a few things going against it that just make it hard for me to use anymore when better choices exist right in front of me here. For example, this Monstercross is one of the original run of frames Mike Varley did back in 2011. It has a 65mm bottom bracket drop, which, when I got the bike is what you had to put up with to ride gravel. 

As it turned out, I found that bottom bracket height to be untenable for myself on loose gravel. The stability of a lower bottom bracket is a real thing, in my opinion, and helps me - at least- to plant the bike on those high speed, sketchy descents and in corners. So, that alone makes this bike a hard sell for me in 2024. 

But there are other quirks to this bike that make it kind of an outlier in today's Guitar Ted stable of bikes. Quick release wheels being one of those things. I actually have two wheel sets specifically for this bike alone. One I set up with studded tires and with that massive amount of snow we had last January I figured that with the way things melt around here studs would be king. Well, after one week of warmer temps and wholesale melting of snow, the studs never needed to leave the confines of Guitar Ted Headquarters. They were useless.

I know this isn't a fixed gear cog, but you get the idea.

Recently we had a fixed gear bike donated to the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective. Now, fixed gear is a term many here don't even know. Of course, riding fixed gear is practically unheard of around these parts unless you are one of a handful of individuals that are fans of the no-coast biking experience. 

So, when I looked at this I thought that we'd have a very difficult time finding a home for this Reline 925 unless it was a coaster. So, I removed the fixed/fixed wheel and its matching front and subbed in a converted freewheel rear and matching front wheel to make the bike at least somewhat desirable to the locals here. I mean, it still is a single speed, which is another hurdle to overcome with the populace, but at least you can coast on it now!

So, that solved the Collective's problem with that bike, but now we had this wheel set. Hmm.... Maybe I should buy it, put it on the BMC, and have a dedicated urban fixie bike again. See, I disassembled my old Raleigh Grand Prix fixie "rat-rod" bike a year or so ago, and have been without a fixed gear bike since then. 

Saturday I rode the Orange Crush down to the Collective and test fit the wheels. They are spaced at 120/100, but the rear axle is long enough that with ten millimeters of spacers and room enough for axle nuts, I can make it work. The chainline seems spot on. So......

While I haven't pulled the trigger on this set up, I think I am going to. Otherwise the BMC is going to get decommissioned and I would likely just tear it down to frame and fork. We will see soon enough what happens. Meanwhile I have an old Mukluk problem as well. 

Stay tuned....

1 comment:

Exhausted_Auk said...

Good luck with the fixie wheels. With 20/24 spokes F/R, they were built for someone a bit smaller than you! Personally, I really like riding fixed, and I've had one in the fleet going back to my college student days.