Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Clearance Revoked

Firstly, I will not so subtly direct your attention to the right-hand margin, where EH Works is back among my patrons and cohorts:

Buy one for yourself, then buy another as a gift for someone else.  Then laugh heartily when that same someone presents you with a tool roll, leaving you with two tool rolls--which is great, because all your bikes should have them:

See that?  You're done with your holiday shopping already.

Alas, I don't have tool rolls for all my bikes, for the simple reason that I have too many bikes.  One of these many bikes is the Tresca, which I've returned to this week after letting it lie fallow since September:

I'd like to say that I put the Tresca back in the rotation because I missed its spirited ride quality.  However, if I did I'd be lying.  I mean sure, I kind of did, but the real reason I've been riding it is that it's been pretty wet out the last couple days and I didn't want to get my other bikes dirty.

Of course I do have a dedicated be-fendered road bike in the Milwaukee, which is what I'd ordinarily use:

But it is in desperate need of maintenance which I have as of yet not gotten around to performing.  So pending that, I reached for a Fresca--er, Tresca.

This isn't to say I find riding the Tresca onerous--not at all.  My lackluster racing experience on it aside, I quite enjoy it.  It's just that, you know, I like my other road bikes more.  Even so, it's been fun riding it again, and I've been getting it rather dirty indeed:


As it turns out, however, the Tresca is not an ideal rain bike, and not just because it won't take fenders.  See, this bicycle is a prototype, and according to Tresca the rear brake bridge is a "bit lower than where it should be," resulting in reduced clearance.  Until now this was a non-issue, and inasmuch as this is not a production frame I didn't bother mentioning it.  However, when it's autumn and the streets are gritty and wet and strewn with leaves and other plant matter the situation is tight enough that you can hear whatever the tire picks up rubbing against the frame.  Here's a shot of just how little clearance we're talking about (this is with 25s):

The incorrect placement of the brake bridge is also evident from looking at the brake caliper itself--note that the pads must be "slammed" in order to line up with the braking surface:

(Slam those pads!)

Anyway, things are snug enough that debris even gets caught in the brake caliper.  And while tight clearances on road bikes are certainly not rare (my Tan Tenovo with its aero seat "tube" was also tight enough that it could not accommodate a single staple), there's also no reason for it on a metal bike in 2019--though of course this was not intentional, and certainly Tresca will correct the problem when the bike finally goes into production.  (If you're wondering when the bike will go into production, the answer is "I don't know.")

In any case, apart from the gritty sound whenever I rolled through a puddle or something the Tresca was perfectly serviceable.  I've been meaning to swap some parts to see if I can improve the ride quality somewhat, but I have not yet done so because: A) I'm lazy; and 2) Honestly the bike's mostly fine anyway.  I did obtain two (2) pairs of high-end Donnelly tires in order to put one pair on the Tresca, but I like them so damn much I've decided to simply save the second pair until the spring instead.

I do still plan to experiment with the Tresca, but in the meantime was curious to know if anyone else out there was riding one, so I consulted a popular search engine, which directed me to a new-ish review on Bike Radar:

They seem to like it, but this puzzled me:

While I wouldn't call the Tresca "smooth" compared to my other road bikes, I also notice no discrepancy in smoothness between the front and the rear.  I do agree the bars could use some softening up, but new handlebar tape seems like the easiest and most effective way to do that.  

Welcome to winter in New York City, Tresca.  If you can handle this you can handle anything.


Anonymous said...

First???? Wow I'm sorry but $48 for an artisinal tool roll is just too precious for my taste. I'd rather roll up my tools in some thrift store underware using its elastic to secure it around my dick brakes.

upper west side guy said...

That's some tight clearance. I actually would not call it "clearance" but "rubbing rubber space."

It's pretty dark in the morning now, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Is that INDI<8A ad some kind of joke? I laughed anyway.

Beck the biker said...

That tire clearance degrades that Tresca down to about the time it takes to offload it on Craigslist (save the new tires for another whip) AFTER being stripped of all its good bits and converted into a single-speed with single pivot brakes clamping crappy wheels salvaged right before heading to the dumpster. Actually, don't do that even though that's what a lot of other people seem to be doing. Damn those tweakers with allen wrenches!

huskerdont said...

I thought the clearance on my custom was bad when I switched from 23s to 25s, but that Fresca's got nothing. If you were to hit a pothole and put your wheel even slightly out of round, you'd be walking home.

Anonymous said...

"Welcome to winter in New York City, Tresca. If you can handle this you can handle anything." And Noo Yawkah's wonder why people hate them? I mean beside the fact they gave us Donald Trump!

HDEB said...

Please have your seventeen children clean and service your bicycles when they get home from the i-pad factory.

Anonymous said...

how about a "tire saver" mounted backwards (before the brake rather than after) to scrape of the road junk before it gets to the brake?

Fred McFredly said...

Being the good consumer, I dutifully scanned the right margin for the photo ad of the new sponsor. But alas, before I got there, there was the annoying animated photo for the other sponsor.

Right click, Block Element, Confirm. Buh Bye, annoying animated ad, never to be seen again!

Moral: static image good, annoying flashing animated image bad.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 11:59am,

People hate New Yorkers because we have messy winters that are hard on road bikes...?

Uh, okay...

--Tan Tenovo

Skidmark said...

I wonder, if you really wanted to, if you could modify that rear brake-bridge? Maybe fill it and redrill to raise the caliper.

DaveD said...

No wonder there is no rear tire clearance. Took a look at their website. Looks like the Fresca "engineering" department uses a ruler, Sharpie and a sheet of graph paper to design their frames. Wonder if they use the ol' Proteus bike frame building book for reference?

Anonymous said...

People hate New Yorkers because we have messy winters that are hard on road bikes...?
No, they hate them because Noo Yawkers think their winters must be the messiest and hardest on road bikes, otherwise they wouldn't write "If you can handle this you can handle anything" like f--king Noo Yawk is the most challenging cycling environment on the planet instead of just being the toughest place (though FLA might come close) to avoid obnoxious, egotistical Noo Yawkers....like Donald Trump.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 5:57am,

You might want to see a professional about your massive inferiority complex.

--Tan Tenovo