Friday, March 29, 2013

The Prelude

The blog has been noticeably quiet for the past half year or so. Truth be told, I haven't really been doing anything bike-wise other than saving money and getting parts. But after 8 or so months, I have built the prelude to the dream machine. It started as...

This was the photo I saw in August on ebay. I can't remember how much I bought it for, but I was so excited to find a touringish frame above 63cm that I just couldn't resist. Problem was that it pretty much emptied my bank account out, and then I got in a bike accident which left me jobless for a month and in debt. Luckily my bosses are kind of the greatest and were super supportive during that time, so I was back on the parts hunt again. Fast foward from November to now (April) and we have a a complete bike.

Though dressed up as a fancy randonneuringish bike, it's simply a large touring frame with a small amount of rake added to the fork. It's a 67cm c-t-c Takara Challenge--mid 80's Japanese touring frame. The paint was in bad shape when I got it as the original owner tried to remove it. Soooo I sandblasted the who thing (didn't want it looking too shiny) and then spray painted it. Nothing fancy, but didn't cut any corner either.

Despite have an almost cohesive aesthetic, there are a lot of weirdo things going on. In fact, I change my plans for what I originally wanted from this bike multiple times, but the end results are satisfying. I call it the 'Prelude' because I wanted to test out a number of things on this bike that would later inform a custom project that I have down the road.

One of the most important aspects of this bike is lighting. All I really have to say is that I'm so tired of battery-powered light systems. Suitable for rear, totally unreasonable for the front. Also the Grand Bois front rack means I will be able to have luggage in the future.

The Edelux light is wired to the SONdelux generator hub. This guy is laced 2 cross to those shiny new Pacenti  PL23 rims--though the 700c version.

The Grand Bois 'Extra Leger' tires are filled with Stan's No Tubes. Probably the smallest possible tire you can tubeless safely. Seriously, these 30mm tubelessed tires are more supple and comfortable than my tubed 38mm Pari Motos. And those things are a dream. It doesn't make any sense really... I will say the 40psi limit on these things are not ideal--heavier folks beware.

This is the first bike that I've built where I had someone else build the wheels for me. Though I built over 50 of them at this point, I can say that my work is below what I come to expect from the wheels I ride. This NOS 36h XT hub is race-laced 1 cross drive, 3 cross non-drive. Different gauge spokes on each side. Black and silver mish-mash because I dgaf. Bracing angle and torsional load, that's all I'll say.

Despite being exotic, this derailer was merely a piece of nostalgia for me, and a nod to my days of MTBing where I worshiped anything CNCed and made in the USA. Aside from all the pretty looks, it's Shimano 8 speedish stuff. The real weirdo part?

Thanks to John Speare and Elephant bicycles, I thought that it would be cool to try the 10 speed Campy, 8 speed Shimano hack. It totally works and I love it. Though I have had multiple comments telling me how out of place these brake levers are...

I've got some more things I wanna change, particularly putting my TA cranks on and getting a bag, but I will keep this updated as I get there. Hopefully that means more post???