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Review/Check My Build - Low-Trail Soma Fog Cutter

Old 01-23-19, 06:39 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I thought everyone was moving to flat mount brakes. Your Soma frame requires some kind of an adapter for the brakes. I assume they're available, but it is just a bit surprising.
The OP's frame has an ISO mount. AFAIK, post mount brakes still come with a post mount- ISO adapter. If not, the adapters are available in quantity at any bike shop. It's a little surprising to see an ISO mount on a production frame, but it's not a problem.
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Old 01-23-19, 07:32 AM
  #27  
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@Spoonrobot, re the two quotes below, do these suggestions reflect first hand experience with this particular fork and rack? I don't have that fork, but your experience certainly echoes mine.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You're also going to need something to bridge the gap between the front fender daruma bolt going down from the fork crown and the bolt going up through the fender itself. ...
On my new bike, the VO daruma bolt was too short, as you indicate. The photo below shows what happens if the daruma bolt is too short; it holds the fender up too high, and distorts the fender line. Since the photo was taken, I found a bolt similar to (but longer than) a VO daruma bolt on an old (junk) cantilever brake; the bolt that holds the brake shoe stud. Mine literally came off a dumpster bike. It wasn't this brake, but you get the idea:




Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The VO rack is going to sit high above the tire. I'd consider going with something that has more adjust-ability like the rawland rack or Compass UD-1 or similar. This may not concern you but I disliked the way it looked aesthetically and the load felt weird up high as it was.
I have two of the older versions of that VO rack, and both had to be modified to fit the fork. The version they're selling now appears to be much more adaptable than the ones I have.



This photo shows the modification my friend @gugie made to the second of the racks I have. He extended the legs by a couple centimeters, according to the measurements I sent him (in retrospect, I wish I'd told him to make the legs 1 cm longer, since this looks strange with the sloping top tube on this bike).
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Old 01-23-19, 08:55 AM
  #28  
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Thanks everyone for the replies and thoughts. This is my first build, so all these little nitty-gritty details are cool to learn about.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You're also going to need something to bridge the gap between the front fender daruma bolt going down from the fork crown and the bolt going up through the fender itself.
What size frame are you riding? 44cm handlebars are pretty wide for low trail.
Is this a requirement of the VO fenders, or what measurement clues you into this issue? I think I actually changed my mind to the Honjo smooth fenders right after I posted this. Is that still an issue with them?

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
What size frame are you riding? 44cm handlebars are pretty wide for low trail.
I'm on a 56cm frame and my shoulders are pretty wide. I'm hoping the steering won't be too squirrely, but the 42mm bars I tried out felt sort of narrow.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You also haven't mentioned but I would give serious consideration to setting up your tires tubeless. I got 3500 miles from my BSP and when I took it off there were at least 6 punctures I avoided as they all sealed without even losing pressure. BSPs were extremely easy to do. Two wraps of tape and I set up with a crap floor pump.
I've heard good things about tubeless, but also some bad things about tubeless....maybe I'm off-my-lawn'ing it a little bit, but I don't feel like I encounter punctures very much anyways? But I have been running Schwalbe Marathon Pluses for years, so maybe BSP's are different.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
You're going to need adapters to go from the ISO frame to post mount for the Spyres and will probably want to throw away the stock pads. They are terrible, poor braking power, modulation and life. Seriously compared to good pads from TruckerCo they actually feel soft when you squeeze the levers.
re: the ISO mounts on the frame/fork itself, it is interesting that Soma chose to go that way. I wasn't aware of the different mounts before I sketched the build. I think it'll be OK with an adapter but I'll make sure the bike shop has thought about this as well.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
The VO rack is going to sit high above the tire. I'd consider going with something that has more adjust-ability like the rawland rack or Compass UD-1 or similar. This may not concern you but I disliked the way it looked aesthetically and the load felt weird up high as it was.
What clues you in on the rack sitting high? Does the VO rack do that in general? The Compass rack looks nice, but what sort of decaleur could I combine it with?

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The handlebars you've picked out are 25.4 bars.
Almost all the 1 1/8" stems take 31.8 bars. They'll be much easier to deal with.
Hadn't thought about this. I'll make sure the shop knows, too.

