Willowdale this weekend, the big decision is what to ride? I’m down to 2 bikes now since the demise of my Super Fly. So I have my Salsa El Mariachi single speed kicking around and was thinking I would build it up and maybe race it at Willowdale.
Since I have a pile of parts sitting in the corner to choose from, the build was pretty easy. Crests, xt, xo. Since I don’t have a front derailleur that is not a direct mount now. I decided to leave it as a 1X10 drive. Good thing Salsa’s in 09 came with a chain keeper and the bottom bracket cable mount. Bike went together really easy. Tiny brake adjustment and a new cable. Done!
Took her out last night after work. (yes another wet ride) Chain keeper works great and the drivetrain works great. However even with that steel frame and fork, the bike rides a bit harder than I think I could handle even for a non technical course at Willowdale. I have a phobia about running the 24mm Crest wheels on the rigid and the destruction that could end my race really quickly. For the last two years I have run the Salsa with 28mm Velocity Blunts (great wheelset) with 20 PSI for that extra air cushion, and once in a while when hitting something big you would feel the rim, but never an issue. With the Crests I was running 25 rear 23 front for fear of wheel destruction. The bike felt harsh to me and feels totally different from the single speed set up. Much less enjoyable. So bike will be returning to its original configuration after the Rumpus. Or so I thought!
Turns out after I get the Trek back, Salsa will be getting a few pictures since the frame is cracking at a weld joint where the added brake stiffner is. So more drama at the Smith house and there’s still a whole season of racing left. If this keeps up I will be taking frame donations.