Big Dummy

June 6, 2009

Front fork was aging fast on the old bike, my brother said his Big Dummy was great, I didn’t get laid off this spring, and the stock is up on solid acquisition rumors. So I bought myself a Big Dummy.
Or rather, I bought a frame and some parts, and reused some from the old bike. The tires, front wheel, handlebars, seat, seatpost, seat lanyard, lights, fender, water bottle cage, front rack, wide loader, and snap deck are from the old bike. Rear wheel, shifters, pedals, botom bracket, crank, chain, brakes, and stem(s) are new. The “chain tensioner” is recycled from another bike. KickBack, I bought from my brother, he notices the weight more than I do. I like it.

Here it is loaded:

Big dummy, loaded

Here is the (revised) cockpit. Since the new bike has a threadless fork, I decided to mount all the crap on a second stem. From left to right, bell, lights (hi/lo beams), odometer, coffee, shifter. The circuit-board with blue tape thing is on the rack; it is the power controller for the LEDs, and needs to find a better home eventually.

Cockpit, second stem: bell, lights, odometer, coffee, shifter

And yes, that is a fancy headset. The guys down at the LBS did a great job on the hard sell, and the clincher was the multi-year guarantee; given that longtails put double the weight on the front fork, this seemed like an excellent idea. Plus, it’s very pretty.

Chain tensioner. I decided to go with internal gears, eventually I am getting a chain guard or partial chain case (I would love to keep the chain clean in the winer), but the Big Dummy has vertical dropouts so the chain might not always fit right. Plus, with the long chain run, it doesn’t hurt to be sure it stays aligned going onto the rear cog. Using a single chainring and sprocket also meant that I could use a track bottom bracket and crank, and get my feet a little closer together (about 20mm closer together), which I had noticed, riding on a 3-speed, felt better.

Gran Sport chain tensioner

Here is most of it, unloaded:

Big Dummy, unloaded

No problems with the internal gears yet; I’m monitoring the adjustment in the beginning (it’s EASY), and once I got the second stem located right, shifting was convenient, and I am not noticing any particular lack of speed. I could well be putting more power (no shock fork, stiffer bike, better Q factor) into a less-efficient drive train, but as long as the net is unchanged, I am happy.

I’m not yet as comfortable no-hands as I was on the old bike, but I expect I will get there. Lightly loaded, it’s fine.

Also: Xtracycle conversion kit (FreeRadical, parts, sideloaders, rear brake and cassette-ready 26″ wheel, plus NEW SnapDeck), one owner, rather used, looking for a good home. Installation help is available.

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