Tuesday, March 26, 2013

This is the end.

So as you all can probably tell, I've stopped writing this blog. As always, I have a lot on my plate, and what free time I do have I wish to spend enjoying it riding, camping, canoeing, photography, or a mixture of the four. I've also started a website to showcase my photography portfolio. It's only a few months old and I haven't had much time to update it, but once I get a few things straitened away I will continually post new content, and possibly make a mini-blog. It's called First Duck Photography.

Take care!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Finished Bianchi Brava Build

So I'm still not posting a lot. Oh well :)

But I finished my late 80's Bianchi Brava build, the only thing it needs now is decals which I have on order.

Shimano Ultegra 600 Cranks, rear hub, and derailleurs,
Shimano 105 Italian bottom bracket, headset, and front hub
Nitto stem, and Velo Orange bars
Brooks B17 and bar tape
Shimano 105 9 speed STI's

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Back: Winter Beater

So... I guess I haven't updated in a while. This summer/fall was kind of a dud with regard to cycling. I didn't do near as much as I would have liked. However the dutchie bike that I built did get a lot of use for small runs.

I had kind of decided to put the blog on permanent hiatus, and I was going to make a post saying that but I just never got around to it. But I've got a few things to show off this winter so I figured I'd blog about it.

I've got two of my pics selected to go into the Halifax Cycle Coalition 2012 calendar. The one in the banner of the blog, as well as another winter riding one. As a prize they gave me a quick release mec seat bag in blue, and a filzer bike computer. So that's nice.

About a month or two ago, I bought an old piece of junk raleigh for $60. It was setup as a single speed with the stock 6 spd freewheel and the triple crank. I stripped it, and replaced the handlebars with a straighter set I had. Bought a single speed coaster brake rear wheel, ground the teeth of the outside chain ring, and chopped off the inside one, and threw on the Schwalbe Ice Spikers and my new winter beater was born.

I still plan on putting some Shimano Deore v-brakes that were on the old beater on this guy for front brakes, just as a backup. When I first put the new rear wheel on, the right seatstay separated from the frame. I was pissed off, but I heard of a guy who did welding here in Halifax and was a bit of a bike nut himself. It was Steve, the same guy I discussed bike trailers with last year. I told him I didn't care how it looked and just to keep it as cheap as possible. And with just an hours worth of work he did this really impressive bronze work.

If this is what he can do on a cheap, rusty, steel frame in an hour, I'd love to see him work with some quality stuff and taking his time!

Anyway, so this is what I'll be riding this winter. My first time doing single speed as well as a coaster brake, but it'll be nice to try something different.

Also remember this?

This is the '88-'89 Bianchi Brava with full 105 that I picked up this past summer. After selling some of the stuff that came with this purchase (aero bars and rollers) this bike as well as the brand new mtb shimano cycling shoes in my size only cost me $10. Not too shabby. Because the paint is in such nasty shape (hairline cracks throughout) I've decided to spend a bit of money on this guy and get it into tip top shape performance and style wise. Roger at the Halifax Cycle Gallery has a contact of a guy who will powder coat a frame with all the prep work for $125. So I'm going to try to get it as close to this colour as possible. (Taken from here)

Blue cable housing, blue Brooks B17 or Brooks Colt, blue bar tape, and maybe even some 700x23c's with blue highlights. It's going to be pretty.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dutch Inspired City Bike, and Bike Flipping

So it's been a while since I last updated. I hadn't done much riding or wrenching so I didn't have much to say. But in the past few weeks since I got home from a trip to Newfoundland, I've got a few things to talk about.

Well I've since moved my brown Brooks B17 that was on my Colnago Sport over to the Raleigh Condor. It really suits the bike well. Since I don't have a saddle on the Colnago right now it's been hung in the shed for a while and I've taken the Raleigh on a few joy rides around. It has also been serving as the bike I use when I ride to a sales call, usually to Dalhousie University which is about 4 km away. However, it's got killer high gearing with a 53/42 tooth combo on the crank, and only a 24 tooth maximum cog in the back. That's only a 1.68 minimum gear ratio! Much different than the Surly's 0.82. Not to mention when I ride to Dal I'm in dress pants, shoes, and a Nikon dress shirt or Polo with an undershirt. In 25 C weather with the sun beating down and a high humidex, I'm not too pretty when I get home.

So I decided it was time to do something with this.

