Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

03 February 2014

forced to reevaluate your goals

I figured I had this bike, the $15 complete, 1989 StumpJhumper (the J is silent I understand), just cluttering up the joint with it's horribly good looking but dissatisfyingly small and spinny 26"edness. A bike around with which it would be possible to tinker. There is a lot of talk about the new new- when is there not in the bike industry?- and it is true I do not love the 26" for myself and my style of riding.

[aside: I feel that wheel size should be chosen to best match rider size/style and that 27.5"/650b-if-you're-nasty has a valid place if you are looking to retrofit a 700c bike with a larger volume tyre for some hott action ungettable on 25mm, or maybe if you are between 5'6'' to 5'11" and are real damn particular, otherwise it is a straight punch to the hard sell and some buy-it-because-you-lack type of snake oil.]

Anyhoo, I had nothing to lose and possibly something to learn, so I ordered some rims (25mm wide Velo Orange Diagonale 32h) and some tyres (2.2' wide Maxxis Ardent front and Crossmark rear- that Crossmark hooks up like a champ, too) and away I went.

27.5" and 26" respectively, in a science shoot-off.

There used to be a stop in the drop...

which I chopped. And later cleaned up with a file.

That derailler was crapped out and got replaced.

Clearance looks good.

I thought perhaps I might retain the Paul's cantis, but nope. For kicks, I put a v-brake arm on the boss. However the tyre is so tall the cable canoe rests atop it. It is times like these that allow me to bask in the warm glow of my bike-part hoard, though....WTB Speedmaster cantis c.1995. That is OG, son. The leverage is unfortunately reduced by moving the pads so far up the arm,but it runs and don't cost nuthin.

 Booty bin almost matching King hubs?!? Yep.

I been sitting on these for a while. This seemed like the time. It's been years since I rode a King rear, and I forgot how instantaneous pawl engagement is. It is a fucking delight.

Swapped out the dirt drops.

New parts are rims, tyres, cables/housing and purple lock-on grips because obviously. It's so nice at this point, I'll trade out the poopy chainrings and BB.

 Yes, I have been riding it. It's fun. The thing I notice most is the King's snappy get-up. The less than optimal cantis feature, too. As for the real point, the wheel size; the 27.5" climbs punchy or steep well. It is a slog on the longer stuff. I notice it's zzzzzzzzzzsmallness, just like a 26", and pine for a bigger momentum. Same on the flats. It handles nicely in the tight singletrack- speaking of which, the new 49?

 Holy shit. I have to say- whoever routed that, you did a real nice job. Thank you! Seems like you were constrained (by BLM distance regs?), and there were a couple too-tight serpentine folds that I think are going to wash out, but you clearly had to dump elevation and your mandate was clearly Good Times. That's a man date I like to go on. Well routed, player. Fun up, fun down.

In the end so far, I remounted the rear baskets and threw on the porteur rack and it will be a fun townie and spare camping bike. It's fun, but not a dedicated trail bike for me. Also, I could potentially use those wheels on that old Salsa La Raza, whenever I actually get that running again.

If, for whatever reason, you got an old 26" bike you wanna swap over, it is likely doable. Even easier if using a disc specific wheelset.

That is all.