Sunday, November 25, 2018

You Spent How Much...!!!?

It all started with the Schwinn Passage for many reasons; it was my introduction to Japanese built mid 80s touring bikes, a test best for upgrading parts on a vintage bike for fit and comfort, and finally I had to sell it on to bridge the financial gap from being unemployed to employed.

Job secured that left a hole in my quiver and it just so Happened a Nishiki Cresta GT popped up in my size on Bike Forums and from a local PNW blogger - Thanks Josh.  The new arrival cost me $185.00, more than I normally pay but was nearly all original and is a classic Japanese touring bike, plus I am a sucker for a cream head tube.

One of my first purchases was new rubber for the Cresta in the form of some plush 27 x1 3/8  Swift Sand Canyons (think fatter Panaracer Pasela's) which cost me $60.00, and I picked up my favorite MKS sneaker pedals for $22.

One thing I learned from the Passage was upgrading the cockpit for a comfortable ride; wider bars, taller stem, larger grip brake levers, and a new saddle.   I tried a Brooks Cambium for the first time and have not been disappointed.  All totaled I spent $194.50 on the cockpit upgrades and I love the fit.

I am not a big fan of the oval rings and I wanted a broader range and lower low, so I got new Sugino rings at a cost of $90 for 3 rings.

After the issues I had getting the original headset off the bike I overreacted and bought a new headset and while I was at it I also purchased a bottom bracket, this has the added benefit of making the install easier and they will be lower maintenance in the long run.  That cost me $89.00 for the pair.

And of course I needed the consumables;  chain, cables and housing, brake pads etc.  Those items ran me about $73.00.

One definite impulse purchase was the IRD Classica wide range 14-32 six speed freewheel that upgraded me from a 5 speed FW.  The cost of impulse was $60.00.  Add in some bottle cages, a wireless computer, and a bell and when you total everything up it came to over, gulp, $800.00!  Which seems like a lot for a vintage bike but then I considered that would basically get me a new Velo Orange Campeur frameset and a rear  I could have gone with the stock bearings and FW and brought the cost down closer to $650.

The total ended up being a bit of a surprise but I got a classic 80s Japanese touring bike, made it fit and I have so far loved the ride, that said I will probably not be doing this much of a splurge anytime soon.

Ride. Spend big bucks. Smile. Repeat?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

A great day for a ride to the Market

Clear and 45 degrees -time to throw on a hoodie and ride to the farmers market.  Who knows when the next time a Sunday this nice will come around, so I decided to take advantage of the day.

Since my daughter has requested me to be her not-for-profit Uber eats I took the Handsome Devil so I could take a pannier.

A market breakfast sandwich and an IPA from Block 15 was definitely worth the trip.  I picked up a pork Sammy for the girl at a market stand and headed back home.

Once I was back I decided to fix a nagging problem.  The front rack on the HD has been broken for a while and I finally decided to remove it. 

A decade of use for a fairly cheap Nashbar front rack is pretty good so I can't really complain.

The Handsome Devil looks a bit naked with no front rack but I was thinking of moving the bag over to the Nishiki once I got a Nitto rack anyway so I think it will be fine.

Ride when the sun is out. Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Coffeeneuring Challenge 2018: Ride 7 Ampersand Cafe

Sunday dawned clear and cold and I knew it would be a good day to get to the finish line for Coffeeneruing 2018.  It was going to require some gear like full finger gloves, base layer and wool cycling cap to combat the 40 degree temps but I have all that stuff , I just had to dig it out.

Ampersand Cafe on Alki was my destination today, I have been here many times and it has even featured in a few blog posts but I had never done an official coffee ride here.

A hazelnut latte and snicker-doodle was my choice for ride #7 and I finally remembered both of my patches from previous years.   It was a pretty crowded shop as people were getting out to enjoy the sun but wanted to be someplace warm after feeling the wind.

I did not see many other casual riders today but I did see plenty of roadies in winter kit out taking advantage of the sunny weather.

After slogging into the wind for a mile or so I couldn't resist stopping for a quick shot of the Seattle skyline.  Once I got around the point I had a tail wind and actually felt "fast".

The wide range 1x9 of the Handsome devil is versatile but the riders' fitness and the low gear of the HD meant the last hill was going to be a grind, I didn't feel like ending on a grind so I went mult-modal and caught the bus home for the last leg.  Three years running now for Coffeeneuring and I completed both my themes of 1) all new coffee shops and 2) a different bike every ride.  I actually hope I don't have six bikes in my apartment next year lol.

The data:
  1. Where: Ampersand Cafe, 2530 Alki Avenue Southwest. West Seattle.
  2. Date: November 11th   at 11:30 am.
  3. Consumed:  Hazelnut Latte and Snicker Doodle cookie.
  4. Details:  Clear and cold -low 40s, good bike parking.
  5. Mileage: 6.41 miles
  6. Bike Used: The workhorse Handsome Devil.

