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My New Van Dessel - Country Road Bob(15 posts)

My New Van Dessel - Country Road Bobss-nyc
May 27, 2003 4:22 AM
My first single speed was backed into by a car or truck while locked up at the New York Auto Show (how is that for irony) a few weeks ago and bent in half. I have been missing the freedom of the bike especially since it now costs $2 to ride the subway. Anyway, I found a great deal on a CRB on eBay, used some parts from my old Motobecane single-speed, and got some new parts and had a great new single-speed city bike built:

Country Road Bob Frame/Fork with Ritchey internal headset
Nashbar Stem (new)
Nashbar Handlebars (new)
Nashbar Seatpost (new)
Bontrager Race Day Saddle (from my parts box)
ProMax V-Brake calipers (from my parts box)
BMX V-Brake levers (new)
Shimano 600 Bottom Bracket (from Motobecane)
Shimano 600 Triple Crank (from Motobecane)
BMX Gold chainring 110 BCD (from Motobecane)
Izumi Gold track chain 1/8" (from Motobecane)
Wellgo BMX pedals (from Motobecane)
Blackburn Mountain Bike rear rack (from my parts box)
GT Confort Streamline Cruiser 700c x 40 Tires (new)
Mavic T221 36h 700c x 17 Touring/Cyclocross rims (new)
Shimano DX BMX 36h 100/110 spaced cassette hubs (new )(longer axle and spacers installed to get rear 135mm spacing)
No-name Handlebar grips (new)
Black electrical tape (new)

My Motobecane before it was bent in half. I used some parts from it.

It has been raining constantly in NYC so it has been difficult to get much of a ride in on the new bike since I picked it up on Saturday. So far it is really smooth. Nothing like an aluminum frame with bent stays, PHat tires, and a carbon fork to give you a nice ride. The 36h Shimano DX BMX hubs and Mavic Touring/Cyclocross rims should stand up to even the nastiest potholes NYC has to offer.

The bike and wheels were built by BikeWorks NYC. This is the 3rd bike they have built for me and I always have had great luck with them. Not to "pimp" my local bike shop but they deserve it so... If you are ever in NYC you should really check them out. They do great work, support the local track scene, and love to build single-speed and fixed-gear bikes.
Very nice... A question for urban ridersDave Hickey
May 27, 2003 9:57 AM
I understand the black tape to deter theft. I've noticed a some bikes(like yours) with a tube around the saddle rails to keep someone from stealing their saddle. Is it that big of problem? Do thieves carry around allen wrenches? I know it sounds naive but, living in Dallas, I could leave a Colnago C40 outside and nobody would steal it. Now... if it were a pickup truck............
Very nice... A question for urban riders...answersss-nyc
May 27, 2003 10:53 AM
Black tape deters theft and protects the frame if you ever want to sell it or upgrade the parts and upgrade the bikes purpose from a city bike to a nice single-speed or fixie that you would not lock up on the street. You would be amazed at how many $1000 (and more) frames are hidden underneath black tape in NYC.

The tube around the saddle rails is actually a piece of chain to keep the saddle from getting stolen and wrapped in an old inner tube protect the bike from the chain. NYC thieves carry crowbars and liquid nitrogen to feeze and then crack u-locks. They also carry bolt cutters for the easier steel cord style locks.

Anything and everything wil get stolen in NYC... It is just a matter of time. Remember, Kryptonite has an entire line of locks made specifically for NYC. Without one, they will not insure you against loss although hopefully homeowners insurance will.

A few months ago someone had mentioned on this board how he had been to NYC for a visit and was amazed at how many bikes were locked up in NYC with the Kryptonite chain which was probably worth more than the bike itself. Well, the chain is inexpensive if you consider that any other lock will be broken and that cheap bike will constantly need to be replaced with something else. Over time, the chain is cheaper than you think!
I like it...What did the total build-up run you? NMSwat Dawg
May 27, 2003 10:16 AM
May 27, 2003 11:05 AM
I totaled everything but did not include prices for anything that came from my old Motobecane and/or my parts bin. It came in around $600 which is too much considering that a fully built one from VDS is about $799 but the parts I have are much nicer than the factory built model. I spent more money on the wheels and went inexpensive on bars, stem, and seatpost.

