|Before and after.|
After five months of trying the mustache bars on the Ross, I simply could not put up with the awkward brake lever position any longer. So, because of fall's chill, I retired to the basement with stand up pump, work stand, and tools.
I took my time, removing leather grips once again (ugh), dismantling thumb shifters, gingerly loosening the brake levers. Since I wanted to flip the bars, thus creating comfortable gripping like my Miyata, it would lower my reach considerably. I was afraid it would be too much. I posed the question at a local bike shop, regarding a taller stem. They had one and even though it was ugly, it had it's benefits: adjustable and a two piece clamp which would relieve the difficulty of snaking and levering the curved bar into place. I considered that a big bonus. Unfortunately, the stem diameter was too large. I didn't find out this until I'd brought it home, of course. Lesson learned: even if you take the bike to the store, it doesn't insure you get a correctly fitting product. The customer should ask the right questions.
I went back to the current green beauty, raising it to maximum height. The front brake cable was a casualty of all this reworking: it frayed beyond reuse. Luckily, I had an extra in a parts box. The Hub doesn't throw anything out—good thing I now feel pretty comfortable stringing cables. As you can see in the photo, cantilever hanger height must be spot-on to clear the rack support plus the stem's lock ring. It requires patient adjustment. I got it pretty close and ended up reversing the hanger. It keeps the screw just far enough away from the stem, alleviating further fine tuning. I can't see where it'll function less effectively.
black boots. Okay boy, pet pet pet. What soft fur you have. Who's a good little bunny? Scratch, scratch. Now, run along please...
Back to the project. Notice anything new? Yes, those are spanking white wall tires. There was enough wear on the rubber to finally make a change. About time too. You see, it's bugged me that every accessory is black: both racks, fenders, seat, hand grips, bottle cage. Add this to the black frame and the Ross turned into this ugly—in my opinion—utilitarian thing.
I wanted gumwall tires. It's what originally came on the 80s mountain bikes. Despite the prevalence of all black rubber in the past 20 years—which I've always disliked—I've discovered there is more selection now, even all-colored tires, which I'm attracted to. Think Schwalbe Fat Franks in cream, Fyxation's lime and pink sweeties, or Rubena City Hoppers. Anything to offset the black.
|Our stand up pump doesn't register psi for Schrader valves. Leery |
of over inflation, I used my grandpa's old gauge
She is pretty isn't she? I can't get over what clean lines she has. The fenders blend in with the tire, rendering them practically non-existent.
I know, I know, but how do the new tires work?
I still love the chain ring style on this bike. (Just thought I'd throw that in there too.)
I will need to tweak the brakes and shifters a bit, but overall the handlebars are more comfortable. My back hurt more than usual later that night, so I'll revisit the angle of the bar, and maybe, eventually, the stem height. But that's down the road, so-to-speak. It will take time, as before, to see what works over the long haul.
The pièce de résistance came when later I hefted the bike onto a bus rack. Factoring in the lack of front bag, the tires are significantly lighter than knobbies. That made my day.