It doesn't look like much and could easily be mistaken for a lower end bike, but it does have Shimano Exage 300LX drivetrain and brakes. The frame isn't the best or seat/seat tube, but I picked it up in March for $35 and it's been sitting in the shed. With the nice triple 48/38/28 crank rings it has a good low range, perfect for getting around the city. I decided to turn it into a dutch inspired city bike, and here is what I came up with.

I got the bars/stem (which are one piece) from the folks down at Halifax Cycle Gallery for a good price. They were on some Viva bikes and the cockpit was a little too cramped so they replaced them with something else and just had these lying around. They were also kind enough to give me this mildly damaged old Jim Blackburn rack they were going to huck in the garbage! A Blackburn rack in the garbage?! Blasphemy. So I swapped out the freewheel for a new (clean) one, and used the old one in a repair job, new chain, bottle cage, bell, cables and housings and a lot of elbow and Phil Wood grease. With the paint job left in it's less than desirable condition, and the bolt on wheels, the bike definitely deters theft, so I don't have to worry about leaving it locked up for long periods. I still plan to put some fat slick tires on it, possibly white walls, chrome fenders, and I need a cable hanger on the headset to setup the front brakes. Took it to the grocery store this evening with MEC panniers for a few items. It's a nice upright ride.

I only have 2 unfinished bike projects now! I have the Bianchi Brava I bought a few weeks back stripped of parts waiting to be cleaned up. The frame will most likely get a paint job this winter, Roger at the Halifax Cycle Gallery has someone who does a frame and fork powder coat for $125 including prep work. Not bad! I think I'm going for Bianchi classic Celeste color. Google it! I also have the orange winter bike. Due to negligence from me upon putting it away from it's last ride, there was a lot of parts corrosion. So to make it more simple, it will be converted to single speed.

But those are just my bikes... now I have 6 more!
Okay before you call me a bike addict let me just say the purpose of these bikes is strictly to fix up in spare time, and sell to try to make a few bucks for fun.

The story is, on my way home I passed by a house in my neighborhood which I pass all the time. However one of the old garage doors was open and out of the corner of my eye I think I see a bike frame amongst the hoarder levels of junk. So out of curiosity I swing the car around for a closer look, and see a few dozen bikes among lots and lots of junk in piles in the garage. I see the owner outside painting and tell him I just happened to notice he has some bikes and if any of them would be for sale, he tells me to come back later. I do and after lots of digging through crappy walmart level bikes this is what I find.

A 1989 Schwinn Traveler with Shimano Exage groupset, but no wheels, and a 1992 Trek 850 Antelope. The Schwinn is around a 21" frame, and might fit Alanna. On her next visit I'm going to put some wheels on it for her to try. If it fits, rather than selling it I will build it up this winter for a proper road bike for her for next year.

Early 90's Trek 700 Multitrack, which once I got it home found out it had a cracked off and seized seat post, which means the frame is probably scrap unfortunately. Also a late 90's GT Tequesta mountain bike (big frame) converted to single speed.

If this is correct I have a 1980 Raleigh Carlton Corsair which has Reynolds 531 tubing! But it's in rough shape... Also another Trek 700 Multitrack, also in not so great shape.

Got them all for $170, roughly $30 a bike. So I hope over the winter to put a bit of work into them, hopefully not too much time or money, and sell some of them next year. In working condition should be no trouble to get $100 a bike, at least, and more for some of the better ones.

Well that's enough reading for one sitting for you. What do you think of my Dutchie city bike? How about my weird flip bike encounter, and the bikes I ended up with? I'll probably ride the Dutchie for work next week and will let you know how it is on the longer 8 km ride.

Monday, June 20, 2011

'83 Raleigh Condor

Well I finally got the few things done I needed to get done to have this bike in one piece and ride ready. So here she is!

And here I am in my "cycling clothes" going to the Italian Market for some olive oil.

I rode it to the University for a work visit today. It's a very nice riding bike, and very fast feeling. The Mangaloy 2001 Tange tubing is much stiffer than the Chromoly that I'm used to. The seat definitely needs to be changed as it is very narrow. I think for now I may just put the old Vetta saddle that came off the Colnago on it.

It's a little wider, but not by much. As always I'd like to put a Brooks on there, but I'm going to hold off on pulling the trigger on a third one of those just yet.

