22 June 2013

Ready for LEL -- Voyage, Voyage

I still have more training to do -- the Fuji SR600 coming up --  but my bike ("Voyage") is ready for London Edinburgh London.

I've selected the wheels, lighting and storage options (though I may go with a larger rear bag ultimately).  The major tweaks from recent rides are below, as of June 22.  Updates further below are as of July 7.

(1) I have added some new carbon bottle holders (via Aliexpress) and will take advantage of the ability to attach a third bottle holder under the downtube.  As you can see, I have a tool canister in the third bottle holder.  This will free up space in the rear and handlebar bags for other, lighter weight gear.

UPDATE:  Though I will use the third bottle holder, I am a bit disappointed by its small capacity.  Its main purpose will be for storing a few heavier items, since the Rixen Kaul klick-fix seatpost attachment is rated for a maximum of 2 kgs.  I will probably use the slightly larger Rixen Kaul bag (photo below) rather than the Voyager Mini-Flex (photo above).

(2) I will go with my trusty SV-8 dynamo hub, Velocity A23 rim, 32 Sapim CX-Ray spokes, and Supernova E3 Pro light.  For the rear wheel I will use the A23 rim I built with a Chris King classic hub and 32 spokes (drive side DT Swiss Competition, non-drive side Revolution0.

When I mounted the Supernova at my front brake attachment last month, I found that when I would turn the mounting bracket hit the shifting cable's barrel adjusters, which are at the base of the headtube.  This limited my turning angle to around 25-30 degrees -- a potential issue at slow speed.  It also would knock the light and brake off-center, and I feared that with time repeated impact against the cables would sever the inner shifter cables.  So I am mounting the light off a handlebar mount, with an extension high enough to avoid obstruction from the Ortlieb handlebar bag.  I considered the "axle mount", but I like this better -- at least I will try it for the SR600, to confirm it is stable.

UPDATE:  Using the light attachment pictured above, the light kept slipping forward/pointing down toward the ground, and was only really stable after being secured with a plastic tie looped from the light back around the handlebar stem.  I have since found another brake-base mount attachment that does not interfere with the barrel adjusters and, with some metal-bending, I managed to attach it to the Supernova light.  This seems to be a better solution for me than the SR600 attachments or the axle.  I should make a better attachment, or have one made, by someone with some scrap metal and a good drill.

(3) I also hooked up the Lightcharge USB charger again for some help in re-charging batteries (*limited to dry, daylight hours), to help keep the Garmin Edge 800 going over 4~5 days of LEL.  It has the benefit of being cheap, easy to install, and it should not compromise my lighting even if it happens to get waterlogged somewhere in Scotland.

UPDATE:  I tried to use the Lightcharge USB charger on my iphone ... and the amount of the charge over a 45+ minute plus descent with constant speed between 30 and 50kph was only around 6% of the phone's capacity.  I think "The Plug" does slightly better, but installation would be difficult.  I will go with battery chargers for Garmin and iphone, one more time.

(4) I plan to use the Axiom Fastback DLX reflex fenders -- clip on and off for easy packing.

UPDATE:  I will now use the SLS Raceblade Long removable fenders.  Easier clip on and off, better coverage, and slightly more stable.  See the updated fender review.

(5) new bartape, with gel pads underneath.  This and 700x25 (or 700x24) tires at sub-100psi, with 23mm wide rim traditional 3x spoked wheels should prevent hand pain, even if the road surfaces are poor.

UPDATE:  On the SR600, the bar tape/gel worked very nicely.  Also my shoes worked well -- no hot foot or pain whatsoever.  I will go with my favorite 700x24 Vittoria Open Pave CG tires.  My Conti 700x25s will be spares, one on the bike and one or two in my drop bag(s).

(6) a SRAM Rival "wi-fli" long cage rear derailleur and 11-32 rear cassette (to give me easy climbing gears with 53-39 front chainrings -- essentially the same low gear ratio as with 11-28 and 50-34 compact crankset gearing).

UPDATE:  LEL set up pictured below.


CM said...

I'm thinking about getting one of those hub powered lights.

Will the headlight's beam be less effective in that high position?

What are you using for a red blinky tail light. I think there are ones that can be poweered by the front hub.

What is that bottle cage mounted tool canister, I'd like to get one.

What kind of tires and saddle will you use?

All the best on that ride.


David L. said...

1. No, the light will be plenty effective from the high location. The only issue will be less light on the road immediately around the front tire. I am used to having it a bit lower, but I think this will work fine.

The problem with the low position (off the right side of the axle -- attached to the end of the QR skewer) is that the light needs to point up more into drivers' eyes in order to light far up the road ... and it is less effective farther out. On the other hand, it does a great job of showing bumps in the pavement over the 10 meters in front of the bike.

2. I have been meaning to do a post on rear lights. Stay turned.

For my tail lights, I will use a Fiberflare on one seatstay, a similar, but smaller (slightly less bright, but much better waterproofed and a bit more expensive) IPF X-tail LED light stick on the other seatstay, plus a flasher (Cateye?) on my rear bag, and a small bright Bike Guy Tristar red light on the back of my helmet.

I have not hooked up my dynamo hub to a rear light, but if you want a dynamo-powered rear light, they have a big selection you can browse at www.bike24.com (German online retailer) -- which is where I have gotten all my dynamo lights.

David L. said...

3. The tool canister is an Elite Byasi -- OGK Kabuto, Shimano and others make similar products. I got it via Amazon.co.jp, but you can see them at Y's along the Tamagawa.

4. I will use a Fizik Arione saddle ... the only saddle I have used regularly (in several minor variations) for the past 6-7 years. I recently got a Brooks B17, and used the "Lon Haldeman method" to break it in and it seems very comfortable ... but if I wanted to use it for LEL, I should have been testing it on all the shorter brevets. And it is significantaly heavier, so less travel-friendly.

5. Tires -- Either Conti 700x25 Gran Prix Four Season (rear) and 4000S (front), or maybe Vittoria Open Pave Evo CG 700 x 24. My fenders and brake/frame clearances are no problem with 700x25, but Voyage is really not a bike for 700x30 or larger, so I will leave the Gran Bois tires at home, for future use with the Yamabushi. Whichever set I do not use will be my spares.

TOM said...

David, I want to buy a bag attachable to the seatpost like on your brevet bike. Which brand is that by the way? I especially like the way they are removed from the saddle (if too close, the back of my tighs touches which I hate!)

Good luck and lots of fun on your voyage!

David L. said...

Hi Tom:

The bag is a "Voyager Flex Mini". I got it on clearance at at bike shop in Vancouver, BC. I see it available on Amazon US for US$40 not sure about Japan or elsewhere. I like it, for the reasons you state and because it is not too big, but not too small. Just right for many uses, especially if I have the Ortlieb front bag as well for a longer brevet.

It uses a Rixen Kaul klickfix attachment ... so I think you could find other bags as well with a similar distance behind the seatpost based on that system. The attachment is supposedly not to be used with a carbon seatpost -- will scratch/score it, I guess. I like this attachment system -- very easy to use and so far no problems -- though it does have a weight limit.

TOM said...

Thanks a lot David. I will look for this one...that Rixen Kaul klickfix attachment is what I will need in the first place.