Light at the End of the Tunnel

The mailman rang my doorbell on Monday morning, meaning that the package from Bike Nashbar has arrived. If you ever buy bike parts online, and want to make sure that it'll actually arrive in a timely manner, Nashbar is the place. In getting Wally ready, I almost forgot that it also needs new pedals. Because I'll be taking Wally on some training rides, and also to the supermarket, I needed my pedals to take SPD pedals as well as my sneakers. Nashbar sells 3 models like that, and I picked their "Soho" pedals which seems the prettiest. Also in the package were 2 sets of tires: a pair of 700x25c tires for Batmobike, and a pair of 27"x1-1/4" for Wally. I want to try 25c tires on Batmobike this year to see how it changes the ride quality and speed, since Batmobike definitely has the wheel and brake clearance for a slightly wider tire. With Wally, I plan on riding it lots. I can't be certain how much more life is left in the Continental tires, so it seems prudent to have a set of spares just in case. Also in the package was a set of long-reach brake callipers. I didn't know how long it'd take before the Tektro brakes arrive, so when Nashbar had a sale, I bought another set from them. (The Nashbar callipers are actually made by Tektro.) When the Tektro arrives, I'll have the option of replacing them, and/or put them on a different project bike.

With all the new shiny stuff for Wally, it was actually a surprise to my wife that I waited until evening before working on it. My first task was to install the brakes. For the front, the cable housing was already cut and capped, so it was only a matter of installing the calliper. That went easily, and I made the proper adjustments to the brake pads, connected the cable, cut off the excess cable and crimped the end in minutes. I also installed a bike computer.

The rear brakes were more complicated. The original brake cable housing was too long. It wasn't a big problem; I pulled out the brake cable by 2 feet and then shortened the housing by about 4 inches, then pushed the cable back in. The tricky part was that, although the callipers are marked as "long reach", it was still ~2mm too short: the brake pads would have been rubbing the tire! Then I remembered that I had a rear calliper in storage, and that it had new brake pads. More importantly, I remembered that the brake pads were shaped differently. Perhaps they would fit?

And they did!! After working on it for another 15 minutes, the brake pads didn't rub the tires anymore! I wouldn't consider the set up perfect, but I don't need it to be perfect. I just needed Wally to work well.

After I finished with the brakes, there were the pedals. They were easy to put onto the crank, taking only a few minutes. I just needed to remember that the left pedal has left-handed threads. It was after putting the pedals on that I remembered the crankset isn't where it should be...

What's left to do then?

  1. Install the shifter cable housing and connect the shifter cables to the derailleurs.
  2. I need to replace the bottom bracket so that I can move the crankset inboard to a reasonable spot.
  3. After that I can install the chain.
  4. Derailleur adjustment.
  5. Go ride Wally in the neighbourhood!
  6. Pack away my tools!

There are really just 4 steps, but at last, I'm finally convinced that Wally will make its debut very soon.