More notes on the Kaffenback and a BBC guide to church…

I guess it’s fairly common to switch all the gubbins from one bike to another, for a whole variety of reasons.  Commonly when buying a lovely new (and expensive) frame, bits find themselves getting transferred from one bike to another.  In my case I needed a new commuter frame, which cost £125, plus another £35 for the forks.  I’ve always run Campagnolo kit, so it all transferred reasonably well.  I took the opportunity to buy a new chain and rear cassette, not least to up the number of rear teeth (to 26 from 23) to give me a fighting chance up Sheffield’s many steep hills.  I found a Xenon compact chainset for £40: bargain.  I also needed a new stem – the new forks are ahead-set style rather than the old quill type.  New cables were a must, and pretty cheap at Decathlon.

Otherwise wheels, derailleurs (standard front works fine with a compact chainset) bars, ergo levers, saddle, seatpin, mudguards and rack were easy to put on and set up.  The problem was the brakes.   The Kaffenback provides for V- or Cantilever brakes, but does not provide for a cable hanger at the rear. The front is less of an issue – the FSA headset I fitted had an integrated hanger, which was easy to fit.   A couple of tips therefore, if you ever have the same problem as me and google throws this post up.

1) Do remember to  buy a canti hanger when you order the frame or bike.  In the end I bought a Surly ( which was quite elegant (it meant the brake cable line wasn’t too kinked, and comes with an adjuster), but clearance is touch and go with the brakes I chose, which leads me to my second point:

2) The cheapest Planet-X cantis are the Shimano LX thingies. At £10 for front and rear, they seem like a bargain, and they are in many ways, but I suspect they have longer travel and and are harder to set up than some of the alternatives, such as the Tektro 520 set (another £15).

3) Campagnolo road kit has the adjusters at the brake callipers, and not the brake levers – I think Shimano road kit is the same.  It’s worth getting hold of some in-line brake adjusters if you can – the Surly comes with one for the rear though.

If anything else crops up I’ll post it here.

On an entirely unrelated point, I came across this BBC guide to going to church at Christmas:  It’s heavily orientated towards Church of England churches, which I guess is where most people want to go for the equivalent of a carol ‘knees up’ if only going once a year.   It’s surprisingly balanced in a number of ways, although quite grating at points.  At one point it says that visitors should “feel free to take communion, though some churches may offer you a blessing”, which diminishes the  whole point.   The biblical view of communion is well explained in 1 Corinthians 11 17-34, and notes that it is a serious act.

Even so, it rightly reminded me that churches can be peculiar places to go to, particularly if your church, like ours progresses through the service by standing up and sitting down a fair bit.   We’ve put some effort into explaining how a church service works in our welcome leaflet, but a simple guide, perhaps using matchstick men diagrams might not go amiss, as well as being careful to welcome newcomers each week.  I’ll be doing just that on Sunday, and will give some careful thought to it.


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