Shift Change

We were battered by wind and rain overnight and I shrewdly headed out for a ride early this morning to catch the tail end of the crappy weather:

I would have preferred to wait for the sun of course, but I had too much to do and I was eager to try out the latest round of improvements I made to the Eye of the Tiger Bike yesterday evening:

Specifically, I had received a variety of shifty bits from Rivendell. Ever since going to a wider cassette, I’d found that the original Suntour shifter had just barely enough throw to cover it, and would occasionally pop out of gear at maximum cable tension. So I gave the bike a Silver2 shifter and problem solved:

It is a testament to my frugality that I managed to not only preserve the bar tape but also the cable housing and the cable itself. Furthermore, it is a testament to my laziness that after installing the rear shifter I realized there was no point in replacing the front, which was working just fine, and so I left it:

Not only does the Silver shifter now cover the entire cassette with ease, but it also has a fine ratcheting action that makes it feel like more a precision instrument than a dimmer switch. (The original rear shifter didn’t ratchet when in friction mode, but the front does, which is another reason I didn’t bother to replace it.) So in conjunction with the XTR RapidRise derailleur I’ve now got the most refined retrogrouchical shifting system currently available:

And that’s not all! Merry Sales noticed my new pedals didn’t quite match the bike:

And so they took pity on me and sent a pair that are a lot closer to the mark:

Here’s the bike with the old new pedal on the left and the new new pedal on the right:

I’d say the old pedal was a 65% match, while the new one is about an 80%.

Colors aside, if you’re a fan of inexpensive plastic pedals and are wondering which ones to choose, after one (1) ride on each pair my impression is that they’re quite similar but the IRD is just a little bit nicer. Most notably, I could sort of feel the spindle section on the old new pedals, but I don’t notice it on the new new ones. To be clear, this wasn’t a problem on the old new ones, and they gripped quite well. (Unlike the Crankbrothers Stamp 1 pedals, which require pin replacement for acceptable grip.) In fact, if the current pedals hadn’t fallen into my lap (figuratively speaking; never let a pedal fall into your lap, especially if it has sharp pins, and especially if you’re not wearing pants) I’d never have sought replacements. But having handled both I’d say the IRD has the edge, especially since they’re so close in price. (And obviously if you’re trying to get matchy-matchy with a vintage RockCombo they’re a no-brainer.)

So while there may be plenty of obstacles out there:

The equipment on this bike is certainly not one of them, and while a bike is never “finished,” this one is no longer wanting for anything at this particular juncture.

Now on to the next one…

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