Feed on

WTF Is She Riding?

So, I figure that a few bike nerds are going to look at this site and ask the question that heads up this entry. What the Eff is she riding? How did a singlespeed mountain bike become a touring rig? Why did a singlespeed mountain bike become a touring rig? Is that even legal or morally correct? Should I be concerned?

At this point in the game, the only stock parts on that bike are the seatpost, cranks, and fork, AFAIK. Right out of the box, Joel upgraded the brakes, hubs, and headset and set it up as a “manual” 2×2 (I could loosen up the back wheel and manually move the chain from the large chainring and small cog to the small chainring and large cog, effectively having a “road” gear and a “dirt” gear). At that same point in time, he put on one of my favored cheap Trek seats that most new bike customers were ditching in-store for something a little more fly.
Redline Monocog 29er, first incarnation.
This is the first incarnation of the Redline.

I had it set up this way from Bonktoberfest last year (mid-October ’07) to just before Dirty Kanza in late May ’08. The original plan for Kanza was that Joel was going to build me a new rear wheel around a Shimano internally-geared 8-speed hub, but he could not get hold of a hub in time, so he did the next most logical thing – he cut a derailleur hanger off an old, wrecked frame and welded it on to the right rear dropout of the Monocog. The Monocog became an “Octocog.” I rode it as a 1×8 all summer, though given my general spaciness, I still tended to forget that shifting was an option. What can I say…singlespeeds are great for the absent-minded cyclist.

Our bikes, outside a Casey's, where Joel was purchasing burritos.
I’d used my grocery-getter hybrid on RAGBRAI last summer, but it turned out to be a less-than-optimal distance bike, clocking in at around 33 lb. unloaded. With the addition of the laden bags, it became a rather sluggish steed indeed. At probably near 65lb all told, it weighed probably near half what I do, which I don’t think is a very good proportion.

The original plan was that Joel was going to build me a custom frame (Grin #2) for the cross country trip, but you know there are only so many hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a month, etc. What with our home-improvements, the workshop building, his regular job, occasional travel, and a little hard-earned downtime, there just wasn’t time to build an entirely new bicycle from the tubing up. Eventually, I will have a dedicated touring bike, but for now, the Redline in the current set-up will work admirably.

Outside and unloaded

Inside, with Ortleibs.

Mary-bar type handlebars, Paul “Thumbie” shifter adapters & Shimano indexed bar-end shifters, Avid levers, King headset….yeah, I’m on a hell of a sweet rig and I sure do appreciate!

Schweet, right?

Adapted brace for the rack.
Holes for different positions (if needed)

Derailleur hanger, derailleur, and cassette (so not stock!)

3 Responses to “WTF Is She Riding?”

  1. JerseyDude says:

    According to the self-important elitists who infested internet cycling forums, only bikes constructed out of unobtainium, by dudes named Rolf in Gstadt, that cost as much as a BMW 3 series, can be used for touring.

    I say that any reliable bike, you are comfortable riding long distances, qualifies as a touring bike.

    BTW, I got rid of my OEM Trek saddle because it hammer my butt, not because I needed something more “fly”.

  2. meetzorp says:

    Those cheapass Trek saddles are like music to my butt!

    Each to his/her own, eh?

    Yeah, I stopped reading *cough* bikeforums.net on account of the rampaging general idiocy that goes on in pretty much every area of the board. Also, I don’t really need anybody’s opinion on what/where/how to ride and if I need help…well I used to go to a shop, but I’m about to be married to a bike mechanic, so he either does it or helps me out, which ever is appropriate at the moment.

  3. krm says:

    Just cruising some mono-blogs to see what people are doing with their rides.

    This is bad-azz! Well done.

Leave a Reply