The 2016 Weekender Drop comes stock with a 11- 40t rear cassette. With 10 different gears ranging from a-bombing-down-a-hill-high-speed 11t to the granny-gear-hill-climbing 40t you can ride anything that comes your way. Older Weekenders have an 11-36t rear cassette. If you want a bigger range of gears you can follow the traditional path and add a front derailleur and another sprocket up front. Another option is to take advantage of all the 1x upgrades available in the mountain bike world. Leif Valin upgraded Sandy Carson’s Weekender with a OneUp 42t rear cassette kit and a Wolf Tooth narrow/wide front sprocket.
I built up a Weekender frame and fork set with some fancy parts. It’s a special treat to myself since I’m usually a riding a bike with an assortment of miss-mathced sample parts. I started with our Weekender frameset in Electro Silver (available now). More
Our Weekender Archer1×9 is what we’re known for best. This easy-to-ride bike has turned more than a few casual riders into happy “cyclists”. A single, confidence-inspiring SRAM trigger shifter is easy enough for even the most derailleur-challenged rider to use. Add some front or rear racks and this bike can easily become the “car killer” in your life.
From the beginning we have used Linear Slic Kables® made for us by Odyssey BMX on all of our disc brake equipped bikes. It’s a detail you can’t see from the outside but makes a big difference. We’ve found that the combination of mechanical disc brakes paired with the tough, compression-less Linear cable housing provides superior braking. Traditional coiled brake housing can feel especially mushy when used with disc brakes. The stiffer Linear housing applies much more of your brake force to the disc and feels much more solid.
We also keep the cable housing un-broken from the brake lever all the way to the brakes. This helps keep any weather you might encounter from corroding the inner cable wire. This keeps your brakes running smoothly with less maintenance.
Our Weekender has been our most favorite bike since the beginning. It’s practical design has found it a home with many different types of riders. You can sum it up as a 9-speed bike built on a quality frame with quality components and a comfortable all-around riding position. Folks who have Weekenders use them for anything from neighborhood cruisers to daily commuters or like myself, as a touring bike ( Taj’s Japan trip on a Weekender). What I really like about it is that I’ve seen our Weekender turn a lot of people who were interested in bikes into actual “cyclists”. This is really the basic intent of Fairdale in a nutshell. We want to make bikes that allow you to fall in love with cycling… to experience a bit of the magic that we’ve gotten to enjoy. The Weekender really opens that door for a lot of people. A bike easy enough for the most novice of rider to use, but also a bike with enough range to put some serious miles on it.
We all took a train together back into Tokyo in the evening after the last event. I felt like every rider who was on the trip had become a friend. Pretty awesome group! I had a little time the next day before my flight to wander around and shop a bit for my petsitters. You could easily spend weeks exploring Tokyo, but even the little bit I did see was entertaining. Great people watching and interesting shops everywhere. A quick train ride to the airport and I was headed back home.
I never made it TAJimi but I’d have to assume its pretty cool.
I won’t spend a ton of time going over the events but they are certainly worth mentioning. 35 years is a pretty big milestone for any business and it was quite an honor to be invited over for the celebration. MX brought over people from all the brands they distribute. I got to catch up with old friends Steve Crandall from FBM and Mat Hoffman from Hoffman Bikes. I also got to meet a lot of younger riders and Thor from Surly Bikes (a design engineer there). It ended up being a really cool group. We did some light street riding in the morning and seeing all the different riding styles together was really cool. Everyone was really mellow and clicked together well.
Along the ride there was a lot of small road construction zones. There was always a flagger directing traffic and often helping me find where the bike path might pick up again. The flagger guys were always stoked and waving their flag like crazy. Today I found a gravel bike path that wound its way far off the busy highway I was following. I was in the middle of a farmers field with no one around when I came across one guy running a weed whacker and a flagger dude. It seemed so comical to me because we were so far from anyone. The flag guy took it very seriously and waved furiously to have me ride on the far edge of the trail as far as possible from the lonely weed whacker. I laughed for a while about that moment.
My morning ride put me right into the middle of the school run. I rode with packs of kids pedaling to school. It was fun and a few of them wanted to race me. We rode together for probably 4 miles before they turned off towards their school. I gotta say it seems like a better life with kids riding bikes to school. My route jumped around a bit but I finally got myself back to the coast.
Odawara Castle was amazing. This building is enormous, you could drive a semi truck through that front door.
I checked my map and saw that there was a castle near my hotel. Out pedaling by 6am I rode up to the Odawara castle. It was really amazing. Not like a stone castle you’d find in Europe, but a big beautiful and ornate temple looking place. Huge walls and gates and a feeling of oldness that made it seem almost holy. Perhaps it was, but the spacious and tranquil grounds sure were a nice change from the traffic. My route had me cutting across a peninsula today and I really didn’t know what to expect. It appeared I would be going over a mountain range but I had no idea how big or how far it was. I mapped out some back roads to cut down on traffic and headed inland. Immediately I started climbing and the little roads I was on were so steep! Honestly they were the steepest roads I have ever seen. I think you could probably fall down these roads they were so steep. Every pedal took a stand-up, gut-busting effort. I climbed something like 1400 feet in less than a mile. When I finally reached the top I felt like a super hero and encountered a confusing sign with highway 11 shooting off in 3 different directions. I rested there for a while and spent some time figuring out which of the “11’s” I should take. Luckily choosing correctly I was rewarded with a long decent where I was able to cruise at about 30 mph sitting completely upright letting the wind cool me down. I stayed at the speed of traffic and had a wonderful coasting cruise for a few miles.