Last month I told you that I was going to have my steel single-speed Salsa Casseroll converted into a geared touring bike. John at The Bike Route did this for me, and he did an extraordinary job. Here's what we now have.
Most of this looks the same. I've almost always had that rack on the rear and the handlebar bag, and that big ugly under-seat bag.
This is a little different. I'm going to carry my Garmin Edge 705, since I can load the routes into it for turn-by-turn directions. The little Cateye wired computer stays, of course, and I'll have my Adventure Cycling maps with me ... plus small route sheets in the handlebar bag. It's best to have basic backups for anything as complex as a GPS.
So I know you were wondering, "How are you going to charge that GPS? That's my Busch & Muller E-WERK charger lashed to the down tube. I'm also bringing the cable so I can charge my iPod. If I buy the cache battery that they sell with these, I could charge my iPhone, too. That might make a good Father's Day present (hint-hint).
Okay, there's a lot here in this picture. You'll notice that I'm using the Schmidt Dynamo Hub, of course, since the E-WERK is pretty useless without something supplying the juice. I'm using the Old Man Mountain front rack, since the Casseroll's front fork does not really have mounts for a rack. I'm hoping that I don't have many flats on the front, since it will be a minor pain to unhook things and pull this bad boy off.
The Old Man Mountain rack gives me a good place to mount the Schmidt E6 headlamp, plus a nice flat platform to which I can lash other junk. I'm using that for my tent, as you'll see in a minute.
John suggested this, and I think it will come in handy. It's a Shimano Deore rear derailleur. This wheel only has a 12-27 cassette, but the derailleur will handle up to a 36-tooth cog. That, and the triple on the front, would allow me to spin up hills on which I probably would not be able to even keep the bike upright.
Another advantage of this frame is that it has clearance for these 35C Schwalbe tires. Most tourists seem to swear by the durability of these, and they certainly feel good at 80 psi. The only downside is that I don't have enough clearance for fenders.
And, yeah, I was able to keep the bell. I need to clean it with some Brasso, however.
So, here's how it looks with the panniers and tent on it. Not bad, hunh? I used to tote the tent in one of the panniers, so moving it to the front not only helps balance the load, it gives me room for maybe a spare set of bike clothes. And, yes, I can easily reach the switch on the E6 to turn on headlights when I go into a tunnel. I plan to mount a blinkey light on the back of my helmet for these situations, too.
From the back, you can still see the tail light. Again, the blinkey on the back of the helmet will be a helpful addition. You can't really see it, but the tent-pole gizmo is lashed to the top of the rear rack, under the Arkel tail rider bag. I love Arkel!
And here's the view from the front. The front panniers are empty here, but don't stick out much more when they're full. The flash of my camera went off for this picture (hunh ... cameras), but that allows you to see just how reflective the tape on those Arkel panniers are. Did I mention that I love Arkel?
I'm testing everything out this week, riding from my house up to my standard campsite in Alva on one day, and then on up to Sebring, FL, the next. RandoGirl will meet me there, since we're doing the tandem rally that weekend. Expect a full report next week.