it has been a good three weeks of solid riding on the “new” bicycle. it handles well, and i enjoy it thoroughly.
regarding the last post, (1) i haven’t found a need for handlebar tape yet, but will get some when finances lack higher priorities. (2) the bullhorn handlebars work – like the entire bike, just a different experience. (3) i also discovered that i cannot spin the bars because of the tilt angle of the handlebar stem. that means if i build/buy another fixie for myself, it will be made for tricks. i’ve already established that i’m not naturally talented in this arena, but it doesn’t stop me from trying. (4) with the seat forward and handlebars tilted, the ride feels just about right. (6) still haven’t figured out why it leans to the right. there aren’t many adjustments to make, and the ones i’ve made don’t seem to work.
And now for the OFFICIAL PARTS LIST:
- Concord Aztec steel frame and fork, with original stem (from the 60s or 70s – given to me by my dad)
- Tange-Seiki Passage Headset 30×27
- Eighthinch bullhorn handlebars in purple, 42cm width
- Soma Kamisori Saddle in blue
- UNO Bike Seat Post 25.4x350mm in purple
- Eighthinch Julian 48 spoke wheelset
- Soma Super Everwear Tire – for the rear wheel
- Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Tire in blue – for the front wheel
- Vittoria Special Rim Tape
- Cutter Premium Road Bike Tubes 700c x 19-23, PRESTA 48mm valve
- Eighthinch 17t track cog, 1/8″ in black
- Eighthinch lockring in black
- KMC Bicycle Z410 Chain in yellow, 1/8″
- Origin8 Pro Polsion Track Alloy CNC Crankset in green, 46t, 170mm, Square Taper
- Shimano BB-UN54 English Bottom Bracket, 68x107mm
- All-City Cecil Pro pedals in red
- MKS Alloy Toe Clips in red
- ALE Italian Toe Straps in red leather
Other Things I Purchased:
- Serfas Tire Levers
- Bomb Tactics Fixed Gear Multi-Tool
- Set of metric hex wrenches
- Bern Watts Summer EPS Helmet in matte purple
- Primer, spray paint, and clear coat for the front wheel and fork
the total came in just under eight hundred dollars. price did not matter to me because of the entire experience and the valuable knowledge & confidence i gained in the process. it also feels really good to complete a project.
someone asked me if it was difficult to build. admittedly, it challenged me mentally and motivationally more than anything. things i asked k&g bike shop to assist me with: installing the bottom bracket, mounting the crankset, lining up the chainline, and installing the headset. some of those actions required proprietary tools, and the others were merely out of my league. also, thanks to larry and john who helped me with disassembly of the original bike and re-assembly, respectively.
detailed photographs to come.
now, on friday, 2 july, just three days after its completion and having a little time to think upon it, here are my thoughts:
1. handlebar tape and/or gloves would be nice
2. i miss my curved handlbars. the lower “level” feels good when really rolling fast, but perhaps the bullhorns are just something different to get used to.
3. until then, i’m going to tilt the handlebars up higher so i can spin the front wheel and do tricks (yeah right, like i’m that coordinated).
4. move the seat forward so that i’m a little bit closer to the handlebars.
5. pull tight the rear wheel. the chain seems to be slightly loose, and i would like to see if i can tighten this way.
6. when i ride no-handed, the cycle leans to the right. i don’t know why.
also, i will have a full-detailed bicycle parts list and photos up soon.
wednesday, 30 june 2010. after work and a long nap, i decide to test the limits of my new build. wilmington, ohio can be potentially and extremely hilly in the outer farmlands in just about all directions. wisdom – at least, i hope it was wisdom – tells me to head east, to sabina. on the backroads i cycled through fields of soy and corridors of corn. traversing the backroads, a 16.3 mile route, one-way.
when i arrived in sabina, no parade or celebration for my bicycle and its first great accomplishment, but we found a lone gazebo by the masonic temple and sat there to rest my bottom and the bike’s cranks. after rehydrating, back on the road, double-backing the same route in reverse. this time, a bit slower and with a couple more rests. this was the break-in ride, not just for the bike, but for my buttocks, which, two days later, are still sore.
and to my surprise, not one of the hills (two major, many minor) hindered the journey. yes, i had to stand up and pedal a few times, but nothing to deter my dismounting and walking.
when we returned to wilmington, the garage silently welcomed home its new two-wheeled friend.
