Being up-front

First it got a new handlebar: the Grand Bois French Rando, kindly delivered including a pack of "schokohagel" via M-gineering. This handlebar is only 41 cm wide, which is a bit narrow for the Cross-Check geometry, but I got used to it. I may go back to a straight bar in winter, when I need more steering leverage on ice and snow.

Surly with a new front area.

The bar required new brake levers, these are Tektro v-brake-compatible levers that feel and work great.

The next addition was a front rack. I got a good deal on a Electra Ticino rando front rack, which is similar to the Nitto M12: It mounts to the cantilever brake posts and the fork crown hole. Where the M12 uses a screw that passes all the way through the fork crown, the Electra rack has a much shorter "brake-bolt" and comes with a recessed bolt to be inserted into the back of the fork. Sheldon Brown calls this recessed mounting. On a Surly fork, widening the brake bolt hole on the back (only there!) is necessary. I think, it now is drilled to 8 mm. Actually this looks very clean. The Ticino rack fits the Surly well, not much bending necessary, but because the Surly has such a huge clearance between tires and fork crown, it also sits very high above the front fenders.

Ticino front rack sits very high.

In the rack picture you can also see the mount for my B&M Ixon front light on the left. The rack has two braze-ons with M6 thread, one on each side in the center of the brake stay. I have used a steel spacer to mount a Busch & Müller lamp holder intended for fork crown mount (B&M part-no.: 475D/492GAPB, I got it without the fork holder at Cycle Basar). The holder is 10 mm wide, the braze-on is 5 mm, the lamp itself needs 25 mm clearance to one side, so the spacer has a length of 20 mm and the M6 allen bolt is 40 mm long (35 mm would be fine, too, but I couldn't find one in that size). Here's how it looks with the lamp:

Lamp holder for B&M Ixon light at  front rack

Now what good is a front rack without a front bag. The most affordable good one is made by Velo Orange and called "Campagne". Velo Orange stuff is a bit hard to get in Germany. I had good luck ordering from Meißner Raeder who not only have a funky way of avoiding umlauts ("ae") at the same time as promoting ligatures ("ß"), but have been very nice to deal with. I also ordered the fork mounted decaleur kit - and that's where the trouble started.

When mounted in its original shape, there was no way the decaleur could clear my 100mm stem: It simply is too short. Mounting it lower in the spacer stack moved it a bit to the front, but then it was too low to properly support the bag and it was in the way when trying to wrap the leather loop of the bag around the rack loop.

After much fiddling I found a decent solution, which you can see on the pictures: The decaleur was mounted upside down and bent a lot in the opposite direction. (Btw.: I did this on the bike, and didn't use a vise because I like living on the edge. :) I hope it won't fall apart but at least now I can mount the bag securly and easily.

Loop da loop game

After the loops are married to each other, the metal rods can be inserted as well:

Loop da loop game with metal

And even the B&M light fits under the bag - nice and easy and bye for today.

Loop da loop game
Category: Bike
Tags: surly crosscheck veloorange rack