November 2011


The L’Eroica bike, continued.

The bike is now essentially complete and except for some minor adjustments it is good to go. I am quite pleased with the way it rides, it feels crisp and tight. It handles quickly but seems stable at higher speeds. Acceleration seems good even with the 28c tires. I’ve chosen a set of Ene Ciclo Gran Compe tires from Velo Orange, partly for their vintage look but also for their size and relatively light weight. They give a smooth ride even over rough pavement due to their size and lower inflation pressure. The Campy NR drive train works nicely but has limited gear range as you might expect from a 12 speed. I have never ridden with Modolo brakes before and these seem adequate if not great, but they will stop the bike. The Brooks B-17 saddle (in blue) is new and will take some time for it to break in. I have my own secret method of accelerating that process and in a couple of hundred miles it should be “well seasoned”.

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Forecast, 90% chance of rain, temps 40 to 44 degrees, let’s go for a ride!

Apparently about 60 or so other people thought it was a good idea as well. The ride started in Forest Grove Oregon, about 20 miles outside of Portland. The actual temp at the start was 38 degrees on my thermometer but who’s quibbling over a few degrees. It was generally a good group to ride with, there were a few newbies but also many PBP anciens. The pace was brisk but not over the top and I was able to stay with the “B group” for much of the early part of the ride. For this short distance there were few controls, 2 were manned and 2 were informational. I had ridden much of this route on previous rides and that time it was wet also. I wonder what it would be like to ride these roads on a warm sunny day?

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The L’Eroica bike, continued.

The Bianchi is nearing completion, most components are mounted and have been tested on the work stand. Shifting, brakes and alignment are are dialed in and should be good for a test ride. Of course some fine adjustments will be required later. I still need to find a set of tires that I like for the intended use. This bike will probably need at least a 28c tire to be suitable for use on gravel roads but I may have to test several tires before I get one that I like. Actual tire sizes can vary from the stated size but I would like to get the largest tire that will fit in the frame. That should give it best ride on the bianca strada (white roads) of Chianti. For testing purposes I have put on my SPD compatible pedals, but rest assured that the finished bike will have toe clips and be “period correct”, as required at L’Eroica. (more…)