Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rollin' on 26", you know thats how I get my fix.

Transforming my mountain bike into a long distance touring machine has gone well thus far.  Here's what I've got:

 It's almost ready to go except for the tires and bottle cages.  I've ordered the tires already- 26" specialized 'armadillos'.  There have been reports of people riding across the country on them with no flats at all.. I like that.

I had to fabricate this special bracket that bolts onto my brake mount in order for my rear rack to clear my brake calipers.  This was the only real problem that I ran into with trying to carry gear on a mountain bike frame.

In-line barrel adjusters for brakes and shifters.  I found that fluctuations in temperature throw off shifting and braking ever so slightly, and these are nice for minor adjustments on the road.

The drop bars are Salsa Bell Laps.  With my body frame I should get 44 cm wide bars (I'm 6'1" and 160 lbs.) but that would be for racing- this is touring, so aerodynamics be damned!  The wider bars (46 cm) help to open up the lungs for more oxygen.

The shifters are bombproof Shimano SL-BS77's, the brake levers are Cane Creek Drop V's, and I put on a shorter stem for a minor correction in geometry, now I'm not as hunched over.  The handle bar tape is Bontrager double gel.

One of my bike shop buddies recently said to me "I can't believe you are going to ride a MOUNTAIN BIKE across the country! And with THOSE shocks!!"  Yes, I've decided to keep my huge front shocks even though they weigh a lot.. You never know when you will be riding along and hit something that makes you wish you had front suspension, like a huge pothole, or a cliff.


Martin Stiles said...

1. you're my hero for doing this trip
2. I'm gonna build me a bike like yours some day, cuz it's frickin' amazing

julie said...

yeah seems like the shocks would be heavy but your bike weighs about as much as a wet feather, soo maybe you could shave off some weight by cutting your toothbrush in half or cutting the tongues off of your shoes and leave them behind.

Ryan said...

yeah. Every ounce counts because calories cost money.. I'm a little slim on the frogskins for this trip as it is!