Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bike Build Saturday

I spent yesterday afternoon building up a bike for Adam Moore (of the Outsiders Band). He had come over, a couple of weeks ago, and we found a frame which suited him, along with some old-school 8-speed Shimano XTR parts to hang on it. The only thing that I wasn't enthusiastic about was that I didn't have any wheels which I deemed appropriate for the level of the build.

The frame is a Chromoly steel hardtail, with a clearcoat paint job, which Danny McGrady gave to me, a while back, in hopes that I could put it to good use. The XTR components came to me in a box of miscellaneous parts, from Daryl Funk, and consisted of shifter/brake lever assemblies, front and rear dearailleurs, and crankset/Octolink bottom bracket.

To complete the build, I pulled an 8-speed cassette out of my spares box, along with a saddle, bar, stem and RockShox Judy fork (old enough that it has the removable fork crown, rather than the press-fit assembly the later Judy had).  I didn't have any brakes, or a decent set of wheels, so I figured that I would buy some inexpensive Performance V-brakes, and use the wheels I had, with the idea of upgrading at some point in the future.

First things first: I set about cleaning up the rather gunky parts...

The main assembly has been cleaned, a bit, already, in this photo. The rear cage and pulleys show what the whole derailleur looked like, when I started.

The front derailleur was no cleaner.

But, it came out pretty nice, after 15 minutes of scrubbing and wiping. Imagine my aggravation, though, when I realized that I couldn't use the front derailleur for this build. The clamp is sized for an aluminum frame, and the lever arm is a bottom-pull configuration, rather than the top-pull that this frame requires. Luckily, I had an XT front derailleur, from the same era in time, which did work.

Eventually, as the bike took shape, I made the decision to use the Rolf Dolomite wheels which were originally on my pink Gary Fisher, along with the Avid V-brakes from the same bike. I don't think that I will ever build that bike up as a multi-speed mtb, again, and this was a good use for parts which have languished in my storage building for almost 10 years.

Ten years ... Good Lord!

Here's the bike, complete. The only new-from-the-package parts on it are the chain, cables, brake pads and headset spacers. Everything else came from the used parts bins, including the cool 26x2.35 Maxxis tires, and the tubes in them.

Adam plans on using this as an urban bike, so I put the semi-slick tires on it, and spaced the stem up to get the handlebar even with the seat. The bike looks good, and rides good. I told Adam, at the Outsiders Band show at Lost Lake, last night, that I almost hoped he wouldn't like it, so that I could keep it. But, in reality, I am glad to put all of the parts and the frame to good use for someone.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Multipurpose Time

When I got the new titanium fat bike frame, I planned on making use of it as not only a fat bike, but as a standard mountain bike, as well. I was going to build a rear wheel with the 170mm hub, and use a second fork in order to run a standard 29er wheel on the front.

The other day, I saw a set of wheels on eBay, with the 170mm rear hub, 135mm front hub and 29er rims for less than the cost of the parts to build them. Three days later, they were on my front porch.

I mounted larger disc rotors and tires on the wheels, and adjusted the rear derailleur to make complete swing over all nine cogs, and rode the semi-skinny wheels to the coffee shop, this morning.

 After I took these pictures, I mounted an outer chainring onto the crank set, in place of the "grind guard" it came with. Now I have the full range of gears, for mountain biking.

If I happen to come up with a suspension fork, I will be able to run it with a standard 29er wheel. Until then, it looks like I am going rigid, again...

Once I got everything set up, I swapped the wheels back to the big fat monster tires. I get such a kick out of riding around on those big mamajamas.