Monday, March 2, 2015

starting to look like a bike

I've put on the handlebars and downtube shifters. Except for the modern vee-brakes, this bike is fairly old school. (And don't you love that Nitto 115 handlebar? It seems like a shame to wrap it.)

In other news, I was having a devil of a time with the wheels and tires; I could not get the tires on... and I have tire levers the size of butterknives. One of my riding friends, Snakehead Ed, swears by the Stan's No Tubes system, so I started to do a little research on that. There was a discussion of the relative sizes of rim strips, which gave me an idea. I always use the Velox rim strips. They're old-school reliable (and the were WAY better than the rim strips on the Vuelta wheels I used to use), but they're bulky and inflexible. I stopped in at Kim's Bikes today with my plaint, and Mrs. Kim suggested the Specialized strips. They're very tight -- it took me a while to figure a way to get 'em on -- but they're much slimmer and more pliable, and they did the trick. I can now get the tires on & off by hand.

(I think what happens is the bulky rim strips force the tire bead into the channel, instead of allowing the bead to flex inside the wheel. With the newer strips, if the tire starts to bind, I can pinch the beads together so they come out of the channel, and the tire goes on.)

It's too soon to tell, but the Specialized strips may become a Thing that Works. (OTOH, a cursory web search suggests that they're not readily available outside the UK... so maybe not.)

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