I changed the old school style stem, you know the one, you have to strip one side of the handlebars to take them off and put them on and then use leverage on the clamp to open it up to slide the hump through. Now I have the new style threadless stem. which uses an Allen key. Change handlebars? why certainly Sir, I just need an Allen key now and no need to remove anything off the handlebars to take them off .
The old stem (quill) was 90 mm in height with a 100 mm reach, replaced by a 180 mm length (130mm height above headset) with 110 mm reach. The only thing left on this bike from my original bike that I bought back in 1997 from Olson’s Cycles in Geelong VIC is the bell. Although the quill will go to the spares box and can keep the original seat post company.
I found the 180 mm stem adapter on eBay, (seller was Speedolium), in hindsight, I should have gotten the 150 mm adapter. See breakout box.
Inside the fork steerer tube, it tapers about 2/3 the way down so that the new 180mm stem adapter doesn’t go in as far as I had planned it to, silly fork doesn’t it know who’s in charge here? Even a big hammer didn’t help 🙁
I got the 110 mm stem from Pushy’s for a steal at $9 (Token brand) to me the stems located around this one looked the same quality but were priced at $29 and upwards, it’s only got to hold the handle bars to the stem.
The stem can be 6º above zero or 6º below, I currently have it set at six degrees above 0. Next weekend I may change to 6º below and see how that feels when commuting.
And now our feature presentation by Shyflirt1:
Yeah yeah, I know, I still haven’t wrapped the handlebars in tape yet as you can tell from the photos, but rest assured I do have two packets of bar tape in my toolbox which I also got at the latest carpark sale at Pushy’s
My latest parcel from Wiggle arrived on Wednesday, chock full of cycling goodness, except for the wrong front derailleur (my bad) anyhow it’s on eBay now, hopefully it will sell and I won’t lose much $$ on it. Back to my parcel of goodness, it contained a new rear derailleur and new front and rear V-Brake set-ups and I can start upgrading the bicycle.
My new brakes.
My current V-brake were old Tektro, while they may have been good in the past they weren’t doing so well lately. I upgraded them to Shimano BR-T780 and what a difference they make to stopping. Fitting the new brakes took about an 40 minutes of my time, although I didn’t fit any new cabling and I am using the old brake pads until they wear out. Not really much to say about the fitting and adjusting the brakes but I do have some pictures.
Top Features of the Shimano XT Front/Rear V-Brake (BR-T780)
A lightweight and powerful V-Brake which is has high quality forged and anodised alloy brake arms giving excellent rigidity and durability.
Lightweight and powerful V-brake.
Multi-condition compound M70CT4 pads.
Cartridge system inserts makes it easy to replace brake pads without disturbing the brake shoe setting.
Spring tension adjuster makes it easy to keep the brakes centred.
They come usually set up for use on the front, but swap the pads over and it’s set for the rear.
Head set and bearings.
Well on Wednesday afternoon the postman cometh and delivered the headset and bearings I bought off eBay about 3 three earlier, so today it’s back to the garage and undo the brakes which I had finished adjusting and off with the handlebars and cables so that I can replace the headset.
I used two blocks of wood and one of my woodworking F clamps to press in the races. (Lower one first).
Handlebar mount for camera
Another bank breaking eBay buy, ($4.30) this time a camera mount for the handlebars. Seems OK although it does wobble a bit at the joint between the handlebar mount and the camera mount swivel, which is held there by a pitiful self tapping screw. I may just glue these parts together and not worry about the screw coming loose and making my camera can BANG on the road.
Camera Mount guff
Steady and firm. Multi-angle rotation, easy adjustment for optimal viewing.
Bicycle handlebar mount.
Adjustable lock to ensure your phone remains in place.
Fits handlebar with 2-3.5 cm diameter.
Compatible with: Cameras with a standard 1/4″ tripod mount, fishing lamps, binoculars, many types of cameras, video cameras.
All kinds of digital equipment with Thread interface!!
Material: Plastic & Metal (mostly plastic)
My latest set of cranks.
I also bought what I thought was a cheap Shimano Chainset (FC-M171-A) to replace the one I bought a few months back. Once I unwrapped it, I discovered why it was cheaper, as its only has pressed steel chainrings and are riveted together so not really upgradeable. But not all is lost I can use these new ratios to better hone in on some good gear ratios for the future.
This set of cranks has the ratio of 28/38/48 and as it’s pressed steel, I find that some of the teeth need filing to remove the burrs on them. What else, oh apparently it’s SIS Index compatible and has 170 mm arms, my previous one was 165 biopace cranks. The ad mentions Shimano alloy / steel triple chainset, no mention of the cheap arse plastic cover. There spleen vented, I feel better.
I haven’t fitted the rear derailleur yet as I’m going to wait until the new front one arrives once I have actually ordered it. Always more to be done in upgrading the bicycle.
