Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hoodwinked and other stories

starting point - zero hood
I had a bit of time today and decided to do some bike stuff, starting with getting brake hoods fitted to the bare Campy brake levers on the Ritchey.  I had some reproduction hoods from Velo-Orange that I had purchased a few years ago for an older set of brake levers and I thought they would work for this set.

My first step was to remove the levers from the handlebar and I discovered someone had been kind enough in the past to mark where the top of the lever should go.   On most brake levers if you open the lever all the way up you can see the hex nut inside the lever body which loosens or tightens the band that attaches the lever to the bar.

My next step was removing the band from the lever body for easier access to mount the new hoods, Be careful here as you want to A) remember how things attach and B) make sure you don't lose the small nuts or washers that may be part of the assembly.  The final step was spreading liquid dish-washing soap on the inside of the hoods to make them easier to slide on, a trick I read about somewhere. I went from the back of the lever body forward toward the front, I had to do some stretching and some trial and error but it did eventually slip on.  I took it slow and avoided using a bladed screw driver to help things along, instead using just my fingers to avoid any accidental punctures to the gum hoods.  The soap trick does help btw.

The Campy parts on the Ritchey fall in between the Classic (friction shifting) era and the Modern (Brifter -Ergo power) era, from what I can figure out its the C-Record era of the late 80s early 90s when indexed shifting came into vogue but before brifters.  As you can see above the brake hoods fit....but they aren't perfect.  They are 100% better than what the bike came with, which was zero hoods but you can tell they aren't an exact match for this brake lever.

When I compare the repro hoods to the older drilled Campy lever I originally bought them for you can see they would be a better match. When I checked on ebay for the era of hoods I think would match the levers on the Ritchey they are $40 a pair and up, so I am sticking with what I have.

I also decided to put the final polish on the seat post I got for the Ritchey, which came to me in the condition above.

I did some rubbing with brass wool, then applied some mothers and wiped it off and then used a polishing head on my Dremel.

It's much better than when I started but I would still like to learn more about cleaning and polishing alloy parts and especially how I can get the most out of my Dremel to do so.

While I was on seat posts I decided to adjust the angle on my Brooks Imperial that is mounted on the Motobecane Grand Touring.  With Brooks saddles I have found if they are level I feel like I am going to slip off the front so I tilt them up a bit, however after the last ride on the MotoGT I realized it has too much tilt - in the picture above you can see it has a reach for the sky angle,  I was able to temporarily sing a few soprano parts from my favorite Earth Wind and Fire tunes.

One of the things I love about Laprade seat posts is the one bolt adjustment, however the MotoGT comes stock with a SR seat post which takes a different approach.

The SR uses two bolts and since they mirror each other they tighten and loosen in different directions, which kind of made my head hurt just thinking about it but I took it slow, breathed deep and got through it.  I should note that it was only the angle that was bothering me, since the saddle height was just fine I carefully measured how much post was showing before I removed it from the bike.

After making adjustments it was time for a short test ride.  You can see the Brooks is no longer reaching for the sky and that I swapped my front bag from the Handsome Devil onto the rear rack of the MotoGT with a small pump inside just in case.

When I returned from the ride I had the vague sense on the saddle that I could slip off the front and it occurred to me that if I was going to keep adjusting it would be good to have a frame of reference,  I took the measurement above -bottom of saddle nose about 4.75 inches above the top tube -after I got home, I wish I would have taken this measurement before I started the whole process.

I made a slight adjustment to closer to 5 inches above the TT. but ran out of steam so I will give the latest adjustment a test at a later date.  Until next time Ride. Smile. Repeat.

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