Nah, that’s too much of a mouthful for me, thanks…and there’s others doing politics better than I could anyway. How about :
Pink Mixte Revisited :
It’s been a while, so what do I like about this refurbished and modified ex-ten-speed mixte ?
165mm cranks : These originals are rather good for basic swaged alloy cranks plus steel chain rings, and I was reading a while ago how shorter cranks can be more comfortable on a road bike ( i.e. leaning forward ) as your legs are not pushing on your chest ( or chin ! ) at the top of the stroke.
I think it’s true – motorcycle and car engines designed to rev freely tend to have a shorter stroke too. Any loss of leverage from the shorter crank can be offset with lower gearing. While this isn’t a fast bike it has made me think about using shorter cranks more often.
Hub Gears : The old Shimano “3s” is a good hub in my opinion. Note – this is not quite the same hub as the old “333″ model. The Shimano freewheel click doesn’t sound as nice as the Sturmey Archer AW, but it is a lot less clunky in operation and is easier to change gears without back pedalling. My tip for 3-speed gearing is to use an approximately 2:1 drive ratio, e.g. – 40T or 42T x 20T, as this gives a decent low gear while top is still high enough for this cruisey style of bike. Second is on the low side of neutral and handy for small inclines and headwinds. Some might prefer the original derailleurs, but the internal gears make for a more relaxed ride.
Dynamo Lighting : The Union bottle set works well, except that the low position of the headlight above the guard means that the beam is angled too high to be really useful. I prefer a dynohub, but these work fine, if a little noisier.
Moustache Bars : These are great, particularly with the reverse levers. You can sit up with your hands right back on the bars for cruising, or lean further forward and still reach the brakes with your little fingers. You can use the “hooks” for a further lean forward and slide hands back to brake. Very comfortable ! The originals were narrow steel randonneur style bars.
Micro-adjust alloy seat post : I much prefer these to the seat pin and clip style, but the range of diameters on old bikes is enormous, from 25.4 to 27.2 and beyond with 0.2mm steps, so the one you want is not always readily available. This one is 25.8, and 25.6 is common also. You need the exact diameter for these ( unless you want to try a frustrating shimming exercise – highly-not-recommended ! )
Sprung Saddle : Hi-tensile ( 1020 & 1021 ) steel frames like this one have a reputation for harshness in the ride. Better quality steels like Reynolds, Columbus, Tange etc. tend to have a “springiness” that gives a lively yet comfortable ride. A sprung saddle is a good antidote for hi-tensile, and the Brooks Flyer on this bike is a good match for the range of “moderate” ride position here – i.e. not too upright and not too much forward lean either.
The bike has a shortish wheelbase and turns well, but there is toe overlap on the V.O. guards, partly due to the extended stay bolt right where the toe crosses the guard on slow turns – ah, well. The Velo Orange hammered alloy guards are light and look great, but will damage fairly easily if the bike is knocked over. It’s not the lightest bike around either – it has steel rims and stem – but is still only moderately heavy.
The original pink paint is thankfully kind of tatty and slightly dull – and so far I haven’t copped any flack for riding a pink bike – maybe it’s the night riding…
Happy Person-who-rides-a-bikeling !