Arrived today via UPS around 1300 local time. This is probably boring to a lot of folks, but it’s just possible a reader might benefit from my experience some day. The box was just a bit smaller than I expected, but I discovered that they pack them more tightly these days. The last time I watched someone do this, the seat and handlebars were already mounted. Not now.
And it’s just a little sticky coming out of the box. I could have used an extra pair of hands to push down as I pulled up. It call came out in one piece except the box containing the pedals. This mess had to be dismantled carefully and I used diagonal pliers (AKA side cutters or dikes) to cut all the heavy zip ties and that cheap mylar tape that you can’t easily break. So this shot on the left shows everything prior to assembly and somehow it turned out fuzzy.
The first step was to mount the handlebars in some provisional position, and then the seat. This allows me to invert the thing and have it stand that way while I worked on the tires. They were soft, which was fine, because I had to deflate them anyway.
A couple of issues made it challenging. First, the rims are much narrower than the old 26″ mountain bike stuff. While it didn’t suffer the design flaw that tends to pinch 700c (hybrid bike) tubes around the valve stem, it was still tricky dealing with tires designed to balloon out around the rim that way. I wanted to add some tube liners (AKA thorn straps) to reduce the likelihood of flats. However, the only ones I could get on short notice were pretty narrow. The company sells them for 29″ tires, but they just barely cover the center strip of the tread area that gets all the abuse. The problem is that they didn’t lay inside the tire nicely, tending to shift around while I was putting it back together. I’m not entirely certain they stayed where I wanted them, but it’s better than nothing. I’ll order the wider ones later.
This is the first time I’ve dealt with disc brakes, but they went in nicely. I found the factory assembler had left the front brake cable in an awkward route, so I had to do my best to find a way to slip it over to the other side of the front end where there was a clip to hold it in place. It’s still a little torqued and curled, but functional. I’ll try to adjust it later.
A couple of other considerations now. The handlebars are lower then I’m used to and I don’t know if it’s going to aggravate my arthritic shoulders and elbows. I can order a riser that should help, but the factory design offers no adjustment for height. I bought two bottle holders because there were holes for them. I’ll get a different style to mount on the seat tube and that’s as much water as I could need even in the heat of summer for long rides. For everything else, I found a way to attach it to my body. This thing is noticeably lighter than the Edgewood and the wheels with tires are just a tad bit bigger in diameter. It’s got a 9-speed rear cassette but is geared lower in the first place, so it means more lower gears than before. The shifters and derailleurs are sweet and the brakes are clearly superior. Oddly, the disc brakes make that same faint rubbing noise the make on cars because they are designed to remain in contact at low pressure. The only thing I really want now is to design a cover for the front derailleur to prevent splash and grit from coming off the rear time onto it.
In honor of the donor, I call her “Jeanette.”
Final note: The old Edgewood went to a friend, a fellow Christian just next door. We were able to make it fit his shorter frame.