SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Bikes Are Like Legos. Is this a Good Thing?

If, like me, you tend to spend most of your wrenching time on old steel road bikes, you quickly learn that most of the parts hung onto a bike frame are relatively interchangeable. Sure, seat posts come in a few different sizes aside from the now-nearly ubiquitous 27.2mm diameter, but most other things Just Fit. Like Lego blocks, you can just swap parts around as the whim suits you. My bikes have generally standardized around 700C wheels, 126-130mm rear hub spacing, English threading, and 1-inch headsets. Theoretically, I could move any wheelset and any drivetrain from any frame onto another. Although I've never put this into practice, I generally see this as a Good Thing.

After a mini-epic night ride with Carlos last Friday plus a mixed-terrain ride the next day, I've been fighting off a minor cold all week (woke up with a sore throat on Sunday, which still lingers today), and as such I haven't been riding. That allows ample opportunity for the mind to freewheel...

Right now, I'm visualizing the wheels and drivetrain from my Fuji cyclocross on the frameset from my Nishiki Sport...

Fuji Cross and a big rock

Nishiki Sport v1.0

"Why?" you might ask... Several reasons:

  • I'm trying to reduce the number of bikes I own for efficiency and economy.

  • I'm inspired by people who make the most of what they've got and "run whatcha brung".

  • I've really enjoyed riding my cyclocross bike, it's been a real education in how and where you can ride a skinny(er) tired, drop-bar'd bike, but it's not perfect; I think I'd prefer more traditional sport-touring geometry for mixed-terrain riding due to less wheel flop, and this would be a straightforward way for me to find out.

  • I think the Nishiki actually might have more rear tire clearance than the Fuji.

  • Cracked Rear Hub The rear hub on the Nishiki looks like the one in this borrowed photo, so taking that rear wheel outta service for awhile might be a wise precaution...

Now, that said, I did my first-ever mixed-terrain ride several years ago aboard the Nishiki Sport (I'd swapped a 2x6 drivetrain onto it) but that was a combined nightmare of getting lost, too-high gearing, too much air pressure in the tires, crappy brakes, and me not being in strong shape.

Hmm. I definitely think too much about this stuff...


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