Focus Mares, the maiden voyage

The weather has been somewhat unpredictable lately, so the maiden voyage has been postponed a couple of times.  Today is the day – sun and a high temp in the 50s.

I think the handlebar and levers are pretty close to their final positions, but I haven’t wrapped the bars yet.  Today’s ride will tell me if any adjustments need to be made.

I’m going to try 45F/50R tire pressures for today.  That’s probably higher than I will run at Unbound Gravel, but it’s just a starting point, not the end.

I’m really looking forward to the ride.  It seems like this build has taken a long time, but in reality it has not.  Mounting the tubeless tires was a frustrating exercise, but I learned how to get it done, so that’s a plus.  The hydraulic brakes were a bit frustrating for a couple of reasons.  First, the Shimano BH90 hose kit didn’t have enough hose to do the front and rear brake.  Coming from brake/housing kits for rim brake bikes that have enough housing and cables to completely replace both brake sets, this was really annoying.  There’s not really much of an excuse to short the consumer in this way.  Secondly, there are tools that make the job much easier, but they aren’t cheap.  Since this is (hopefully) a one-time task, I chose to have a bike shop install the hoses.

I’ll report back after the ride, and add some photos too.  Once I get the bars and levers in their final positions, I’ll wrap the bars and this build will be done.

No major issues during the ride, but I had to tighten the levers after the first mile or so.  They would twist inwards but not outwards.  Took a couple of minutes but after that all was good.  The bike rides well, the 45F/50R tire pressures worked well for pavement.  Will probably lower the pressure 5 psi or so for gravel and see how it rides.

The bar position is fine, no change needed.  The bars are wider than I used to, and the lower part of the drops twists out even further.  I’m not used to them yet, but riding in the drops wasn’t uncomfortable, just unusual.  Give me some time on this one.  I have a drop bar that’s 42cm wide, and I might decide to use it instead.

The pedals aren’t the ones I will use going forward but I had them so I used them.  Pedals are pretty much pedals.  No issues shifting or braking, I did a couple of hard stops to heat up the pads, and then a couple of long brake applications as well.  No squealing or chattering – this is with the organic pads (not the sintered pads).  The BB is working well, no squeaking at all, just smooth rotation as you’d expect.

The chain lube seems to be working very well.  No noise from the chain, and wiping a finger on the chain after the ride showed clean.  No black streaks like wet lubes generally leave.  One ride doesn’t make a very complete evaluation, but the next few rides should give me a pretty good idea if it will live up to the advertising and the online reviews.

Sorry, no photos tonight.  It’s too dark.  I’ll take some first chance I get and post them.

Parlee Z3, the wrap

Pairing the phone app with the DI2 system was easy enough to do, and with that you can update firmware without having to drag out the laptop and the charger and plugging everything together.  Nice.

And I found out that my Wahoo Elemnt Roam will pair with the DI2 system as well, displaying a nice little graphic so you can see what chainring/cassette combination is being used.  It’s a nice touch.  The really nice part is that the Wahoo will display the battery charge level for the DI2 system.

So the Parlee is finished.  Well, mostly.

I would still like to make one more change.  I’d like to run an 11-32 cassette in place of the existing 11-28 cassette.  Some of the hills on routes I ride are difficult, so if I can add a bit of low-end gearing to help it only makes sense.  The difficulty is that the Dura Ace RD may not have enough clearance or chainwrap capacity to work with the 32 tooth cog.  When the new cassette gets here I’ll see what can be done about that.

In the meantime, and because the cassette swap isn’t a major visual change, let’s get to the photos.

Camera repair needed

I love to take pictures, and because of that enjoyment I bought a really nice 35mm camera a few years ago.   It is a grey market Canon EOS 5 slr – grey market because of the +/- f-stop dial in the viewfinder.   The camera focuses where you look, by bouncing a tiny led beam off your eye and focusing where you are looking.   It works better if you don’t wear glasses, but it still works pretty well for me anyway.   For a long time, I just used the USM 28-105 lens that I bought with the camera body, but recently I added a USM 75-300 lens as well.   On to the repair story…

I was taking pictures inside an auditorium, using ISO-800 film (not really my favorite) and the control dial stopped working.   This is a known problem on this type of Canon 35mm SLRs; the control dial internals will come loose and prevent the dial from turning.   Sometimes the dial turns but has no detent stops to hold it in the chosen position – this is what happened to my camera.   Damn.   I had read about this before, but I had apparently been lucky up to this point.   The camera has never been dropped or even handled roughly – there is not a single scratch on the camera body.   Despite that careful use, the camera still failed and a repair was needed.

With a lot of googling and reading forum posts from other folks unlucky enough to share my dilemma, I found a place that would make the repair.   Several posters pointed to Steve at Camera Clinic.   The repair price was very reasonable, he gives a guarantee with the work, and he turned the repair around in a couple of days.   Very responsive via email and the telephone, I recommend that you contact him for camera repairs.   It’s great to recommend someone without having to add all kinds of disclaimers and conditions, isn’t it?

What an ass

You know, in spite of a lot of evidence to the contrary, I still expect that people will live up to their word. When they don’t it’s a disappointment and sadly, all too common.

I had advertised a bike of mine for sale, and someone claiming to be from Canada, Eric Walter,, tried to run the old “cashier’s check” scam on me. I said that my bank required a 11-business-day hold on cashier’s checks from out-of-the-country banks and suggested that he wire the funds to my bank. Now my bank is a small town bank, and they take very good care of their customers. The lady that I spoke with said the best method was to have the funds transferred to the bank’s account at the Fed and they would then transfer the funds to my account. I was not giving my account number to this guy under any circumstances.

So, no cashier’s check scam, no way to get my account numbers means no scam run on me.

Hopefully all of the spammers on the planet will find Eric Walter’s email address and tell him hello. I think they should be able to sell him male enhancement products – he clearly needs them.

Nice try, jerkweed.