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a fine day was had by all ........(12 posts)

a fine day was had by all ........Spirito
Jul 10, 2002 10:43 PM
mate A called to see if i could sort out a bike for him a few days ago.... "i dont want to spend much but id like something cool for riding around town". what to do - he's never had a road bike and wants to ride around manhattan and look chic like the bike couriers. hmmmm?

mate B has a cool torpado (padova, vicenza) which i gave to him as it was a little big for me and he liked it but was a little too small for him. mate A buys frame/fork wheels and crank (red atala) for mate B and therefore takes on the torpado as just frame/fork wheels and crank. some old pedals, front brake and lever, saddle and post in my parts bin get donated and a trip to the LBS where we pick up a chain, single chainring bolts, bartape, and a used nitto bar and stem.

total cost to mate A = $135 .... + a day hanging on my stoop giving it all a major clean, fettle, assembly , sawing and polish. nice hot NYC day, neighbours all checking it out ... and voila a single speed of sorts. left the freewheel on and used the small chainring on the outside (42) slightly spaced to run to the 14 tooth cog. call it luck or just plain desperation but it works perfectly. also tried the 13 tooth and 15 tooth and guess what they ran fine as well (ya gotta love long dropouts). lucky NYC is pretty flat !!!

i cant say it will work perfect for everyone but its worth a try if your thinking about a single speed without redishing and using whats available. tried everything possible to get the chain to budge or skip off - nada.

highlights of the day was being offered gold plated knuckle busters for $60, the always amazing latin momma's, laughter of the kids playing in the fire hydrant fountain that is never off and one neighbour who came past earlier and then later when it was almost midnight and all assembled - his words "its cool dat ju guys took a shitty bike and made it look da bomb !! " we all fell apart with laughter.

mate A was so happy. mate B and his atala assembly is tomorrow and mate C was sorted with a mint Fuji sports tourer earlier in the week (he rode off before i could snapt pics but ill post them later - what a bike).

day ended with some chinese food, apocolypse now redux , and a few momma's keeping us company. mates, neighbours and bikes to tinker with - living in the city aint that bad a thing.

pictures do this bike no service - it looks so cool and well beyond the money spent. was bought a long time ago on ebay for peanuts shipped from nebraska by a guy who had the worst wording, abolsute component misspelling and crappy pictures. a speculator turned out great and has now served three people (me and 2 converts). black, white decals and pantographing, lotsa chrome and still with a nebraska licence decal. if only id known how cheap a singlespeed was to do with a little "lets try it" attitude.

sweet ........
re: a fine day was had by all ........Spirito
Jul 10, 2002 10:45 PM
Gimmee a daylight close up of that rear hub, mate. [nm]Ahimsa
Jul 11, 2002 6:05 PM
method in my madness or just pure luck....Spirito
Jul 11, 2002 8:48 PM
maybe a bit of both is why it worked.

i will get some daylight pics but as we are both busy (ya know.... chicks n stuff) it might be a few days.

i used to ride track in my "dont have to shave everyday" years and i tried my best to throw the chain off or get it to skip in the 13T, 14T and 15T and i was quite surprised it stayed (didn't try any other combo's as the other teeth are pretty worn).

medium/long dropouts and tensions screws helped. as did a sram pc48 8 speed chain which is a little thinner. the freewheel is an old regina 6 speed 13-22 with straight teeth which helps as later twisted tooth shimano type ones may have caught links if the chainline wasnt within the ballpark. talked with a few couriers and read somethings and noted that chainline and tension for a single speed wasnt as vital as for a fixed gear. i might be wrong but from what i experienced it was within reason.

i didnt need to but i suppose you could slip some spacers on the chainring as well or space the crank arm out slightly. every so often older style freewheels in unpopular sizes (14-19, 15-21) go for the price of a good beer on ebay so an easier gearing option may be possible if you cant go smaller than a 42 or 39 up front.

i could have done it the usual way of redishing the rear out a little and put the small ring on the inside with a spacer or 2 and then ran a bmx single freewheel but the object was minimal cost and time. besides the wheels were sweet and when they are like that i leave them with their mojo intact. err... i also didn't have the freewheel tool for the regina to take it off .. :-)

it was kinda eery as what we built was what he was looking for but also using the best parts of the bike so it wasnt a great expense.

