Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Rig, Part One

It has been too freaking cold to ride lately. Through trial and error, I have realized that 25 is about as low as I am willing to go. Anything less than that, I am uncomfortable and not happy. What is the point of doing this if it does not make me happy?

Instead, I figure I should tell you about one of my bike. I call it my beater, but it is not in that bad of shape. I use it primarily for short trips because, quite frankly, I am afraid of it breaking down. I quit smoking back in June and this bike was what I did to keep myself busy. I don't trust my bike mechanic skills just yet.

The frame is a steel frame Univega Mountain bike. I forget the model, but 303 sounds familiar. The fork was replaced with a rigid fork. Finding a 1 and 1/8 inch threaded rigid fork was just about impossible. (If anyone out there has a decent one, let me know and I might buy it off you.) The rack is a Blackburn mountain rack. The fenders are SKS fenders. The drivetrain is something off a bike from Volunteers of America.

My favorite part of this bike is the handle bars. I installed Nashar's Trekking handlebars. They offer a variety of hand positions and they are just plain cool. Although I have no affiliation with the company, I would easily recommend the to anyone looking for something other than the standard drop handlebars.

My goal for this bike is to eventually trust it. I will have to get a more stable fork and a rear brake. (If you look, closely there is no brake.) Then, I will convert it into an Xtracycle.

But, for right now, it is perfect for short trips around the neighborhood.

Sphere: Related Content


Smudgemo said...

Good for you. Don't think of it as $5 saved, think of it as a lifestyle that is doing something good for your family.

Some suggestions on the bike:
1. Trim the fender stays on the front. I can't tell if the ends are capped, but you are asking for trouble leaving them long.
2. If the fork is an issue, remove the headset and replace the fork/headset/stem with something threadless. Ought to be a reasonable cost. Check at older bike shops that keep parts around. A couple of shops I frequent have tons of old and used parts.
3. Just get a back brake already. You are in riding in traffic and don't need any handicaps to safety.
4. The fenders and non-braking surfaces of the rims are good places for reflective tape. It helps visibility behind and just off to the side.
5. The Xtracycle setup rules, but if you don't like it you can always put your bike as it was. You might want help in assembly if you really do lack confidence to do it yourself, but it's all pretty straight-forward. There are tons of guys online that'll offer advice if you get stuck.

Rick Logue said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I never really thought of the fender stays, but I can picture a pretty ugly puncture wound if something bad were to happen.

The back brake has been an issue for a while. I eventually said, "Screw it, I'll put one in when I get an Xtracycle." Unfortunately, there is always something family related I have to spend the money on instead.

Finally, reflective tape is my friend. It is all over my bikes. I have the stuff the sell in the bike catalogues, so Duck Tape brand stuff, and the stuff you see on the trailers of semi trucks . I ride a lot at dusk/dawn/night. You do not see any lights because they were all on my other bike at the time of the picture.

Again, thanks for the tips.