Time for a little update.
After I finished the bike first time round, I had it set up as a Dingle Fixed using a Surly Dingle 17T/21T cog. Front rings were 44T and 39T, so this gave me a street gear of 44x17T and a trails gear of 39x21T.
Here's how the bike looked.
In the pics above I had briefly set the bike up on some old 700x23c slicks I had laying around, whilst waiting for the tyres I really wanted (Panaracer Pasela 700x32c Folding) to arrive at my LBS.
Had a lot of fun shredding the local trails on it, even descending Fixed was quite good fun when I was on dirt.
In the end though, I elected to fit a rear v-brake and turn the bike into a simpler SS rig, for the following reasons;
- The 32c tyres are central to the setup of the bike. They suit the nice wide H+Son TB14 rims, allow low-ish pressure and enable me to roll over all of LA's horrific broken-up roads.
- The bike is used in heavy traffic a lot, and I prefer to brake with my fingers instead of my knees. The tyres are too wide, grippy and expensive to be trying to whip-skid all over the place.
- Coasting down hills and bunny-hopping drain covers at 35mph never gets old.
Along the way, I realised a few other things about my original build;
- The saddle I had originally chosen was awful. Synthetic non-breathable cover, too narrow, too much padding. I retrimmed an old SLR Gel Flow at home and installed that instead.
- I like the look of fresh new cloth tape, but hate the feel. Even with Fizik Gel under it, it felt wrong. Synthetic cork over Gel is preferable to me.
- The 70mm stem I had installed was throwing the steering geometry way out, making the bike feel oddly unbalanced at low speed. I decided a combo of longer (100mm) stem & sliding the saddle forward would correct this, and it has.
Here's how the bike looks now.