This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Byron's heart and soul -- the wheels

I ordered the wheels for Byron with a Shimano 105 front hub.  I think the 105 is a good "sweet spot" in the Shimano line, providing excellent performance at a reasonable price.  

The rims are Velocity Dyad which are a V shaped rim made a little wider than normal.  It is supposed to accomodate wider tires for touring and off-road abuse so it makes a good match for a city bike.

As I mentioned in an earlier post,  I ended up ordering 650b (584mm) rims for this bike so it would handle a tire wider than 28mm with fenders.  The other advantage I hadn't anticipated is strength.  When lacing the spokes on the Nuvinci hub, the manufacturer is specific in demanding that only a 2 cross pattern be used.  I am not a wheelbuilder (haven't the patience) so I didn't ask why.  But since I'm one of those larger cyclists whose best lean weight is 215 lbs, I am afraid that the 700c wheel would develop alignment problems tackling rough city streets day in and day out with only a 2 cross pattern.  Just something to think about.
    The 650b wheels also gave me a good excuse to try out the new Soma Express tires.  These are boasted to be specially durable, high performance city tires.    Labeled as 38-584 these only blow up to be about 34mm in width due to the reinforced sidewall casings.  They fit nicely inside a 45mm fender.

If the tread looks familiar, it should.  The tire is made by Panaracer for the Soma label.  For all intents and purposes, it is the Pasela TG so many have come to rely upon, with the stronger sidewalls I mentioned.

Since the only problem I have had with the normal Pasela TG was one "snakebite" blowout from a pothole,
I am looking forward to giving this tire some work.  They seem to roll as fast as the skinnier version with all the cush and comfyness of a 650b profile.

     One other Soma product I like on this bike is their inverse brake levers.   They fit in the Albatross handlebars, nearly any bar that accepts bar end shifters, and there is an adapter available to fit larger diameter bars.  They won't squeeze into MTB sized bars.   As you can see, the finish is first rate, the logo discreet and tasteful and they eliminate a lot of clutter on the handlebars.  Thanks to a very light return spring, the action is precise and very easy.  The only issue I had with them, and it's not the lever really, is that I couldn't anchor the cable under the grip on the right hand side.  If I had, it would be in the way constantly while using the twist grip.  It's not a functional or even a cosmetic issue for me, but I thought I would mention it.  Other than that, I am really pleased with the lever.   Coupled with the Tektro 556 sidepulls, I can practically stop the bike with my pinky fingers.
     Oops, getting late, time to take Byron out for a ride!

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