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.

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