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The Bike Stand

July 17, 2011
by Erin B

For our anniversary this year T bought me a bicycle repair stand.  He picked it out all by himself, without any hints, or notes, or me dragging him to the store and saying BUY THIS!  It is perfect.  It is just what I needed to be able to move forward on any of the bike projects.  It would have made changing C’s handlebars SO much easier.  I will enjoy it.  I would not have bought it for myself.  It really is the perfect gift.

Which is why I am very ashamed that my first split second thought when I saw is was “oh f*ck, this is going to completely wreck our already damaged budget.”  I would not have spent that much money on myself.  Since we have pooled resources, as chief bean counter, I will have to find a way to make it work.  And I will.  It is a wonderful gift and I am delighted that my husband thinks I am worth spending that kind of money on.

So, today I dug it out and put it to work.  I installed a set of Powergrips on Nicolas, since his pedals are really slippery in the tiniest bit of damp weather.  In the rain, they become completely unusable.  Claire needed new brake pads.  I would have loved to get her Koolstops, but (as previously mentioned) there isn’t a local supplier.

It worked wonderfully.

The ride into work with the new Powergrips was a little … exciting.  It took me a while to get the hang of getting my feet into the strap properly.  I didn’t fall down, but I was going very slowly.  After work, I took the pretty way home and put the hammer down to really try them out.

Which is where I discovered I have pedal strike.  I didn’t fall down.  It certainly explains why my feet would randomly fly off the pedals.  I’m fine on the straight away, but if I lean into the turn, my down pedal contacts the pavement.  When I’m stopped, it doesn’t LOOK like I have a problem, but that’s because the kickstand is cheating it.  A little investigation quickly showed why.

The crankset on that bike is 185mm long.

No, really.

I know the bike savvy out there are gasping right now, but for the rest of you loyal readers here is the more detailed explanation.  Bike crank arm length is measure in mm.  That the distance from the bottom bracket (BB) or the axis the crank arms turn around to the pedal.  Standard on a adult bike is 170mm.  185 is about as long as they go.  On a petite sized bike like Nicolas, 165 is a distinct possibility.  In fact when I first quickly read the length stamp on the crankset (when I bought him) I thought I read 165.  It turns out that was just a little road grime covering up part of the 8.  That means that as I pedal, my foot is almost an inch closer to the pavement than I would have guessed.

So, once again Nicolas’s makers took a small frame and crammed on the over sized components.

I can still ride him as is, if I go slowly around the turns and turn by turning the handlebars instead of the much more efficient lean method where the change in the riders center of gravity makes the bike turn.

Poor Nicolas has been sent to the bicycle hanger in the garage until spring.  I need to pick out (and save up for) a new crankset.  And I need to learn about how gearing tables work and how many teeth I will want on the crank when he is a 650b wheel sized bike.  While I’m taking that part apart, I really should get a chain guard and a new derailleur since the current one was smashed in my crash and the bend it back into approximate position fix is… very temporary.

It was a good ride and I will take him out again,  I will just make sure I don’t have kids along and that I have a cell for emergencies or tarmac diet.


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