Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Monday, August 01, 2011

Handsome XOXO Built (Finally!)

Usually, I err on the side of quick turnaround when it comes to building up a new bike for myself.  I get the frame one day, and I am riding the next.  The Handsome XOXO, though, has languished in the land of the partially-built for weeks.

Not long after I got it, I slotted in a crank , seatpost, and stem, stuck a bar on it, wrapped some tires and tubes on the rims and bolted on the brakes.  Then, I hung it up and left it alone.  I was busy with preparations for the trip to Pennsylvania, and I wasn't riding much, due to the problem I am experiencing with Achilles Tendinitis. 

Plus, I wasn't sure what bar I wanted to use, and I was waffling on the drivetrain.  I considered pulling the rear derailleur and cogset off of the KHS hardtail mountainbike that I haven't ridden in 2 or 3 years.  But, I wasn't too hip to crippling one bike, to get the other on the road.

Peter wouldn't appreciate being robbed, no matter how much Paul was pressuring me for payment.

In the back of my mind, this whole time, was the nice SunTour XC Pro medium-cage rear derailleur I had picked up, a couple of years ago, for the XO-2.  I ended up using matching Shimano parts on the Bridgestone, so the XC Pro was sitting on the shelf.

Friday, I made up my mind to get the damn thing together.  So, I pulled the XOXO down from the hooks, and put it on the stand.  A quick trip to Performance for a chain and cogset, and it was time to get to wrenching.

Here is the result:

 I got it all put together, Friday night, after a real struggle with the headset.  For some reason, the brand new alloy Vantage headset I had bought for it would not adjust up.  I ended up replacing the top half of the headset with an ancient, first-generation, Dura-Ace model.  Perfect, after that,

I rode the bike to Performance and back, then back from dropping the Dodge off to have the steering looked at.  Altogether, I put about 2.5 miles on it.  Big ride...!

 The handlebars are a no-name mustache copy that my buddy Dan gave me.  I had the black seatpost, so I figured that the black bar was okay.  I wrapped the ends with natural-color Cinelli cork.  I'll shellac it, once I am sure I am keeping the bar.

 I have a cyclometer for it, but I have yet to mount it.  No hurry, I suppose.

 Nexave hubs are a real bargain, nowadays.  They are marketed as Hybrid Bike hubs, and the 1998 version was the first modern disc-brake hub that Shimano marketed.  I used the disc version on my 29er for a few years, including two 24-hour races, with no problems.  So, I figure these will be fine for the intended use of this bike.

 The brakes and brake levers are 1997 Shimano XT V-Brakes.  These things were real game-changers, when they showed up.  I put new pads in the original holders

The shifters are Ultegra 8-speed bar-end shifters mounted on IRC thumbie-style adapters., set to friction mode
 Friction mode allows the use of the SunTour derailleur, 9-speed SRAM cogset and chain.  It actually shifts well in indexed-mode, but it skips the 8th cog.  I like friction shifting on a bike like this, anyway.

 The front derailleur is a newish LX which I picked up at a yard sale for $5.00, a couple of months ago.

 The crank is the 175mm XT that I had on the 29er, before switching to 165s on the big-wheel bike.

 The orange decals on the French-made rims match the paint on the bike.  I know...I know...

 The seatpost is a brand I don't recognize, but it was inexpensive on eBay, and it has a two-bolt clamp.

That clamp is holding the Brooks B-17 that Michael Johnson (Apertome) so graciously sent to me.  The seat had stretched to an uncomfortable shape for Michael, so he passed it along to me to see if I could use it.

I tensioned it, quite a bit, and spent a good bit of time to get the tilt just right.  On my short little jaunts, Saturday, with no bike shorts, it seemed perfect to me.  A longer ride will tell the tale.

Thanks, Michael!

Now, I have a pair of two-wheelers which are modern interpretations of classic designs.  I guess the next thing I need is a Mini, or a new Challenger...



At 5:54 PM , Anonymous Scott Loveless said...


At 6:56 PM , Blogger Tex69 said...

Very nice project. And who can't be charmed with Molteni orange?

At 8:16 PM , Blogger Apertome said...

It looks fantastic! An interesting mix of old and new, both in parts and ideology. I thought I recognized that saddle from the earlier shots, before you mentioned its origin. I'm glad to see it in use.

I also like the way the shape of the moustache bars mirrors the moustache on the headbadge. Great build.

At 9:10 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Thanks, guys.

Apertome: I think that the mustache on the headtube is one of the coolest features of the frame.

At 1:06 PM , Anonymous Scott Loveless said...

Why did you put that 631 sticker in that particular spot? Or did it come like that?

At 12:44 PM , Blogger Jon said...

I put it there because the derailleur clamp interfered with it, on the seat tube. I don't like to put stickers at the top of the seat tube, because work-stand clamps mess them up, there.


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