Welcome! You are visitor
to my cycling pages since the afternoon of 6/30/06.
My rides page has some maps and descriptions of my favorite rides.
My pictures page with some cool pictures of various types that are related to bicycling, which I've come across in my explorations of the WWW.
My bike stable, with pictures of each of my current bikes.
At the bottom of this page are a few pictures of my Fuji Touring, which I bought in September of 2003, and spent a couple of months setting up to match my style of riding.
- The stock bike comes with the rack, eyelets for fender mounting and mounts for a front rack.
- I swapped the original tires (622x32 Ritchey Tom Slicks) for some Conti T-1000's in 622x25mm, which improved both the ride and the rolling resistance.
- I swapped the OEM saddle for the Specialized Body Geometry saddle which I had on my old bike (don't recall the exact model, though). The original saddle wasn't bad, but was just a little narrow for my sit bones.
- When I ordered the bike, I had the shop install Shimano PD-M324 pedals, which are SPD on one side, and standard platform on the other side, which let me use my old toe clips and straps for now, until I get around to buying regular cycling shoes, and I can switch without buying new pedals. The OEM pedals are clips/straps only.
Then I started adding stuff:
- Profile Design Air Stryke aero bars from the LBS' clearance basket.
- Cat-eye front light mounted on the end of the aero bar.
- Bell rear blinkie.
- Some generic black fenders from the LBS where I bought the bike.
- Flat black water bottle holder from a different LBS on the down tube.
- A Specialized SpeedZone Pro computer, and a homemade mount to put the computer between the arms of the aero bar.
- A mini pump mounted to the water bottle mounts on the seat tube.
- A medium-sized wedgie seat bag for tools and a spare tube.
- A bar-end mounted mirror.
- A big amber reflector on the back of the rack.
- Reflective tape on the crank arms (I'm also going to put the reflective tape on the wheel disks).
- As an experiment, some homemade disk wheel covers (see below).
- And a kick stand to hold it all up.
It's my only bike which really fits me, so it has to do all the jobs: riding to the store for milk (hence the rack), riding for exercise, riding for enjoyment, and running the local citizen's races (hence the aero bars and disk wheel covers).
Update 2/15/04: Since the above was written, I've made three more mods:
- I replaced the original 11-32 SRAM cassette with an 11-23 Ultegra. The idea is to get closer gears for the races. I've found that the 30x23 gear ratio this gives me is plenty low for any of the hills around me unless I'm totally exhausted, or carrying big loads. If I ever do some major climbing (like the Mt. Washington Hill Climb, etc) or heavy loaded touring, I'll put the 11-32 back on, but for my normal riding around here, the 11-23 is plenty.
- I replaced the saddle again, this time with a Specialized BG2 Sport. It's slightly narrower than the previous one (which I didn't want), and has a cutout in the middle instead of at the rear (which I did want), and a groove which runs the entire length of the saddle. It's about the same comfort-wise when I'm sitting up, but is much better when I'm down on the drops or the aero bars.
- A second water bottle holder on the seat tube.
Update 3/12/04: After getting my first on-the-road flat, which required me to pump up my spare tube with the mini pump, I decided that the pump was inadequate for the job. I was only able to get the tire up to about 60 psi, and it's rated for a minimum of 90. I normally ride it at 120 psi. So on the recommendation of my LBS, I got a new Zefal HPx frame pump. It's bigger and heavier to carry, but it was able to pump the tire up to 90 psi with no problems. I stick it under the tube; it's spring loaded, and fits between the head tube and the seat tube. The mini pump would be fine for a MTB, though, since it moves quite a bit of air.
Update 2/18/05: After another year of riding, totaling over 3000 miles, I've made a few more adjustments to my set up, but nothing dramatic:
- I've changed out saddles several more times, and right now I'm using a Trico Split-rail saddle, which has an adjustable width and a large hole in the middle to keep the pressure off soft tissues. It's comfortable once I got used to the firm padding but pretty heavy, so when I'm racing it, I put on my Koobi Au Enduro, which is nearly as comfortable, but a lot lighter.