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
come to prefer flat-top "aero" bars, and find them comfortable for riding. I do object to the "ergo" bends, but don't really like the "compact" either. Whatever you choose, they should have a tight upper bend, but I'd prefer the rest of the shape to be a smooth curve with flats at the bottom.
Any example bars I could take a look at? I end up riding on the tops a lot and I think the "ergo" bend would be good for my elbows. I often want to turn the hoods a little inwards as well.
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Old 01-23-19, 09:54 AM
  #29  
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Flat mount was still developing when Soma designed the frame. ISO had been the most common set-up on steel frame/forks because it's easier to build and potentially easier to make stronger without having the mounting side overly stiff. Post mount is more common on alu/carbon.
@rhm yes I have the same frame, fork, fender combination and did use the same tires but switched to a slightly larger front tire.

Originally Posted by perspiration View Post
Is this a requirement of the VO fenders, or what measurement clues you into this issue? I think I actually changed my mind to the Honjo smooth fenders right after I posted this. Is that still an issue with them?
It's an issue with fork blade length. Despite manufacturer claims otherwise, no current production bike is actually designed around 650b from the ground up. They're all adapted from a 700c base, this is obvious looking at chainstay and fork blade length (proxy by axle-to-crown). In this case the issue is the latter as the fork is a conversion fork. The axle-to-crown has to be long enough to work ok with frames designed for 700c and when using 650b it ends up having the fender sit much lower than it would for a fork designed for 650b specifically. It's going to be an issue for any fender you use as the fork crown is around ~50mm above the top of the tire. If you use the regular daruma bolt the fender is going to be pulled into an odd shape and/or sit high above the tire.

I was unaware the VO rack had been updated. I tested a rack from 2017 and it appears to be different than the current production but I don't have any measurements. I also don't use a decauler as the bag I have doesn't need one.

The BSP is a totally different tire than the Marathon Plus. You're not getting flats because the MP is a massively thick and heavy tire designed not to have many punctures. The BSP is a racing tire with no protection. Check out the review here: https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...thon-plus-2015

MP is 9mm thick including tread and puncture layer. BSP is the same construction as the Bon John Pass so it will be right at 3mm thick and is made of much softer, supple rubber and casing. I had good luck with BSPs with respect to flats compared to my earlier supple tire experience (Hetres) but still had more than a regular high-pressure road tire. There's no problem with trying the BSPs with tubes and then going to tubeless if you have a lot of flats. Be aware depending on how long you ride the tape may become bedded in and require an additional layer to get set-up easily when setting up tubeless.
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Old 01-23-19, 10:25 AM
  #30  
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Are you sure rival will work with a 40-26 crank even if the rings are the right size? I'd check that. You may either have to go with bigger chainrings like a 46-34 or a different shifter/derailleur setup to accommodate the little rings.

I have mechanical disks (BB7's) on one of my randonneuring bikes and they are easily my least favorite component on that bike. They always squeak, and I constantly have to adjust them. If I ever get disks again, I'll suck it up and get hydros, but honestly, I'm completely satisfied with rim brakes for randonneuring so it's extremely unlikely that my next bike will have disk brakes at all. Seems like youíve already made up your mind about that, so Iíd go hydro. Itís only money, youíll make more. Itís not like this is turning out to be an economy build anyway.

I also don't like the aesthetic of ergo handlebars, so I'd go with something else. I prefer compact drops with brifters since I seem to spend more time on the hoods than with bar-ends. I have nitto-M151Fís on my only brifter bike, but that has a quill stem so I needed a small diameter bar. There are tons of options available in 31.8. Handlebars is a pretty personal thing so you'll have to figure that one out for yourself. Rando bars could work for you since you like to tilt the brake hoods in, just find some without an egro bend. There are several out there. I have Nitto B135ís on my fixed-gear and like them a lot. I wouldnít worry so much about the diamete. Threadless stems come in different handlebar diameters or you can easily use adapters to size up a smaller bar to a bigger stem. Itís not an issue, so just look for some that have a shape that you think will suit your riding style.

