Friday, April 22, 2016

Katie's bike is done

I took Katie's bike up to Fort Casey for it's portrait.

The frame is from a 1977 Nishiki Olympic. Katie rode this when she was in her late teens and loved it. She got another bike and returned it to me. I started to turn it into a fixie but life got in the way and it languished in a storage locker for years until Katie said she wanted a bike last fall. I told her I still had the old Nishiki and could build it up for her. The frame is a little large for her but she said it was not a problem. I suggested keeping the paint off and I'm glad she liked the idea because it turned out to be a beautiful bike. A couple of coats of Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax are used for protection.

I have links to the build at the bottom of this post.

I incorporated a number of things that I have been riding with that have worked out well. The quill adapter and stem are from Velo-Orange. The handle bar is an Ahearne+Map. I've been riding with this bar and love it. It give a nice upright postion with the Ergon grips and a more efficient leaned forward position on the wrapped part of the bar. I've installed Sunrace thumb shifters from Rivendell Bikes. The water bottle cage if from Velo-Orange. That is my Klean Kanteen water bottle. The best!

Brake levers are Tektro FL750.

The drivetrain is from Rivendell. A Sugino 46x36x24 triple crank. Katie lives in Colorado Springs. The land of hills and no oxygen. The front derailleur is a Shimano Deore XT.

After 35 years of riding clipped in I have become a fan of riding free. Spiked pedals keep the feet from sliding.

An 11-28 eight speed cassette and a Shimano Altus rear derailleur.

Velocity 650b wheels with Velocity Atlas rims and Velocity hubs..

One of the reasons I went with a 650b wheelset is the smaller diameter of the rim compared to the 27" wheels that this frame originally had. That would lower the frame a little for Katie. That meant really long reach brakes. Dia-Compe MX-1000 caliper brakes.

The other reason for going to a 650b wheelset is tires. I've become a fan of large volume, low pressure, supple sidewall tires. Jan Heine of Compass Cycle and Bicycle Quarterly has been a proponent of these tires and he has his own line named after gravel mountain passes in Washington State. I put on 650b wheels to lower the bike and then fat tires to raise it. The net effect is to lower the bike 1/2". These tires are smoooooth! The Babyshoe Pass tires are only 390 grams. The result is low rolling resistance for a fast tire and the ability to roll over road irregularities for a very comfortable ride. Great on pavement and gravel.

There it is, Katie. Ready to ride. Maybe I'll see it on the Seattle to Portland next year?

Build history:

Katie's bike - old old skool bar wrap and bike height
Katie's bike - first ride
Katie's bike can shift - mostly
Katie's bike is almost a bike
Katie's bike is coming together
Katie's bike -- part 2
Katie's bike

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Katie's bike - old old skool bar wrap and bike height

Back in the day (early 1970s) we wrapped handlebars with cotton bar tape and used electrical tape to wrap the ends of the bar tape. That would be old skool. Unfortunately, cotton tape quickly faded and wore out. But there is an older way that is coming back and that is to wrap the ends of the tape with twine and then to shellac them. That is old old skool. Using multiple coats of shellac gives a nice protective finish. When the shellac starts to wear you just add another couple of coats of shellac. Here I am putting on the first coat of clear shellac. I put on 4 coats today and probably another 4 coats tomorrow.

I use Newbaum's bar tape. Made in the USA. They have a wide range of colors. Most who wrap the ends use twine. I use the same waxed polyester cord that we use to wrap gordy's camera straps. We have 14 colors on had for me to choose. We get the waxed cord from Maine Thread Company. They have a lot more colors to choose from. We use the .040" dia cord

The frame is larger than someone Katie's size would usually ride. She managed by tipping the bike a little. My plan was to go to a smaller wheel size to lower the frame. Katie's bike originally had 27" wheels. I went with the smaller diameter 650B wheel size to lower the frame height. Then, of course, I put fat tires on that raised it back up again. The tires are light and fast as well as comfortable to ride so they are worth it but I've been wondering just how much did the height change. I finally remembered Zoe's old Motobecane Mirage from the 1970s that she used to ride. It had 27" wheels. I got it out and measured the dia of Zoe's wheel and Katies. It turns out the 650b wheels, even with the big tires lowered the frame 1/2".

