Friday, April 23, 2010

Starting to Play Catch-Up

My mountain bike has been purple for some time now. I absolutely love it too. Not only was the Japanese water-based spray paint amazing to work with, along with the purple paint came a few other upgrades as well. I have always wanted to upgrade to disc brakes on my bike, but I realized a while back that I would need to get a new fork to do so (mine had no caliper mounting tabs). So I 'delt with it and just kept using the stock brakes until they were warping and not holding up to the pressure any more (literally, the brake arms flexed under pressure). Truly tired of my mushy brakes I started to look for something new and I came across Cane Creek.

They had created a 'Direct Curve' line of rim brakes. As you can see in the picture to the right, the arms are of unequal length. Minus the science behind it, it makes them a pain to adjust but provides you with awesome stopping power from both this design and the Kool Stop brake pads that are supplied in the kit.
Now while we're in the drive-train area, I also decided to turn this beast into a 1x9 ("one-by-nine"). There were a couple of reasons for this, one: I normally only use on chain ring in the front anyway, and two: I broke my front shifter and didn't want to spend the money on buying a new one. Before painting I played around with this configuration and had trouble with the chain coming off the front. Obviously annoyed at this, I sat down and figured out a way to guide the chain onto the teeth. Looking at the derailer I realized that it was a great shape for the job. If you look at the picture above you'll see this plexiglass thing up by my crank, it is the final result of all my tinkering. Of course a few days latter I was poking around on the internet and found that my idea was not all that original, but I did save about $40 over the commercial product.
Next thing was to go for a new rear shifter. The bike came with SRAM twist grip shifters, some of the near first generation too, they were huge, most of the entire grip. So of course I wanted to get a trigger shifter, well they're expensive. Found this Shimano one on sale, does everything I need it to do; I didn't really like that it was one piece with the brake lever, but you take what you can get, and now my brake levers don't match. On the left you can see it mounted nicely on my new answer bar next to the new WTB grips.
Now for those of you that don't know, the gap between the shifter/brake and the grip is there for a reason, I have reasonably large hands and you want to space your levers in accordance with your reach, they are were I find them comfortable (even though it looks odd to me too). On the right is a tight macro shot of the new rear derailer that had to come because nothing that I could find on-line would work with my old SRAM one, so now both bikes have Shimano parts.

That's the basic overview of the bike being completed, I have kept my old yellow Nashbar pedals. I just re-greased them, these things are champs! Almost seems impossible to kill them (I've had them longer than the bike!).
(I'd still like to get some eggbeaters though.)

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