|The before photo; rear rack, deck and bags removed.|
|Current primary Big Dummy co-pilot and little sister.|
|Former primary Big Dummy co-pilot, occasional Big Dummy caboose rider, and big sister. Lael's old glasses undoubtedly make her faster.|
After the ride, first up was to swap out some cable housing. The housing has suffered more than any other part from the weather and inattention to which the bike has been exposed as a kid hauler/utility beast over the years. Because it still shifted fine, I had been comfortable in my neglect, but the time for action had arrived. A Big Dummy is a big bike with what seems like miles of cables and housing. With a swept back handlebar that makes the housing jut forward before eventually arching rearward, not to mention the fact that it is a lanky 22" frame, the noodle-y effect seems even more exaggerated.
|A crack in the housing near the junction with the head tube had been there long enough for the exposed compression cables to rust.|
|Another crack just past where the housing exits from the front shifter.|
Just prior to my decision to tackle some much needed maintenance, I decided to see how a Surly Open Bar felt on the Dummy, in comparison to the Nitto Albatross bar that had lived on the bike since I first put it together in 2008. As I happened to have one around, I quickly swapped the bars just before taking the earlier ride with the girls. By the time we arrived back at home, I knew the Surly Open Bar was on the bike to stay.
|A Surly Open Bar, this one with the 40 mm rise, is wider than a Nitto Albatross.|
|The Nitto Albatross has perhaps a bit more rise than the +40 mm Surly Open Bar.|
As much as I've enjoyed the position and shape of the Nitto Albatross on the Dummy, at a mere 560 mm wide, it feels far too narrow as compared to the much wider bars that I now have on some of my other bikes. The Surly Open Bar is 666 mm wide, which is a bit better, but what I'd really like is a bar of similar shape in the range of 750 mm or so wide. I've become a huge fan of the Salsa Rustler 2 bar on my Monocog, but would prefer something with much more sweep and a bit more rise if installed on the Dummy. To my knowledge, a truly wide, highly swept, good quality, modern riser bar does not exist.
|Both Maxxis Larsen TT tires had developed goathead induced slow leaks that I'd been nursing for a few weeks.|
As I have perhaps too much tire stock on hand, instead of buying another pair of Larsens, I chose a pair of mildly used Specialized Roll-X 2.0" tires that have been in my bike barn for some time. They have more aggressive knobs than the Larsens, but are no-frills and have a less fancy casing with standard steel beads. The rims on the Dummy are Mavic X 823 UST-compatible tubeless, which I've had for several years but always run with tubes. Until now, that is.
I installed a couple of Mavic tubeless valve stems, mounted the tires, squirted in 2 ounces of Stan's and pumped 'em up with a compressor. One bead on each tire needed a little encouragement to pop into place, but after that, they were good to go. I didn't have to do any Gorilla Tape chicanery with the tubeless specific rims. Three bikes in my fleet are now tubeless, each by a slightly different method, but I can't see going back to using tubes unless absolutely necessary.
|The after photo. There are still a few tasks left to do, but the Big Dummy is revitalized.|