Stopping the Xtracyle

Angie was kind enough to give me some Christmas money that was dictated as "bike only" use. To be honest, there wasn't a whole lot of stuff that I felt like I needed in the realm of "fun" spending. But this was the perfect opportunity to give the Xtracycle some much, much needed love in the realm of "stopping." After a couple years of using some crappy generic brakes to stop the beastly machine, I finally bought some nicer v-brakes and levers.

The old v-brakes weren't just generic and crappy. They were completely rusted and corroded throughout. I didn't get any photos of the old levers, but, man, they were rough. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I put them on there. They were some junky Shimano levers that were half plastic. I have nicer levers in my parts bin, but somehow overlooked them when I built this bike.
It took about 20 minutes to re-run cables and get everything adjusted. It was so nice. This thing finally stops the way I want it to. That's a nice feature when you're hauling over 100 lbs. of cargo... or your children :)

While I had it on the work stand, I also took the opportunity to take some slack out of the chain. When I originally installed the IGH, I wanted to leave the ability to shift in the front so I could experiment with gear ratios. After realizing I only needed the middle chainring, I took the front shifter off long ago.
I had never taken the time to take out the extra chain, though. This will eliminate all the slapping that the chain does. It feels a lot tighter now. This will certainly help.
I also noticed that I never took off the front derailleur. It's funny how you can overlook this stuff and not even realize it. But after intentionally looking it all over, I've ditched an unnecessary derailleur, some chain links and a terrible brake system. It feels like a whole new bike!

Get out there.

1 comment:

  1. "...feels like a whole new bike!"

    Yep. It's amazing what a few upgrades/repairs/fine tuning steps can do. I know the feeling. Enjoy...