- As I rode more miles and particularly longer rides, I discovered that the 30x23 low gear isn't quite low enough for some tough hills near the end of a long ride, so I messed with the chainrings. I now use a 50-40-26 set up, and the 26x23 low gear is low enough for anything I've ever encountered in RI, which ranges up to about 16% for short pitches. In hindsight, I should have gone with a 12-25 cassette instead of the 11-23. Then I wouldn't have had to change the chainrings and it would have saved me some money; the only advantage of the 11-23 is that on flatter rides, I have some nice close gear spacings so I can always find a good gear to ride in.
- I like the Conti Sport-1000's, but have gone to a 28 on the rear so I run a bit lower pressure and get a softer ride during the summer. In the winter I put the factory Ritchey 32's back on to give me a bit more flat resistance and better control on poor surfaces (leaves, sand, etc). If I enter a race I have a pair of Conti GP-3000's in 23mm, which pump up to 160 psi to give me the lowest possible rolling resistance and better aerodynamics.
- While I was doing the chainrings, I also changed out the crank arms for some 170mm ones to replace the original 175's. That helped my knees significantly.
- I picked up a used pair of road shoes from eBay and put on some SPD cleats. What a difference compared to the clips and straps with sneakers I was using before!
Update 6/30/06: More adjustments and miscellaneous notes:
- I'm still using the Trico Split-rail saddle, but have put a gel pad on top of it. The padding was just too firm for my sit-bones to adapt to, and the gel pad spreads out the pressure just enough. Now I can spend several hours in the saddle with no trouble at all.
- The CatEye headlight just wasn't cutting it for riding fast at night, so I bought a NightHawk 10W halogen headlight with a SLA water-bottle battery. Much better!!
- The Zefal pump was stolen at at club ride, and I replaced it with a Topeak Road Morph, which has a hose, a flip-down foot brace, a T-handle and a gauge, all of which make it much easier to get my tires up to 110 PSI where I like to keep them without putting extra stress on the valve stem. The Zefal would do it, but the Topeak does it easier.
- A friend gave me a Cannondale frame which he said was too stiff for him, and I've turned that into my "race" bike using parts I had laying around, plus a few E-Bay pickups. So I'm now leaving my tourer set up more for commuting and touring, and don't race it any more. That means:
- The 12-25 cassette I put on for the winter will stay on all the time now.
- I keep puncture-resistant tires on it. Right now I have Conti Ultra Gatorskins.
- I leave the rack on the back, and switch the trunk with the seasons: a larger one in cold weather, and a smaller one for the summer.
- I decided the kick-stand was doing more harm to my paint than it was helping, so I don't have it on any more.
- I'll post more about the C-dale later on.
This is an overall view, taken before heading out for a ride which ended up being about 1.1km short of a metric century in mid-November of 2003.
These are the wheel covers I whipped up out of a 2' by 4' piece of laminating material from Home Depot. Cutting them to an outer diameter of exactly 24" lets the disks rest on the aero-section rims (Alex Rims X-2100) just below the braking surfaces, giving an almost perfectly even surface from the tire, over the rims, and all the way across the disks. I believe this gives me better aero characteristics than any commercial wheel cover I've seen. Not that it matters with all the other stuff hanging off the bike ;-). The disks are held on with small zip ties which makes it something of a pain to put them on, but quite easy to remove them. The joint is covered with white duct tape, and the valve cutout was sized specifically to let me get either of my pumps (floor or mini) on the valve. By the way, these are just an experiment to see how they would work; they don't stay on permanently, and may not even ever go back on.
This one shows my homemade computer mount; just a wooden dowel with the ends filed into concave cylindrical shapes, and holes drilled near each end to allow attachment with zip ties.
A view from the front:
A view from the rear:
Thanks to Rick Onanian for the pictures!
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