Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
12:01 pm - Still in Test Mode...  
After losing ten gorgeous potential riding days to shifter replacement and the air show (including requisite preparation for visitors and post show recovery), I've managed to get back into a decent routine with the new bike. Lucky for me that the weather continues to be gorgeous most days, with temps in the 70's and little humidity. Still in test mode, adjusting things, figuring out the gear ratios, and suchlike. Mostly short (~9 mi) rides, but I did do 22 miles on Sunday, stopping every now and then to do adjustments. I've already put more miles on the new bike than I ever did on the Widowmaker (33 miles total).

The good news is that this bike is much better suited to me than the Widowmaker, both in size and gearing. It's a lighter (26 lbs vs 35) and faster bike than the Univega, which is fun. The less good news is that the size is still not quite as well suited to me as the Univega, which means lots of adjustments attempting to make the bike more comfortable to ride. The main thing is that the handlebar is a little too low. This results in my wrists being bent backwards at slightly more of an angle than I'm used to, along with more of my upper body weight being applied to them, with lots of consequent soreness. The top tube is also just a wee too short for my body, so the bar was closer to me than was comfortable, but I was able to move the saddle back enough to take care of that. As mentioned previously, the height of the handle is somewhat adjustable, but at the expense of shortening the distance from saddle to bar, so that's not an option. I tried lowering the saddle a couple of inches, and that was much more comfortable for my wrists, but less so for my legs. I like to be able to extend them almost fully on the downstroke, and I need those couple of inches to do it.

It's real close to being right, though, and I think at this point all I'll need to do is install the stem lengthener I bought back when I was vainly trying to adjust the Widowmaker to fit. That should raise the bar the couple of inches I need. I need to have bikeshop!guy do it, though, because I'll need a longer front brake cable sleeve, too. Right now it's just long enough for the bar at its current height, with very little slack. That makes for good, responsive braking, but if the bar is raised any higher the brakes will start touching the wheel.

I seem to have gotten the rear derailleur sorted out. The problem there was that when bikeshop!guy swapped in the quick-shifters for me, he had to install a new cable. New cables still have a lot of stretch in them, so after only a few miles, the derailleur went out of alignment, resulting in all sorts of interesting noises from the back of the bike. This would've been a complete pain to fix on my Univega, requiring fiddling with set screws on the derailleur itself, blah, blah, blah, pain-in-the-ass-cakes. The newfangled Fuji has finger-friendly tension adjustment nuts at several places along the shifter cable, making it much easier. I can even do adjustments while riding, which is very convenient for getting things aligned. Woo hoo for newfangledness!