Thanks for the chain tool.

I hustled to finish by Raleigh Hilife last night. It is pieced together with some parts from my basement, and some sweet new stuff that I have picked up in the past two weeks. It was raining like crazy last night, so I really had no chance to go for a test ride, but today was a different story. I was able to sleep in for a bit today, but soon after I got up, I got suited up for a Thanksgiving ride in shorts and a jersey. No extra layers, warmers, hoods, etc. A short sleeve jersey, bib shorts and a helmet. Thank you global climate change!

The drive train for the Hilfe is set up as a “dingle”speed. I want to be able to use this bike for cross and for riding on the road. I picked a ratio of 39:17 (2.29) for my low (cross racing gear) and 42:13 (3.23) for my high (street gearing). Even though I do not have much faith in road chains on single speeds, I went out with the knowledge that I would have to fix the chain at least once. My real goals for the ride were to dial in the fit for the bike, check the gearing on varied terrain and enjoy some of the great Thanksgiving weather.

I had a short ride planned because we were eating Thanksgiving “dinner” at noon. I put the bike on the road gearing and took off. There were some pops and other noises form coming from the chain, but that was to be expected. I did not want to push it too hard, but I had designs on making it to a certain location to then take a look at the chain again. I didn’t quite make it. The chain snapped on a climb. I was not that bummed because I planned on this being the case.

The bike has track ends with built in tensioners, so moving the wheel around to get the proper chain tension is pretty easy. I made the rookie mistake of starting with a short chain instead of a long one. If I had a long chain, I would be able to drop a few links before I was reaching the limit of how short the chain can be. I was limited in the gearing that was now available to me. I only had the 39×13 to spin home on. That is an ok gear, but one tooth of the 13t was bent in a bout two seconds of climbing, so it made an awful pop every time I went past this tooth on the ride home. Eventually I just started peddling half a stroke at a time to avoid breaking the chain again and walking much further than i initially thought I would.

I stopped along the way to get some pictures of the bike in a nice farmers field.

The current build on the bike is as follows:

Raleigh Hilife Frame 55cm

Easton EC90 Carbon fork paint scheme matched to bike

FSA Cycloross Headset

Bars and Stem are no namers in Silver

Brake Calipers are Gold froglegs

Brake levers are 105 STI

Seatpost Specialized Carbon with Zerts Jawn

Crank Old Shimano 105

Wheels XT Disc Hubs hand built wheels.

Chain From my parts bin

Pedals Shimano something or others

Tires Bontrager Bald cross tires.

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