Sure, nobody except me will be proud of these, but…
- Today I cleaned Bluebell for the second time this year! And yes, it was raining at the time, she didn’t mind though. I even cleaned her chain with the fancy chain cleaning gizmo that I never bother to use, I can see why I never bother with the faffy thing.
- Today was only the second time I have bought anything cycling related this year (total spend on cycling this year is only £64)
I can definitely say that Bluebell is very low maintenance and cost, so long as you keep the Rohloff oil changes as they advise and also occasionally check oil levels to make sure you don’t run dry. The only semi-regular maintenance she needs is brake tweaks (as they wear), chain oil and eccentric bottom bracket tweaks (as the chain wears).
I sometimes dream of a super speedy road bike, but I know I’m too busy / lazy to maintain it, so I will keep Bluebell and not needlessly waste money on some fragile carbon money-pit.
Named after the dinosaur in Ice Age 3.
You will notice he is a crank forward style bicycle which makes you feel a bit gangster as you cruise along. Rudy is a RANS Fusion ST (step through), the RANS Cruz is very similar, but has curved tubing. Rather than the normal derailleur gears, he’s kitted out with a mint condition Rohloff Speedhub. I’ve written about my other Rohloff before, that one is old and well used, this one is barely used, newer (hence lower friction seals) and is a fancy red colour. I bought Rudy as a complete bike second hand (but barely used) and I made a couple of changes, but nothing massive.
Introductions over, let’s go through some of the issues he had.
Notice anything wrong here?
Yes, the blocks are on the wrong sides
But that is not all, notice anything here?
Yes, the pads were for different blocks and didn’t fit properly on one side. Closer inspection and the left and right are different, might be a manufacturer trying to prevent generic inserts being used as replacements
Anyway, I swapped them for a different set and all is well
Notice the bit of gaffer tape on the rim, I use that to toe-in my pads if I’m not feeling dexterous or i’m not having much luck at the time.
The second one shows Rudy is covered in road filth already – from the first test ride – mudguards are on the shopping list.
Next one, notice anything wrong?
Yes, apart from the colour of the pedal, it is on the wrong side, which leads to the pedals loosening as you ride and eventually falling off. Why’s that? Check this
Yep, they are a LHS crankset! Doh!
The fitted chain tensioner (required because of length of chain and no eccentric bottom bracket) was rubbish, fortunately I had a decent one i picked up second hand from eBay a while back, so I fitted that
It’s far better and meant I could fit a standard triple chainring and manually choose a chainring (should I want to)
Those are 152mm cranks so my midget wife can comfortably spin without hurting her knees.
All this of course meant I needed to extend the chain slightly
Can you spot the shiny new KMC X8 quick links joining it? I hope there will be enough chain remaining for the donor chain to fit Bluebell, hopefully nothing wasted. Worth mentioning, I like KMC chains, though the quick links are anything but unless you use a pair of pliers.
That’s it pretty much, a few other accessories fitted and I was cruising in style (or as close to it as I get).
I’ve since tweaked a few more things, snapped the mirror off, fitted a new one, etc. The wife took a quick test ride today and the summary of her thoughts:
- seat is comfortable
- both feet can touch the floor at once
- knees aren’t too high, so no knee strain
- gears change without fuss
- great gear range and very low bottom gear
- no pressure / strain on hands, wrists or shoulders
- it’s cool and different
- I didn’t feel as stupid as I thought I might
- I try not to think about how much it cost
Posted in Cycling
Tagged Avid, Bluebell, BottomBracket, Brakes, ChainTensioner, CrankArms, Cranks, Crankset, EccentricBottomBracket, FusionST, GafferTape, KMC, Mudguards, Pedals, QuickLinks, RANS, Rohloff, Rudy, SingleDigitSL, Suntour, V-brakes, X8