now i gotta build the atala up for mate B tomorrow (normal road bike). then its all about me - the merckx is in mr. brown's truck. in the meantime i'll be learning about sturmey archer 3 speed hubs as i have a robin hood and a triumph waiting to be revived (both from nottingham, england of course). both would make cool city cruisers but at worst i can make one bike out of the best parts from both.

the best thing is that as i have permanently greasy hands im telling chicks im a mechanic as i even smell like i use phil wood aftershave. what a bonus - avoids 15 minutes of pointless "oh .. i have a friend in ....blah, blah" ... or "i used to work for...blah, blah". it just kills all the dead and timewasting preamble conversation and if they aint impressed then im glad they drift away. very cool. :-)

a fine day was had by allSpirito
Jul 10, 2002 10:50 PM
Jul 11, 2002 8:22 AM
What kind of bars are they and where can I find them? i WANT TO SETUP MY FIXIE W/ PHIL WOOD HUBS, VELOCITY DEEP V BLUE RIMS, AND CAMPY BLUE CRANKS, D' OH CAPS LOCK, there. Now if I could only find a nice frame. Chrome'd be nice, any ideas for a nice frame Spirito?
perhaps give ebay a miss.....Spirito
Jul 11, 2002 11:20 AM
ebay is cool but its rare to find a bargain unless you search endlessly.

post a want to buy ad on forums (there's lots), check out garage sales, check local papers, ask people you meet on rides. takes a little effort but its generally far cheaper.

below is a fuji that i bought for another mate. its more touring in style but was in such rare and perfect condition with new tires, rims and spokes, bartape, christophe toe clips and straps, cables and housing and chain. original fuji pantograghed cranks (sr) and rear derailleur (suntour). original fujita leather saddle, cenbtrepull brakes that stop so well, a beatiful nitto stem and bar. came just as pictured and the seller (coolest guy) packed it like ive never seen anything the likes of and sent it to me for $130 total. its kinda heavy but its such a cool looking ride that works perfectly. real time warp condition.

look around - its a little more effort but is fun. wait until you get what your looking for - its out there but just takes time.

Jul 11, 2002 7:25 AM
Wow, that is a fine rig.Ginz
Jul 11, 2002 10:39 AM
And you say it looks even better in person? Very nice. Everyday I want a new bike!

Someone asked about the bars. They are cowhorn or time trial bars. used to have them cheap. Look around, you'll find 'em.
bars are just hacksawed and turned upside down ...Spirito
Jul 11, 2002 11:03 AM
a little short but for city riding (upright) they are perfect.

the stem and bar cost $15 from a dusty used pile of stuff in the LBS basement. one of the drops was badly scratched and slightly bent and thus the inspiration for flipping and sawing them off - saves on bartape as well.

the brake lever is from a set of old shimano 105 aero with no hoods that i couldnt sell for $5. as they aren't rested on as usual the handy old electrical tape is perfect in making them look smarter without hoods.

it was a also good compromise as the outer chainring (52T needed replacing) and good luck if you can find a chainring with a 118mm BCD to fit the ofmega cranks.
a bike that needed a lot of parts and a new crankset got a new life by going a cheaper route by using what was good.

i must add that the wheels (ambrosio elite to ofmega
hubs) have seen some really bad potholes but hold up perfectly even with 20c tires. yet i would search a long way to find someone with positive things to say about the rims on the web. maybe its just a lucky pair.

funnily enough the bike cost $5 more than the kryptonite chain and lock and d-lock thingy that will hopefully keep it in place.

*Ahimsa rises from his seat amidst deafening applause from the audience...Ahimsa
Jul 11, 2002 6:00 PM
...the standing ovation has fully begun. Spirito peers out over the clapping and cheering, and bows, ever so slightly.

Good work brother. A fine steed is thus born to the streets of New Yawk.

Three cheers!

A. (Riding fast and looking good doing it)
Brake cable routing????????Dave Hickey
Jul 15, 2002 9:33 AM
Did you have a problem with housing bending too much when the housing/cable leaves the brake lever? It look like a 90 degree.