Beauty!

Ye old Raleigh

Ye old Raleigh

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bottom Bracket Blues

Phil Wood, 'nough said. The best you can buy, and also the only company (that I know of, so please enlighten me if you know otherwise) that still makes BB cups for a 26tpi threading. Because that's what the shell is. For some reason, the cups didn't seem to thread very easily, and I noticed shards of metal inside the shell as if it had been tapped to the standard 24tpi. I was suspicious, especially after I got a ton of lil' metal shard splinters in my fingertips. That was a long project and be prepared for a whole separate blog regarding the removal of metal shrapnel from my fingers.

Nice to be able to adjust the spindle for the proper chain line by just screwing the cups accordingly. I like that about the Phil Wood design. There was a slight off-center presentation of the spindle when I finished. Watching the crank turn the chain later, both on top and bottom of the ring, there seemed to be a negligible error from this. Perhaps it is from the threading? distortion in the Shell? I'm not really sure.

Screwed that Action Pro cheapo crank set on there, tightened the bolts to about 35 ft-lbs. and the chain ring bolts to about 10 ft-lbs. (I'll go back and correct this is my specs are off)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wait a minute... I like this handlebar setup better.

Well, got a bullhorn 44cm in the mail, tried it on for size. Could have been the Maker's Mark, but it seemed pretty sweet. Cinched it down, build a break, and wrapped it in hot pepper red gel wraps by Planet Bike. Finishing touch with tape and seared with a soldering gun. I must say, it's pretty damn hot, no EtOH this time, either. I couldn't stop taking photos because I was so impressed. And I reminisced about the fact that I knew nothing about bikes two months ago when I started this ordeal.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Headset, Stem, Flatbar and Good Looks

The stem is an old quill from BNB. It fit nicely, 26mm clamp. The headset needed lots of work since there were no bearings and I'm still considering replacing the crown race. I went by Rose Bike to get some bearings. Size 5/32. Since the threading on ye old Raleigh is 26tpi and not the ISO standard of 24tpi it would be quite the task looking for any new threaded races. The pressed cups in the head tube seemed decent; I wondered if they're the originals. The crown race was worn, but what a project it would be to find a new one. I'm still in the market, if anyone's got ideas. For now, all the parts were cleaned well with white gas (the best degreaser a mountaineer will have on hand) and shined up. New balls and lube and the headset was moving back and forth like a dream, with some bumps once the play was removed. Hence, new crown race.

Flatbar from the old clunker found by the dumpster by the Orono Land Trust trails fit the 26 clamp. Threw on the old bar ends from my MTB, and BAM! Handlebars! Now I'll return the bar I bought for 15 bucks, or keep it for the next project. Or use it in the up and coming zombie war by welding a nice 52T ring on the end. Great for killing zombies. Kind of like the "Lobo" from World War Z, by Max Brooks.

The Truth of It All

I could have gone out to the local webspace and found a truing stand for my dishonest wheels, but that would be blasphemic (should be a word), according to BikeHacks.com. I thoroughly agreed. Behind the dumpster, buried in tall grass, was a junked MTB that I only found because Lucy and I stepped on it. "What could this be?" said I to Lucy, to which she did not respond in a language I could have understood. I dug and dug that frame out of the grass, brought it home, and shamelessly stripped it for all it was worth. And waddaya know that frame had some shiny new pressed crown races and cups, but that's for later...

Cleaned up the fork and placed it in a vice bolted to my computer desk. Slapped the proper sticker on it, zip ties, and voila! Le truing stand. With help from mulled wine and my new copy of The Bicycle Wheel by Jobst Brandt, I got them damn circular tinsel-tooth mutes to speak the Truth!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I built those wheels on rock and roll

Yes, to the sounds of the Pet Shop Boys, the Pixies, Peter Tosh, Pedro the Lion, and some other stuff under "P" on iTunes. Wheel-building is an art. You gotta practice.

Rims: I picked up supplies at Rose Bike Shop in Orono, ME. Some old double wall rims that were on closeout. Jim sold them for 5 bucks a piece! sweet! Best deal yet, considering what I paid for the frame and hub set. Spokes and brass nipples and it was a go. Here's the specs for a cross 3 pattern:

Front Hub
flange diameter 62mm
hub center to hub flange center 33mm
spoke number 32
effective rim diameter (ERD) 610
SPOKE LENGTH: 294

Rear Hub
flange diameter 62mm
hub center to hub flange center 28mm
ERD 601
SPOKE LENGTH: 290

So, I picked up 32 x 1.8mm spokes of each size and the corresponding brass nipples, laced 'em and trued 'em. Ghetto DIY truing "stand" using zip ties on the fork and seat stays was a great start. Heck, it's starting to look like a bike.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Frame

Wow, I got so lucky. I recently was introduced to the late great Sheldon Brown, bicycle guru and really neat guy. Upon entering Bikes Not Bombs in Jamaica Plain, MA, I was handed an old Raleigh Lenton frame and Isabella said "this was Sheldon Brown's frame. he donated it to us." A size 23" it was the perfect fit for me. I was ecstatic! I spent another two hours in the shop checking out old used pedals, stems, hubs, and Mexican chocolate. I strapped the frame to the back of my Cold Cold World Chernobyl Mountaineering pack (great for the city too!) and headed down Green Street to the Orange line. After all, it was a long 4.5 hour bus ride back to Orono, ME, where I currently reside.

In the hotel room that nite, I started filing the dropouts. They needed another 2mm or so for the new flip/flop hub. The fork dropouts needed filing as well, but I was stopped in my tracks by a security guard knocking on the door at 11:30pm asking what I was "sawing" in my room. I showed him the frame and scattered other stuff on the floor. He believed me that I was just working on the bike (not bombs) and asked if I would cease as the folks below me were "going crazy." I wasn't quite sure if he meant they're having crazy sex or were losing it over the filing I was doing. "Hey man I gotta get these hollow bolts to fit the old Raleigh." He wasn't amused.

Truing Stand

Key Spoke

trailing spokes

Leading Spokes in a Cross 3