I brought these Tioga panniers back in May 2012 and have done many miles with them in all sorts of weather and with all sorts of loads. Going back through my emails I discover that I bought them from the Pushy’s eBay store for $110 (they are cheaper now).
I cannot find the model name for these Tioga panniers but the picture is worth a 1000 words and most sites refer to them as ‘rear panniers’ but I have had them in both positions and they work just as well.
I remember my deciding factor for buying these panniers was that they were waterproof without having to fit a rain-cover on them, for which when you are riding your bike the last thing you want to do is stop and cover your panniers.
Anyhow on to the my article:
For the touring cyclist or commuter who’s looking for 100% waterproof protection, then the Tioga Panniers are good value for money with a combined capacity of 42 litres, plus they are well made and sturdy and built to last.
The Tioga pannier is made with waterproof material with sealed seams and a quick release locking mechanism to enable fast, easy removal and attachment to the bike, but not as good IMHO as the Ortlieb quick release system. The locking system comes with plastic inserts to help reduce the movement of the bags on racks, although I use 10mm clear plastic tubing on my rack as the plastic inserts have a habit to falling out and then going MIA.
Although I have lost 1/2 of the plastic inserts for the racks and no longer used them. When the pannier is fitted to an unsuitable rack and you cannot use the bottom clip, while they may flap about a bit when going over bumps these panniers have never fallen off. Flapping about is not a problem now with the new Tubus rear rack that I have fitted to the bike, it’s like they were made for each other.
The pannier’s top can be rolled over and held in place by a velcro strap and the top weather flap locks down to ensure weatherproofing. It has 3M reflective panels although why they chose to use black I don’t know, and they have a chunky carry handle which sometimes gets in the way when trying to put the pannier on and off the rack.
The panniers also come with a shoulder strap each and (4) plastic inserts for the rack connections.
I would like to rate them as 10/10, but the weight is a little much for its size, but not enough that I would go out and buy a lighter replacement.
You can’t really get the best of both worlds, it’s either heavy and waterproof or light and water-resistant. If you are concerned about the weight, then these bags are not for you.
If you want a cheapish (compared to other panniers out there), strong and reliable bag and do not care about the weight, then this bag is for you.
These Tioga panniers can used as a work bag without the bike 🙂 These are good pannier bags and I doubt you would be disappointed.
Features & Specifications
Quick release style attachment.
1 Main compartment: with mesh top pockets for your essentials.
Fold over and velcro strap/buckled closure.
Heavy duty Anchor points moulded on to bag to enhance waterproofing.
Chunky carry handle.
3M Reflective panels.
All mounting hardware included (Philips screwdriver required).
Capacity: 42 Litres.
Dimensions: 40 x 15 x 36cm (height x depth x width).
Weight: 2.25 kg (mine weighed in at 2.084 kg without the straps).
SOLD AS A PAIR.
Ortlieb review to follow shortly.
PS: In case it isn’t obvious, I don’t get paid for my reviews and I have only review products which I have bought unless otherwise stated.
Every consumable item on the bike will be close to new before I turn my first wheel. Although it will be tested prior to touring.
Cables: As with most trips, not everything goes according to plan, there is always some element of your journey that turns to custard. And with this in mind, it’s time to start thinking about some spare parts, that no doubt if I don’t buy them then I will need them somewhere along the Nullarbor.
I have bought off eBay some spare cables 2 x brakes and 2 x gear cables, much cheaper to buy off eBay than the LBS. The current set of cables on my bike were purchased off eBay and although much cheaper they are doing the job I expect, doesn’t seem to be much stretching as I haven’t adjusted the brakes or gears much. They seem to slide ok inside the outers. So I don’t know what the more expensive LBS cables do that these ones won’t.
Chain Links: I bought five of these off eBay, one now resides in my toolbag under the saddle.
Spokes: As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m building my own set of wheels, the spokes arrived in the middle of the week and after viewing a few youtube videos on lacing 36h wheels, I have finished the lacing part on both wheels. I bought my spokes from Rose Bikes ( a German website with an English domain name) they were pretty good to deal with, and their prices for the DT Swiss spokes was good and that’s before the VAT refund. I now have two spare spokes for each side of each wheel, plus I have two fiberfix spokes coming just in case.
Chain: I’ll start my tour with a new chain and most likely a new cassette and take along my old chain depending on how much service it has done, or maybe even be another new one. One theme I run across in other blogs is trying to get your items to do two or more jobs if possible, so with some thought on this, I have been thinking about using the spare chain (threaded though some of that clear plastic hose you see at Bunnings to protect the chain and a padlock for my bike security when off the bike and others are about. I plan to use the complete length of the new chain before it is made to measure for the bike so any damaged links can be removed and swap the old chain over to security job.