Ride. Dress warn.Smile.Repeat.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Breakdown of a Salvage: Trek Antelope

As you may recall I purchased an 87 Trek Antelope for $40 last month.

I was really just wanting the bike for the front wheel which matched the rear on the Ibex and the stem which is shorter than the one on the Ibex.  I figured I could recoup some of the price by parting out the bike, so how did I do?  My first lesson was I should have offered below asking to start, the bike was obviously something the seller wanted to move, it needed work and it had been on CL for a week, all indications that an offer of say $35 wouldn't have been out of line.

After cleaning up the bike I realized the paint and decals were in great shape so I threw it CL for $35. And included the; BB, Headset, quick release seat post clamp and the funky roller rear brake cable guide.  It got snapped up for full price by a guy who likes old mixtes, there are debates about what exactly makes a "mixte" but I wasn't going to split hairs with a man with cash.  I also ended up throwing in the seat post.  So at that point I had earned most of the money back and I had my parts for a total of $5.

The Sakae crank I disassembled and ran through the sonic cleaner and reassembled.  I listed it on eBay and made sure to mention that it included the metal dust covers for the crank bolts.  It ended up going for $30! must have been the dust covers.  That brought me to plus $25 over all.

The next to go were the diacompe canti brakes.  They went for $15.50 which I attribute to the cool roller cable hangers,  That brought me to $40 over what I initial paid for the bike.

The stubborn part of the salvage was the Suntour accushift drive train, I relisted it on eBay multiple times.  I finally resorted to changing it to free shipping and adjusting the price to cover that and it finally sold but I only got $7 for an entire drive-train including thumb shifters!!?  I can't ever figure this stuff out.

I am not complaining though for a $40 outlay I got a front wheel and a stem for the Ibex overhaul and $87 in sales for a net of $47 and I even have a few odds and ends to drop off at bike works.

I found the 89 Rock Hopper on Face Book market place and since it met many of the criteria I had seen for the Trek (priced to sell, lingering on the site, needs work) I offered $30 and was accepted.  It was a bit farther out than I usually go but not as far when leaving from work.  We'll see if it has the same success as the Trek in Salvage part Deux.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Failure as a Flipper: Schwinn LeTour

Back in May when I picked up this 87 Schwinn LeTour I thought it would be a quick flip; it needed a rear brake, a wipe down, maybe a few tweaks here and there and then boom I could have it on Craigslist.  Turns out I am a failure as a flipper.

Taking a bike down to the frame is a flipping epic fail.  See above...sigh.

I have been making good progress recently.

I got the Sugino cranks cleaned up and ready to go back on the bike. Note flippers also don't use a sonic cleaner.

I also got the brakes cleaned up and shod with new brake pads and back on the bike including the replacement rear brake I picked up at Bike-works during the summer.

Today I was planning to clean up the wheels a bit put them back on the bike and call it good.

I scrubbed at the freewheel although as you can see I have a ways to go, its a 6 speed but the two smallest cogs seem to be almost the same size...odd.

As I was wrestling the rear wheel to clean up the FW I noticed the spokes were pretty loosey goosey and it occurs to me my plan of clean and mount the wheels will also fail.  I see cone wrenches and spoke wrenches in my future.  I also don't see the Schwinn on Craigslist as soon as expected.

On the plus side I did get the pedals mounted today, they came off a different bike but that's a story for another day.

So progress made on the Schwinn this week but its going to be two more bearings before its ready.  Far from a flip.

Ride.Do a thorough job.Sigh.Smile.Repeat.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Progress on the LeTour

While distractedly watching a game on Sunday (Rams vs Packers) I finally got around to waxing the Schwinn frame, something I had put off for weeks.  Not sure why I was dragging my feet but I finally got it done.

Which meant I could assemble the bottom bracket and..

Headset which meant I had a frame to start hanging things off.

Like the rear derailleur which, beside the bb and headset, is one of the few things to go through the sonic bath.

The shifters got a wipe down and put back on, I need to go back and apply some lube and decide if I am going to set up the bike as indexed or friction since the rear shifter can do either.  I will probably do what I did with the Cresta GT, try indexed and if it gives me guff switch to friction.

The bottle cage that was on the bike was squashed and a bit frail looking, and I didn't feel like messing with it, so I dropped about $5 on a new planet bike one.

A before and after of the seat post, a little attention with some brass wool does wonders.

I also cleaned up the stem, not planning on replacing the bar tape so that should save some time, so for now the cockpit is back on the bike.  With a good push this weekend I can almost have this thing looking like a bike again.