Blog 12-06-23

My second single speed conversion with custom paint job has blasted off, if you will excuse the poor pun. That’s the frame and forks off to Pentland Powder Coating to be sandblasted, or more accurately, abrasive blasted, as sand was banned in 1974 for sandblasting use due to the health risks posed by the silica content of sand. Hope to collect on Thursday. Must make a final decision on the paint colours for the Surly Ogre single speed and get the paint ordered.

I was still having an issue with some intermittent clicking noises from the Shimano freewheel on Harley Quinn and swapped the freewheel for a more expensive White Industries freewheel. The difference is like chalk and cheese. Far superior built quality, sealed and replaceable bearings and just simply feels quality. Good job too as it was three times the price of the Shimano. No more annoying intermittent noises or other unwelcome sounds. Now very smooth, precise and makes an amazing difference. I guess a good example of you get what you pay for!

However, there is a slight downside in that the new freewheel is very clicky when freewheeling. Wasn’t very keen at first but have come to quite like the noise now. Makes me feel a bit of a hooligan, to be honest. Reminds me of the times when I added a piece of card to the spokes with a clothes peg to create an awful racket. My dad used to say it would damage the spokes but I think he just didn’t want the noise.

Another decision on this Ogre single speed build is the gear ratio, perhaps the most important decision to be made. An off-road test ride/turf session on the Harley Quinn with a ratio of 2:1, that’s 32T chainring and 16T freewheel, was interesting and informative and lends me towards that same ratio for the Surly Ogre, even for off-road terrain. Kind of like the idea of keeping both bikes similar in terms of gearing. The Surly Ogre currently uses a 32T chainring so will need a 16T freewheel and will definitely be going for a White Industries freewheel in light of my findings on the Harley Quinn, despite the high cost.

While the Harley Quinn build is practically finished, there’s still a few little tweaks I’m going to make to finalise the project, at least for the moment. No doubt I’ll come across some idea, component or other and include that as well. First one is to swap the heavy touring tyres for much lighter Schwalbe Marathon Racer 700 x 30mm tyres, saving almost 1kg of the overall weight. Should be here in a day or so. Inner tubes will also be swapped for Turbolito TPU inner tubes, again saving weight.

Pedals are also something I’ve been looking at. With your average flat pedals coming in at about 500g, there’s weight to be saved there. In this case, 140g saved with a pair of DMR V12 Magnesium pedals. There are lighter ones available but they are usually made from composite/nylon and I’d just not happy with anything other than good old hardcore metal. There are lighter, but smaller, pedals about but I like to wear sandals in summer and the thin soles require a good-sized flat pedal to be comfortable. More soon.

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