It fits!

Getting the rear wheel off my Eastman Roadster is a colossal pain in the ass. It requires tools I don’t usually carry, and time I don’t want to spend. So, I don’t want a flat rear tire, ever. I need to get the most bulletproofest tire imaginable for back there. My thinking is that the Schwalbe Marathon Plus is about the most bulletproofest tire in the world.

I also wanted a big fat beefy tire for soaking up bumps, preventing pinch-flats, and general aesthetics. So, I was going to order a 47mm Marathon Plus. But those are expensive, and what if it didn’t fit?

So, I went ahead and got a regular Marathon (without the Plus) in the 47mm size, to save a few bucks, and make sure that size would work. I was sure the 47 would fit up front in any event, and front flats are easy to fix, so I don’t need the extra super-duper bulletproofness.

Well, the Marathon arrived in the mail yesterday, and I spent a good part of the morning wrestling it onto the rim.

And… It fits!! Hoorah!

700x47 Schwalbe Marathon on the Eastman Roadster

Now I can order the Marathon Plus for the rear, move the Marathon to the front, and cycle over hill and dale without worrying about having the rear tire go flat.

I think it fills out the fender nicely. Much better than the 630 x 32 I have mounted in the front – currently on loan from the girlfriend’s bike.

Eastman Roadster w Schwalbe 700x47 tires

The downside of all this is that the Roadster project was supposed to be cheap way to get a bike comparable to the Pashley Roadster Sovereign. I suspect that by the time I have it all set up the way I want it, I’ll have spent just as much money as if I’d just bought the Pashley in the first place. 🙁

Codorus s24o

I went on another s24o with doc and sloth this weekend. We met up at Doc’s house and threw our bikes and camping supplies in the back of his truck for the ride down to the YHRT trailhead.

Around this time I remembered that I had forgotten my tarp poles. Not really a big deal, I assumed I could find a few sticks in the campsite to set up my tarp with.

So, we rode down the YHRT, stopping at Serenity Station for some lunch.

Me riding my bike

After lunch, we had a few more miles of rail trail before turning off into the real world. I was a little nervous about this part, because I was the one who mapped out the route to the campground, and I did so without any real knowledge of the area. I just looked up the topography view on gmaps, and tried to steer us around any big hills, while simultaneously keeping us off busy roads. Luckily, I was pretty successful. We had a few hills, but nothing horrible. Traffic was also pretty minimal until we got close to the campsite.

The route from the rail trail to the campground

A few miles before the campsite, we had some weather. It rained on us for maybe the last 2 miles of the ride, but once we got to our site in the “Timberdoodle Roughin’ It Area” of the campground, it had mostly stopped.

We decided to pitch our shelters before making dinner, in case it started back up again.

As I had forgotten my tarp poles, I had to make a little expedition into the woods to look for some sticks. The only sticks I could find were a little on the thin side, and a wee bit rotten, but they only had to hold a few pounds of tension, so I guessed they would serve.

My tarp, setup with rotten sticks

After dinner, sloth poured a small vial of olive oil into his little cook pot. He lit up a second Esbit tablet when I asked him what he was up to. “popcorn!” He said. He was going to try to make popcorn over an Esbit tablet. It was the wackiest thing I had heard all day, and I was not optimistic about the odds of successful popcorn popping.

I was wrong. It did work, and the popcorn was pretty good. Luckily, Doc snapped a photo of the popcorn with the still-burning Esbit stove to document this achievement, as nobody would have believed it otherwise.

Popcorn over an Esbit stove

After dinner, we had some festive beverages, and a bit of conversation before turning in for the night.

About an hour after bedtime, it started raining. Hard. It rained pretty much all night long, which was kind of nice, because it chased the bugs away, and I was having some insect issues in my open tarp.

Just before dawn, I had to get up the answer the call of nature. I noticed that my tarp was much closer to my face than it was when I went to sleep. Nylon stretches when it gets wet, so the whole tarp had lost a good bit of tension and there was water pooling in some of the low spots.

As I was walking back from my trip to the potty, I briefly considered tightening things back up, but I figured we would be getting up for breakfast soon anyhow. Then, calamity struck! I tripped over one of the guylines, and one of my rotten little sticks snapped in two! The whole tarp came crashing down, dumping water all over my camping gear.

