My other wife aka the MTB, got the exposure that she needed, meanwhile the overlooked beauty prodded me to be put on this blog. So, introducing here and now, the fast, light, fickle, slick tyre beauty:
The lighter but faster touring Roadie.
This is several kilograms ( kgs. ) lighter than my MTB, but it’s just as fickle if stretched or fiddled with. The MTB can take our typical roads, smooth as butter in one stretch and then absolute mayhem in another. This one doesn’t cut it. On one of my 400 km. runs, it gave up on the way back, a cup in the hub that houses the ball bearings gave up. Today, it’s rear tyre burst and took the tube with it too. I had to drag it and myself for 20 odd kilometres with the no-rules traffic zipping by on the highway. Luckily, this was just a photo op run and I decided to limit myself to within 50 km. of my residence. If I had gone on further, I may have had to haul it over a lot many miles ( or kilometres ).
The roadie suffers from several shortcomings when touring in the Indian subcontinent. It has no suspension and the potholes here can be brutal. Then there are the uneven bumps on the better roads too, which can jar a rider if travelling at a good speed. To be honest, roads are now much better than a decade back, but still a no go for a roadie with slick tires. On the plus side if it gets a smooth as butter stretch it can clock 40 kmph.* with ease.
*kmph. — kilometres per hour
When I had purchased it, it was a fixed gear roadie. It’s tyres are 27 x 1 1/4″ and the frame is steel. Worked on it and have added 21 gears to it, adding gears is not so easy as it seems, more of this later. The gear freewheel is non indexed and has thumb friction shifters. Have replaced the front and back mudguards with self made cardboard ones, they look a bit crude, but are much lighter and do the job of keeping the dirt in. The pedals are Keo compatible clipless type and I have shoes that lock into them. These pedals are comfortable on the long hauls but can be demanding when negotiating the chaotic Indian city/town traffic. A lot of practice is required before they can be used on our roads. Saddle post was replaced and a cushion seat cover added. Other accessories like a rear view mirror, front basket and a front light with an odometer were put in later, making it a short touring bike.
Am trying to replace it’s tire frame with lighter alloy stuff but 27 inch wheel frames are rare and am considering fitting in alloy 700 cc wheels. I may replace the transmission with a freehub/cassette combination and compatible shifters. But, this is still in the planning stage. All in all, have travelled a lot on this bike and it has served me well on my shorter runs. That finishes the intro of my Roadie beauty. Keep checking back for more of my travel tips and tours!