Monday, March 18, 2013

Race Preparation 2013 - P2A

This will be my second Paris-to-Ancaster race in as many years.  Other than perhaps trying my luck at a triathlon sometime again, it is the only bicycle race I will do.   It's not precisely a gravel-grinder but its the closest thing we have around here.

With exactly a month to go I find myself without a bicycle. And that brings me to my next rebuild.

I've never experienced the catastrophic failure of an aluminum frame.
Maybe this is the year.

I am taking my old Diamondback aluminum frame and cannibalizing parts from my Pake commuter  to make a machine that "may" survive the rigours imposed upon it.

The bottom bracket makes an occasional crunching noise but for the life of me I can't seem to get the caps off!  So, no new bearings this year.  How bad can it be, right?

The gear-ratio is not great for the amount of climbing I'll have to do.  The cassette is too limited in range but (21 in the back and 28 in the front) its the only one I can find that will work with my shifter set-up.

The handlebars are originally from my daughter's Peugeot.  They are small and obviously rounded at the front so I thought they would do well to miss trees and branches throughout the wooded areas of the course.  However, I can't figure out how to get road drops on v-brakes so I'll need to go back to a flat-bar.

I should have this bicycle on the road by the end of the week, so I'm not too worried about that.  It's my fitness level that's hurting.  In fact, they added an extra 10km to their traditional 60 km course. As memory serves, I had lost my legs at about 50km last year and struggled to finish with any dignity at all.  70km through mud is daunting.

I registered for the fifth (read: last) wave.  In theory I could arrange to be the final person out of 3000 to enter the course.  It's a thought.  If I did depart last there would be no expectations and every time I manage to pass someone I could view it as a small victory.  On the other hand, I think there is a "Lantern Rouge" in this race, so you never know.


  1. Tektro makes brake levers for V-brakes that are for drop bars. They don't have shifters, so....

  2. Thanks. I will look into that.
    I'd been told that while this combination was possible, it resulted in poor stopping power.
    Also, while an integrated shifter would have been ideal, I have acquiesced to the idea that this is unlikely. Kind of like how I wanted a threaded fork that was disc brake compatible - seems to be two mutually exclusive requests.

  3. That is a sealed bottom bracket. You just remove it, and replace it. No rebuild option...

    The bike will be cool with drop bars. I have run v-brakes with integrated shifter/brake levers, in the past. You have to run the brakes pretty close to the rim, but it will work. It's easier to replace the v-brakes with cantilevers, though...