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The Build: Complete

May 18, 2011

The Build is complete. After dinner this evening, I wrapped the handlebars (poorly) and the bike is now roadworthy and ready to go. Except it’s absolutely bucketing down rain and the forecast says lots more over the next week. But the Build is complete. Working on the premise that the correct number of bikes to own is n+1, I have successfully added to the clutter in our garage and created a dilemma for the morning commute: mountain bike or new build? My defense, however, is that I didn’t have a ride upon which to put my daughter’s bike seat; this was the rationale that got the project approved by Mrs. Velonista.

I’ll devote a post in the near future to many of the foibles that accompanied the adventure, but it was a fun experiment and it has whetted my appetite for trying more and again soon. As I struggled with my own stupidity and—finally—the bar tape, I was reminded of my recent post on the differences between amateurs and professionals. The next wrapping can only be better, right? (Right??). And the next build will be sleeker and more efficiently put together.

Here are a couple of “before” shots:

I still haven't recovered from the hockey tape on the bars and the hideous white hoods (under the bars); this was one ugly machine!

I’ll have to check my iPhoto logs, but I believe these pics were taken the evening I bought the frame (on craigslist). With the snow on the ground, I didn’t even take the bike for a spin when I bought it, since I wasn’t especially interested in anything but the frame and its constituent parts.

Brakes, levers, handlebars, and stem were all reused from the original bike.

…and a hastily-taken “after” shot. The bar tape was supposed to match the saddle (not even close), but it will do for now (and was free). Perhaps a black saddle and bar tape to match the crank and seatpost will be the next try.

The finished article—at a good enough distance and in bad light, so as to make it look like an improvement on the "before" shots..

The bar tape was supposed to match the saddle (not even close), but it will do for now. Perhaps black saddle and bar tape to match the crank and seatpost will be the next try. Because of the rain, I didn’t really give the bike a real try, just 20m up the street and back. The 44×17 is a higher gear than I anticipated, but should be fine for tootling around town with or without my daughter on the back.

But this also goes to show that any idiot can put together a new bike. I’ll post more on the story and note some of the hiccups along the way—last week’s moment of lunacy involved my realizing that an oval chainring wouldn’t ensure proper tension on a single speed bike (duh!).

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. xyxax permalink
    May 20, 2011 3:47 am

    Very nicely done. It’s like the dead winter carcass of a tree has bloomed in spring.
    Agree with you on the seat and bar tape choice (or all white, but not the tire walls; you’d look like a dandy). I note the familiar child seat on the right. Is that what you will put on (with the required rack)? Also flat pedals for safer child portage?

    Always a treat to get a glimpse of someone’s garage. Like Rule 10, you don’t get more space, you just get more stuff.

  2. May 20, 2011 1:53 pm

    I guess permitting web access to the garage is akin to passing around my social insurance number or something.

    Yes: child seat on the right. Flat pedals because I had them already, but likely, too, for safer portage while I get used to managing the single gear and the added weight on the bike (which will amount to ~20kg).

    I’ll definitely have to do something with the bar tape, but after a few rides, I really like the saddle, so I may stubbornly try to match to brown again. Domestique has a line of Octto bar tape, and the brown looks pretty close…

    • xyxax permalink
      May 20, 2011 6:07 pm

      I’ve already started selling your things on E-Bay.

      • May 20, 2011 8:10 pm

        Mrs. Steampunk would be very pleased. Just leave us the bikes. We’d be grateful for more space—and, therefore, more bikes!

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