The Old Switcheroo

If the Zombie Apocalypse were upon us and I had to flee for my life on one bicycle it would be a difficult to choose, though ultimately I’d probably narrow it down to either the Jones LWB:

Which can go pretty much anywhere:

Or the Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen, which doesn’t have the off-road capability of the Jones, but does have the all-day comfort necessary to seek a suitable fertile valley in which restart civilization:

In the end, I think maybe I’d go with the Rivendell for the following reasons:

  • In the event of mechanical failure, it would probably be able to scavenge replacement parts for the Rivendell from garages, bike racks, etc. since it uses more traditional and therefore common components
  • Narrower tires work better with inner tubes than great big fat ones, meaning I wouldn’t have to figure out how to make my own tire sealant
  • The superior aesthetics might be of comfort when I’m crying myself to sleep at night, and could help inspire the next generation by teaching them that humanity was once capable of great beauty

I mean I’d hate to meet my demise because I couldn’t find a replacement crank with Boost spacing.

Then again I guess I could also die because I couldn’t find a 650B tire, and I wouldn’t want to have to travel all the way to Portland, OR in order to keep my survival bike rolling. Everybody knows Portlanders are hoarding 650B tires for exactly this reason (rumor has it the 650B Tire Silo is guarded by Antifa) and I’m prepared to kill or be killed if it comes to that. Or, if the Tire Silo proves to be a myth, I guess I’ll have to go after Jan Heine…

Speaking of the Rivendell, this morning tragedy struck when I deployed the kickstand on uneven ground while taking a leak and it fell over:

The incident required me to perform a minor adjustment on the position of my right brake lever…and yes, in the Zombie Apocalypse, I’ll almost certainly be eviscerated by the undead while fussing with the position of my brake lever before I even get to storm the Tire Silo with my ragtag band of Rivendell and Velo Orange riders or engage in hand-to-hand combat with Jan Heine.

Speaking of using tools, my son had track class today, but in the short time since Paul from Classic Cycle sent the Frejus my son’s feet have grown like three sizes. The result was that he could no longer complete a rotation of the crank without his foot hitting the crankarm, so this morning I swapped the tiny pedals for the ones from the Fiorelli:

In turn, I gave the Fiorelli a pair of modern clipless road pedals for the next time I decide to take it for some lazy victory laps around the velodrome, whenever that is:

I realize this totally blows the whole period-correct vibe, but then again so does my smartwatch, so there you go.

Also, whoever built the wheels for the Frejus half a century ago totally laced the wheels so that the parallel spokes are one pair away from the valve hole:

See, the valve hole’s supposed to be in between the parallel spokes so they don’t interfere with the pump head, though in practice it really doesn’t cause any problems apart from keeping me awake at night.

Then, while I was at it, I also swapped the crank on my Artisanal Singlespeed:

Having stolen the original XT crank from this bike for my Platypus, I’d replaced it with a Race Face unit I’d retired due to loosening. I hoped maybe the loosening was a fluke, but it seemed to be loosening again, which I attribute to this questionable drive-side spline interface situation:

According to thE EXpERtS oN thE INteRNet, this is a known problem with this design. I’m generally inclined to ignore Internet experts (mostly because, as one myself, I know they’re full of shit), but hey, whaddya know, in this case they were right.

Anyway, this compelled me to dig even deeper into my parts bin, from which I extracted the original crank from the Marin Pine Mountain I no longer have:

It’s not a fancy name-brand crank, but it uses the Shimano pinch-bolt design so hopefully it does the trick.

At this rate, by the time the Zombie Apocalypse hits, I’ll be out of spare parts…

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