Sunday, April 22, 2012

Time to Make the Donuts

Just over 2 weeks ago I returned to the working world. The money is good but the hours are long and the work is hard. I'm commuting about an hour and 20 minutes each way. It fells like I work, drive, eat sleep............repeat repeatedly. Aside from being under Uncle Sam's thumb, the taxation on my body has me wanting to drink myself in to a stupor at this moment.

We're getting into prime bike season. Riding and flipping. All this "real" work has put a damper on all of that for now. Okay, enough whining. I did manage to list and sell another mixte frame on ebay last week. The rear deralleur for the Gunnar Rockhound arrived from Japan and has been installed along with a new Sram 9 speed chain. In replacing these parts I believe I discovered the real issue with the ghost shifting. The cable was corroded in the housing at the RD. Live and learn. Now I have a back-up RD. I am still considering a new suspension fork but I have not looked. Replacing the headset would be a smart thing to do as well. In the last month and a half I've listed and sold 5 frames on ebay. A couple of them did exceptionally well. Another that went to San Fran whacked me pretty hard on the shipping charges.

I would really like to ride SWK today but my legs and back hurt from climbing around on scaffolding all week. I think I'll just build a campfire and indulge in craft beer this evening. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Projects

At times I have been known to put projects on the back burner. I have made some recent progress in rectifying this bad habit, but lets not tread there today. This Fuji Royale was one such project that I have recently begun working on again. This is another bike that I wish I had a "before" pic of. I bought it from some 21st century hippies at a swap meet down by St. Louis during my extended stay near the Gateway to the West, or as the locals refer to it, Home of the Toasted Ravioli. I made the purchase about one year ago February. The saddle was trashed, it had some white marks on the top tube that did not belong, tires........trashed. When I initially looked it over I thought the wheels looked pretty good and everything else seemed to move freely as it was intended. In short, it showed promise. I spent a little time on it last summer (2011). Rebuilt the bottom bracket and headset, rubbed out the white marks and did my basic clean-up on it. Sometimes I'll hit a snag when refurbing a bike and end up putting it on the back burner til my head clears up a bit. This was one of those.

Well, I threw it up in the stand last week and started deciphering the build once again. I rebuilt the hubs and trued up the rims. I also mounted a used set of Panaracer Paselas on the wheels. I would like to use a set of moustache bars with reverse brake levers and the Cardiff Touring saddle. There is still a bit of clean-up left as well. Freewheel and chain need cleaning and I should go through the rest of the drivetrain again as well.

I have a soft spot for this bike and I'm thinking it's something I'd like to keep. My size :)

I'm planning to clean the freewheel tomorrow. I'm ready to pull the trigger on a set of reverse brake levers at any given moment. Once the freewheel and chain are cleaned up and installed i can go ahead and run the shift cables. Once the reverse brake levers are ordered I'll have bought a few days to get the calipers cleaned up.

Who's next! Roughly 2 years ago, I bought a matching pair of Specialized Hardrock's. I had one of them refurbed and I gave it away to a needy soul. It was the better of the two. Now I am left with the runt of the litter. The paint is chipped/scratched up pretty good, the headset feels stiff, cables are frayed and it's heavy. I should be able to rebuild this with what exists and with parts I have on hand. That said, I'm thinking it will clean up nicely.

Here's another one that I'm thinking will be a pretty easy clean-up. A Fuji Thrill thrift store find. When I took this out for pics this afternoon I noticed the rear spokes had some substantial rust. I have a spare set in mind if needed.

 Lastly, my trusty old Gunnar Rockhound. I purchased this bike new back in 2000. It was built up by my good friend Hans the Hillclimber (a story for another day perhaps). This old girl has been neglected these past couple of years. Drivetrain has been replaced a couple 2/3 times.

I started riding this bike again last week out at SWK, a park that will chew up bike parts and spit them back out. I knew full well when I saddle up last week that it had ghost shifting issues. I pulled the trigger on a new chain and a new derailleur. The 9 speed Shimano XT RD is being shipped from Japan and will likely take up to two weeks to arrive. I would also like to replace the 175mm crank arms with some 170mm arms. I will be on the lookout for these.

A new fork may be on the horizon as well. It needs to be cleaned up too! Very dirty. Brooks B17 saddle has plenty of life left in it but sadly I have neglected it. It's been awhile since it was treated with proofide.

As i did recently post about, I purchased a very nice XTR wheelset that feels right at home on this rig. The Onza treads feel pretty good too. I am excited about getting this bike dialed in again, although admittedly, I'm concerned about my mechanical apptitude. I've always had professional bike mechanics do the work on this.