I was able to get the rear hub fixed by visiting the son of the late Jack Nauss, Dave, at Jack Nauss cycles, the oldest cycle shop in Halifax. And when I went in, this is what I got to see the in the display cases...

Tons of really cool vintage bicycle components! Wait... what is that in the back?

Not even out of the packaging, Simplex SLJ Golden derailleurs and shifters....wtfffffffffffffffff.

Very cool collection.

Anyway, back to the Raleigh.
The rims and spokes still need to be cleaned up and the wheels need to be trued as the spoke tension is pretty loose. Looks like I may be buying a truing stand pretty soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

1983 Raleigh Condor (almost) Finished

So due to being busy with work and thesis writing, the Raleigh got put in the shed mid project. I ran into a bit of a hiccup when repacking the rear wheel hub and didn't have time to sort it out. Well tonight I decided to take a little me time. I went and saw Green Lantern in 3D (I'm an avid reader of several GL comics from DC). It was okay, not spectacular but it was fun, definitely could have been better. When I got home I wasn't sure what to do. It was 930, I was feeling a little sluggish and I do want to get up early in the morning to head to the farmers market.

I decided to do a little wrenching. The brake lever hoods I ordered from the Halifax Cycle Gallery had come in a while ago ($4.50), so I could at least clean up the levers, do the brake cables and tune the brakes. I also snipped the derailleur cables I had temporarily mounted, and threw on the new chain. Here is the Raleigh now.

Paint still has a few bad spots that I'd like to not be there, and as you can see in the bottom pic the outer part of the bottom headset cup is in rough shape, but the inner race is fine. The freewheel and dork disk cleaned up really nice though.

I've also ordered some brown Salsa bartape for this from JensonUSA.com. I ordered my new 48t chain ring from there and to make it worth the shipping I ordered two rolls of bartape. This brown stuff for the Raleigh, and a surprise for the Bianchi (You'll see it down the road).

The only thing needing to be done on this bloody Raleigh now is the rear wheel hub. One of the cones has a pretty nasty mark on it, and the damage is bad enough that I can't get a good hub adjustment. It needs to be replaced. Only thing is I can't seem to find a cone that is the same thread as the axle. I don't know if the Sunshine brand hubs used a different threading than most others but it's a pain in the but. I'm going to drop into a shop I haven't been to yet here in Halifax tomorrow, Jack Nauss Bicycle Shop. Apparently if it's broke, he'll know how to fix it. Been in the business a long time. Worst case scenario, I just buy a set of 700c wheels for the bike used.

Other than that it should be together soon! I'd like to have one of these for it...

But it will have to wait.

Oh yes, and reassembled and looking very much like a touring bike.

However tomorrows 1 night tour is canceled due to weather. Oh well, another time. Just have to put the new chain ring on when I get it on Monday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One-Hundred and Forty

Was able to get all this for $140. On my way back from a work trip into New Brunswick, I saw this listed for sale in a small town close to Truro. It would be a 5 hour round trip from Halifax, but was just a dart out of the way on my way back home. I figured it would be an easy flip for me here in Halifax.

But it is a full 6spd indexed Shimano 105 Bianchi Brava in my size, and the shoes are SPD, brand new and in my size. Amazing find. I'm going to sell the rollers, hopefully for ~$100 and will make a good chunk of my money back. $40 for a full 105 Bianchi and brand new shimano shoes is not a bad deal at all. It came with lots of other bibs and bobs as well including aero bars, a seat bag, some repair kit stuff, and a chain tool.

Sad story however. I actually dealt with the lady's neighbour who sold it to me for her as she was at work (this was pre-arranged before hand). He told me this was her husbands bike stuff, and he had passed away (not sure how long ago). He was 41, in great health, and died unexpectedly from a brain aneurism. She knew what she had was worth more, I think she just wanted to get rid of it quickly. Makes you think about how short life is.

So now I have 2 very nice Italian road bikes. However due to working on my thesis a lot lately, and the queue of bikes I have to work on, I don't think this one will see the mechanics stand until this winter probably. I'm in no rush, I've got my Colnago, and the Surly is almost back together after being stripped for maintenance and cleaning.

I had to order a new 48t chain ring for the Surly, as the old one had 16 bad teeth! Not sure how that happened.

Going on a 1 night tour with Velo-Halifax this weekend (weather pending). I will try to take lots of pics and make a blog when I get back.