Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Street is rolling again...

I'm embarrassed to admit what an amateur I have been the last month with the RANS Street. I wanted to upgrade the brakes and tires which should have been a piece of cake, but I managed to drag it out in a month long ordeal of incompetence! Getting some Big Apples and installing them was easy. It was the brakes that caused me all the grief. I wanted to get rid of the perpetual squeal of the Tektro discs that were on the bike. It just ruined the whole ride for me to have an ear piercing squeal at every stop. I tried cleaning the rotors and pads which helped, but didn't solve the problem. Perhaps a better mechanic could have figured out what to do next, but in my limited repertoire my best bet was to install some equipment I was familiar with and worked well. My first thought was some Deore V-brakes...they are simple, cheap and for sure I can set them up to work quietly. I got some from my LBS and removed the discs on the Street before I realized the Street didn't have any canti-posts to attach the brakes to....damn! At that point I waffled between getting discs or getting the canti-posts and proceeding with the V-brakes.

In my defense I was really busy and went on several bike tours in this period so my free time to work on bikes was minimal. I eventually decided that I might as well stick with disc brakes after I factored in the hassle and cost of getting the canti-posts I needed. Then I waffled about which discs to use and where to get them from. I'm normally a very decisive person so this was a bit bizarre - nevertheless that's what happened. The whole while I kept reaching for the Street or had friends ask to ride it before I recalled it was out of business.

Well I'm happy to report I finally got everything installed and ready to roll. The sad part was not only did it take a long time, but I ended up using brakes I had in my inventory - a pair of the original Avid mechanical discs from around 2000. Essentially BB7s, but before they called them that. So now The Street is rolling on some comfy Big Apples and stopping fast & quietly with the Avids...crank forward nirvana.

Unfortunately I'm about to depart on a 3 week bike tour to the Canadian arctic, but the lovely and talented Anna has requested the Street to ride to work and to share with her friends. Although I'll have to wait a while to really enjoy the new upgrades at least I'll know that Anna and her friends will be putting lots of miles on this red beauty. Hopefully the Street won't hold a grudge and we can get some nice late summer riding when I'm back.

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