complete! yes, it is true. monday, 28 june, John M. and i spent the afternoon/evening putting the thing together. major accomplishments: properly installing/inflating the presta-valved tires and cutting the seatpost to height. At 10:30pm, I left his apartment feeling quite pleased with our accomplishments. thanks, john!
tuesday, 29 june, after work, a nap, and the YMCA, I lined up and tightened the handlebars and the seat. “Old Orange” is now ready to ride! for her test flight, i pedaled to the office to show my co-worker Tyhese, then back down main street to the hospital parking lot connecting to the bicycle trail. passing the walkers, i felt an excitement as my insides beckoned to them to notice my “new” bike. most of them nodded and made eye contact with me rather than swooning over the anodized purple handlebars or green crankset.
down to nelson and back to mulberry. i heard about the disaster at Swindler’s Florists, so i pedaled to locust street to check it. swindler’s parking lot now has a ninety-degree slope, and they are running a pot-hole bouquet special. glad to see phil has a sense of humor for the mess of pavement.
back to the house, larry hops on asking about this “no brakes” concept. yes, it is true – no brakes, but one stops easily enough when needed. he figure-eighted the driveway a few times and hopped off. the bicycle spent the night in the garage, the proper resting place for bicycle of her caliber.
i visited tony and sarah in columbus, ohio on sunday (30 may) to celebrate their daughter, harper, for living two years on earth. overnight on an air mattress, then for memorial day, we toured columbus via bicycle, visiting the topiary garden and a taco truck (taco pollo – $1.50/ea. -mmmmmmmmmm).
harper and tony, as we prepare to leave the topiary gardens
back streets, neighborhoods, business districts, and cobble alleys. the highlight: when tony said i could ride his vintage schwinn varsity that he converted to fixie for winter riding. the tour made my month, and more than ever, i look forward to riding my Aztec in its new form.
tony's schwinn varsity fixie
whilst completion seemed close, i improvised late last saturday night and began painting the fork and front wheel. what color? metallic glitter blue (the only anodized-looking colour available at the local Ace Hardware). that should be satisfactory. method for repaint: great canadian bike overhaul.
got everything in the mail. i had to return a rogue set of track pedals (how did i complete that order without ever hitting “complete?”), and had to return the helmet i had ordered – oh, Bern, oh Altrec…silly companies with unclear product descriptions (~$14.00 extra spent in returning). B- agreed that A-‘s product description could use a little clarity and said they would contact A- about it. in the meantime, helmet acquisition still awaits. i suppose i’ll just do trackstands in the driveway until then.
and my pump doesn’t work. never used the presta valve part before, and when i called, they said, “we’ll just send you a replacement.” how nice! except i really don’t want to wait two weeks to inflate my tires. no way around it. if i complete the bicycle before the new pump parts arrive, i’ll come a-knockin’ on john m’s door and plea my case for his support.
the conversion has started and my blood is pumping. so as the rain falls, to ride the momentum, i turn to beloved online shopping, although some might argue that environmentally and economically it bites the dust. nonetheless, i couldn’t wait any longer, and all needed parts are ordered. the “other” category of things i’d like to get but shall wait on are: toe clips/straps, new seat, and spoke reflectors or lights.
More to come soon. Oh, and John, you said something about apparel? Outlier has amazing apparel that I hope someday I can afford.
so i finally made it back to k&g bike shop in kettering to get fitted for a bottom bracket. brian helped me again. when he looked at my frame, he asked, “you got the crank?” and I didn’t have the heart to tell him that the last time i was in, he told me to get the bottom bracket first and then worry about the crank. no crankset had i, but i think he could sense my distress and offered what they sell in the shop – origin8 cranks! i gladly chose an anodized green 46-tooth crankset, and brian took my bike to the back. i watched him work on it from the sales area. below are before and after pictures of the frame.
it looks like these pics are kind of small. sorry.
the original intent was to paint the frame/fork beforehand, but time snuck away from me and when it returned, brought some warmer days, and my legs are itchin’ for a good ride. maybe next year. until then, i’m really liking the way it looks, although now i wish i hadn’t removed the decals.
this morning i also ordered a bike tool by bomb tactics. now the only other thing i’ll need is a set of hex wrenches (size 8 & 5) to carry with me when i go.
this is a post from the fixed gear gallery from january 2010. a yellow aztec! and from ohio, too!