I therefore decided it was time to get up. I got my breakfast sorted out, and my camping compatriots were stirring soon thereafter. We were underway in a stiff drizzle by 8:00 or so.

We returned to Serenity Station for a second breakfast, and made the final push up the rail trail towards York.

At around the 50 mile mark, I was feeling pretty tired and lightheaded. Then I beheld a truly amazing spectacle. A penguin had waddled out onto the trail maybe 100 feet in front of us. This was very disconcerting, because penguins are not indigenous to this part of Pennsylvania. I asked my companions what manner of animal that was up ahead. They reported that it was a cat. It still looked like a penguin to me, but in a few seconds, it changed direction, and then I could see that it was, in fact, feline. A black and white feline, but a feline to be sure. I don’t know if I was just really tired, or if maybe Serenity Station puts hallucinogens in their breakfast omelets.

At any rate, we were soon back in downtown York, covering a total distance of 55 miles for the weekend.

Despite the rain, the tarp failure, and the hallucinatory penguins, it was a lovely time. I can’t wait to do it again.

More Roadster Updates

I have been fine-tuning the roadster a bit. I was having problems with the Brooks b72 saddle. When I sat on it, the skirts would open up, and drop my butt right on top of the seatpost. Not fun. So, I took a drill and the lace from an old boot, and laced her up nice and tight. She seems a bit more comfortable now.

Brooks B72 laced up

It took a lot of trial and error with washers, but I was able to get the gearcase back on. I had to add a few washers between the chain stay and the gearcase to compensate for the widening of the rear end. It mostly works now, but now the driveside pedal rubs it a bit on the road. It doesn’t do that in the repair stand, so I’m not sure what the problem is. If you click the picture, you can see how it’s messing with the paint on the bottom of the gearcase.


Anyhow, now that she was looking all spiffy, I threw my Kindle in the Carradice and rode down by the river to read for a while.

Eastman Roadster

I’m still having problems with the seat post slipping. I cut a shim from a soda can and stuck it in around the seatpost. The post is supposed to be 1″ (25.4mm) I measured it, and the seatpost is the right size, so that must mean the seat tube it too big. I even measured the shim I made (0.1mm). I may have to try a 25.6mm post, if I can find one in my pile-o’-bike-junk.

At any rate, it’s a fun bike to ride. People look at me funny, and then smile when I come rolling by.

Eastman Roadster Update

I’ve made a few updates to my Eastman Roadster bike. I got the thing in late November of last year, rode it once, and pretty much haven’t ridden it since. It was a single speed. The rod brakes were terrible, and made changing the wheel an enormous pain in the ass.

The Eastman in its original configuration

The frame has no provision for a dérailleur, and it doesn’t even have any way to put proper brakes on it. So, I had Hiawatha Cyclery build me a new rear wheel with a Sturmey Archer XL-RD5(W) hub. This means I now have 5 gears instead of one, and drum brakes in the hub.

I had the frame cold-set for 130mm in the back (it was 110mm from the factory). I tore off all the rod brake hardware, including the stem and handlebars. I had a dirt drop stem and some albatross bars laying around anyhow, and they seem to work out ok.

Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub

The clamp that came with the hub to hold the reaction arm in place was too small for the beefy chainstays, so I got a “Roadster Brake Clip” from Harris Cyclery, and that fits pretty nicely. You can see in the above picture how badly I boogered up the paint job trying to make the SA clip work.

I’m not sure if the full chaincase will still work with all the re-aligning of the back end. I’m too timid with the cottered cranks to find out for the moment.

Here she is in her current state.

Eastman Roadster - a work in progress

I still have a few parts on order. I accidentally stripped the threads in the seatpost binder so the seat slips a lot when I ride her. I hope the new binder gets here by Monday night, because I’d like to ride her in the Bike Summit on Tuesday.

If Sturmey Archer ever gets their production issues sorted out, I’d like to get an XL-FDD for the front. I’m a little too scared to go down the big hill on my commute with only a rear brake, and my regal corpulence demands the 90mm brakes instead of the measly 70mm ones in the X-FDD.

With sealed drum brakes fore and aft, a totally sealed drivetrain, and dynamo lighting, this thing could easily be the ideal winter commute bike. Especially since it fits pretty big tires. I have a 37mm Pasela in the back now, and I’m sure I could get a 40mm Marathon Winter to fit.