I don't see the benefit of running tubeless tires for randonneuring, but I guess more and more people are going in that direction and seem satisfied. Flats are pretty rare for me or brevets. I think I had 3 last season, and Iíve had seasons with zero. I run compass ELís and can replace a tube in under 5 minutes, so I just don't see any reason to bother with tubeless. I was on a brevet last year with a guy riding tubeless who got a flat and there was sealant all over his bike and clothes, and it took him over 30 minutes to put a tube in there and get going again. I can just imagine how long it took him to clean up that mess when he got home. No thank you. I get it for off-road, but for brevets tubeless solves a problem that I just donít have.

I also wouldn't recommend that VO rack you have in mind. It either fits on your bike or it doesn't. I bought one and it didn't fit so I sold it on CL and bought a Nitto M1 and a Nitto Zao decaleur which works better for my bike. Racks and decaleurs are tricky because thereís really no way to tell for sure how theyíll fit on your bike until you actually install them, at which point youíve already bought it. The Nitto racks have a lot adjustability while the Zao decaleur has none.

As long as I'm nit-picking, I like A-600 pedals better than the M540ís you have picked out. Although Iím mad at Shimano right now, I still think SPD is the best clipless choice for randonneuring all things considered.

I love the WI rear hub you have picked out, but Iíll encourage you again to check out the VO rear hub. Definitely not as sweet as the WI hub but probably good enough and field serviceable with no tools which means you can replace a drive side spoke without any tools other than a spoke wrench. Just something to think about. I built a new wheelset this off-season and went with the VO hub for that reason, and it's a lot cheaper than the WI hub. OTOH, Iíve never broken a spoke on a brevet so thereís that.
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Old 01-23-19, 10:49 AM
  #31  
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I use a Shimano CX-70 with my 42/28 crank and SRAM Apex shifters. I bought a sram mtb fd, but couldn't get it to work before I got tired of futzing with it.
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Old 01-23-19, 11:53 AM
  #32  
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Y'all are good at fueling the indecision goblins.

Gonna make sure the bike shop feels good about the 40-26 gearing with the derailleurs we currently have chosen.

I'm gonna see what the apples to apples cost comparison is of the hydros vs the mechanical. I think the hydros came as a full set, so $600 or so for the hoods, calipers, and rotors, but the mechanicals are like $430 for all three separately. That price difference isn't as great as I thought, and would let me go hydro. It's my only real "regret" potential for the build right now.

I don't see a huge aesthetic difference btween the Soma ergo brevets and the Nittos, maybe the slight bend on the tops? Maybe my taste isn't quite so discerning

Not going tubeless to start with, if tube-flats are a huge issue for me then I may consider it, but gonna go with what I know on this for now. Everything fails at some point, and a basic tube failure sounds less miserable than the tubeless failure. I'm sure this is a topic that has filled pages upon pages of different threads...

Looking at different racks now that a few votes against the VO rack have been brought up - the Nitto one looks nice, simple, and very adjustable. Gonna recommend to the shop we go with that and see what they think.

The A-600 are one-sided, right? That's no-go for me, I find it kind of annoying and am pretty much never not wearing bike shoes. Agree that SPD is pretty much what's up as far as clipless goes for now

How well does that Zao decaleur work with the M1 rack?
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Old 01-23-19, 11:57 AM
  #33  
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For road riding, hydro is the tubeless of brakes IMO.

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Old 01-23-19, 12:32 PM
  #34  
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The lack of fixability on hydro brakes is a big negative for me, to be sure. How often do hydro brakes actually fail, though? I guess the question is sort of a moot point because everything fails eventually.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:29 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
For road riding, hydro is the tubeless of brakes IMO.
Maybe disks are the tubeless of brakes and hydros are the sealant that hasn't been invented yet that doesn't evaporate every couple months or spray all over everything when your tire splits open.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:29 PM
  #36  
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I wouldn't worry about hydraulic brake failure on the road. I imagine damage during a flight would be more common than anything else, but that can happen to any part on a bike. On my MTB I can use either brake for effective stopping and it's pretty easy on the hand compared to using cable-actuated brakes. On the road I don't brake nearly as much as I do on the MTB so of course the braking demands are different between each kind of riding. My next rando bike will likely have full shimano hydraulics.

I have the a600 pedals and they are pretty sweet. The non-spd side isn't even a proper flat and wouldn't be comfortable in flats for a long distance, but it's okay for going down to the corner store or something. I toured on them and it was nice if I needed to nip down to the store after arriving to my hotel. I think the a600 is designed around being light, hence the one side. I've always used one-sided spd pedals for randonneuring, there's not a lot of unclipping on most brevets I've done.

