Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thorn Sherpa Redux

My recumbent rando craziness this year left my Thorn Sherpa out in the cold. With no tours on the immediate horizon and my LHT performing superbly I didn't get around to doing any more work on this bike. My initial setup left me less than enthused and I knew it needed to be adjusted further. Seeing as my Fujin is dialed in nicely and the weather is about to turn ugly it seemed an appropriate time to tackle a number of projects involving the Sherpa.

First off I wanted to make sure I was happy with the fit as there wasn't much point investing time into this bike if it wasn't comfortable. I've come to really enjoy my riding position on the LHT so I started by copying the cockpit layout of that bike. I had put a Brooks saddle on the Sherpa as Sarah has been riding this bike. This worked out well since it is the same saddle I use on the LHT. I raised the bars so that they were level with the saddle and adjusted the saddle to get the same reach as my LHT. I also rotated the bars up slightly and moved the brake levers higher on the bars.

The end result felt familiar - which is a good thing. I took the Sherpa out for a spin to drop off some recycling and grab some groceries. Overall the ride was pleasant with the exception of the tires. I love the Marathon XRs on my LHT - they are comfortable and fairly fast. However, on the Sherpa they seem slow and give a very harsh ride. This seems odd as I run my 35-700C XRs at 75-80psi and my 26" x 1.75" at 50psi. It would seem to me the wider lower pressure XRs would be more plush, but they are not - weird. The only other difference is the 700C XRs are kevlar bead and the 26" XRs are steel bead. I'll try lowering the pressure to 45psi and see how they feel.

I have a number of other projects for this bike I want to undertake this winter including:
  • installing an ESGE double leg kickstand
  • installing fenders
  • replacing the cranks [42/32/22] with some Nashbar Trekking cranks [48/38/28]
  • replacing the square taper BB with an ISIS unit needed for the Trekking cranks
  • mount a Surly Nice front rack and fit some Ortlieb front panniers
  • install a second stem and mount an Ortlieb handle bar bag to it
  • confirm stem height and cut steerer tube
  • installing a B&M mirror
  • start collecting the parts for a pair of heavy duty wheels
The end result will be a bit of a tank, but it should be a great go anywhere touring bike.

No comments: