Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

FedEx Believe It Or Not - Revisited

Here are a couple of shots of the mid-1960's Peugeot UO8 which arrived in shrinkwrap, a couple of weeks ago. It has a new red powder coat, and a selection of parts swapped over from its new owner's former Bianchi.

I used a Japanese bottom bracket spindle and bearing set, along with the original French cups so that I could install the Super Maxy crank in place of the cottered steel unit.

I had bought a sheet of vintage 1970 decals for my PX10, and had a bike's worth left after decalling the PX, so those went on this UO8.

Didn't turn out too badly, considering how it got to me, originally!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stickers and T Shirts

I'm such a geezer,... but the shirt looks good! The guys at do great work, fast. And, they're here in Denver. If you need shirts, hit 'em up. And, tell them I sent you.

The same goes for (though Nathan is not in Denver). He did my original "FIXIE" stickers, for me, and the new ones, as well. Great work at a reasonable price.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do You Like Mini Comics? I Do.

So, I decided to create one, today. I haven't done a comic in years, and I was playing around with clip art and came up with a couple of stories I found entertaining.

I call it Forklift Funnies, but it has nothing to do with forklifts. Instead, it concerns a worker robot and some slightly snarky aliens, in two separate "stories".

It's twelve pages, approximately 4"x2.5", sumptuously printed on my HP 4215 printer/scanner/copier/fax, and hand assembled by sweatshop labor deep in the bowels of Grinder Bikes World Headquarters. Send me $1.00 (or a copy of your mini) and I'll send you a copy. You can email me through to get the mailing address.

As my sister said, "Klaatu barada nikto."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

FedEx Believe It Or Not

I bought this mid-60's Peugeot UO-8 frame off of ebay, last week, to build up a fixie for a customer. It arrived on Friday, packed just as you see it here; no box, no padding, not even a brace between the rear dropouts or the fork legs. The pedals were still in the cranks, and the brakes were wrapped in plastic and sitting inside the main triangle of the frame.

It seems almost unbelievable that someone would take a "package" like this to FedEx, in the first place. It's even more unbelievable that FedEx would accept it for shipment!

Incredibly, it arrived undamaged. I threw some random parts on it so that my customer could test ride it (it fit fine and she's buying it), and it rides great.

So, now it goes off for bead blasting and red powdercoat. New decals are on the way, and it will get built with its final parts when it gets back.

I will be using the bottom bracket that's in it, though. I found a spindle and bearings which work with the cups from the original French bottom bracket, allowing me to use a non-cottered alloy crank in place of the steel boat anchor with which it came.

I'll also be sending off a mid 1970's PX10 I picked up from eBay. It has been resprayed an rather odd, reddish, color. It will be coated gloss white (and I'll paint the fancy Nervex lugs black), and get new decals, also. It's going to become a fairly pricy bike, before it's over. But, that's okay. If no one wants to pay the price, I'll keep it. I've wanted one of these, forever.

Someone has retrofitted the PX with Campy equipment (except the crank), but I am going to save that stuff for another project and build up some track hubs and install a centerpull brake, more along the lines of original equipment.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

New Headlight

I got some new chrome headlight mounts in the mail, yesterday, so I swapped out the light and mounts, today.

I used the headlight which I had used on my Interceptor streetfighter, a few years back. It is a stock unit from a 1972 Honda CB450. The original Yamaha unit was somewhat beat, apparently having led the rest of the bike into the pavement at some point. Plus I just like the looks of the Honda unit a little better. Both have been converted to halogen bulbs, so the actual lighting shouldn't change.

It's amazing how many pieces the Yamaha factory considered necessary to hold a headlight in place.

I replaced the six pieces per side with these.

The first thing you have to do, when replacing a headlight, is to unhook the wiring in the shell. I marked all of the male and female ends alphabetically, so that I could get them back together when I was done. I knew it was going to be more difficult than usual, since I was going from a Yamaha shell (three openings for the wires) to a Honda shell (one opening).

I lowered the gauges by unbolting them from the mounting plate, and bolting them back to the bottom of the plate. This gave me about an inch more wire with which to work. As it was, it took about 45 minutes to finagle all the wires into the light and get them hooked up.

Oddly enough, once I got all of the wires hooked back up, everything worked! I moved the light as low on the fork as the mounts would go, and tightened everything down. Then, I moved on to trying to get the center stand to retract all the way.

I took an 18 inch pipe wrench and applied a judicious amount of torque to the arm which was hitting the muffler. In other words, I jumped up and down on the handle of the wrench, and hammered on the tab until I got it to clear the can.

I will probably remove the whole stand, eventually, since I don't think a center stand is particularly appropriate for a bike of this style. But, I don't want to take it off until I am finished with the build, because it is more convenient than a race stand when you're working on a bike fairly constantly .

Once I took a couple of short test rides, I shot a couple of pictures to show the new light position, etc.

I think it's looking pretty good.