Wednesday night, after I got back from a congregational business meeting, I stayed in the garage and monkeyed around with the Razesa. Put it on the trainer (because I haven’t got a clamp-down bike stand) and tried to figure out why the chain would only stay on the smallest rear sprocket. I hand-checked most of the chain-links to see if any of them were stiff, checked to see if any part of the chain was kinked, or kinked as it went through either of the derailleurs. Nope. Lubed the chain and rear sprockets. Nope. Finally, because I remembered my friend Eric had said this has been a recurring problem with the bike, I checked to see whether the right-side downtube shifter was loose. Yup. It didn’t feel the least bit loos when riding or using it to change gears on the trainer, but when I experimentally stuck my thumbnail in the groove of the screw that hold it in place, it turned without breaking the nail. Got a screwdriver and tightened it down snug, et voila! I had a functional bike again.
Yesterday after supper, while my wife and son were at his gymnastics class, I took the Razesa for a ride. The bike is light and fast, its MKS Lambda pedals are comfortable, and the Shimano 600 drivetrain setup with Biopace crankset is like having some kind of motorized assist. I felt like I had wings on. I flew. Maybe 10 to 12 neighborhood miles, and I was not winded when I got back to the house. I had enough energy to play outside with my son until I was too tired and it was nearly dark.
Because I’m not a bicycle racer and am relatively new to the activity, I guess I don’t have any prejudice about off-round chainrings. I can’t imagine how the Biopace rings got such a bad rap. I recommend buying them up cheap on Ebay or some other place you can find them. Compared to the round rings on my Miyata, and the Stronglight crankset that came with the Razesa, the Biopace rings are like a space-age, super-powering alien technology that I’m glad I’ve incorporated into the Razesa.