So...what am I doing to weather Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy? Bike stuff, of course.
I started with Arielle. The Dia Compe Silver Shifters are pretty, but they haven't worked out very well. I've had to replace the nylon washers three times because to keep the levers from slipping (and giving you an unwanted shift), I've had to tighten them really hard.
I think the action on them is smooth. As they are patterned after the Sun Tour Micro shifter, I though I could find a pair. I could...for about $200 on eBay. So, I went for a Dura Ace downtube shifter, which can be switched from indexing (click-shift) to friction (traditional) mode.
They're not quite as pretty as the Silvers, but they aren't bad, I'd say. Plus, it's part of the same Dura Ace gruppo as my derailleurs.
I also plan on changing the levers on Helene. Right now, I have Silver shifters mounted to Velo Orange handlebar pods. The shifters were originally mounted on the downtube, and I decided to try them on the bars. Since I ride the bars tilted downward, it's really not much of a reach to the downtube. Plus, each shifter will need about a foot less of cable and housing than it would need on the handlebar, which will result in a quicker, smoother shift.
I'll probably make the same change to Vera. However, she had a more urgent problem, to which I attended: Her rear rack was falling apart. It broke at two of the welds. Old bike mechanics' wisdom says that if a spoke has broken on your wheel, others will break soon. I applied that sage advice to my rack, and replaced it.
I got a good buy on a Civia Mission rack. I tried installing it on Helene, with the idea that I would transfer her Blackburn rack to Vera. But I didn't like the way the Mission fit on Helene. The Blackburn fits perfectly, and I didn't want to readjust it for Helene.
As it turned out, the Mission fight nicely on Vera.
Helene's rack mounts are higher on her seat stays than Vera's are on hers. If I recall correctly, when I ordered Helene's frame, I told the folks at Mercian that I intended to use a Blackburn rack, mainly because I've been using them for about 30 years.
Anyway, I rather like the way the Mission looks on Vera. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up under daily use.
So far, it looks like only Tosca and the Trek will be spared this whirlwind of bike modification!