Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy daylight savings time!

I love daylight savings time a lot. It's shame that today was so dreary and overcast, because it'd still be nice and light outside. To celebrate, I went for a bike ride (big surprise, huh?).

I have come to own a 1985 or 1986 Diamondback (Diamond Back?) Apex. It's a pretty sweet ride, though lacking some of its original cool parts. Salem is a generous man with his bike frames, though he's very particular about which components are going to leave attached to said bikes. In other words, you aren't going to get the Deore deer head derailleurs for free. It did come with the sweet Suntour U-brake and period Shimano cantis. The shifting parts of the drivetrain are Deore, albeit newer than the bike: early 1990s (or maybe late 1980s) Deore thumb shifter and a early to mid 2000s Deore XT derailleur.

This bike is unique, in my opinion, for three reasons.

1) The spacing for the rear wheel is 126mm. I know that some early mountain bikes were spaced that way, like Bridgestones, but I find it weird. Presently, I have a 130mm wedged in there. It doesn't seem to be causing any problems

2) It's painted like a snake. Its former owner did this and he's a famous artist.

3) This is one isn't true anymore, but for a brief time all major component manufacturers were represented in the drivetrain: Shimano shifter, derailleur and cassette; Suntour cranks; Campagnolo chainring and a SRAM chain. The SRAM chain was worn out, so I bought a KMC chain. That's why this isn't true anymore.

So, I rode it around the reservoir much like it had done 25 years ago and it rides quite nice. The bike is not very fast, which I chalk up to it being kind of heavy and having a really, really relaxed head angle. However, the relaxed head angle and very long wheel base do a have a benefit: it descend really, really confidently. It's a little more stable than my 29er and 20x more stable than my rigid Stumpjumper. It almost feels like I'm riding my suspension bike.

The woods were not nearly as mucky as I thought they were going to be. I guess water deficits have some silver lining, though I did encounter one creek that was very difficult to cross.

I also forgot to mention that I ran into the mysterious man who runs Remove Sunglasses At Tunnel.


Salem said...

You need a teddy bear to fill all that space between the rear tire and seat tube. Looks good.

Brendan said...

The wheelbase is pretty close to that of a tandem.