Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy New Bike Day!

Today I was able to pick up my anticipated package from Bikeworks NYC, my 58 cm, olive green, Surly Long Haul Trucker. I immediately headed out to Harold's shop to complete assembly on the winter beater as well as set up the LHT.

The winter beater went together nicely. I reassembled all the old parts as well as added a chromoly fork, a new back wheel, a new set of Deore linear pull brakes in the front, a set of lock on grips, and my new shifters and levers previously mentioned. The derailleur hanger was bent bad, but after fixing that the thing shifted like a charm. I added a bar-end mirror and the tiresparx valve cover lights once I got home. All she needs now is some derailleur adjusting and studded tires and she is ready for the winter!

The LHT on the other hand did not go so smoothly. The package was missing the star-nut and cap that holds the bar down onto the fork, and bar tape.

There were some small nicks (not through the paint though) on the seat tube, above the top tube, and one of the brake pads was badly bent.

All of that is not such a big deal, but a pain none the less. However this last thing is the kicker. We began doing the rear derailleur adjustment, setting the bottom stop and the top stop, then began the cable adjustment to make shifting smooth. After we were okay in the bottom gears we moved up and began adjusting again. But after a few rounds of this we noticed a problem. When the cable was adjusted properly in the higher gears, it was skipping in the lower gears, and when it was adjusted properly in the lower gears it was skipping in the higher ones! Harold then started thinking about possible problems. We checked the distance between the two axle mounts and it was perfect. We then checked the derailleur hanger to see if it was bent with the proper adjustment tools, which was off a little bit, but not enough to be causing the problem and that was corrected. Putting the derailleur back on and trying the adjustment again proved to have the problem repeat. Our only ideas then were the Shimano bar-end shifters, or the Deore XT derailleur were faulty. We grabed a brand new cheap-o Shimano LX derailleur, put it on and after a quick adjustment the bike was shifting perfectly even with high in the front and low in the rear. So, however unlikely, I got a bike with a bad Shimano Deore XT derailleur which is rare for this level of quality. Unfortunately by this time Harold was getting ready to head home for the day, so the plan is to go back with the bike later this week and try the Deore XT derailleur AGAIN just to triple check. Once we are 150% positive it is the derailleur I will get in contact with Bikeworks NYC and see if they will send me out a replacement derailleur and as well what they say about my missing parts and minor damage.

Despite the hurdles, it was an exciting and long day of assembling bikes new and old. I learned a lot about how to deal with taking off and putting on all the parts of the bike. I intend on leaving a good bit of space on the top end of the fork to put a second stem for an accessory bar for my handlebar bag. That way I still have room up top for a light and horn and computer. Due to the crappy weather here in St. Johns (with road salt already out) and as well and a bunk derailleur it will be a while before I get to ride my new steed. For now it will just stare at me from 3 feet away in my closet.
Hopefully, after I have my derailleur situation sorted out and have my fork cut to proper length, we will have a nice dry day before the snow really kicks in and I will get to ride her a couple of times. Until then, she waits for the adventures ahead of her next summer.

Here is a pic of my new additions. I can finally say I have a fleet! (Giant FCR 2 not pictured)

Happy New Bike Day everyone!



  1. I keep thinking the beater is my bike at a glance :)

    Yay new bike day!

  2. Happy new bike day! So stoked for you man! The LHT is become a good friend, quite quickly too. Just a good old bike, that won't let you down. Glad to see your beater come together too. Although it looks pretty good for a beater.