Shop monkery

Winter here in the American Midwest has been kinda come-and-go.  More like Spring until the middle of January, not too much snow, and still quite a few days above freezing in the afternoon. Makes for mild riding conditions, unless it’s freezing rain or some other kind of miserable shit. It also makes for slushy ice conditions on the lakes–and what’s more dangerous, overflow.

But it also doesn’t seem too much like winter. Combine that with a real effort to get something of an off-season this year–which for me means just commuting and going for the occasional low-geared spin–and I’ve suddenly got rather a lot of cycling time on my hands, but not a lot of cycling to do.

That makes it a good time to give some attention to some winter projects. Here’s what I’ve got going–and what I did over the weekend, in dribs and drabs.

  • Trek Clyde (winter bike). Besides its weekly cleaning, it needed a new front fender as the old (10+ years) SKS fender had finally cracked past the point of gluing it back together again. Also mounted a double-kickstand to make the loading easier.
  • Trek 613. In progress build as a semi-relaxed, rando-ish single-speed.  Besides re-lubing the headset and doing a little frame prep (cleaning, framesaver), it’s now shod (Surly fixed/ss + royal blue Velocity Aeroheads + Jack Brown Blues), and wearing a VO seatpost and Brooks B-17. Will need to buy a BB and fenders; the parts bins have the rest.
  • Raleigh One-Way. In progress rebuild of my latest commuter hack. Torn down and discarded hatched BB, worn drivetrain, and put the too-long 175mm crankset in the donation bin. Will get a new drivetrain and brake pads from the parts bin.
  • Handsome Devil. Waiting to go to the shop for frame prep (headset, BB, frame-saver) and headset installation. Then home for building as randonneur/light tourer. Geared, probably.
  • Serotta Colorado TG. Waiting for parts from the Salsa La Raza. Will get everything but the headset, carbon fork, and seatpost.
  • Surly Karate Monkey. Since it’s still wearing a good deal of its filth from our ride to the CX Nats a few weeks ago, I’ve started pulling off bits to give it a complete, end-to-end cleaning. While I’m at it, it will get a smaller chainring and perhaps a different set of handlebars (Salsa Woodchippers) to test before the spring gravel races.
  • Soma ES. Very little to do here, other than get the decaleur and front rack mounted so that I can use my Acorn Boxy Rando bag. And perhaps a bit of cleaning.

My goal is to have everything back together and running smoothly (more or less) before the middle of March.

(I’m sure that when my wife reads that, she’ll just snicker…)

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