The XTC is finished

Dave at the shop tightened the BB, but that didn’t address the chain coming off the chainring.  He said that it was probably the chain, and that Shimano 1×11 drivetrains with wide-narrow chainrings are picky about the chain.  I was a little skeptical about that, but he convinced me to try a Shimano chain, so I gave him the go-ahead.  Surprisingly, I must admit – after swapping the chain, no more derailing up front.  The RD shifted fine, so the chain was the problem.

Installing the grips took just a few minutes with some rubbing alcohol, and that finishes it up.  While I was tightening the saddle clamp, the bolt heads started to round out, so I’ll need to find some replacements.  The saddle is tight for now, but I’d prefer to have bolts that will let me make adjustments as needed.  Maybe I’ll just find a new seatpost and solve the bolt problem at the same time – no real hurry on it.

Took it out for a quick ride between rain showers, and it shifts fine, brakes work great, and the fork is working fine too.  Will tweak the saddle height and tilt a little, but the bike is finished.  May play around with the tilt of the brake and shift levers too, to get them lined up properly now that it’s rideable.

With some help from a Bike Forums member, I found out that this is a 2003 Giant XTC 2.  Not required knowledge, but nice to know nonetheless.

Here are some photos.

XTC reassembly continued

Decided to Install the BB and crankset hand-tight to check the chainline.

Brake calipers are on but not aligned or tightened.  Brake levers and the shifter are on the handlebars.  Rear derailleur is installed.

The seatpost clamp bolt is soaking in evaporust.  The Fizik saddle is loosely clamped in the seatpost and it is installed but not clamped in the frame.

Seatpost clamp bolt looks much better, installed and clamped.  Chain installed, shortened chain to fit.  Might be one link too long, but that’s OK as is for now.

Derailleur cable and housing run.  Adjusted the derailleur cable tension and hi/low limits.  My first 11 speed derailleur, and Shimano too.  This one has a clutch that is supposed to help the chain stay tighter and not bounce as much in rough terrain – we’ll see how that works.

The chain wants to derail off the chainring.  Maybe because there isn’t much tension on the chain while on the workstand, I guess riding will tell the tale.  Can’t do that until the BB is tightened properly.

I’ve never installed or adjusted disk brakes on a bicycle, but it went well.  The front and rear housings/cables are run and the brakes adjusted.  They work well, on the workstand at least.

The grips aren’t here yet, but I can ride it without grips to check everything out.  I’ll be using the pedals that were originally on the bike, so no changes there.

After getting the BB tightened, the maiden voyage will happen fairly quickly.  it looks like the XTC will be ready to go for the Bourbon and Tobacco Tour ride after all.

Photos to come soon, once I have a complete bike to photograph.

Going over the 1989 Cannondale ST600

This bike was treated very well by it’s original owner, kept indoors and not left to rot outside as so many bikes unfortunately are.  Because of that, there isn’t any corrosion to worry about.  Mainly the consumables like grease, tires/tubes, and brake/shift cables will be replaced.  I will probably just clean up the chain and use it, it doesn’t look like it has seen too many miles.

Replacing the consumables should be fairly straightforward and since the bike is in very good shape I’m not expecting any surprises along the way.  You never know, but the odds are ever in my favor.

I’m going to upgrade the brakes and levers to more modern ones, as the braking is just so-so.  The calipers will be swapped out for Tektro R539 dual-pivot units front and rear, and the levers will be swapped for TSP RRL drilled alloy levers.  Other than that, my plan is to service the rest of the bike and leave it pretty much as-is.

I haven’t decided whether or not to replace the saddle – saddles are a personal thing and every butt is different.

I have a nice Acorn handlebar bag that would fit nicely with this bike, so I plan to use it.  It came with a Blackburn rear rack but I haven’t decided if it will stay or not.

It does somehow seem odd to refer to a Cannondale as a vintage bike, but since this one is 29 years old, I think it qualifies.

XTC reassembly started

The stem bolts, all 5 of them, were a little rusty.  Profile Designs made the stem but they told me that the stem had been discontinued and that replacement bolts weren’t available.  So I decided to try evaporust on them.

After a few hours in evaporust, the stem bolts look much better.

Started assembly on The XTC.  The fork is back into the frame, headset preload is adjusted, and tightened things up.  Handlebars are on and tight.  Installed the front and rear wheels.  Hey!  it rolls now.  Much better than dragging it around.

Put the seatpost bolts and clamp in evaporust – they are really rusty.

The new BB wrench I bought does not fit the cups.  Rats.  I guess a trip to Bikes and Moore in Hoptown will be on the agenda.

The seatpost bolts are looking better, but they are a little rough.  On the plus side, you can’t see them once the saddle is on so I’m not going to worry about it too much.  Planning to use the Fizik saddle on the XTC.

Stay tuned.

Inaugural Tobacco and Bourbon Tour – UPDATE – other things to do

I just found out that the American Quilter’s Society is having their Spring show in Paducah, KY April 18-21, 2018. If your spouse has any interest in quilting, or just would enjoy seeing some amazing craft work, my wife says it is not to be missed.

She will be at the Quilt Museum, so I guess that means she won’t be helping with SAG support.  I’ll be on the bike on Saturday, but having options for spouses/SOs is always a good thing.

