Thursday, March 24, 2005

The 26-foot test track

I put in the tubes (I'm afraid there's a slow leak already in the rear tube, but I'm not sure. Maybe the valve was just leaking at first, but now it's fine? But some air was definitely coming out. But now it seem to be fine. I'll guess I'll know in the morning). The tires list their maximum pressure in BAR, 5 of them. How cute. I've never seen that on a bike! Those crazy French.

I seem to remember from high-school chem/phys that a BAR is about 1 atmosphere. But that doesn't help me. Tires in Amuurica are inflated in PSI, pounds per square inch. Luckily, the web tells me that 5 bars is equal to about 75 PSI, which isn't bad for a 32mm-wide tire. I'll put the front at 70 and the rear at 80.

Then I rode the bike down the 26-foot test track.

I'm a professional driver and this is a closed course, so no worries, mate. The track runs from the rear wheel in the bathroom to front wheel hitting the counters under the kitchen sick. That's over 3 full wheel revolutions! The test track is 2-feet wide at it's narrowest, as it passes the table by the front door. So don't try this at home. Plus there are clogs and stools to avoid.

Anyway, the wheels creaked a bit, which is what I wanted. Less than I expected, which is good sign that the wheels are built well. The creaking is sound of the spokes settling into place under the 200-some pounds of me on the bike. And all seems well...

...except the damn rear wheel which is going flat. Fuck. I could have bought an extra tube, but no, I thought, "why buy an extra tube when six are coming in the mail?" But now I can't ride the bike until I get another tube. Oh well, I got to put weight on the wheels. I guess there's really nothing anything else for me to do until the new cables or the fenders or Zora arrives at my door.

On the plus side, the toe clips seem to have enough clearance, at least for a few peddle revolutions as you get the bike going.

You can also see the obvious difference between the clearance on a standard 27-inch (700mm) wheel.

No room for fenders or nothing!

On the otherhand, the Bluebird sports sexy 26-inch (650B) wheels. Look at all this exciting room:

What's the downside? None that I can think of.

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