Friday, September 12, 2008

Tweaking the Fuji

When I first got this Fuji League, one of the things I did was strip off the coasting bits and make it in to a fixed gear bike. A bit later, I traded my multi-geared mountain bike for fixed gear mountain bike. Having two fixies seems excessive and redundant, so I recently spent some time tweaking the Fuji into something different. Something that would let me coast and shift.

I figured if I was going to have multiple gears, I might as well have a bunch of them. I found a Sakae triple crankset in my parts pile. Matched up with the Fuji's original six-speed rear wheel, I get a very nice range of gear ratios that when plugged into Sheldon Brown's handy gear calculator looks like this:

5223.8 %4240.0 %30
15.4 %
13.3 %
11.8 %
15.8 %
18.2 %

A couple of old Shimano derailleurs are controlled by my all time favorite cheap shifters (friction only! work with anything! We sell a pair of 'em for $10 new including cables at Bike Works!)

While I didn't want to make the Fuji into a full-bore Xtracycle-style beast of burden, all my bikes wind up hauling groceries, tools, camping gear and so forth. A Jandd Frame Pack holds tools and snacks while larger loads can be carried in the rear basket. The basket is a Rubbermaid Dish Drainer that I modified by cutting and folding the dish holding ridges down flat. I also attached a couple of rear blinkies to the rear of the basket.

Over the years I've experimented with different handlebars, and concluded that Grant Petersen and I just disagree on this particular subject. Grant can find good things to say about Noodle Bars, Moustache Bars and North Road Bars but doesn't particularly care for the bars I favor, flat bars with bar ends. To each his own.


CSA said...


I have a flat bar on my Monocog and a flat bar with barends on my '93 Trek "Speed Cruiser" and a Nitto Noodle Bar on my Redline 925. The 925 came with a Mustache bar, but the multi-position thing they say you have with them, just didn't seem to pan out. I do agree with Grant,that the Noodle bar is comfortable, however, a flat bar with bar-ends is good too. I think a lot of the comfort issue with any handlebar can be solved with handlebar height as he states. The only ting I really "don't" like about drops is always having to reach for the levers. Which is not the case with a flat bar.

I think a drop bar at saddle height would be more comfortable than a flat bar 3" below saddle height and vice versa. I have to say though ... climbing and accelerating from a stop with a mustache bar are a few nice benefits of that design.

Like you said ... to each his own.

Anonymous said...

It's the Matt Chester-style flared n'shallow drop bars (e.g., the On-One "Midge") for me. Plenty wide, with lot's of room on the tops for riding more upright when I want, plus drops that I actually use.

I like the look of some bikes I've seen with swept back risers and moustache bars, but don't care much for riding 'em like that. Glad there's lotsa choices out there, though.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kent,

came from classic drops, flat bars, midge, mary, all the way back to a flat bar paired with bar-ends again on my pompino.
The midges are in the fridge as I'm told by MC they match only with a dedicated high front frame and long top tube. I dislike the small flat section on the midge. You got to ride them 99% in the drops.

Your writing is a joy. Many Thanks.

Anonymous said...

ok, that basket is about perfect. Where did you find such a great wire dish rack,, in black no less?

Kent Peterson said...

I got the dish rack at the Fred Meyer store in Issaquah. Fred Meyer is one of those big "everything" stores.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rhmimac:

I partly agree with what you say about Midge bars, and note that the frames you say they match sound a lot like the frames "MC" designs to use them. I find they also work well on long top-tubed Surly Cross Checks, so long as the steerer's not cut too short (as with the available "complete" version) and they can be put up high enough.

Surprised you don't find the "tops" wide enough. I ride in the tops most of the time, and like 'em fine that way. To repeat the mantra du jour, "to each his own"...