Monday, August 22, 2011

The Phoenix Project - First Sea Trials

Background on The Phoenix Project is available here and here.

We're getting a little ahead of ourselves here since we still have some componentry to discuss, dissect, and in at least on case, totally flame. But today The Phoenix Project 1985 Trek 620 went on a first ride.

I've been slowly wrenching this together in between blog posts and the wrenching has gotten a bit ahead of the posts. Today, I decided I saw daylight and could take a first ride before my wife and son return to Japan. So I hitched up the trailer and little Otaku Jr. and I rode to Bethesda and back, about a 10 mile ride.

Here is the 1985 Trek 620 as it stands today, I didn't have toe clips and straps for the ride:

You can see I've gone with mustardy yellow brake cable housings.

Little Otaku Jr. is not so little anymore at 7 years old, but he still fits into the trailer.  We stopped at the Rock Creek Trestle, a traditional bike photography point.  The late afternoon light was a little harsh:

No issues on the ride other than having to tighten the seatpost clamp a smidge.

The Berthoud Aravis saddle is very firm but seems agreable.  The Dura Ace SL-7700 shifters are buttery smooth in friction mode, I'm very impressed with these.

The Sugino OX801D crankset deserves a bit of discussion.  First is what I didn't notice.  Regular readers may recall that I ordered these in 160mm arm length.  I had ridden several miles before I remembered this fact and that I should be taking notice of the difference.  That alone is a testament to how little effect I noticed from the short arm length.

Between the crank construction and the external bottom bracket bearings, these babies are very stiff.  The low Q-Factor of 145mm is noticeable by my knees occasionally brushing the seatpost water bottle.  And all the shift assist gimcrackery on the rings makes the shifting from the 30 to the 46 ring very simple and flawless.

As for that 30 ring, in combination with a 27 tooth max cog in the rear the lowest gear is about 30 gear inches.  This was ok for pulling a 7 year old in a trailer on not too hilly ground, but it is clear that hillier loaded riding is going to need a lower gear.  But it is fine for lightly loaded riding around Washington DC.

The Royce Titan Venus hubs roll smoothly.  At first, the freehub was nearly silent but after a few miles of working itself in, it developed a rather louder click when freewheeling.  I actually prefer this as it notifies pedestrians of my approach.

Overall, everything worked flawlessly.  Following this ride, I puttered around the bike making some minor adjustments.  The course was mostly unpaved gravel, an effective stress relieving exercise, but the rims are still perfectly true so I gave myself an attaboy for my wheelbuilding.

In any event, there are still some major components to be reviewed, so stay tuned.


mkeller234 said...

It's looking very nice. I am really curious to see which part gets the flames. For now, enjoy the time with your family!

robatsu said...

Thanks! My family just went back to Japan, so I've got time on my hands to finish up this series of posts.

JBL said...

FWIW (and I realize this post is two years old now), the picture of the OX801d on your Trek convinced me that it would be A-OK for my Pinarello 650b conversion.

Nice bikes!

JBL said...

FWIW, the picture of your Trek convinced me the OX801d would be A-OK for my 650b conversion build.

Sweet bikes! Hope you're having fun with them.