Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nivea's Do Everything Bike MK2

Nivea has only one bike so by necessity it's her commuter, touring bike and city bike. She has been talking about getting a new bike, perhaps a LHT [must be hanging around me too much!], but her existing bike was in dire need of an overhaul. Since I was supposed to take it easy this weekend and rest my battered[yes I can tell I'm almost 40!] I decided to pimp out her bike.

Her bike is an old steel framed Rocky Mountain that is running an 8 speed drivetrain. Besides a totally worn out drivetrain she was getting heel strike on her panniers due to the short chainstays and her wheels/tires/brakes had seen better days.

I added the following parts:
  • swapped in some slightly used wheels [LX hubs & Mavic rims] that are much lighter and stronger than her beat up hoops.
  • new Continental Sport Contact tires [26 x 1.3"] which will be fast and durrable for her commutes
  • new Shimano 8 speed mega-range cassette which will give her a lower gear for touring in the mountains
  • new Shimano Deore crankset with 22/32/42 rings which is simple, but effective
  • new Shimano square taper BB
  • Time ATAC Control Z pedals so she can clip in or ride with street shoes when she just wants to cruise
  • new rear shift cable & housing
  • new Filzer PR-2 rear rack with a longer platform so she won't hit her panniers when pedaling
  • new SRAM SX-4 rear derailleur
  • new SRAM 8 speed chain
  • new Deore v-brakes front and back with red Koolstop pads
  • new brake cables and housing
  • Planet Bike Cascadia rear fender
  • SKS Shockboard front fender & MEC down tube splash guard
  • Planet Bike Superflash rear blinkie & front white LED headlight
  • Ergon Grips
  • Serfas mini-bar ends
  • bell
I'm pretty pleased with the result. The new drive train shifts smoothly and with new brakes & wheels the whole bike rolls along like a new machine. Hopefully the Egron Grips are comfortable. I had to move the controls inboard to make them fit so Nivea will have to see how the new setup feels.

The only thing I didn't swap out that does need love is her front derailleur. It's working, but a quick inspection revealed that it will need to replaced before next season. I'll keep my eyes open for a suitable candidate and put it on next time I work on her bike.

Although I think having a commuter bike and a touring bike would be great, her Rocky Mountain is a nice bike and could be made into a hardcore touring bike with the addition of drop bars and a LHT fork with front rack.

I love putting a new drive train on an old bike. It brings them back to life and makes them so much fun to ride again.

Full fender, slick tires, rear rack and blinkie turn this bike from sporty mountain bike into a practical hauling machine.

The new cockpit looks comfortable.

I love the Deore v-brakes beacuse they are cheap and work well. I couldn't resist upgrading the pads though. The fresh rubber will be fast for her commutes, but shouldn't get many flats.

The Deore crankset and mega-range cassette provide a useful gear range for everyday riding and touring in the mountains. Time ATAC pedals are versatile and don't need much maintenance.


Anonymous said...

Hey VIk, nice job on fixing up the bicycle. I was wondering though about the tires/tyres. Have you ever thought of putting on Schwalbe Big Apples? I put a pair on my commuter and have not had any reason to think of skinny tires again. I do not know about Calgary but here in Ottawa the roads are getting worse by the month/day and these things just float over the crevices I encounter on my commute home.

Vik said...

I had the Sport Contacts in my closet which is why I used them. Big Apples are great tires, but she loves to ride fast so I'm not sure she would be happy with that trade off for more comfort - especially since she has a suspension fork up front.

I commuted for a couple years in Calgary with 25mm tires on my MTB and a suspension fork. I found that combo totally fine.

I do like the Big Apples on my RANS Street and my Dahon D7.

Otto Van De Steene said...

I like the cockpit, on my last 1 month trip (3700km) I had problems with my arms falling asleep. Really annoying! (you can see it on my flickr pages)