Friday, December 23, 2005

After Party

Great to see the Family last night. We all live so close but never seem to cross paths often enough. Funny seeing Michele and John's kids running around the house like we did just a few short decades ago.
After shaking off the hang-over I drove Justin and MK to Logan for their departure to Ohio to visit Lilly Ell for the first time. Congrats Kirstie and Steve on the birth of your first Hazelbaker.

After getting all of the responsible duties out of the way, including cleaning up the empties and taking out 6 bags of trash I got out on the bike to test pilot a Rohloff 14 speed internal hub. Big props to out to Dana S for letting me try out this magic component. My rational behind the Rohloff hub stems from the 5 xt derailers and three drive-trains that I trashed last year.
I spun from my house to the woods with the mp3 player rocking. I could still hear the rough scraping noise of the carbide studs contacting the asphalt. Nokian Hakka 300 are the shit! After a twenty minute warm up on the road I entered the woods and was happy to see bare spots of trail with not too much snow. I shut off the music so I could hear any strange noises coming from the Rohloff. While cruising at slow speed the hub let out vibrations that alarmed me at first. Thought about all that was going on inside the hub and wondered if it was going to self destruct but it did not. Acually it performed flawlessly. Hammering up snow covered hills the hub stuck in gear and never skipped a beat.
After spending an hour on ancient line I took old Manchester Road to rt 22. I spun the VT up to road speed (which is a whooping 15-18 mph!) and took the long way home through Essex and Ipswich. Funny, when the juices inside the hub warmed up shifting got better and there was less rolling resistance.
So the verdict, I don't think I'll buy the hub. I think the Rohloff is better suited for a commuting bike than a xc mountain bike...Unfortunately. If I worked close enough to home and biked to work I would not hesitate to snag it. so, for now I guess I am stuck with the conventional cogs and pulleys. ugh.

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