Search Me

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Of Stems and Derailleur Hanger

When Sean and I first bought our Echo Pure trial bikes back in Mar 2008, the stems on the bikes were only temporary ones on loan to us, as ours had not arrived yet.

A couple of months later, the new stems arrived in Singapore but we could not picked them up. When Syarul was in Singapore last December for the 4th round of the Singapore National BikeTrial competition, he helped to pick them up for us; but he never had the chance to pass them over to us until that day when I was riding with him in Bukit Komanwel... LOL.

All this while, I had been training on the 20" and have not been riding the Echo. The last time I rode the 26", I broke the derailleur's hanger. I tried to hop onto a platform but slipped on the rear wheel and landed on the derailleur. Paid RM35 to get a new hanger... felt like I was ripped off... cause when I first bought the el cheapo Shimano derailleur (with the hanger), it only cost me about RM45. LOL...

The broken derailleur hanger.

The new hanger after installation.

Anyway, the stems were of different length. All this while I had been using the long 150mm stem, so I decided to try the 130mm stem (Sean's). It felt really uncomfortable and it required more strength to lift the front wheel. Pivoting backward required more effort but pivoting forward was much more easier.

The Bazooka 150mm stem on loan to me by Peng and the new 130mm for Sean.

The long awaited new 150mm Echo stem.

After changing back to the 150mm stem, it came across to me that maybe the handlebar will make a big difference in the overall feel and control of the bike. The Echo's handlebar had no "riser" and was pretty much "flat". I remembered riding a friend's 26" Monty 231 Kamel 08 model, the bike felt extremely easy to handle and control.... almost as easy as the current Monty 20" which I am riding now.

The Echo handlebar is really flat with the 150mm stem.

The older model of the Monty riser handlebar on my 20".

Hmmm... would a riser handlebar affect the handling of the bike that much? I simply have to find out! I guess I am still trying to find the perfect bike setup that's suitable for my size and weight on the Echo. When I have time, I will probably remove the Monty riser handlebar from my 20" and try it on the Echo... LOL