Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bike Review #1

So... The OC is on. Everybody always tells me I need to watch it, but I think it's pretty stupid so far. It's just like Laguna Beach, except not nearly as REAL. Anyway, I read a bike review the other day and thought, "I can do better than that." The only problem is, I didn't know which bike to review. The upside to this dilema is that I've decided to review every bike I own, that means almost a full work week's worth of daily updates. No promises on how soon I'll get to them all, but we'll start here with my fixed gear. I can't say I have a favorite bike, but I do like this one a lot.

This bike is based off an old Fuji frame I dug out of the trash at the Roubaix Bicycle Company. The frame isn't straight, it's actually off by almost 5mm, but I straightened it a little, and also ground all the braze-ons off before getting it painted. I'd recently gotten my car repaired and talked the auto body shop into painting the frame and fork for me for free. The baby blue and white color was inspired by a guitar that my then co-worker Eric had just purchased. I had been thinking gloss black with white lugs, but I have yet to regret my decision with blue.

The drivetrain is almost all Shimano with the 600 cranks and a Dura-Ace cog mounted to a Suzue hub with a Surly lockring. I salvaged the bottom bracket from the junked bike, and it actually says Fuji right on it. I chose a Wipperman BMX chain simply because it was all chromed out, and I like Wipperman stuff a lot. The pedals are Koykuto Top-Run's which I aquired through a trade with an artist named Thad, although now that I think about it, he never really owned them so I kinda got hosed. I'm not sure what the cages are, but they have a cool square and circle logo on them. The black nylon straps were supposed to be temporary until I located some white leather ones, but I have yet to find any.

The front hub is an old Campagnolo High Flange quick release hub. I know what you're thinking, "how can he sleep at night with mismatched hubs?" I can assure you however, it was no accident. I would have run the Suzue hubset, and would have actually preferred a bolt-on hub for the front of this bike, although the Suzue front hub has a 3/8" axle, and for those of you who are "in the know" that would have been simply unacceptable. I like this Campy hub though and it's got a cool old retro looking skewer.

The headset is a no named steel "open-ball" headset, although it took considerable work to fit it to the frame. After reaming and facing the frame, we learned it was built using "JIS" Japanese International Standard I believe. This uses a smaller diameter headtube, but larger diameter crown race. Since we'd reamed the head tube, the original headset would no longer press in, but the crown race was too small to use a standard 1" headset. We first solved this problem with a little liquid metal around the crown race, but this solution soon proved too ghetto too last. After some consultation from nationally renowned frame builder, Rich Murphy, I peened the crown race using a hammer and punch and "PEEN" problem solved. This picture also shows the original Fuji insignia on the fork crown.

Here is a fuzzy shot of my Nitto moustache bars wrapped in nothing other than white cotton tape. I had some bitchin' world champion striped bar plugs, but they didn't fit the 25.4mm bar very well to begin with, and I lost one in an unfortunate inebriated tumble. I replaced them with some cool steel plugs that I found at IBike, and they do just fine. The stem is just a standard 3TTT 1" quill, which I believe is 120mm long with a 26.0mm clamp that also took a little persuading to fit the 25.4mm bar.

This final shot shows my beautiful Ideale leather saddle that my good buddy Justin got for me one year at Yankton's city-wide clean up. It also shows the seatpost that came with the bike out of the junk pile. After a lot of Mothers metal polish, some steel wool, even a wire wheel, and a little black model paint, it's looking brand new. I especially like the black fluted look, although sometimes I think it would have been better white?

The wheels are both 36 spoke, built up triple cross on a Mavic MA3 in the rear and a Torelli Master in the front. Once again, I know it's mismatched, but they were all we had in the shop at the time. I do have an MA3 that I could lace onto the front now, but I'm not sure if I will. The whole thing rolls on Vredestein Ricorso tires which I have yet to flat. I like the tires enough that I think I'll put them on my training wheels once I wear through my current training tires and then put something a little wider on this beast. Maybe some Ruffy Tuffy's or 27c Gatorskins.

That's it for my first review. Thanks to everyone who helped me get this bike up and running, the list is long, but goes something like this. Steven Opp (including but not limited to, frame, fork, headset, bottom bracket, seatpost, hubs, rims, spokes, hours of help and heaps of knowledge, Profide, clips and straps, crankset, etc), Mike Morris (paint at Auto Collision Specialists), Eric "ERod" Boyce (color choice), Thad (pedals), Justin (saddle), Feighny (Mothers and a dremel), Luis (help with a grinder and frame straightening tool), and Mark Cooper (for telling me how cool it looks).

Up next I think we'll be reviewing my hand-me-down single speed cross bike/race cross bike. Look forward to it.


Anonymous said...

I guess this was interesting...esp if you are REALLY into bicycles...but I actually enjoyed the site the day before when you mentioned how good your mom is at Scrabble. But, did you truly beat her? fair and square?

Anonymous said...

Don't you hate it when people leave stupid comments? Please don't waste your time..........