Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Now That The Shop Is Straightened Up, A Bit

... I am able to actually get in there and do some work.

This is the Panasonic mountain bike I picked up, last May.  I had planned on, maybe, building up something cool out of it and selling it.  But, on close inspection, it became clear that one of the rear brake cable stops, on the top tube, was about to fail.  So, instead of building it, I stole the wheels off of it and put them on my RockCombo commuter bike.  The rest of the Panasonic went into the "wait until something comes to me" pile.  I didn't want to discard a Tange Prestige lugged frame because of a relatively minor problem, after all.

This week, I decided to build a Franken-cross bike out of it.  So I grabbed a bolt-on cable stop out of the parts bin, to fix that problem, then started rummaging through my boxes to see what I could stick on the bike.  I really wanted to build it completely from stuff in the shop building.

I had a mismatched set of 700c cross wheels, but I did have to buy new Ritchey tires and some tubes.  The brakes are a mismatch, too.  The front is a newer Ultegra dual-pivot unit,

and the rear brake is the same model, from the late 1990s, when they were still labeled as "600".

Side pull brakes don't normally have enough adjustment to remove the wheel without deflating the tire.  But, since I am using mountain bike brake levers, I can actually release the cable at the lever, and then the brakes open up wide enough for the tires to slip in and out.

This is a Nashbar front rack that I bought, last year, when it was on sale for $5.00, mounted on the rear of the bike.  I don't know if it's going to stay on the bike.  I put it there because I am planning on using a large saddle bag on the bike, and I thought this might make a good support for the bottom of a bag.  I wouldn't trust it to carry a load, due to the way I had to modify the top stay to clear the brake.  It might move around a bit, on the lower pivots, if it has any real weight on it.

I'm not a huge fan of Shimano Bio-Pace rings, but this version is barely ovalized and I don't notice it as I'm riding.  I like having a 48 tooth ring on a bike like this.  It's not quite road bike gearing, but it is enough gear to motivate along at a good clip on pavement, when the conditions warrant it.

Another thing that I'll probably end up buying is some decent bear trap pedals.  The plastic pedals that were on the bike when I got it don't suit me.

I love this saddle, and I'm glad to have it back on a bike.

I bought these shifters off of eBay, last year, just to check them out.  They are big, heavy and quite ugly.  Yet, they are pretty functional and, at about $20.00 per pair, shipped to my door, I thought they were an okay value.

The handlebar is one of my old Huffy 3-speed bars, inverted in the manner I prefer.  I will have to search through my storage buildings and see if I have a stem which is just a bit shorter.  This one isn't bad, but I'd like to have a bit more upright position.

So, I now have a bike built to take to my sister's house, this summer.  Since I am driving one way, then flying back, I figured I'll probably end up leaving whatever bike I take with me.  And, I plan on doing a couple of mixed terrain rides while I'm out of town, so this should be a good build for that.

While I was working in the shop, I did a bit of work on the RockCombo.  I installed a new chain, trued the wheels, adjusted the brakes, cleaned it up and mounted up some knobby 26x1.5 Swiss Army tires.

It's so clean that it dazzles the eye!

I looked for 1.5 knobbies for a year before I finally found these.  I like to have a bit if tread, in case it snows or I decide to hit a gravel route.  But, I don't want the weight of 1.9 or 2.0 inch tires on the commute.

I ended up with a mild case of "mechanic's hand".  For a guy who hates to have his hands dirty, I sure spend an inordinate amount of time  with grimy digits.



At 5:32 AM , Blogger thomas said...

I love the style of that rock combo.

My commuter is of similar style: 26" rigid rockhopper, Velo Orange fat saddle, generator hub in the front... full rack and pannier on the back. The best thing is that with 26" tires, there are so many choices - slicks/knobby/studded... The only thing that sucks about the bike is that I have u-brakes in the back below the chainstays...

At 10:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are those tires Jon!?they appear to be just what I need.this is Frankenbiker by the way,long time no comments.Ihavebeen offline for a while now I use my buddies I pad for mail.

At 1:14 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Frankenbiker: We've missed you, here in Commentsland.

The 700c tires are Ritchey SpeedMax 700x35.

The 26" are Cyclepro Swiss Army 26x1.5. I found them on Amazon.

At 3:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Jon,! I'll look those up

At 5:56 PM , Blogger Apertome said...

Awesome build, I love it! Both sets of knobby tires look good. I've thought about getting a set of 'cross tires for the LHT, at some point.

At 6:54 AM , Blogger John Romeo Alpha said...

I have the same cranks and Biopace chainrings on my commuter. One thing they do have going for them: they last a long time.


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