Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I've decided that I will stick what I have ... with a few modifications.

1. I already added the crank handle extensions. The cranks aren't ideal, but I don't see the $$ being available to change them any time soon, so ...

2. The Shimano Crankset (FC-M431) has 26-36-48 Chainrings with an 11-32 9-speed Cassette. This gives a "low speed of 2.5 MPH and a spin out top end of about 32 MPH. The low is a little high and the top end isn't nearly enough. Playing with the numbers (and finding what's actually available), it looks like a 24-36-52 set of Chainrings will give a low of 2.2 MPH (cadence of 40) and a high of 34 MPH (cadence of 100). Definitely a change in the right direction.

Who makes a 104 BCD 52T Chainring, you ask? Rennen Design Group does! You can choose from 32T to 52T AND you can also choose DIGITAL increments. But wait, that's not all! You can also choose your color from Black, Polished, Brown, Red, Blue, Green, Gold, Orange, Purple and Flourescent Pink!

I went with Blue 52T (ignore what the photo says for number of teeth)

64 BCD 24T Chainrings are commonly available - even in Blue. I went with the Blackspire Super Pro Blue 24T

3. The 9-Speed Cassette isn't ideal - a wide range 11-36 10-speed cassette is a definite improvement ... on the bottom end. With a 1.9 MPH low at a 40 cadence, there will be few hills anywhere I will be racing that can't be handled. The top end is still stuck at 34 MPH, though - which is NOT enough going down hill! Let's see - SRAM PG-1070 11-36 Cassette - $65; SRAM X9 10 speed trigger shifter - $61; SRAM X9 Long Cage 10 speed derailleur - $90 ... $210 to change the Cassette - not happening soon.

4. There is still that pesky top speed - time to look at the SRAM DD3 again. That moves the low end down to 1.4 MPH -  definitely a hill climber ... and the top end goes up to almost 47 MPH - which is MUCH more like it! Without changing the cassette, I'm looking at the same top end and a low of 1.6 MPH ... hmmmm!  DD3 Hub, shifter, etc - pretty close to that same $200 plus area and still out of reach right now ... especially if I go with the disc brake version.

5. Did someone say disc brakes? There goes another $170 ... nope.

6. Not really a performance enhancer (well, maybe a tiny bit), but a neck rest really would feel good and let me push just a tiny bit harder. Enter Steve at The Finer Recliner who is custom making one for my Force 2.

So, just where am I headed?

The extensions will work for a while - check;
52T Chainring ordered - check
24T Chainring ordered - check
Neck Rest ordered - check

I REALLY want the DD3 hub now - and the disc brakes ... but that's $400 or so that I just don't have right now and won't for a while.

What does that leave?
Fund Raisers - NO, not going there!;
Time - I have plenty of that;
Corporate Sponsors; etc.  If you happen to know a Company that would like to spend a little for some VERY active word of mouth advertising ... send them my way and I will talk with them.