Thursday, December 13, 2007

The knobbies work great, but...

First things first. The Kenda Hammers work very well on slush and snow at 35 PSI. On glare ice, they work about as well as I recall my old knobbies working. What's that mean? Well, it means I didn't fall over. It also means I wasn't all that confident. They slid around a bit. Put mildly, I wouldn't want to have to make an emergency stop on ice. Even though the studs weren't perfect, they really helped during braking -- they slipped a bit as well, but stopped me instead of locking up. I think these knobbies will be fine, though.

On pavement at 35 PSI, they're sluggish and more noisy than the old tires. I ran them up to 65 PSI last night for a bit and they still had a whine to them when riding, but they were more responsive to input and seemed to roll quite a bit easier. It's still nothing like the efficiency of my Forte Slick City tires, much less the skinny Bontragers on my road bike.

You can compare the tread pattern of my photo above to the WTB Velociraptor and you'll see what I mean. When I saw these two side-by-side, they looked almost like the same tire.

So, now for the bad news. My headset is completely and thoroughly destroyed. When I was running with the studs, I felt like I had some serious resistance to turning the handlebars. It would bind up out of the blue. I kind of blamed it on the studs. Last night, I didn't feel the sensation while shaking the bike down with the new tires. It was back this morning. When I got to the bus stop, I lifted the front of the bike and listened in horror as my headset made horrible grinding noises as I turned the handlebars. I may take the fork off tonight and attempt to R&R it myself. Headsets are generally pretty easy to work on from what I've seen, but all the work I've done on them was just tightening and lubricating threaded and threadless sets. Sheldon Brown makes a headset overhaul look easy (scroll down to the correct part), but then again, he makes everything look easy for the most part.

My road bike needs a rear derailleur issue looked at anyways. Maybe I'll just switch over to the Outlook for a while, take the Trek 1200 and the Sorrento to the LBS, and call it a day. Ugh.

Random Tunage:
Liquideyes - Closure
Acquire The Fire - Here I Am To Worship


Jon said...

Noah, Headset overhauls are relatively simple, and doing your own will save some coin in the long run.

If you take it to the LBS, skip paying for overhaul labor and have them replace it with a sealed-bearing type headset. This will also save some coin over the long haul.

Same advice I gave to numerous customers over the years of wrenching in shops.


GhostRider said...

Do your own's way easier than it looks, and it's a great learning experience.

If it needs replacing rather than a rebuild, I second Jon's recommendation of a sealed cartridge bearing headset. "Set it and forget it", just like Ron Popeil says!!!

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