Project Pokey Part 2: The Drivetrain Shuffle

English: A simple diagram of a road bicycle dr...

Winter is such a fun time to ruminate on bicycle things. I’ve let you in on my crazy notion of turning my Raleigh Furley into a race rig. The major change is going to be the drivetrain, as the bicycle started life as a single speed. Sorry SS buddies, this steed is going multi-speed. My current racing mount, the RX, is sporting a SRAM drivetrain. Personally, I prefer Shimano. Before the flaming fanboys come out, I like both drivetrains, I just prefer Shimano. So get a life.

For SRAM, I’m looking at the Rival group. Rival has the same internals as Force, just a tad bit heavy. By a tad, I mean miniscule-I’ll just take a few cage bolts off-kind of miniscule. Most of the weight between groups comes from the upgrade in the crank and derailleurs. SRAM also has a price advantage, being less than a Shimano drivetrain (if you were to compare to 105 and up) in dollars. In the rough and tumble world of cyclocross, this is a plus.

For Shimano, I am looking at the Ultegra group. Funny thing is, I would go with the new 11-speed group which would actually go on my road bike. Then the 10-speed Ultegra group would go on the RX, and then the SRAM drivetrain would go on Pokey. Did you get that? I think I better have a diagram handy if I go this route. The reason for the drivetrain shuffle is that I don’t feel the need to have 11 speeds on the CX bike. Ten is plenty.

That’s the idea for the drivetrain. Obviously the SRAM option is the least expensive in terms of dollars and labor. It would also keep my drivetrains consistent across my ‘cross bikes, so I don’t have to flip the mental switch if I happen to use one as a pit bike and it comes into play.


Project Pokey: The Raleigh Furley Race Rig

Raleigh FurleyThe deal was simple: I win, I get a new bike. I had four races to do it, and needless to say I didn’t win. But my lovely wife said I could get one anyway.


I thought I had settled on a new cyclocross bike, but you know what? I’m not a paid rider. I’m not number one. Other riders have won on less. Since I have two cyclocross bikes, why not turn the Raleigh Furley into a race rig? In case you didn’t know, the Furley is Raleigh Bicycle’s steel CX frame. It’s not the high end cro-mo, but it’s 4130. It’s not the lightest, but again, I’ve been beat by heavier (I ride a Raleigh RX 1.0 now for racing). It is my pretty bike, so I’m torn.

I figure to get this sled race ready, I’ll need a drivetrain as she’s set up as a single speed right now. I don’t have any aspirations to race single speed at the moment. The nine-speed shifters I was running on it aren’t all that reliable so it has to be all new. I would most likely go 1×10 because I rarely shift the front anyway.

I’ll also need new wheels. The wheels on it are fine, but I would a lighter set to get up to speed a bit quicker. Also, I would want something with sealed bearings due to the not-so-nice conditions associated with cyclocross. Nothing fancy, I don’t need the latest carbon fiber whatsit. Oddly enough, I haven’t raced anything worse than some mud. I have yet to race in a torrential downpour, or a white-out.

Now as options, I would upgrade the cockpit. The saddle, seatpost, stem, and handlebars. The saddle isn’t my favorite. Comfortable for around town, but not for racing. I don’t really have to replace the seatpost, but why not? My stem would be replaced with something a little longer to match the set up on the RX. The handlebars need replaced because they’re slightly bent. I may also need to replace the headset bearings. I’m not sure if it’s sealed bearings or not.

Well, that’s the idea. It’s a crazy notion, but to me, cyclocross is fun. Having two race ready bicycles will just be fun. It won’t be the first race Pokey has been in, she has the distinction of being the rig in my first race. It did well, but I think she’ll do better with some new bits. Now I just have to convince myself to do it.

How the Cincy3 CX Festival Can Help You Survive a Filibuster

Jonathan Page at the 2006 Cyclocross National ...

Jonathan Page at the 2006 Cyclocross National Championships on his way to 2nd – 20061216, by David Chiu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Filibusters have done nothing but slow the already slow process of democracy to a crawl. Would you rather watch CSPAN, or get muddy? I vote on GET MUDDY. Hop on that cyclocross bike and ride away from the droning noise that is a politician.

This is a reminder that this weekend is the Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival. Three, count them THREE days of cyclocross madness! To top it all off, the Pan-American Continental Championships will be held on the final day! These are UCI races so you will see pros racing all three days. It’s awesome to watch how fast these riders go when they’re paid to ride a bike.

Friday, October 31st is at Harbin Park. Saturday, November 1st is at Kings CX, and Sunday, November 2nd is at Devou Park. Clicking on the venues will open up Google Maps in a new window.

So dress warmly, dust off those cowbells (if you’ve been slacking and not attending any sporting events), and bring a cooler full of beer handups because it’s going to be a good time!

Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival