Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Albatross saves the day

The Albatross handlebar arrived as planned and I installed it on the 25th along with the new brake levers and cork grips. I really liked the way it looked, but that was not the point. My hope was to make it more comfortable to ride. I had the Noodle bars at about the same height as the saddle but my sorry back was still not up to the task. When I would arrive at work in the morning, after just 5 or so miles, my back would be stiff and sore. It usually took me a minute or two to straighten my back after I got off the bike.

Some seriously stiff winds, family obligations and work have combined to keep me from doing a long ride, but I am happy to note that after riding to work on Monday and taking the long way home, I had no back pain. Yes! I hope to get in a long ride this weekend to learn even more.
Pros (so far)
My back does not hurt. I do not need any other reason, really.
I love the cork grips. They look and feel great.
Cantilever type brake levers and centerpulls work very well together. Great feel.
The brake levers add an additional point of adjustment in the brake system.
Makes me feel like an English Gentleman when I ride.
Thinking about adding a Wald basket to the front.

Cons (so far)
I already miss riding on the hoods even though it hurts my back. The hoods of the Tektro levers fit my hands perfectly and there is no better place to grip when standing and climbing.
I love the look of my downtube shifters but they are much more difficult to reach now. I haven't decided whether to go with thumbshifters or barend shifters. I like both but they each have drawbacks. The Thumbshifters will be in the way of gripping the bar in front of the brake lever and the barend shifters will require me to alter those beautiful grips. Decisions, decisions.
My trusty B17 might need to be replaced with a wider, sprung saddle. I will wait a bit on that one, though.

This picture is taken on my front porch. The bag on the front is a homemade edition and I am thinking about moving it to another bike. I have not decided whether or not I like all the blue, yet. I like yellow and blue together, but the fenders may be too much.


  1. Alright! you got it mounted. looks great. And I don't think the blue fenders are too much at all. They make a "statement".

    First RCCS ride is coming up mid-January. David Crowell and I have been talking a bit about it. First one will be a 20/30 miler. Once all the particulars are in order I'll be sure to let you know if you're interested in coming up for such a short ride. When the weather warms we'll certainly flexed our legs a bit more.

    And as long as the back is good, it's all good.


  2. Nice to see a clearer shot of the bike. It looks even better in this shot.

    I think I'd go with the barend shifters. Yes, you'll have to mess with the grips but I think it would look even better with barends.

  3. Tim, let me know the date. It is always nice to have an extra reason to get up to the Ville.

    Apertome, I am leaning toward the barend shifters but I have not decided just yet.