What we have here is a mechanic owned bicycle, that has been meticulously maintained during it's entire life, washed and cleaned after every year of use (maybe). It has a number of unique innovations and features that you won't find anywhere else, on any other bike. These innovations give the bike a certain je ne sais quoi, that borders the line of exhilaration and death.
First up is perhaps one of the most important innovations in the cycling world since the freewheel. From Big Ron Innovations (BRI), I am proud to finally reveal to the world my new Loose Ass Bearing Technology (LABTech). With LABTech, BRI takes your standard dynamo hub, and rides the shit out of it until the bearings are shot and have a quarter inch of play side to side. This has a few benefits. First, the dynamo hub spins just as smooth as a well adjusted, high end hub. Second, the electric output of the hub is compromised. This gives you all the weight penalties of a dynamo, with none of the drag, and none of the electricity. Brilliant. There is also significant self steer on the front end, which means you spend less time worrying about steering, and more time pedaling. Perfect.
Setting up a bike with LABTech is a little tricky. The headset needs to be run overly tight to prevent the front from being completely loosey goosey. I've also found it works best with a front tire that has worn unevenly, to accentuate the self steer of the hub. YMMV. Look for an in depth post about setting up a LABTech bike in the near future.
It is important to pair up a dynamo lighting system that also does not work to a LABTech hub. I've achieved that by making sure that the cables connecting my dynamo light and integrated USB charging device are torn out, allowing water to get into the system to short out the internals. This is the painstaking result of dragging the bike through trees and brush with wires flapping in the breeze. The final result of the entire dynamo system is probably 2 lbs with no benefits, other than making the bike heavier to give you a better workout.
The next important innovation is in the braking department. I've painstakingly worn in these rotors for 2.5 years, resulting in a large amount of scoring and corrosion. When mated with pads that are likely glazed over, they give you marginally more braking power than no brakes at all. They also act as an integrated bear deterrent device, making a high pitched squeal every time you brake. This is an excellent feature because if a bear were to run out on the road in front of you, the brakes would certainly not stop you in time to avoid a collision. As with the LABTech, there are some idiosyncrasies to this setup, especially when paired with LABTech. Since the front wheel moves side to side so much, the front brakes must be run quite loose to avoid any rubbing, and for symmetrical braking feel, it is recommended that the rear is also run loose.
Now to the rear of the bike. There are a number of exciting things happening here. First up is the rack attachment system. I designed these custom strut extensions a day before leaving on the trip. They are pieces of scrap stainless steel, held onto the bike with rusted bolts and P clamps. Proper set up of a BRSE is, once again, key. It is vitally, vitally important to set the left BRSE so that it cuts into the brake housing. This helps improve the braking feel and modulation, particularly when mated with my method of scored rotors and glazed pads.
This bike is so svelte that it has "Rack Gap". When the rack bolt sheared off, I didn't fret, I saw it as another chance to innovate. It is simply what I do. As a temporary fix, I attached the rack strut with a hose clamp, and covered the sharp ends of the hose clamp with electrical tape. If you fancy living dangerously, the electric tape could be removed to allow the end of the hose clamp to flop around in the breeze. This can double as a theft deterrent. This temporary fix was made about 1,000 miles ago and has been deemed "good enough". It is now permanent.
I have optimized the shifting to be non optimized. There are a few ways I have achieved this. First, is what I have dubbed a "BAD cage", a Bent Ass Derailleur Cage. The cage was bent before I left on this trip, and, as a professional mechanic, I said, "It's fine", and I was right! It shifts, but not without lots of grinding, cursing, and over shifting. When mated with a worn, dry chain, the BAD cage grinds like a mofo in the lowest 3 gears. I've also adjusted the high limit screw in too far so that there is some grinding on both ends, because symmetry.
Mated to the BAD cage is a double crankset with chainrings that the manufacturer recommends not be paired together because the shifting will not be optimal. It is also iffy that they are meant to be used with a 10 speed drivetrain, meaning that the chain occasionally catches and won't move. I've accentuated this poor shifting by ensuring that the front derailleur is set up just a tad incorrectly. The front derailleur shifts, but only when it feels like it.
Perhaps one of the biggest innovations on the bike is the antler aerobars. The Antler Retention System (ARS) is such that the antlers either poke you in the chest, or fall off when going over bumps. It adds yet another layer to the ride quality of the bicycle.
This is a bike that will bring you zen and calming. If you've been trying Serenity Now to find peace, this bike is for you. The bottom bracket creaks and squeaks, it occasionally sounds like it is talking to you. "You're...slow. You....suck" it creaks, with each pedal rotation.
This bike comes with a number of extras. It has four (4) dry bags with holes in them of varying size, making them more of "damp" bags. It's great for the touring cyclist that can't quite commit to keeping things dry.
It has a pump with a bad O ring, so the pump works, occasionally.
I can include smell proof bear bags that have holes in them, allowing the smell to escape. This is great if you want bears and other animals to know how good you're eating, and how gourmet your coffee is.
It also comes with a water pump that is clogged, and for the right price, another pump that has a hole in at such a location that untreated water runs into your water bottle along with treated water, increasing your chances of winning giardia roulette.
So, when will this get fixed? Well, it's all been inspected by a professional mechanic, and deemed "fine". The last thing I want to do is spend time working on my own bike.
Apparently I'm rough on equipment, for I am: