Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Bicycle Therapy - Part 3 Jon In Wonderland

Or, How I rode a 2008 Surly 1x1 Straight Into Obsession.

As I mentioned, in the last post, once I had the Surly rideable, I was hooked. I wanted to make it usable for me, and paramount to that was lowering the standover height. Two things came to mind, in that regard: wheels and fork.

I figured that if I actually ran 26" wheels, which the frame was built for, that would lower the top tube somewhat. And, the Pugsley fork is a straight-blade, suspension-corrected version. The frame originally came with a non-suspension-corrected fork with curved blades.

So, I set out to find a suitable fork, but it had to be affordable. So, no actual Surly fork (people tend to be proud of them, price-wise), nor anything custom.

The answer came in the form of an Origin 8 fork, which is a near carbon copy of the original Surly unit. 

The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that the disc brake tab on the Origin 8 is shaped slightly differently. The legs are near-identical, much more so than the photos show. (Origin 8 photo from Amazon, Surly photo from City Bikes)

So, I ordered the O-8 fork, and some 26x3 tires, identical to the tires that I use on my Mongoose Beast, along with some used Avid BB-7 Calipers and some Avid brake levers. Once they arrived, I put them on the bike:

I even stuck some Surly decals on the fork. (I also left the Origin-8 decals on the side. It's more of an homage than a counterfeit, in my mind.)

The fork looked great, and did lower the top tube quite a bit, even with the 3" tire. I didn't have a 26" wheel to use on the back, so I was searching, even as I installed the front wheel and the fork.

I had 26" wheels, but I was looking for a wheel with an Alfine 8 internally-geared hub. They are rare as hen's teeth, pre-built, but I was really hoping to find one, since built wheels often cost less than the retail cost of the parts. But, I really wanted that hub because I wanted to build this 1x1 up as my new bike-packing rig. I already have enough single speeds!

Then, it happened; I found a used Afline 8 wheel, 26" rim on eBay for the equivalent cost of a new Alfine hub. I hit the Buy It Now button, and sat back to wait on its arrival.

A week later, the wheel arrived and, when I went to install the tire ... I found that it was actually a 24" rim! Oh, man! I misread the listing. 

So, I calculated spoke sizes, ordered spokes and nipples, and looked around the shop for a wheel I could pull the rim off of. Then, I happened to look at something else on eBay, and opened up my list of items I had ordered.

Shit. The listing specifically said my wheel had a 26" rim, and I just spent $90 on spokes and nipples!

I contacted the seller and, after I explained the situation, he refunded me the $90 it had cost me for the spokes and nipples. I already had a rim, so I was happy with that.

But, I still had not hit the bottom of the rabbit hole.

I was looking at pictures of the 1x1, when I saw a photo of the limited edition 1x1=11 Anniversary Edition. That bike came with 24" wheels , with 60mm rims, and 3" tires. I figured that a 4" would run in the frame, on my 25mm (internal) rim, so I ordered a tire. Then, I found another tire which would deliver more quickly, so I cancelled the first tire, and ordered the two-day delivery tire.

Once the tire arrived, I mounted it up, and installed the wheel:

I installed the hub into the track-style ends on the frame using the anti-rotation washer for vertical dropouts. This points the cable stop up along the seat stay, which allows the cable to run along the top tube (my preference). I hooked the cable up along the opposite side of the hub than how it is intended, which reversed the action on the shifter. 

The Alfine shifters are low-normal, as opposed to the old-school shifters which are high-normal. In plain English, the Alfine shifters are backward to what I am used to, and this made it "normal".

I wish I could claim to have figured that little modification out, but I read about it on a guy's blog, recently.

The 24x4" tire has a rolling diameter about a quarter-inch larger than a 26x2.2 tire, so the bottom bracket is not lowered. The front 26x3.0 is another quarter-inch bigger than that.

So, the bike is finished. Built. Ready to ride ... right?

Stay tuned. The rabbit hole goes even deeper. Believe it, or not...



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