7th 43F, 6C, light winds, sunny. Will the brightness last? The forecast is for showers. I re-soldered the broken computer wires and fitted the computers direct to the handlebars. The resurrected Brooks Professional can go back on for a while until my Spa Nidd arrives. I gave the Professional a good polish with a coarse cloth before leaving. It came up a treat.
I haven't had a decent ride all week! Dare I go out without handlebar tape? I feel so inadequate! People may even point and giggle! :-)
The saddle had become somewhat uncomfortable again at 30 miles. With much more pressure along the spine than before. At least the high ridge over the cantle plate had now gone. That used to hurt most before I gave it the ducking stool treatment. My soaking of the saddle lacked the stuffing I had promised to do as it dried. This means that the backbone of the saddle now protrudes well towards the rear and there is no flat area on the rear to properly support my sit bones. A new Brooks saddle has quite a lot of free and level acreage to sit on. Mine no longer has this facility. So my crutch is now taking some of my weight. Exacerbated by the more upright position due to the shorter stem.
I think I will remove the 3/4" of packing rings from below the new stem. The reach is fine now but I'd prefer a slightly lower handlebar position. There was a shower on the way back but it soon went off again. The wind became stronger all the time.
Pm. Removed the Ahead adaptor (with difficulty) and lowered the bars. The Higgins forks were never reamed properly so stems jam before they reach very far down the steerer tube. They also forgot to put a proper, bottom bearing seat on the outside. So head-race bearings never remain properly adjusted. Leading to stiffness and/or shimmy. Sadly, I cannot recommend the '54 Higgins special reserve. BUT NOTE: Forks steerer tubes are butted. So they are not meant to be the same internal diameter all the way down to the crown. I was just trying too put too long a stem in a short steerer.
But I digress: Why do I have this problem with reach? The Higgins frame is quite small at 22" for a 5'10"(ish) rider. (I'm shrinking slowly with age) Most people's stems are at least 3" long and often much more. Both of the Ahead stems, which I have just bought, are 55mm despite claims to a relatively astronomical 60mm. That's about 2.25" in old money. They must measure the spacing between centres. Rather than linear forward projection.
Are my arms dimensionally challenged? Well, my fingertips seem to reach within 4" of my knees when standing erect. Perhaps it is my thighs which are too short? The forward projection of the handlebars is not remarkable. About average in fact. I have slowly raised the brake levers on the bars to try and make the reach feel slightly less extreme.
You can buy jeans with a certain inside leg measurement but do mass produced shirts come in a series of incremental arm lengths? I haven't personally bought a shirt since I was about 17 years old. That was in the last century! Why isn't cycle position reduced to a series of simple rider measurements then reduced to standard bike dimensions by now? Shouldn't there be an iSlave app?
Can you state your inside arm measurement without cheating with a tape measure or chippy's folding rule? How do you measure hip to wrist length when leaning forwards at various angles? I've seen computerised bike fitting systems. (online) Which use a camera to identify the ideal rider position and bike dimensions. They can even identify a shorter leg! Fortunately both of mine reach the floor while I am standing upright. So that's one less thing to worry about.
8th 48-51F, 9-11C, windy and sunny. My riding position felt really weird. I had the allen key for my saddle pin in my back pocket so I pushed the saddle right back. This helped but it was still very strange. Too much weight on my hands. So I'll lift the bars back to where they were yesterday on top of the Ahead adaptor packing rings. The Professional saddle is still very unpleasant. My Brooks 'Select' has arrived! 18 miles.
9th 43-52F, 6-11C, windy. Showers forecast but promising to be bright. Like a fool I rode to Odense to have a look around the bike shops. The foolishness related to the wind speed. It was blustery with vicious gusts and kept getting worse by the time I turned round and headed straight back into it. I was forced to use the small chainring at times just to keep moving. The forecast shows a steady 20mph with 35mph gusts. So much for my plans to dump the unused inner triple and use a compact double instead. I was knackered by the time I reached the hills nearer home.
The B17 'Select' saddle was fine going but reared its ugly head at about 30 miles and 40 miles. Any of my other saddles would have been worse. I am delighted with it so far because my sit bones were already rather tender from riding the Professional. Quite unbelievably there are sit bone wrinkles forming already on the 'Select.' The saddle top feels quite soft to the touch now. My riding position still feels all wrong. I pushed the saddle right back before leaving but there is still too much weight on my hands and wrists. 46 miles.
REMEMBER TO CHECK YOUR WHEEL NUTS ON A REGULAR BASIS!
As I walked the trike to his stable, after my ride, it felt very strange. There was an unusual knocking. As if the axle bearings were loose. I checked and one wheel nut was literally hanging by a thread! The wheel itself was slopping about unrestrained. I hadn't noticed it on my ride. It must have been when I punctured on the side of the narrow gauge, Ringe puncture magnet. Go and check your wheel nuts. Do it now! Choose a particular day to check them so you don't ever forget. The consequences of losing a wheel are too awful to contemplate! Let's be careful out there!