If ever end up doing a brevet in goathead country I'd like the option to run tubeless... and worst case with tubeless you can just put a tube in.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:43 PM
  #37  
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I just recently installed my handlebar bag/rack/decaleur (Christmas present to myself) so I can’t report on how well it works IRL. The fit is good, and it seems solid enough in the shop. The Zao only works with a nitto pearl/technomic stem so you wouldn’t be able to use it. You’ll need to find something that works with a threadless stem.

Soma has two randonneur bars, one with an ergo bend and one with a round bend. The ergo bar has a flat spot where the curve is supposed to be on the drop. If you look closely at the side profile shot of both you will see the difference.

I don’t have any bikes with hydraulic brakes, but I have a few motorcycles that are almost 20 years old and the brakes are still fine with regular maintenance, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Even if they do fail on a brevet, it’s really unlikely that both brakes will fail at the same time, and you will be able to finish the ride with one brake. Everything I hate about my mechanical disk brakes, people tell me is solved with hydraulics, so that decision would be a no-brainer for me.
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Old 01-23-19, 02:06 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by perspiration View Post
Any example bars I could take a look at? I end up riding on the tops a lot and I think the "ergo" bend would be good for my elbows. I often want to turn the hoods a little inwards as well.
Oof...

I scrounge a bit, so I'm not quite sure what my "favorite" is.

For basic DROP bar shapes:

https://www.somafab.com/parts/handlebar


Roundwise:
This is more of a convential bar shape. Round on front, flat on the bottom. If the brakes are mounted in the middle of the curve, they end up in the middle of the bars. Or, if mounted at the top of the bars, they're at really odd angles. Plus, many modern brakes aren't rated for these bars.


Brevet Randonneur Bar - Ergo Bend
A tight curve at the top of the bars move the brakes up so they come out flat with the tops of the bars. Good for riding on the "hoods", as well as reaching them from the drops.
I use this design, but I object to it for a couple of reasons. If riding in the drops, I'm often on the flat bottom part, which unfortunately is very short. The hand just feels cramped when reaching up towards the brakes.


Soma Highway One
These are a typical "Compact" bar. Tight curve at the top to help position the brakes. And, then smooth curves for the rest of the bars.
Probably a good compromise bar, but everything comes out a little cramped. Still, it may be good for someone who rides from the the tops/hoods most of the time.


The winged profile aero bars are most common in carbon fiber bars, but also are showing up in aluminum bars.


Lots of direct Chinese import bars, often with fake logos on them.

I'm not sure what the perfect bar is that combines all the elements. As I mentioned, I scrounge a bit, so I've picked up a few bars that I like that are close, including a discontinued IRD Blackbird, as well as a couple of Specialized Zerts Aluminum bars.

There are also various flared and raised bars, and different shapes. Butterfly? Which I haven't experimented with yet.

Oh, keep in mind, some of these bars very much lack real-estate for round add-ons.
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Old 01-23-19, 02:09 PM
  #39  
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talked to the shop

- going with the hydros. YOLO
- going with the round bend compact handlebars - I totally had the "ergo" section wrong. Definitely prefer the aesthetics of the rounded ones more, going to try with the Soma to start with and see where we go from there.
- going with the nitto rack, the bike shop doubly recommended the change.
- gonna stick with the M540's....they're familiar and I commute enough in stop-and-go that flipping the pedals around would micro-annoy me over long periods of time.

*edit* the shop says they've had good experience with the SRAM front derailleur on that crankset gearing, but suggested I might look into FD's with 'yaw' to help micro-adjustments when cross-chaining, which might be good if I plan to mostly "work" in the 40t ring. No clue what to actually research here, though.

Thanks all for the input here. I'm excited about the build and will keep posting updates.

