9 June 2014

Pictures of my FrankenCrank

And here's the story. I had talked to someone on the west coast about sizing and building me a custom drop pedal system. We got some initial measurements in and some numbers to play with and he just vanished.

So, several months later I was bitching to a kayaking buddy, Pat Hamlin, about the west coast dude's failure to follow through with the crank. I showed Pat a few pictures and the measurements that had originally been ballparked, and how the whole drop pedal system was supposed to work. Pat, who's a machinist by trade says, “hey, I can do something like that for you”. I let Pat have my Cannondale 29er to muck with and a couple months later he presented me with this really fugly monstrosity on my Cannonsnale. It took a couple months because Pat is a busy machinist, and generally a busy person.

A couple things you'll notice is that the crank arm is hollow, which makes the metal plate there you see necessary to anchor the bolt. The Frankencrank Mark II which I'm procrastinating on building will use a solid core crank, and I think I might set it up so it uses something like a skateboard bearing. Also, looking to get some Aluminum stock to work with for the drop pedal.

My first impression of it, when it was on the Cannonsnale was, it worked pretty good, but it was pretty hard keeping up with the other folks on hybrid or road bikes. Duh, even though the cannonsnale had a 29 inch wheel, it was still a mountain bike with big beefy mountain bike tires. So, I had the crank system swapped onto an old Gary Fisher Utopia.

My second impression, once it was on the Fisher, which has high pressure 700 X 25c tires was damn, I can actually haul butt on this thing. I did a bike trip with Pat, his lovely wife Ellen and about 20 other friends at Rehoboth in Delaware and I was keeping up with everyone, in fact I was faster than quite a few. At Rehoboth we did about 40 miles (with Beer and a Ferry stop or two).

So, after getting back from the bike trip we've been doing some trail rides on the weekends with some other friends. The weekend after Rehoboth we did a 36 mile ride on the NCR and York Rail trail. The 36 miler was a bit ambitious since there was no beer or food available, plus we really hadn't been riding that much. Now the wife and I are trying to get some conditioning in so we can increase our mileage a bit. Plus the wife wants to do the full C&O canal trail. Probably do that over the course of a few days since it's about 184 miles.

My final impression is that I really owe Pat a ton of beers since he actually did this for free (don't ask how much the West Coast one would have cost). Also, I can actually sit and spin and climb, which I never was able to do with my screwed up knee. I'm looking forward to the FrankenCrank Mark II because I'll probably make one or two of them, and it'll go on my Cannondale 29'er and I'll see how it rides for some real off-road. There are a couple of compensatory tricks I need to use when I'm standing up on the pedals so I don't think I'll be bunny hopping any logs, but you never know.