Shakedown Ride.

This is the finished build following my initial shakedown ride this morning. Panaracer Pasella tires sure “look the part” but I will probably go with something a little less stodgy feeling once I’ve rebuilt 700c wheels around the high flange Campy hubs still waiting in the queue.

I found that the saddle needed a slight adjustment, and the front brake required a tiny bit of fiddling with the tension. I must be getting pretty good at eyeballing my builds, because otherwise this build came together quite effortlessly.

A few years ago I wound up getting a screaming good swap meet bargain on a box of Brooks leather bar wrap. The funny thing is that the box specifies the color as “honey,” which this is decidedly not. I bought the bar wrap about the same time that the notion of white tubing began to bounce around in my head, so in one sense the misidentified tape seems to have been paired up with the Paramount from the start. I’ve wrapped it over a coat of cotton wrap to give the bar diameter just a little greater heft.

Taking the bike out for the first ride this morning I was a tiny bit nervous. Had I forgotten anything? Was everything tightened down? Going down the first hill I hoped I had adequately snugged down the handlebars. I glanced down to check the quick release levers on both wheels were as they should be. I wiggled my foot to see if the crank set wobbled. The saddle, as I mentioned before, needed adjustment so I stopped for a moment to lower it slightly and to play with the front brake cable. Mark Twain stood there watching – fat load of help he was.

I’ve a pretty standard route I follow on each inaugural ride that involves downhills, curves, flats, and climbs. Since it’s the first time out the gate, everything seems new and I’m generally hypersensitive to noises, clicks, wobbles, sways, and literally anything a bike might do. This first ride is really important for identifying problems and dialing in things. Aside from the sluggish nature of the Panaracer Pasela tires, I’m very happy to acknowledge that everything seems to be clicking for me.

Speaking of tires, I’m also very happy to note there were no flats because I completely forgot to mount a frame pump this morning!

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5 thoughts on “Shakedown Ride.

  1. Paul Glassen says:

    I am a little surprised to read you calling the Panaracer Paselas “sluggish”. I have ridden them in several sizes for years and always thought them very good – at least those without the heavier puncture guard belts.. In a personal correspondence with Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly/Compass Cycles, he acknowledged the Paselas were the best performing of all the tires they tested until the advent of first Gran Bois and now his own brand of Compass tires. And I believe both of those brands are manufactured by Panaracer.

    • I currently have 27 I inch wheels on this bike. For whatever reason, the tread on 27 X 1 1/4 Paselas feels thicker, heavier, and has greater “tooth” pattern than the 700c brethren. Others have pointed this difference out on BF from time to time. I am puzzled why this would be the case, quite frankly. When I finish my current tour, I’ll do a photographic side by side to demonstrate. To be clear, the 27’s are still a good tire – I just don’t feel they are nearly as supple or feel as fast as, say, the 700’s and certainly seem to be in a different class entirely than the Compass tires.

  2. Paul Glassen says:

    That’s disappointing about the old 27″ size tires. Must be a pretty poor range of options in that size. So you have had favourable experience with the Compass tires? I am tempted, especially perhaps for my Soma Grand Randonneur (bought as a frame and parts kit from Boulder) with its 650B rims. It’s currently on the original Soma 38mm – very similar to Paselas I have had in several 700c widths. But with the exchange rate to Canadian currency the Compass tires are very dear indeed – around $100/ea. plus shipping. Boulder has a good buy right now on the Pacenti Neo Moto, available in both 38 mm and 42 mm.

    • I’ve only ridden on two Compass tires: Chinook Pass (700 x 28) and Stampede Pass (700 x 32). I have come to really like these tires a lot and am seriously considering a pair of the Chinook Pass for the ’66 Paramount after I get the wheels built. I’ve had an exceptionally good experience with them thus far and will likely go with Compass tires on my 650b when I’ve worn out the 650b x 38 Pari-Motos currently in place. I doubt I could justify the $100 per tire cost at your exchange rate though! They’re already quite expensive to begin with.

      I’m disappointed with the dwindling 27 inch options also. For the most part, those options are leisure/commuter tires. While those are probably bullet proof, they’re also stiff and rather sluggish. I compared the 27 x 1 1/4 Pasela tires currently mounted to my Paramount to a pair of 700 x 25 Paselas that I have on my Hobbs. Considering that aside from size, they are “exactly the same tire,” the difference is rather remarkable. The 27’s have a coarser tread pattern with much deeper grooves while the 25’s are smoother and (seemingly) more pliable when deflated. Could be my imagination, but the 25’s also felt thinner and possibly lighter, even giving consideration to the variation in width. Now why this should be is a real question, isn’t it? Perhaps the older 27 inch version of the Pasela tires uses a different mold? Pure speculation on my part – and I’m not knowledgeable enough in this area to do any more than make wild guesses without any foundation!

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