Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Velo Orange, meet Motobecane Fantom Outlaw

velo orange crank

When I got my new Motobecane Fantom Outlaw and set it up as a commuter I was pretty dang happy. But it turned out that the gearing was just a hair tall for my headwind commute with parachute-like, wide catching panniers. That, and I'm just not always willing to work really hard on a commute ride.

When I realized my Sora shifters were made to operate a triple, I started looking for something with lower gears. I looked at all kinds of cranks, both road and mountain. Then I came across the Velo Orange VO Triple Crankset with 24, 36, and 48 tooth chainrings. It looked sharp, and was reasonably priced. I needed a different front derailleur, which I found used on eBay for $10. I also needed a long cage rear derailleur too, but I had a nice Ultegra model left over from upgrading Tricia's Ruby. I got a new chain and was in business.

I like the lower gears. The 36 tooth ring is a lot more useful than the 39 was for me. I haven't needed the 24, but I have fantasies of over-night "touring" and think I'll be happy to have it. The amazing part is that it shifts really well. The Sora nine-speed shifters are very positive and the bike shifts with a very reassuring mechanical crispness that I wasn't expecting in a lower-level group. The Velo Orange chain rings are ramped, so both front and rear shifting are pretty swell.

 Next up: Fenders, before it starts to rain.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

US Cycling stamp

Quack envelope When the USPS announced a cycling stamp, how could I not be pleased? I ordered a stack, as well as commemorative first day envelopes. I'm sure philatelists would have something collectible to do with these envelopes. I had my own plan: I used mine to send in my entry for the Quack Cyclists Knoxville Double Century. So, as the saying goes, the check is in the mail. Now it's time to start training in earnest.