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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nouvo Retro Trek, a real test drive.

   Sunday was such a nice day to take the Trek out for a nice little 25 mile spin.  I wanted to have a chance to put an hour or more in the saddle and see how the new handlebar height and freewheel felt for real.  I didn't try to make things difficult, but have a regular ride with a variety of hills to see how this Hyper glide freewheel actually performed.  I rode across town to the MUP that travels up through the Nature Center.  The hills are not that steep, but there is a variety of grades to encounter within a few miles.
When I reached the Nature Center I was surprised to see the trail as clear as it was. The trees being bare of leaves apparently helped the sun keep the snow and ice to a minimum.  Altogether there was a great time of moderate climbing with a couple of steep grades mixed in.  I had the opportunity to shift up and down several times from the 24 - 34 tooth cogs and was seriously impressed with the smoothness of the action over that huge leap.  I also liked the slower bailout gear which did just that, bailed me out without a triple crank.
Riding back through town, I had a chance to stop at the local coffee shop to take a break and visit with a couple others who were enjoying a late fall ride experience.    We had a good time chatting over bikes and coffee.  They had a few years experience and were looking for good charity rides to try the coming year.
We did have a good time chatting and exchanging information before heading on home.
On the way, I decided to "attack" a hill with this new gear ratio on the bike.
This is a  challenging   grade for nearly a mile.  I rolled up that in my lowest gear without any heavy breathing.
I just crawled right up like I was walking around the block.
The bike proved to be really comfortable and more pleasant to ride with two changes I made.  
I am now wondering about a new stem, a really wide ratio 9 speed cassette and maybe a true compact crank.
Sounds like a winter project coming up.


  1. I run my Rivendell AHH w/ a T.A. 46/30 crank and a wide range 10speed, rear 11-36. I use an indexed bar end for the rear & friction for the front. I don't use the bailout much but it is great to have when you need it. Also you rarely shift our of the big ring as it is. I would never use a triple again except on a loaded touring bike in the mountains.

  2. Thanks for the comment Brian. That is what occurred to me.
    VO is making a nice looking Polyvalent crank with 46-30 chainrings. I was looking at Shimano's 9 spd 11-36 cassette. It sounds like a great combination.


  3. This is the VO 50.8 crank as sold by Electra. I just bought a single speed version ($79.99) and will buy new rings from VO at some point in the future.

  4. I should have been more precise, sorry. Velo-Orange is producing a Polyvalent crank (
    which has 46x30 chainrings and a very nice chaingaurd included.