Sunday, June 28, 2015

From the Frame, Up

So Bike the Bend was great. Everyone had a great time and only some pride was hurt as a few riders found themselves Walking the Bend on the uphills. The Police presence was more than expected but still not what was needed. Volunteers stepped in to help. This meant that you had individuals, families, and even older kids themselves, giving up their time to help out at intersections and make sure everyone got safely across. Over all it was a good time and everyone is grateful that so many people helped. On the same note: I had happened to pick up my own Fly 6 tail light/camera the day before so I took it for a test ride on the 30 mile route. 

More of that to come in a later post where I hope to review the product thoroughly, but that will have to wait because this is more important.

Yuck :P

Trust me when I say; If your bicycle is growing hair, you are doing it wrong.
 Seriously, whatever you are doing, STOP doing that, and do the opposite.

 The only difference here is that the TREK in the top picture is aluminum and cleaned up very nicely all things considered but the Jamis...

Nah, it's done for. Steel IS real and it will rust in a heart beat if it sits on a damn trainer under some sweaty ass dude with a high pH. That stuff wreaks havoc on your small parts and stops moving parts dead in their tracks. 

That derailleur is stuck in the "Big Ring" because he drinks high fructose corn syrup and pours buckets of sweat down his seat tube. 

If you want to own a steel bike then it starts at the frame and how you treat it.

As I would with any of my steel bikes, I immediately applied frame saver to this frame in order to protect it from corrosion. This Velo Orange Polyvalent frame is taking the place of my beloved commuting bike as it will allow me a better wheel size and even more carrying than I currently enjoy.
 That means it will be subjected to inclement weather, potholes and the like, on a daily basis and it likely won't get cleaned much. It will however, get lubed when needed in between major service intervals every two years. 

So where did I get this lovely Bicycle? I am glad you asked ;)

Our shop recently became a Velo Orange dealer which made me happy as a clam because now I could afford to replace my frame! So I chose the Polyvalent because of its low-trail design and 650b wheel size.

With 50mm fenders, I am able to fit a 42b tire which ends up being wider than I had on my Hard Rock! 

The wider tire inspired me to go wider on the rim and I am glad I did. At 45 psi, the bike is plush and stable due in part to these Velocity Cliff Hanger 650b rims.

Velocity really hit a Home Run with these rims. They built up extremely well and have a tight bead hook which is great for keeping the tire on at low pressure. 
The front wheel I built uses a generic alloy high flange hub and the rear is a Deore with a feehub body. The tires are by Compass.

For the most part, I built this bike with things I had laying around. Mostly to get it on the road but also because another bike was not really in my budget. I had some help from a friend who is in to the same style riding, so he had some parts to lend in the mean time and honestly, this all started because I had a set of PAUL cantilever brakes that I got for free from a good friend and thought 
"Now I need a bike to put them on!" 

I used a VO 1" threaded headset and basic Shimano bottom bracket because I had a Deore triple crank set laying in a bin. The derailleurs could have gone any way. Originally, I wanted to transfer my Campagnolo 9 speed stuff from my Hard Rock yet a friend tried to convince me that this bike was "screaming for down tube shifters." I wasn't having that so I compromised when he offered up his SunTour bar cons. That basically allowed me to spec it with what ever I had laying around and believe it or not, the Shimano 600 front derailleur (has a unique up-sweep when it pulls) shifts dead-on through all three chain rings.
For the rear I used a NOS Shimano 200GS (of which there is surprisingly little info) that was itching to be used on a wide range triple.

Sprinkle in an assortment of sundries such as a Brooks B17 Imperial (with titanium flask holder), a Nitto front rack with a Velo Orange Champagne Bag, 50mm Hammered Snakeskin fenders, my favorite bell, and my front and rear lights and you have got yourself a bike.

It will likely go through many changes like any good bike does so I may keep you posted but for now, at least I can ride it. 

...and the ride is awesome.