Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sylvia is home!

Sylvia had no problems getting her rear spread for her new hub and her upgrade went of with very little issue. I'm really glad we decided to take her to the professionals. I would have probably broken something.
We picked her up from Ajo Bikes yesterday evening and I'm so glad she's home! I took her for a test ride around their parking lot to make sure everything was in working order and Max was kind enough to make any adjustments that were needed. I love them there and the customer service is top notch. It's definitely my favorite bike shop, now if only they carried more commuting stuff...
The new gears are great! It's good to have options and she felt much zippier. The heavier wheels made her stick to the ground better and I took a few slooow turns to see how she cornered. Before she would almost topple if I was going less than 5 mph but now she sticks to it and goes around smoothly. There's also less wobble when I start from a stop and once we get going it feels like we could go forever. I love the gyroscope effect of her heavier new wheels and hubs!
What's funny is that she's now a 10 lbs heavier than she was before. Once I put her baskets and rack back on she will weigh a whopping 57 lbs. Without them she's still a hefty 44 lbs.
We moved her seat forward a bit like Dan from DBC City Bikes had suggested and I really like the new position. He was super helpful when I called to inquire about his bikes and gave me lots of information.
Happy to be home.
The roller brakes have huge cooling disks on them and I think they look very nice. Her new spokes are thicker and the deeper rims really make the Linus tires feel so much more plush. She rides much more smoothly over bumps now too.

Front wheel.

Back wheel.
It's a very nice set up so far, but I'll have to get new grips. They cut my old one to fit and the gap pinches a bit. I don't mind though, it'll be fun to pick them out.

We can really go now!
Her old 3 speed hub had this gearing:
0.733, 1.000, 1.364
Her new 8 speed hub has this gearing:
0.527, 0.644, 0.748, 0.851, 1.000, 1.223, 1.419, 1.615
We can now go faster, which was the goal, and slower than ever before! I love it!

Big cooling disk!
This morning it was drizzling so I took her out to splash in the puddles. It's one of our favorite things to do. Plus it was a great way to give her a proper test ride. We went for a 6 mile jaunt down our favorite bike path.

We're back!
I love this path because it has everything. Hills, flats, potholes, and dirt. It's a short little 3 miles to the road closed sign that has been up forever, but it really gives a taste of it all. It was so much fun! I rode along to my Irish pub rock (I only were one earbud and they're the nice ones that let ambient sound in) and smiled at everyone I saw. A nice construction worker even smiled back! On the way to the sign I pushed it and played with the gears. 
I got going super fast on the downhill through an underpass and we hit a large puddle. With her old rim brakes that would have been game over and I would have had no braking power. (Not that they were good when dry or anything.)  I panicked a little and squished the brake levers. I didn't expect much, but the roller brakes slowed me down just fine. They aren't as forceful as I'd heard, but they actually work. That is a very nice change from the way I had to stop before. No more putting my feet down to stop! No more bloody calves! This is great! I pedaled away with a huge smile and a ton more confidence.
I made it to the sign in less than 20 minutes, which made me very happy! I don't think I'd ever gotten there that fast before. The old gears meant anything over 12-13 mph would have me spinning like a mad person to get more speed. I was actually shocked at how easy it had been to get there.

This is a good place to rest.

It's not just closed, it doesn't exist!
I tootled home really slowly to play with the steering some more, plus there's a nasty hill I have trouble with coming back out of the under pass on the way home. Most of the time I would get off and push her up it, but I was determined not to today. 
I built up as much momentum as I could on the gentle downhill and thanks to the higher gears I kept most of it as I started the uphill. I made it to the top and only had to downshift to 2nd! At the end I was only going about 3 mph, but it was a win for us! 

I love these wheels! Zac 2000!
Right after cresting the hill the sun came out and lit the way back home. I'm taking it as a sign of great rides to come. I'm so grateful my husband got these wheels for me for Christmas!!!
A glorious ride.

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