Went in for a consultation before the 4th of July. Committed to Rholoff immediately after the 4th. Talked to Mike once or twice a week and ticked off decisions about shifters, hub specs, cogs, etc. We clearly established August 8 as a hard deadline. Then yesterday, the 24th, I get a call saying that their supplier can’t promise to get them a hub in time for build-up by the 8th.
I ended up agreeing to go with a 32-hole hub (instead of 36) which is probably just fine but not what I wanted. I also agreed to stick with the 36 hole generator hub in the front since they had already gotten that in and started building the wheel. No one will know by looking at the bike but it will bug me forever.
Otherwise things are coming along – I bought front racks in a couple of different configurations and ended up with one per bike. The one for the Franklin came from Compass – it’s made by Nitto and has an elegant curved headlight attachment. The one I put on my bike is from Vello Orange and has an integrated decaleur. I got it because they were out of stock on the decaleur kits that slide over the steerer tube. Later I was able to get a couple of those kits so we can run three randonneur bags if we want. I mounted the Nitto low-rider ( “hub-area” according to Rivendale ) racks and the bracket for a hoop lines up with the braze-on on my rack so I just need a rack bolt and I’ll have an extra strut. (I’m planning on traveling with two small panniers in front together with a medium-sized randonneur bag.) Will is likely not going to want a front bag so the rack on his bike is gratuitous, but it’s also from Compass, made by Nitto, and mounts to the fork braze-ons instead of the canti pivots.
Speaking of canti pivots – the double-ended canti bolts from Vello Orange are not designed for the thickness of the Rodriguez tension adjusters. When I replaced the stock bolts with double-ended ones to mount the rack on my bike I was barely able to get the bolt to catch – maybe two threads. In addition, the “head” in between the two threaded ends is really skinny and you need a cone wrench to hold onto it. (You need a 16mm wrench for the adjuster. Pretty much the only thing I worry about needing to adjust on the road are those brakes so I’m looking at carrying a 13mm cone wrench and a crescent wrench that opens big enough to fit the adjusters – as well as the two very small allen keys that are needed to adjust the straddle cables. Maybe the double-ended bolts from Nitto are just a little longer. Or maybe I’ll ditch the idea of double-ended bolts and just go with a regular M6 that’s long enough to hold everything.