Last edited by perspiration; 01-23-19 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 01-23-19, 04:52 PM
  #40  
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Some notes:
  1. Front racks for handlebar bags should ideally be as low as possible, and attach directly to the front fork. This gives you the lowest center of mass for the bag, and just looks better, IMO. Doing that with a production rack and a production frame is difficult. In reality a bit of spacer isn't that big a deal, especially since a custom rack will easily be twice what VO sells them for.
  2. Decaleur fit can be an issue, if the VO one works for you, it's inexpensive and works for many. Anything else will be 3X the price or more.
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Old 01-27-19, 03:04 AM
  #41  
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Good choice on going with the hydros after all :-) I have one bike with mechanical and one with hydro (which also had mechanical disc brakes at first) and it's no comparison. Never having to adjust brakes for pad wear until the next set of pads is due is great. So is the light action of the levers, especially when your hands are cold and you have a long, wet descent. With hydros your hands don't have to work against a spring that tries to pull the cable back when you let go of the levers, so all the work your hands do is to provide brake force. I'm very happy with my BR-RS785 hydraulic calipers!

If you want a crank that works for a sub-34T inner ("compact plus") with 11 speed, I can recommend the Sugino OX601D (mine is a 42/26). I use it with a CX70 FD and Shimano ST-RS685 shifters. I like my gearing as low as 22 gear inches and as high as 100, 42/26 + 11-32 works for that. With a 105 R7000 GS rear derailleur (or R8000 GS) you can go as high as 11-34, more with a Wolf Tooth RoadLink but with the 26T small ring 32T at the rear is enough for me.

Take a look at my build list for my Elephant Bikes NFE.
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Old 01-31-19, 12:16 AM
  #42  
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The SRAM derailleur was a bit too long for 26t small ring so they ordered a IRD Sub C and are gonna try that.

http://www.interlocracing.com/shifters-derailleurs/sub-c-front-derailleur-double

Can I ride the bike yet!?
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Old 01-31-19, 08:03 AM
  #43  
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Can't wait to see some pics when it's done.
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Old 01-31-19, 10:49 AM
  #44  
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If the IRD doesn't work, get a CX-70
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Old 02-01-19, 07:49 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I did one year of rando with an mtb crank, 42/28 chain rings. 32 tooth in the back. That worked great. I really wish someone made a road crank like that other than at the high-end
I have a Dixna brand 43/27 crankset, 105 FD, 11-32 Tiagra (I think) 10-cog cassette, and Tiagra RD. Not so expensive, and it all works together well.
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Old 02-16-19, 07:18 PM
  #46  
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New bike day






​The steerer will get cut after I ride it more and confirm fit, but too excited not to post some pics
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Old 02-16-19, 09:10 PM
  #47  
unterhausen
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nice build, thanks for posting the pics
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Old 02-17-19, 12:41 PM
  #48  
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You can flip the stem upside down, that would allow you to move some spacers from above the stem to below it. The reason for that would be that you could cut off less steerer tube, then later if you decide you wanted the bars higher, you could flip the stem again. For that reason, I also like to leave an extra 10mm spacer above my stem, just in case.

Is that a taillight or reflector on the rear fender? I do not see mention of a taillight, but it looks a bit like a Secula. If it is a taillight, it looks like it might be aimed too high for the traffic behind you to see the brightest part of the beam, in which case there are a couple holes drilled in your fender in the wrong place. If it is a taillight, it should have a stand light so after riding it to charge up the capacitor, you can get off the bike and see where the brightest part of the beam shines.

Great looking bike.
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Old 02-17-19, 02:09 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Is that a taillight or reflector on the rear fender? I do not see mention of a taillight, but it looks a bit like a Secula. If it is a taillight, it looks like it might be aimed too high for the traffic behind you to see the brightest part of the beam, in which case there are a couple holes drilled in your fender in the wrong place. If it is a taillight, it should have a stand light so after riding it to charge up the capacitor, you can get off the bike and see where the brightest part of the beam shines.
Yeah, the tail light is set up incorrectly. I don't remember if mine came with instructions or if I just remembered reading them on Peter White's site... the back of the light should be at 90į angle from the ground for ideal setup...

It is a pretty sweet looking rando rig, I am really considering 650bx48 for my next rando/gravel bike.
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Old 02-17-19, 02:46 PM
  #50  
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That really turned out great. Aside from the previously mentioned tail light angle, I would add some mud flaps and move the headlight to the front of the rack. Very nice build. Cool to see that the collective wisdom of the BF was able influence some of your design decisions.
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