25 May 2010

How I Roll -- The Dinglehoffer

I was inspired to do this write up by a feature in the Bicycle Times magazine (great bike mag, btw) called "How we roll" where a reader and their bike are profiled.

I love to tinker, and for years, I've run Sturmey Archer hub gears for commuting. I've always wanted to try one of the vintage Cyclo conversion kits that allowed you to run two or three cogs on a S/A hub. The Cyclo cogs pop up on ebay from time to time, but they tend to go for a pretty good chunk of change.

A year or so ago, I ran across the Surly Dingle which is basically a two-speed fixed cog and I thought this is something I can use. I also happened to have a rare, threaded driver for the AW hub -- the Dingle threaded on perfectly! A bit of tinkering and sourcing for odd parts and my 3-speed commuter was now a 6-speed -- thus was born the Dinglehoffer.

The cockpit. S/A trigger on moustache bars to control the hub and a stem shifter for the derailleur. The stem is a no-name brand adjustable angle suspension stem. I didn't have great expectations for it, but the stem actually does a nice job smoothing out the rougher bits in the park and takes the edge off the spots on the greenway where tree roots have heaved the pavement.

The wiring. A Sachs double cable guide collects the housings at the front of the downtube.

Both cables run through the cable guide at the bottom bracket.

Outback, the cable for the rear derailleur utilizes the normal housing stop and the S/A cable runs straight to the hub. I used a zip-tie to hold the S/A cable in a little closer to the chain stay so my heel doesn't snag it.

The business end. I ended up using an old low-endish Shimano rear derailleur mainly because it's tough to get the limit screws far enough in on most derailleurs to limit them to just two cogs. The Shimano was no exception, but it uses standard 3mm bolts that you can get from the hardware store -- note the really long limit screw kinda hanging off the bottom of the image. I also needed to swap out the floating upper pulley in the derailleur for a non-floating pulley.

The Gear Chart. So far I really haven't been shifting the dingle too much -- I've basically been riding it as a 4-speed. I mainly stay on the 17-tooth cog and just shift the hub -- occasionally reaching for the 21-tooth cog on really steep little climbs.

I'm kinda impressed with how the whole thing turned out. There are still a couple of small kinks to work out, but the bike is a blast to ride and just about as much fun to cobble together!

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