Aug 1, 2015

The wrong hat

Once upon a time, in a land about three miles from here, I tried to tinker around with my bike for no reason I can explain except to say that I resent the fact that disc brakes and external bottom brackets and 29" wheels and $1,000. suspension forks and all of it is forced upon us. I wanted to give disks the big f-you.  So I tried putting cantis on the back. That went OK, so I tried putting them on the front..What happened was that my dang ham-fisted self put them together wrong, yanked on the brakes during the test ride, they broke all right, sprung back, into the spokes, snapped one of those, and more importantly broke the part of my forks that the brakes attach to.  Quelle irony, no?

Which brings me to Kona P2.  Did you know they have two different forks called the project two?  I didn't. 

 So when a guy on a NEMBA ride down in Middlesex Fells asked if I'd be interested in his P2 fork, I jumped at the chance.  That's foreshadowing.  See, I arranged to meet him and got my family to come along and met him and hey these didn't look like what I'd expected and I should've just said sorry no thanks, but I bought them anyway. To me, mounting this to my bike felt like wearing one of those flat-brimmed trucker caps.  It just didn't  fit.  It worked, sure. It's a rigid
fork, how  could it not?

but I wished for my original Surly fork. I didn't throw it away because... I don't know why.  

Let's get to the point, I decided to see if I could get this fork repaired. I emailed a local frame builder named Peter Mooney, and he replied right away- "oh, yeah, easy fix, we do it all the time".

I thought a new post would have to be welded on, but it wasn't even that involved.  Apparently QBP (the parent co. of Surly, incidentally) even makes kits for this problem.  So after two long drives and 25 bucks (a new fork just like the old one costs $90, and no longer comes in white), I had Ralston, my brand new old fork. (it has a new hand now) It didn't even take 127 hours!

So now I have the fork the bike was designed for, and after the expected tinkering to get it back on (I'm obsessive about adjustment and not really a very good mechanic) it passed the test ride with flying colors. And I've changed back to a hat that fits.

Now, if you'll all proceed to the post entitled "...Lost Cause", I will proceed to offer some observations on what these trips to the bike shop taught me.

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