More experimentation

Not too much to say about yesterday’s ride home. Uneventful, around 30 degrees. Wore the same stuff as the morning ride minus the head band, and was comfortable.

This morning, I switched to the fixie, with a couple of new twists. The first addition was fenders, which I put on last week, to see how they would work. This was my first ride with them, and it worked out pretty well. The fenders don’t rub the tires at all, and they are pretty quiet. 3 observations:

  • On bumpy roads, the rear fender rattles a bit against its mounting clip (behind the brake bridge).  I expected this, and I think I can fix it with a bit of electrical tape on the top of the fender.
  • “Toe strike,” where the front toes touch the back of the front fender, is a bit more of an issue on this bike than the other. This wasn’t a problem while riding, but it could be an issue with track standing or low-speed turns.  I don’t think it will keep me from using fenders on this bike, as long as I can take them off when I don’t need them.
  • I still need to figure out a good way to attach the front of the back fender, as the bike lacks a chainstay bridge. Right now I’m using zip ties to attach it to the seat tube, but this isn’t an ideal long term solution as it allows the fender to slide back and forth.  Also, I want the fenders to be easy to remove and replace, so I’m trying to avoid using zip ties.

All in all, I think this was a successful proof of concept.  With a few tweaks, it looks like the fenders are going to work out.

The second novelty this morning was my use of a side pannier, facilitated by the pannier adapter I got for Christmas to go with my Topeak “Beam Rack” system.  I’ve been using a side pannier for awhile on my road bike (which has a traditional rack attached to frame eyelets) but this was my first time with one on the fixie.  It worked out fine, and the rack stayed in place.

Nothing else noteworthy about this ride.  I did an 11 miler which included a loop through the park.  River Road, while not completely clear, was bikeable all the way out to the swinging bridge without the need to dismount and walk.  With temperatures pushing freezing, I wore the same clothes as last night and was pretty comfortable.  No cold feet today.. yay.