The Naked Atlantis
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was replacing components as I was going along this year and this weekend I did some extensive updates. My long lasting Shimano brakes were driving me crazy with what a pain they were to adjust and replace pads so a few weeks ago I replaced them with a set of IRD Camfam brakes. These have a threaded post and are much easier to deal with adjustments. They came with Yokozuna cartridges which allow you to replace just the pad. When I first put these on I had a really hard time getting them adjusted right and I got the worst squealing I’ve ever experienced. Part of the problem was that my right brake lever was messed up in some way and wouldn’t quite open fully. I’d also bought a set of Tekro brake levers but hadn’t had time to put them on as they’d require rewrapping the bars as well. Well this weekend was the time for all of these changes, plus I’d also gotten a new set of Silver Shifters to replace my Shimano bar end shifters.
The Updated Cockpit
The problem brake lever turned out to have a broken a spring which was loose inside the hood. Brake lever replacement was a pain – I’ve personally never done any work involving brakes that wasn’t. They are my least favorite part of the bicycle to work on and I never feel I have them quite right. The best part of getting a professional tuneup is having the brakes perfectly adjusted. I wrapped, twined and shellacked the bars after getting the brake levers and new cable installed. As I’ve probably mentioned before, I do this about once every year and a half, which is not enough practice to really become expert. I do feel I’m getting slightly better at it each time, but this wrapping I feel was not one of my best. I used Newbaum tape this time which has a plastic backing over the sticky stuff and I’m not sure if that was more of a help than a hindrance. Of course all the previous times I only wrapped to the brake hoods from either direction and this time I was doing the whole bar which threw me off a bit. The twining went fine, that aspect I think I’ve gotten much better at. It’s pretty much completely obscured by the instruments in the above pic, but I was pleased with it. Since I’ve gotten that new darker Brooks I gave this the most coats of shellack I’ve ever done, six in total. It is dark but the Newbaum’s yellow tape with the Amber shellack takes on a bit of a reddish tint. Looks good though I think.
The shifters, which I’ve replaced before, weren’t much trouble. I’ve embedded the YouTube video that Riv has put out above to demonstrate the process. I utilized the pods from my old Shimano shifters which I think contributed to why my last set eventually failed. The bar end pods have this a square raised part that you put a special washer with a stop on. The ones that Shimano uses have a little tab there unlike the one’s that Rivendell has made, which doesn’t allow the washer to sit exactly flat. I looked at my old set and they had the same deal. So I suspect that the slightly offset position put pressure unevenly on it and somehow messed it up (or something). I’ll probably get a set of Riv’s Shifter Pods next time I place an order. A new set of shifter cables and my upgrade fever was complete. Except for all the adjustments that is. I spent a lot of time getting everything all right, especially the brakes (as ever). I’ve gotten it all to be the best it’s been in years, but tempted to have a pro give everything a once over.
Ready to Ride
It’s always fun to ride the Atlantis naked, it feels a lot more sprightly, but I find it a bit weird. I put everything back on, but I measured my fairly newly acquired Baggins Adam bag against my Nigel Smythe Paladin and they are nearly the same size. The Paladin is the better bag in my opinion – it keeps it’s shape better being a bit squarer and with better support on the bottom and the top closes more securely – so I mounted it. I couldn’t pass up the chance to get that bag but it is the Baggins Little Joe that I think I really wanted. Or the Country Bag, I feel like Riv isn’t selling a comparable bag to those right now. It was deep twilight now but I fired up my lights and did a quick five mile ride to a more distant store. I felt I deserved a beer at this point.