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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Spring Bicycle Detail Day

Today was the full Spring clean-up for my bicycle. It took all day and it was a Q-Tips, toothbrush, lots of microfiber towels kind of detail. No power washer. I even used Finish Line Gear Floss to floss the gears on the rear wheel.

The finishing touch was some Collinite 915. That's the good stuff - a real carnauba wax.

I started riding this bike in May 2012. I still really like my bike.

The frame is from Zinn Cycles. They make bikes for very big and or tall people.

The first build up was by Castro Valley Cyclery. The pinstriping was done by The Line Dr. Herb Martinez of Livermore. He is in multiple Hot Rod Hall Of Fames for his great paint work over the years for many people including Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.

Napa River Velo did some work, and the latest tune and build was from St Helena Cyclery with wheels and hubs refreshed by Phil Wood & Co. Mac's Harpeth Bikes in Franklin TN did a full service when I sent it there in advance of the Jack and Back MS ride.

Thanks to all!

Yes it does have manual shifters like old school bikes used to have. I hit my budget top before it was done. Zinn Cycles asked me what I wanted for shifters and brakes. Everything was expensive (now it is all even more expensive) so I said "am I crazy to want manual shifters?" They said "yes but it's your bike!" with a laugh. So that was how it was built.

I am so used to it now that I don't think I'll "upgrade." I might put a disc brake on the front. The old school shifters are so reliable and easy to adjust that I love it. I am sure the new stuff is awesome, but I don't know what I'm missing as I happily ride along and reach down to grab a gear or two.

There are a lot more choices now for gearing a bicycle. I started with a triple chainring and a mountain bike cassette at the back.

The front gears are also kind of weird. Who runs French chainrings? Hmm well I guess I do.

I think it all goes back to looking for a certain combination of big and small gears on the front. Peter White Cycles helped me pick out the 2 Spécialités TA Zephyr chainring gearing that I have been using for a long time. It is about time to order some more. So far so good. C'est tout bon.

I've ridden so many places on this bike, including 3 trips across Iowa on RAGBRAI, multiple chairity events, short rides, long rides... and I still love it. It make me feel like a kid and maybe helps me be a little or a lot more healthy.

No I'm not fast and I hate climbing hills but I know I shoud do it more. I'll average 12 to 15 mph. That's pretty slow for most people that do group rides so lots of my miles are solo. That's fine with me. I have a great time!

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