More GAS and Some Decisions

I complained about my indecision about what to buy recently.  Some decisions have been made, at least for the first round.

I’m making some changes to the Long Haul Trucker:

  • Replacing crappy stock brakes with Tektro CR720 wide-profile cantis.
  • Using a fork-crown-mounted brake cable hanger to eliminate “brake shudder”.
  • Re-cabling the whole bike including housing.  I’ll re-route the shifter cables under the bar tape to allow me to use the bar-mitts.
  • The front derailleur was already replaced by a Ultegra model.  It works well.
  • Replacing front wheel: Shimano Alfine dynohub and Velocity Dyad rim
  • Replacing rear wheel: Shimano XT hub and Velocity Dyad rim

I’m doing most of this work myself.  Tom is building the wheels for me.

I had considered changing shifters or even going to down-tube shifters.  I’m not going to do that.  Shifters are stupidly expensive for what they are.  Little metal levers to pull a cable cost $100 a set for good ones.  Blah.  My current bar-ends work fine in friction mode.

I still want to buy new front and rear racks, but that’ll have to wait.  I won’t need them until my next tour anyway, whenever that may be.  I’ll also want front panniers and a handlebar bag with map holder.

Although I’m springing for the new dynohub now, I’m waiting on an actual headlight for it.  It’s mostly a matter of having the money for everything and figuring out how to mount it.  The fork crown on my LHT will be a busy place with fender and cable hanger hardware mounted there.  I found the image below of someone else’s bike.  They apparently drilled out the top of the cable hanger, and bolted an aluminum strip there to mount the light to.  The light I’ll buy won’t quite work like this, but it may be a starting point.

Headlight mount
Headlight mount

I still have plans for other bicycles, but they are on hold for a bit.  The LHT really needs work, and I use that bike for many different kinds of rides.  We’ll see what 2012 has in store.

3 thoughts on “More GAS and Some Decisions”

  1. Regarding your brake choice. The Tektro CR720s are way, way, way better than the Oryx brakes that came with your bike. I’d suggest holding off on the new cable hanger until you’ve had a chance to try out the new brakes. The CR720 will probably take care of any brake noise and shudder, even with the stock hanger.

    Unlike low profile brakes, wide profile cantilevers need longer straddle cables. You want a 90 degree angle between the effective brake arm and the cable when the pad hits the rim. The cables that come with the CR720 aren’t quite long enough to do this, so leave them as long as you can.

    One last thing. Hang on to at least one of your Oryx brakes. Depending on your rear rack and frame size, you may find that the wide profile brake is in the way of your panniers or the straddle won’t clear the rack stays. A CR720 up front for good, quiet braking with an Oryx out back isn’t a bad combination at all.

  2. What rack are you considering? Many have ways to mount lights. I’d mount at the low rider braze-ons until I got the racks.

  3. Scott,
    Yeah, a local guy has been pestering me about those brakes for a while. He has a bike equipped with them and likes them. I’ve ordered the hanger, but may not use it if I don’t experience shudder. It would be nice to mount a headlight at the fork crown.

    I want the Tubus Duo front rack. No real way to mount a light to that. I used to have the Surly rack on the front, which has a braze-on in the front for the headlight. It worked, but I was smacking the headlight into walls.

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