Someone fixed the Sedona, and it wasn’t the bike shop…
Despite logging 135 miles on the Sedona so far this year, 2020 has been a really rocky year for the bike – which is practically new. In February, the freewheel hub snapped – putting the bike out of commission for just over a month. And recently, I discovered two broken spokes on the rear wheel. The rear tire had a tear in the sidewall thanks to a nail.
Today, I finally tackled the issue at the root. The solution: a new wheel.
The largest problem concerning the original wheel was the freewheel hub design, which is a notoriously bad design. I heard that even lighter people who ride mostly on pavement (like me) also have issues.
The replacement wheel is a Velocity CliffHanger wheel, which has a freehub (a superior design than the freewheel) and is a lot more rigid. The design is tailored toward Clydesdale riders like myself.
In addition to the new wheel I had to purchase a new cassette and a spacer. I went with the Sunrace 11-34t cassette.
I also replaced the old, torn tire with a new tire identical to the old: a Schwalbe Marathon (26×2.0.) I had contemplated switching gears (no pun intended) and going with the Continental Double Fighter tires that was my second choice, but I like the look of the Marathons. The reflective sidewalls are nice, but the tire actually matches extremely well with the frame.
Inner tubes also had to be changed. The CliffHanger wheel is drilled for a Presta valve, so I had to order the new tubes online. (No more buying tubes from Walmart.) I’m nervous about these tubes for two reasons. First, they’re Kenda. My luck with Kenda tubes has not been good, mostly because the valve stems separate from the tube. (Perhaps it’ll be different with a presta valve? Anyhow, the last time I purchased Kenda tubes one of them popped before I could even fully inflate the tire.) Second problem is the tubes are actually a size too narrow. The tubes I received are 26×1.5-1.75″, whereas the tire is a 26×2.0″. I read this should work, but we’ll have to see how well they hold up in the long term.
Installing the new tube in the front tire was slightly more difficult. Because the front tire was setup tubeless until now, there was Stan’s sealant all over the inside of the tire and part of the rim. I used a wet sponge to clean off the sealant before installing the new tube.
I used a Presta “valve saver” collar to properly install the new Presta tube in the front wheel that was drilled for a Schrader valve. It took a little while to get the valve as straight as possible.
After tightening down the lockring on the cassette, I reinstalled both wheels on the bike and took it for a test spin down the block. The bike rode and shifted fine.
But there’s one problem. I couldn’t get the rear brakes to slot back into place, so that will need to be fixed before I can do any more riding. However, everything else looks good. I’m hoping to do some riding on local trails after getting the issues with the rear brakes sorted out.
Stay tuned for more updates.
On May 20, I decided to take another stab at fixing the brake issue. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very successful. After adjusting the brake tension and doing some other things, I couldn’t get it to fit.
I also swapped the electrical tape rim strip on the new rear wheel for some gorilla tape, which I finally found in one of my moving boxes. While electrical tape can be used as a temporary rim strip, I’ve found that it eventually bunches up and causes issues after a while. The Gorilla Tape is more durable. While that’s not a huge concern since I also have the actual cloth rim strip installed on top of the tape, I still decided to change it.
Tu be or Not Tu Be 2.0: Another Tubeless Rant…
Speaking of the Gorilla Tape, I’ve been bouncing around the idea of doing another tubeless setup. As mentioned in the original post, I’ve decommissioned the front tubeless setup for a standard tube again. I’ve done several posts about the pros and cons of tubeless, and it just seems to be more of a novelty in my usage case than a beneficial upgrade. (I don’t run lower pressures that risk a pinch flat, and I’m definitely not a so-called “weight weenie.” If I was riding trails or doing other mountain bike stuff, I’d likely keep the tubeless setups.)
The reason I bring this up is the CliffHanger wheel is actually tubeless-ready. While removing the tire to install the Gorilla Tape, I noticed the tire was stuck to the rim. I’ve never had a successful Gorilla Tape tubeless setup, so this is the best chance to have one.
I’m thinking of possibly doing a dry test setup (without sealant) to see how well it holds up. But as for long term use, I’m thinking of possibly sticking with the standard clincher setup. Sealant makes a huge mess (especially without the split-tube) and I just don’t think it’s worth it. However, it would be nice to know if I could run this tire tubeless in case I decide to do so in the future – especially since I have to order the tubes online.
A tubeless setup can be frustrating, especially when working with parts that are not tubeless-ready. (See my previous posts on Ghetto Tubeless.) Tubes are not frustrating and are easy and quick to install. Usually, ordinary tubes don’t make a mess of your tire or rim. Tubeless tires won’t eliminate flats. Tubeless tires are typically just as prone to punctures as standard clincher setups are, the only difference is everyone running tubeless tires also have sealant in the tires to seal punctures. If flats are a problem, you can typically remove the valve core and pour some Stan’s in the tube to get that same protection. (However, in my experience, sealants in tubes usually end up gumming up the valve at some point – a problem I’ve heard is much worse with Presta valves. I haven’t had any issues with sealant gumming valves on the tubeless setups I’ve done. I’ve also heard that tubes with Stan’s will seal enough to get you home, but will go flat overnight, and it’s more difficult to mend the puncture. I don’t have any experience with tubes punctured after adding the Stan’s, but I used to add some Stan’s after patching punctured tubes – which worked fine.)
For most people, the benefits of going tubeless can even be negated. First, tubeless presents a false hope that you’re safe running lower pressures. In reality, you’re not. Pinch flats are still a thing even on tubeless setups, and are typically more catastrophic on tubeless setups since you’re cutting into the tire carcass instead of a tube. (You’d likely have a spare tube, but not a spare tire with you. Also, tubes are cheap in comparison to tires themselves.) Second, most tube manufacturers make thinner, lighter tubes for weight weenies. However, many of these lighter tubes – especially the latex ones – leak air quicker and require to be reinflated more often, and are usually far more expensive than your run-of-the-mill tube. Some tubeless setups – like the split-tube Ghetto Tubeless setup I rode – are actually heavier than what a standard clincher setup with a lightweight or even standard tube would weigh.
Tubeless is one of the many controversial cycling topics. Some people love tubeless and swear by it. Others hate it and stay far away from it, even on mountain bikes where tubeless setups are quickly becoming the norm.
The Sedona is currently being stored at the same location the Pinnacle has been, so I decided to pull the Pinnacle out and take a look at it. Nothing’s changed since it went into storage, and nothing is likely to change soon. The Pinnacle needs new rims, new tires (current ones are fine, but when I work on this bike I’d like to replace them with gumwall tires), new seat, new handlebar grip tape, work on the gearing and just lots of R&R to get it back up and running.
I’ve developed a sweet spot for old road bikes from the 1980s. Unfortunately, the Pinnacle is down and will require a lot of time and money to properly restore – really, it’ll require more time and money than it’s worth.
The Pinnacle hasn’t gone anywhere since my Bike Check in September 2019. This bike has a lot of sentimental value to me, so it likely won’t go anywhere. But it likely won’t be road-worthy in a long time, if I ever even get around to fixing it.
Back to the Sedona, my goal is to get the rear brake up fixed so I can hit some local trails and avoid turning into a potato this summer. However, the weather looks like it will delay that another week.