I wanted to ride the new toy to the Market today as a sort of test ride, but I had a short list of things I needed to do first:
- Swap out the front tube
- tighten up the rear brake cable
- tighten up the rear shift cable
- remove the toe clips and straps
As it turns out the presta tube I had knocking around the parts bin was a Specialized brand one.
The simple tube swap was not to be, the narrow tire that was on the bike so tight I ended up yanking both it and the flat tube. Many moons ago my neighbor gave me a barely used Panaracer Pasela 700x32c that he had and wasn't going to use, so it and the replacement tube went up front. I had to deflate it to fit it past the brakes but it went in and now I only have to order one more to complete the set.
For the rear brake, it turns out the brakes work much better with the quick release closed...so no other adjustment needed. And snugging up the loose rear shift cable solved the poor shifting.
I am a flat pedal guy these days so the clunky plastic toe clips and straps needed to go. And after a little work on the small bolt and nuts...
Revealed the "bear trap" platforms, I like the look of these pedals and see no reason to replace them. After a little research I found out they are VP 707 pedals which were apparently big with the BMX crowd. I knew the bar tape was pretty tired but as I was working on the other items I also noticed something else..
One bar end was missing a cap which made it look even more ragged than it already was, so
..since I have oodles of spares I couldn't resist popping one in.
And with that I was ready to take the short ride to the Market, to be very clear I am NOT suggesting using 20 year-old consumables on your bikes for long rides! This is a 2 kilometer round trip so at worst this would have been a stroll pushing a bike, but it was fine. Observations from the ride:
- The saddle, needs some adjusting or replacing but not a great first impression of the stock Specialized. Many options here so I am not too worried
- I was fine for this short ride but I could feel alot of weight on my arms like most of me was pushing forward. I think saddle adjustment will help and the stem might be able to come a bit more too. The current stem already has good length and I would be a bit worried too much more length would make the handling squirrely but that is also an option.
- I liked how this bike moves forward with ease, one pedal stroke had me gliding across a parking lot.
- The triple, spun me right up the initial incline with no worries.
- The pedals; nice wide platform, didn't even think about them -which is a good thing.
All in all it was definitely different. I have ordered a second Panaracer and some bar tape but I am going to hold off on doing any more tweaking for now as I want to get back to working on the Moto_GT and the Cresta GT so I can have them both available for summer riding. Worse case scenario I learn that 56 cm bikes don't really fit and I break even and pass this nice Allez along, but I am a long way from that.
I wasn't going to go all the way to the market and not have some beer! I led things off with a Shame Spiral Imperial IPA from Cloudburst in Seattle, that name seems appropriate as I look out on my once empty porch.
I stayed with the Imperial IPA for my second choice a Champion Juicer by Matchless in Tumwater WA, Tumwater is where Olympia was brewed, my dad was an "Oly" guy when I was growing up and I have driven by that brewery countless times (just off I-5).
It seems a shame to have this much choice and only Order IPAs, so I decided to break out of my comfort zone.
And I ordered a Transfiguration Saison style sour beer from Holy Mountain in Seattle. I can see how this style would be refreshing on one of our rare 'blistering" 85 to 90 degree summer days.
For next time I will have hopefully have opened this box from Japan and will know if I have unblocked the work on the Nishiki Cresta GT.