About a bike

October 24th, 2008

About a year ago I bought a bike from a friend for $40. Here is the bike:

Bike when I got it.

After I cleaned it up it started to look pretty ok.

Bike after I cleaned it.

Then I decided to strip everything off of it and make it into a fixed gear bike. Here is what it looked like after that happened:

That is one dirty bike.

I took off the brake and shifter cables, chopped and flopped the handlebars, replaced the wheels with a set of track wheels, took off the extra chainrings, replaced the chainring bolts and bought some new pedals. I did all of this at 2020 Cycles where they let me use their tools and their time as I figured out all of this stuff. Bikes are complicated pieces of machinery.

I thought it looked pretty ok but after I spent a few weeks browsing Fixed Gear Gallery and Velospace I realized that I had some work to do.

The first thing I did was to take my bike to Seattle Powder Coat to have the frame and fork refinished. I went with an off-white with a 50% gloss finish. Powdercoating is actually fairly affordable at this scale and is better for the environment than traditional painting methods. I also lack any sort of space to be able to spray paint everywhere so this was really my only option.

After I got the frame back, I took it to another local bike shop: Wright Bros. Cycle Works in Fremont. What this place lacks in curb appeal it makes up for in overall helpfulness and availability. They can do anything for your bike or get you any part you need. The guy who owns this shop is crazy about track and fixed gear bikes. Seriously. Check out the website for some photos of him in full vintage Masi track gear.

For what I consider to be minimal labor fees, he installed a new Shimano bottom bracket (also re-installed the crank) and a new Tange headset. He installed a new chain and re-greased and tightened the rear cog and lock ring as well.

Finally, I bought some blue Fizik bar tape with which to wrap the bullhorns and create a top tube protector. After swapping out the stock seat for a Brooks B17 I snagged off of Craigslist for $40, the bike is looking good:

That is one classy bike.

To finish this project all I have to do is put on the set of Whitewall Weinmann DP18 wheels I bought. I have some 700×23 Blue Speedium tires to put on them, too. Just gotta get some tubes first. I’m also going to get a die-cut vinyl sticker for the frame but I haven’t yet decided what I want it to be.

So that’s the journey of my bike. That is how it came to be as awesome as it is today.

I went back to Wright Bros. today and had the guy there help me put the tires and tubes on my wheels. Here is the bike now.

Total Package.

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