Making Adjustments

I’m not the only one who’s changing my look around here.

My Tricross bike has gotten some new gear as well.* I’ve added Civia Brownie fenders and changed my tires to 700 x 28s. I’m also borrowing J’s Brooks B17 S saddle.

It all looks great, but these adjustments have drawbacks to them. I don’t know how well the fenders work, as it hasn’t yet rained when I’ve been commuting. I can tell you that what was a slight toe overlap issue has become more problematic. I’m more cautious when making slower turns, but it’s a little jarring when I hit the front fender.

More disappointing has been the saddle. I read enough posts on forums and blogs to know that Brooks’s leather saddle has a long break-in time. The problem for me is not the material– my tough old butt can deal with hard surfaces just fine, apparently– my problem is with the shape. No matter how I adjust it, the saddle rubs against my tender lady parts really badly. The short rails underneath don’t give me enough leeway to move the saddle laterally. I was in so much pain last week that I went to a shop and asked them what I needed to do to make it more comfortable for me, and I think the upshot of it was that the short women’s touring style of the B17 S doesn’t suit how I sit. If I were to buy my own Brooks saddle, I would try the men’s styles– but I’m going to look at other brands as well.

The one thing that has worked out well have been the narrower tires. My ride has gotten smoother and lighter because of them, and I’m happy about that.

I’m starting to get the nagging feeling that this bike really isn’t quite right for me. I’m still working on more adjustments, and hoping I’m wrong.

*Not new, but snazzy looking is the Timbuk2 handlebar bag that is mounted to the rack. And it’s a little hard to tell from this photo, but that’s a limited edition TFTS button attached to it. yeah!

6 thoughts on “Making Adjustments

  1. Same slight prob here with the toe overlap. Did you here shenry got a Sam Holborne from Rivendell? We talked about it – sounds awesome. I was hesitant about Rivendell putting 650c tires on their regular to small bikes, but he points out how that solves the overlap problem. Hmmm…..

  2. Oh hey, haven’t kept up on the blog so I missed this conversation! Yes, the 650B thing can help with the toe overlap problem. I think the laid back angles of the Rivendells help as well. I had some problems with overlap when using fenders on the old bike but not on the new bike, which is 700C, so there’s something else going on there too.

    Also: how do you have that bell mounted? On the brake hood somehow??

    • I’ll pass, but thanks for the offer. I bought a different saddle. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one for whom a Brooks saddle didn’t work!

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