More Gears on The Walgoose Beast
I pulled the single speed freewheel off of the rear hub of the Beast, yesterday, in order to test fit an old SunTour 5-speed freewheel on the rear hub. I screwed the freewheel on, then added another lock-nut on the axle, so that the frame and the freewheel would not contact each other.
Then, with a little elbow grease, and a lot of leverage from some pry bars, I spread the rear triangle of the frame, a bit, and managed to slot the wheel in.
Out came the angle grinder, to trim the huge drive-side dropout in order to allow the rear derailleur to mount up. I used a reverse-slot claw mount, originally designed to mount derailleurs to bmx frames, and an old LX derailleur from the parts bin.
Shifting is handled by a basic friction thumb shifter, also from the parts bin. The cable and housing, from a Bell Sports cable set, were just long enough to work, so I didn't even have to trim them.
The smallest cog on the freewheel runs a little too close to the frame, so the chain won't run on it. But, that's fine with me. The other four cogs, 17-20-24-28 teeth, combined with the 22-32-44 chainrings give me a pretty wide selection of gear ratios. I'll be looking through my parts, derelict wheels, etc, to see if I can find a 5-speed freewheel with a 32 or 34 tooth cog on it, just to get that ultra-low climbing gear for the long, steep climbs we hit on a lot of the trails around here. In the meantime, though, the 22/28 low gear is usable in most circumstances.
The rear rack was on the closeout table, down at Performance Bicycles, a couple of weeks ago. It was packaged as "disc brake compatible", and had spacers for the lower bolts to run through so that the legs of the rack would run outboard of the dropouts. But, the whole rack is so wide, I don't see how it would fit on a standard mountain bike frame. It fits on the wide rear end of the Beast like it was made for it, though.
I actually rode to the coffee shop and back, both yesterday and today. Those were the first rides I have made since getting sick, a couple of weeks ago. The 4.5 mile round trip wore me out. I am not convinced that I am completely over whatever I had.
That said, I think I may ride to work, tomorrow, just to jump-start myself a bit. It all depends on how I feel, tomorrow morning.