Here is Zoe's Motebecane. I am hoping to build this frame up with new components like I did with Katie's bike. Zoe will try riding Katie's bike to see how it goes. We seem to have become less flexible as we age. The Motobecane frame is smaller. It's a nice riding frame. Not worth a lot of money but rides better than a lot of new bikes and Zoe loves the bike. It would be good to get it back on the road again. It is a worthy candidate to refurbish.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

End of the ride

Passed the 750 mile mark today for the year with a 53 mile ride around Crockett Lake. It's starting to get warm. It was in the 60s. This was a reduced mileage week at only 90 miles. The training schedule for the Seattle to Portland bike ride goes up from here. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Katie's bike - first ride

I finished adjusting the front shifter and took it for a short test ride. It is now a used bike. Everything worked fine. The mirror is on. The kickstand is on. Zoe tried to get on it and was successful so Katie should have no problem. The wrap on one side is done but it was getting late so the other side will be done this weekend. Then I will shellac the wraps. After the shellac is on the water bottle will be attached. The shipping box also arrived today.

Here I am checking the specs for locating the front shifter. The stand is a Feedback Sports Pro Elite repair stand. There are some less expensive ones. It makes working on a bike a dream. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Katie's bike can shift - mostly

This afternoon I played bike mechanic. I adjusted the shifter on Zoe's bike and then attacked Katie's bike. The chain is on and the rear shifter is shifting correctly. Still some more adjusting to do on the front shifter.

What took the time was the pesky cable guide under the bottom bracket. These old frames don't have a threaded hole to attach it to. I tried to epoxy it but that didn't work so off to Ace Hardware for a drill and tap. Off came the cranks and bottom bracket. A hole was drilled and tapped and the cable guide is now attached properly. Then back on with the bottom bracket and cranks. You can seen the three chain rings in this shot.

The bar tape on my Schwinn Typhoon was beginning to look lackluster so I put another couple of coats of clear shellac on it and it's like new again. This is the first bike I've ridden with cotton bar tape with shellac. It's working out very well. I still need to do this to Katie's bike. My Schwinn has red wrap on the ends. Her bike will have a raspberry wraps with black cotton bar tape.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tandem ride at the 2016 Skagit Valley Tulip Festivel

This morning Zoe thought it would be a good idea to take the tandem and go for a ride amongst the tulip fields at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. It turns out this was the first weekend for the Festival and the traffic was crazy. Really crazy. We finally stopped at one field and parked at the side of the road so we didn't have to pay for parking.

We drove around more trying to find a road we could ride without getting run over. We found a good road with a wide shoulder and a tulip field next to it. They were charging for parking. Not a problem but we wanted to park near the road so we could unload the tandem and not have to drive in near the field. The parking guy saw my Bernie button and said it would be no problem for a Bernie supporter. We gave him a tip, parked the van, and unloaded the tandem.

The road we rode on had a nice wide shoulder. We saw a side road named Flats road and took that hoping the name wouldn't predict anything. We survived that and it brought us back to the main road. After a while we turned around and headed back.

As we approached the the road to where the van was parked we heard this voice over a loudspeaker that there was no parking on the side of the road. Our responsibilities on the tandem have been split up. I look forward (Zoe can't see through me) and Zoe has the rear view mirror to look back. She couldn't see him but knew it was a cop. We turned right onto our road. A couple of cars passed us (apparently the subject of the warning) and then a motorcycle cop passed us looking back at us with a smile and making pedaling motions with his feet. Nice to see a cop with a sense of humor.

We didn't ride a long distance but we survived the ride. Riding a tandem is different. There is a lot of coordination between Captain and Stoker. Getting the bike going and stopped, for example. Not so simple as when riding by yourself. If one rider wants to coast they have to let the other know so they both stop pedaling at the same time. Zoe is getting better. Only once did the pedals suddenly stop going around followed by "Oops!" I think I let her know what I was going to do. At least most of the time.

Here are the two triumphant tandemnistas. The more we do this the more we like it. The Schwinn is pretty short for a tandem but seems to work fine to learn on. We want to keep doing this and get something better. We have a modern Co-Motion tandem in the basement. It needs some changes to make it more comfortable for us. Or we may look for something that is built for us.

Here is a good shot of the restored Schwinn tandem. Zoe named it. She has been calling it the Green Monster. Now it has become Fenway. It's a baseball thing.

Here is Fenway when it first came home. Fenway is looking much nicer now.