Thursday, September 18, 2008

Add a stem, stir, get a bike, RIDE

The stem showed up Monday afternoon.

I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've been watching the Ramby slowly take shape, and anticipation was starting to get the better of me. I was ready to ride, and once I saw the box stuck between the storm door and the front door, a flurry of building was inevitable.

Stem, handlebar, brake levers, brake cables and housing went on Monday night. It was looking ready to ride, but I held off. Tuesday after work, I installed the pedals and did a bit of tinkering...and...the inaugural ride. My wife took a few pics as I rode slowly around our cul-de-sac, feeling things out. Everything seemed good, sans a few additional adjustments.

I had great visions of doing a harlequin bar wrap with royal blue and white cotton bar tape. Unfortunately, I only ordered one roll of each color when I really needed two. I certainly wasn't going to wait on another bar tape order, so I stopped by my LBS on Tuesday and picked up some blue cork tape, along with mounting tab for my Trek seat bag. I like the Trek seat bag because it is easy to swap from bike to bike, open the velcro seat post strap and unsnap from the mounting tab, then push onto the mounting tab on the next bike and velcro in place...takes 10 seconds, tops.

I spent an hour or so Tuesday afternoon installing bar tape and installing some bottle cages I had on my old road bike frame hanging in the garage. It was time for the shakedown cruise. I donned my cycling gear and took the Ramby for a 26 mile drive.

It was everything I expected it to be. I expected a similar ride and fit as my QB, and the Ramby didn't disappoint. The QB and the Ramby fit me like a glove. The QB, with its 37mm Paselas rides a bit cushier, but the Ramby is lighter and quicker handling. There are a couple of items needing adjustment, including some front derailleur tuning. The bar tape is a lighter blue color which doesn't match the darker blue of the frame. In retrospect, I should have used natural cork but the LBS didn't have it. Some amber shellac should darken up my bar tape and make it look a bit better. Plus, I used black tape to fasten the bar tape in place, and that's downright out of place on a Rivendell...not to mention just flat-out butt-ugly. I have some twine and I'm going to change that ASAP. Plus, I think I mounted my brake levers just a bit high on the bars. Not too much, but if my hands are in the drops I have to move them up higher on the curve to reach the brake levers. I can reach them fine, so it's a comfort issue and has nothing to do with safety and I'll probably get used to it.

One last item to add...the bell! In my excitement to get the bike going and get my first ride in I forgot to install the bell. Not that I really needed it on my inaugural cruise, but it sure would have looked nice!

P.S.: More pictures are coming


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