Sedona Update: February 2021

The 2016 Giant Sedona received some upgrades, but still needs a lot of work…

Unlike the previous winter, I haven’t been able to log many hours on the Sedona this winter. A busy schedule, along with periods of nasty weather, have dampened my plans to log a lot of miles on my bike. In addition to those issues, the Sedona has been unreliable.

In September 2020, the largest chainring on the crankset randomly bent during a ride. Since, the bike has shifted erratically and the chain will fall off at times.

The bent chainring

More lately, Walmart discontinued the Goodyear 26×2.1-2.4 Presta inner tubes I was running in the rear tire. My local Walmart doesn’t carry any other Presta tubes except in 27.5″, 29″, and 700c sizes. (It also appears they pulled the plug on the 27.5″ and 29″ varieties.) I learned the hard way after getting a flat in December and having to run 27.5×2.1-2.4″ tubes in my rear tire since. (Thankfully, with a special trick, I didn’t have any major issues with that.)

A special trick allowed me to use oversized 27.5″ and 29″ tubes in the 26″ tires on the Sedona without sacrificing reliability or ride quality.

After flatting in December, I ordered some high-quality, properly-sized 26″ Presta Continental tubes. The Conti tubes, made by CSC, are pretty well made and do a pretty good job. Unfortunately, the tubes were on backorder at my favorite bike parts store. After waiting nearly two whole months for the tubes to ship, I gave up and ordered a pair of the same Conti tubes from Amazon. And, not surprisingly, the pair I ordered back on December 31, 2020 arrived within two days of receiving the pair from Amazon.

I’ve had good luck with Conti tubes.

However, that’s not all – not even with the tires. I had issues with the rear Schwalbe Marathon tire after installing the new tube. The sidewalls were “flared” out, which presented problems when inflating the tire. The bead was rolling up and around 10 PSI, the bead would start to bulge off the rim. Despite many attempts to fix the issue by reinstalling the tire/tube, nothing seemed to work. After not wanting to risk a repeat of the gnarly October 2020 blowout that likely damaged the tire, I set it aside and installed one of the old, crusty, knobby tires I brought back in December to be “winter tires” until a new tire arrived.

Continental DoubleFighter III – First Impressions

The replacement tire arrived Thursday: the Continental DoubleFighter III. As previously mentioned, I’ve had pretty good luck with Conti tubes, so I decided to give their tires a whirl.

In addition to my personal experience with the Conti tubes, I’ve noticed that a lot of professional bike riders across many different disciplines (road, mountain biking, street trials, etc.) use Conti tires.

I’ve had my eye on the DoubleFighter tire since before I purchased the Schwalbe Marathon tires. While researching tires back in November 2019, I narrowed my options to the Continental DoubleFighter III and the Schwalbe Marathon. I ultimately went with the Marathon due to a matching color scheme, reflective sidewall, and a built-in puncture-protection strip.

However, my experience with the Marathon tires have been so-so. I originally had the tires setup as tubeless in the beginning, but reverted back to running tubes after purchasing the CliffHanger wheel in May 2020.

After three Marathon tires, two damaged by sidewall punctures, I ultimately decided to try out the DoubleFighter.

Two of the three Schwalbe Marathon tires received damaged sidewalls.

The DoubleFighter tire isn’t as heavy or thick as the Marathon tires, which is both good and bad. The tire doesn’t weigh as much and is easier to install and remove. However, I’m concerned about how well the DoubleFighter will resist punctures on our debris-ridden roads.

The DoubleFighter III mounted easily on the CliffHanger wheel.

The tread appears to be fairly smooth with some knobiness on the sides – placing it in between a slick road tire and a knobby off-road tire. The sidewalls on the DoubleFighter III is thinner than the Marathon sidewalls. Because of the thinner sidewalls, the tire is more sensitive to the inflation pressure.

Despite my original OCD-fueled concerns about how well the DoubleFighter would look on the Sedona, it doesn’t actually look too bad. While the Continental tire doesn’t match the color scheme of the Sedona like the Marathon, it still looks pretty decent. The sidewalls are solid black and textured.

The Sedona with the Conti DoubleFighter III mounted on the rear.

So far, the Conti tire has held up and improved the riding quality. Rides are smoother and the bike rolls nicer. In addition to a new tire, being able to properly inflate the tire probably plays a big role in the improvement. (I inflated the DoubleFighter III between 55-60 PSI. The maximum rated pressure is 65 PSI. I was running 35-40 PSI in the old knobby temporary tires and 45-50 PSI in the Marathon it replaced.)

If the DoubleFighter III holds up well, I will replace the existing front Schwalbe Marathon (which has a sidewall tear that has been patched) with another DoubleFighter down the road.

The DoubleFighter III greatly improved ride quality on the Sedona.

I also purchased a traditional vulcanizing patch kit to patch punctured tubes, instead of throwing them out.

Further Future Upgrades

As previously mentioned, the tires have not been the only problem facing the Sedona. The other large issue is replacing the damaged crankset and adjusting the rear derailleur so the bike is more reliable and shifts properly. My plan is to replace the crankset with a drop-in replacement that matches the current 48/38/28 configuration.

The next problem is the brakes. The rear brakes are really worn and need to be replaced as soon as I get the crankset replaced. (I plan to have a bike shop order and install the crankset, since I don’t have the proper tools to replace it on my own.)

In terms of creature comforts, I’d like to install (actual) front and rear fenders on the bike and maybe replace the lights with something more robust. The current Bell Lumina light set works well, but the rubber straps used to mount them to the bike are worn.

I would also like to find a more elegant way to store tools and my patch kit in my basket instead of leaving them loose.

My current goal is to fix the other issues (crankset/shifting issues and brakes) and then focus on riding more than 250 miles to beat my 2020 total.

Written on the 1988 Macintosh “SuperSE” using Microsoft Word 4.0.