In the end I broke the 2 most important rules of a NYC - city lock up bikes:

1) Make sure it has some rust so hopefully nobody will bother stealing it
2) Do Not spend more than the deductable on your homeowners insurance. Insurance companies stop believing you when you have a bike stolen about once a year even though they know it is NYC and you probaly had the best lock you could buy.

If you think about it nothing really leaves NYC. It gets stolen, used, bought or stolen by someone else, used, ans so on. It seems we would be better off if nobody locked thier bikes and then we could just use whatever is the most convinient one at the time...Bicycle Nirvana!
Whatever happened to "the yellow bicycles"?Humma Hah
May 27, 2003 11:09 AM
One city had a Good Samaritan who scrounged up old bikes in large quantities, painted them a gawd-awful yellow, got them working, and salted them liberally about the city. If you needed a bike, you were to take any yellow bike that was handy, ride it to your destination, and park it there for the next person who needed one. All free, donations cheerfully accepted.

It sounded like a wonderful program, but I always wondered if it was survivable.
Boulder, CO??????Dave Hickey
May 27, 2003 11:59 AM
I think it was Boulder,CO. I remember seeing all the yellow(green?) bikes.
"the yellow bicycles" are in Austincarpe_podium
May 27, 2003 5:58 PM
While at UT a couple of years ago I used them frequently. Sometimes I ended up walking if some SOB took "my" bike while I was inside the store. They are old SS cruisers - everything (seat, handlebars, seatpost, rims, you get the idea) was painted yellow. I think this helped to deter theft. It was also an "on your honor" system to not lock them up. Really cool idea.
Yes, I found their website last night ...Humma Hah
May 28, 2003 5:31 AM
I thought I'd posted it, but I guess I failed to hit the final button. They now paint bikes red as well as yellow ... guess they take paint donations, too? They now take a $75 deposit on each bike, issue it with a lock and a helmet, and you keep it indefinitely.

The website had links to several other cities that supposedly had Yellow Bike Projects, but none of the links seemed to work.
Decatur Georgia has/had a program like thisSpecialTater
May 29, 2003 6:22 AM
they had a lot of theft trouble, so I don't know if it stuck. Good idea ruined by bad people.
It is a really cool idea, but....KG 361
Jun 1, 2003 1:19 PM
How many "honorable" people are around anymore? A sad commentary on our society.
99 out of 100 won't steal ...Humma Hah
Jun 1, 2003 2:44 PM
... the concept behind "Yellow Bicycles" was that the bikes are all donated, bikes that would otherwise go in the trash or to Salvation Army (who is very likely to throw them in the trash). Some of the donated bikes are cannabalized for parts to fix the rest. Almost nothing is bought but some cheap paint and maybe some grease, a chain or two, the occasional tube or patch.

The original concept was --- they didn't CARE if these rat-bikes were stolen, they only cared that they be USED. Once a bike left the reclaimation facility, they didn't care if it never came back. If the program could be made large enough that a significant portion of the population would routinely use those bikes, then that portion of the population was not burning dinosaurs. And with enough of these bikes out there, the theives would soon have their fill of dumpster-rescued bikes.
my campus has that program.....sctri
May 30, 2003 6:03 PM
About 500 bikes for 35,000 ppl.
Pretty cool though, they are purple and yellow.

re: My New Van Dessel - Country Road Bobpeter1
May 29, 2003 6:57 PM
Very nifty. I just test road a Van Dessel cruiser (with the coaster brake) at Toga bikes before buying a Bianchi MIlano (it was a present for my father). Loved the handling, esp. the moustache bars and bigger wheels, but the coaster brake is so impractical in the city. Toga salesman said they weren't selling many because of the brake. Too bad you had to "New Yorkify" the bike with electrical tape! Just let it naturally fade and age...
May 30, 2003 3:42 AM
My bike has been great so far.

The Milano is supposed to be a great bike. I know Sid's carries Van Dessel and Bianchi as well. As for the cruisers from VDS, Toga should have mentioned that they can install a front brake. This would have made braking much better in NYC as well as anywhere.

Good luck wih the Milano...You Dad should really like it!