The reactor is ON!

One of the challenges of an unsupported ride is powering your electrics: gps, phone, music, camera and lights. I’ll be using a Shutter Precision Dynamo hub and making my own ‘letricity for lights. Dynamo hubs are great for purpose built lights, but setting these up to power a garmin is a bit trickier.

Enter the Reactor – sinewave’s elegant solution for powering USB compatible devices.

Sinewave’s got a great reputation among divide riders with their older revolution model. The newer reactor is promising as well, as shown by this guy who rode the Oregon Outback with it last year.

The reactor is a bit less fiddly than the reactor – far fewer zip ties and cables to mess with; a much smaller chance of it ‘walking away’ one day. After setting it up, it’s just plug and go.

Here’s a great guide to installation – mine went very smoothly after figuring out how to modify the star nut in my stem. I basically had to enlarge the opening on one edge of my star nut – a pretty quick operation with a cobalt drill bit and a power drill.

As promised – the reactor put out enough current (or rather, I did) to keep my completely tapped out Garmin 700 in power even as I was headed up hill on my strangely large tires. Next we’ll see how much of a charge it can develop on my 9 mile ride in tomorrow.

It’s on! Kinda. Oregon Outback in May

So it looks like the Divide is out for me this year. Too many logistics involved in taking a month (or so off) and keeping the rest of my life. But, a compromise is in the offing: http://velodirt.com/the-oregon-outback-2015-ed/

a more reasonable goal for sure.

Tires Reprise – you haven’t heard the last of me

Amazingly good review of the Jones frame and fork in Bicycle Quarterly. Apparently it Planes. But not for me, not yet anyway.

Tires play a big part in how a bike feels, and I’ve been obsessing over tires for a while. Thanks to a bike swap acquisition, I’m now the proud owner of a pair of Schwalbe SuperMotos – quite possibly the same ones Jan and Fancy Fred rode on their Jones.

Today I aired them up and rode them around. After 3 months on knobbies, the difference is pretty dramatic.

Quiet.

Feels faster.

Handles much, much worse. Which is weird, because Jan and Fred raved about these tires on this bike. I even got myself a low pressure air guage and measured the pressure I’m running at.

At very similar pressures to what they have, (15.5 front, 17 rear), I felt like I was in no danger at all of a pinch flat, but the rear end of the bike felt very reluctant to turn.

I bumped the rear up to 20 on the way home and that felt better, but still very strange. I’m going to try 25 tomorrow.