Sunday, March 16, 2008

Xtracycle upgrades and pictures

To the left, you will see my most recent upgrade (?) to the Xtracycle.  It's not the GPS, look lower.  It's those fancy 1980s friction shifters.  

The original bike had no rear brake.  I had forgotten why I had done that.  It turned out that the wheel was so out of true that I could not get the brake to fit.  I bought a rear brake, trued the wheel, and go ready to hook the cables up.  Then I found out I was missing a nut that kept the cable from popping out.  I guess that sort of thing was important.

So, I went searching for another set.  The bike originally had the integrated index shifter and brake lever.  The problems was that I could not find what I needed (7-speed rear) in my price range.  Then, I looked through my box of various bike parts.  I found an old friction shifter.  I installed it and went for a ride.  The 20-year-old shift lever crumbled in my hand while I shifted.  But, it worked.  I went to Jenson USA and ordered the friction shifters and cheapest brake levers I could find.  

It took about about a day to get used to them.  "Do I push up to upshift or downshift?" But now I can find the gear I want without too much thinking.

A while back, I bragged about what the Xtracycle carried on its maiden voyage.  Sunday is shopping day, so I loaded it up once again.  This time, I took pictures.  

I won't give the entire list of what was carried, but it was a lot.  Both sides looked like this.  

Forgive the plastic bags.  Item number 5 on my to-do list was to change the filter on the fish tank.  Number 7 was clean up the dog crap in the back yard.  I hate the plastic bags as much as anyone else, but occasionally, they serve a purpose.  

Money not spent on gas:  $38.43
CO2 not released into the atmosphere:  241.56 pounds

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Smudgemo said...

You'll surely get used to the shifter throws, but if you ever want to change the throw direction of the rear, you can probably use a Shimano rapid-rise derailleur. On my Xtracycle with bar-end shifters, high gear is up on both sides. I didn't intend to buy it, but that's what I was sold. I decided to see how it worked out, and I'm happy so far.

Rick Logue said...

I began riding eons ago. I learned all of the things I know on my own. I still have a hard time with what high gears are. I know, I am an idiot, but hear me out.

Are high gears the high speed gears used one downhills and flats? Or, are high gears the ones used for high cadence while traveling up a steep hill?

I use the idea that down is fast. Moving the shifter down moves me into the big ring in the front and the small one in the back.

Smudgemo said...

High gears are speed for flats and downhills. If they were road bike levers, I wouldn't care because that action is ingrained from so much riding, but bar-ends were totally new. I like them so much a set will probably be going on my commuter bike.