While I work out the details of the framebag project, I have been concentrating on taking care of some deferred maintenance on the bikes.
I built a much needed rear wheel for the Surly with a Mavic A319 rim, Ultegra 6700 hub, DT Comp double butted spokes and DT brass nipples in silver. I'm not a pro wheelbuilder and my dishing technique is what the army would term "field expedient".
Despite my methodology, the wheel turned out great and I have to say, the difference in feel and performance is remarkable and I am really enjoying this bike lately. It also looks awesome. The downtube shifters are great once you get used to them, look classy as hell and provide a great shift "feel."
The Crosscheck frame itself is beginning to feel like a limitation on this bike. It's not very lively feeling. But, my impressions may change if I follow through on my threats to race cyclocross at least once this year.
The stumpjumper got completely rebuilt hubs and bottom bracket, which has changed the way this bike rides considerably. The old grease in the hubs was the color and consistency of old chewing gum and caramel. The BB wasn't so bad, but not great either. I'm sure that I burned about a thousand extra calories on the Oregon Troutback from pushing that gunk around. I bought a tube of Phil's for my little 3oz grease gun and used that for all of the bearings.
I absolutely hate the rear derallieur on this bike, and the first thing I do when I have some spare cash is going to be to try the Altus derailleur that Rivendell is selling. The price is right, and I can't take the constant ticking and buzzing that this one is making for much longer.
Also, check out that new waterbottle from 21st Ave Cycles!