Monday, August 25, 2008

The Trucker

As I mentioned earlier, I've been riding my new(ish) Long Haul Trucker to work for the last few days. This is due to a flat rear tire on the Speedster and the fact that it is kind of a pain to flip it over to fix. I need to stop being lazy and buy/build a repair stand so I no longer have this problem, but that comes later. For now, I'll enjoy the fruits of a multi-bike stable (mixing metaphors, oh well).

It was when I mentioned riding the Trucker that I realized I had not actually made a post about the completed version of the bike, so here goes. Because I'm not overly geeky about the parts (and I didn't do much to spec the bike other than give generalities) I'm not going to go into great detail. Here are some highlights:
  • S and S couplers to make it possible to pack for travel - Since I built this as a touring bike and I had the frame clean of anything I figured getting the S&S retrofit was a good thing to do. Thanks much Bilenky Cycle Works for the beautiful installation.
  • Brooks B-17 - I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. Right on the bike it's been one of the most comfortable saddles I've had. Hard as wood, no doubt, but somehow not painful. This is significant for me given my tweaked left hamstring/sciatic nerve.
  • Bar-end shifting - When I was test-riding bikes to decide what I liked I found that I couldn't stand the wobbly feel of brifters. That, paired with the friction-shifting option and how much I like the bar-end shifting on my SuperCourse made this an easy choice.
  • Reelights - I had them left over from when I got the dynohub installed on the Speedster and figured I'd toss them on here just for laughs.
  • Campus pedals - I like the clipless/normal option with this bike, especially for touring.
I have noticed a few things which have reinforced the point a made a few days back, about the need to ride all the bikes in the stable regularly. Not only is it an important part of the proper "care and feeding" (as the Surly people say) but you need to be reminded of the eccentricities of each bike. I've had two small issues on the Trucker that would be easily avoided if I used it more often. The first is that I have been hitting the right (rear) shifter when I stand up to pedal - I'm just not used to where the lever is. The second is that I forgot why it was important to wear bike shorts (I'm talking about support here) while riding on the fat, upright seat of the Speedster.

Live and learn.

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