Information on Quilt Week is available here.

Inaugural Tobacco and Bourbon Tour – April 21-22, 2018

Saturday, April 21 – We will meet at the Golden Pond Visitor Center at 9am for a meet and greet.  There isn’t a lot of room to park here, so please try to park away from the Visitor Center doors if possible.  A buddy inspection of the bikes will start at 9:30am – we’ll draw names.  I’m pretty confident that our bikes will be in top shape, so this is a great opportunity to meet other riders and their bikes.  I will have some repair/adjustment tools, chain lube, floor pump, and some spare tubes and patches.  Hopefully no major repairs will be needed before (or after, for that matter) the ride.  The plan is to head out around 10am.

I’ve mapped a route that is all paved. We can’t safely ride across the 68/80 bridge over Lake Barkley as the bike/walk lane isn’t finished. The new bridge over Kentucky Lake has a dedicated bike/walk lane so I updated the route to use that bridge. This route starts and ends at the Golden Pond Visitor Center, is about 54 miles with 2300 feet of climbing along the way. About halfway, we are in Grand Rivers, where there are a couple of places for drinks and snacks.  You can see them from the Trace.

We are planning a cookout after today’s ride.  LBL does not allow alcohol, and the Barkley Lodge pavilion is reserved.  We’ll just have it at my house.  It’s easier that way as I can just leave everything is the fridge/freezer at home and not have to haul it to the Lodge.

RideWithGPS route

Cue Sheet

If folks are up for it, on the way through Aurora we could stop at the LBL Moonshine distillery to sample some ‘shine. Might have to rename this to the Moonshine and Tobacco Tour, though.

LBL Moonshine Distillery

Sunday, April 22 – We will meet at the North Visitor center at 9am.  The buddy inspection will start by 9:30am. There are nice singletrack routes in LBL (Land Between the Lakes) too, for those of you that enjoy that kind of riding.  Several trails branch off the Canal Loop Trail, some more challenging than others.  Fire roads split off all along the Trace, so there are plenty to choose from.  Unlike yesterday, there isn’t a planned route – just use the maps and have a good ride.  We’ll plan to meet back at the North Visitor center somewhere around 2pm.

LBL Hike and Bike Trails

LBL Maps – scroll down to the Trail Maps section.

I didn’t know there were 500 miles of trails and 200 miles of roads in LBL. It is great to have this area so close to home.  Not all of the trails are available for bicycling, so check the website while you scout a potential route.

The average high temperature in April is 66 degrees, so good riding temps, but plan on 10-15 degrees plus or minus from that.

Here are some options for lodging and some suggestions for restaurants in the area.

Kenlake State Resort Park Reservations

Lake Barkley Lodge reservations

Both are reasonably priced and are just a few minutes from our starting place.  Kenlake and Lake Barkley both have restaurants too.

Murray has good restaurants, and Paducah to the north has excellent dining choices. One of our personal favorites is Mellow Mushroom in Paducah. Great pizza, and my wife loves the bruschetta.  EDIT:  We ate at the Mellow Mushroom on Monday, February 12th, after looking at houses, and she had the calzone.  The verdict was “thumbs up”.

For breakfast, we’ve been to Hungry Bear Pancake and BBQ House in Murray, and Martha’s Restaurant also. In Paducah, Gold Rush Cafe is one of the best, and Etcetera Coffeehouse is superb. Red’s Donut Shop is not to be missed either for that matter.

Lowertown in Paducah, especially along Jefferson street, has some beautiful homes built in the early 1900s. We’re actually planning to move to Paducah as soon as our Lake Barkley home sells. Etcetera Coffeehouse is in Lowertown, as is Gold Rush Cafe.

If you need bike parts while you’re here, you can head up to Bike World in Paducah, on Joe Clifton road.  They’ll be happy to help you out.

Contact me if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to help.

Some sponsors have graciously agreed to help out.  I have no right to expect anything and I’m immensely grateful for their support.

Chain-L – the best chain lube available




Road ID – a great accessory


PRIZES – Yes, we have prizes too.  They won’t take you out of the amateur ranks, if you’re concerned about that – but they are good ones that will definitely see some use.

Prize #1 – for the rider traveling the farthest to attend the ride.

Prize #2 – for the oldest participating rider.

Prize #3 – for the youngest participating rider.

Prize #4 and 5 – for the first rider to cross the sprint points (there are two) on Saturday’s ride.

Prize #6 – for the best C&V bike, as voted on by the participating riders.

Prize #7 – for the Lantern Rouge on Saturday’s ride.

These two prizes are at FBinNY’s request (the Chain-L guy):

Special #1 – The bike with the most lived in look, meaning the bike that looks like the owner is a rider, not a bike freak.  You lose points for obsessive maintenance, but also for outright neglect.  The ideal is a bike that shows it’s age, and has the battle scars of a long and happy life.

Special #2 – Oldest good bike still in service. This is about buying and riding a good bike, rather than a new bike every year or two.  I offer this because my bikes average over 20 years and 20k+ miles, with the “new” bike dating from 2001, so that’s the kind of thing I want to prize.

Watch your speed while driving in LBL, it’s federal land, so speeding tickets are expensive.