Bicycle on balcony overlooking city

Tuning up for tomorrow’s ride

I spent time today tuning up Kuroko for tomorrow’s ride — wherever that may take me.

I received a new saddle bag this week. Fedex and Seino put their heads together and attempted to deliver it twice while I was at work before I called them and said it was OK to leave it in the security box.

Topeak saddle bag
Topeak saddle bag — good but too limiting

Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack
Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack — room for onigiri

The Apidura bag is expandable and will allow me to carry onigiri and even a windbreaker without having to carry a musette. (I doubt I’ll need a windbreaker tomorrow, but it will come in handy for the Tour de Tohoku next month.)

It doesn’t look quite as nice here on Kuroko as it does on the maker’s site (especially as I’d missed the saddle rail with one of the straps — which I subsequently fixed), but I expect it will be fine once I’ve packed it full of onigiri.

Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack
Apidura Backcountry Saddle Pack

After switching the bags, I tackled the rear wheel next. It was clear from last week’s ride that I hadn’t tightened the spokes enough when I replaced the right side. I checked them with the tension meter and ended up tightening them all about another turn and a half all the way around. The wheel is sitting closer to the center of the bike now and it’s nice and true (or as true as I can get it just by eyeballing it in the frame).

Checking spoke tension
Checking spoke tension — that’s about half what it should be

Discovered in the process: the new spokes are thinner gauge than the previous ones. And that’s exactly the spot you want to have your thickest ones.

My final job today was to (once again) adjust the rear derailleur. Before I started though, I noticed the chain had started rusting. It was fine last week! Chalk it up to the typhoons, which have brought us plenty of rain.

Bicycle chain with a light film of rust
A light film of rust

Bicycle chain after cleaning
Nice and clean

It just takes me a few minutes now to clean and oil the chain. Adjusting the derailleur took a bit longer. Before I started I once again watched Calvin Jones’s excellent guide.

Armed with that fresh in my mind, it only took me a couple of tries to get it right. Let’s see now how good of a job I did!

Bicycle on balcony overlooking city
Ready to ride

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