Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keepin' Busy

Every year around this time we find ourselves looking for things to do to keep busy.  There are the usual suspects like cleaning and organizing that get put off for far too long during the season, but it is always nice when some sort of a project comes along that requires some special attention and experimenting that can keep us busy working on bikes.

Enter Mike's randonneuring rig.  This is a 1985 Trek 510 that Mike purchased from our shop owner's personal collection last year and got it set up to tackle really long rides! After a season of brevets, Mike wanted to make some changes.  He wanted to fit bigger tires if possible, replace his headset and seat post, and install a front rack to support his beautiful Gilles Berthoud handlebar bag. The combination of wider tires and adding a front rack meant that a lot of experimenting was in order.  The goal was 32mm tires with all of his other accessories.

Lots going on near the fork crown!

After lots of experimenting and seemingly great ideas gone wrong we were able to get the bike set up to Mike's specifications. The clearances were pretty cozy, especially on the front end.  The Velo Orange front rack was pretty well thought out and included a braze-on on the underside to attach a fender to.  This allowed the front of the fender to be pulled up away from the tire.

The 2Nut.  Chris King's first model from 1976
still made today!

I really enjoyed the component selection for this bike.  Chris King headsets are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are perfect for bikes like these that are going to see lots and lots of miles. A 10 year warranty on a bike component is pretty rare, but these headsets carry one.  The drivetrain is an Ultegra/Dura Ace 9 speed downtube shifter set up and the Dia Compe center pull brakes really helped with tire clearance. While the bike does have a great overall look, all of the parts were selected first and foremost for function. Mike needs parts that he can rely on for rides as long as 1200K, and having a straight forward 9 speed drivetrain and durable parts ensures many miles of worry free riding. Oh yeah, the total bike weight came in right around 25 pounds.  Pretty impressive for an older steel frame with metal fenders, front rack, and a full generator light setup. 

Speaking of generator lights, I have become a believer in this set up. The lights integrate beautifully into your set up and there is never a need to worry if your lights are charged or if your batteries are fresh. They are always there when you need them and they are as bright as most rechargeable lights out there. On Mikes bike we worked hard to get the wires hidden.  We used some rubber plugs for a secure hold where the wire entered and left the fender and secured the wire under the fender giving a nice clean look.  Come ask us about lighting and hub options that are out there.  It's really a great system.

If you have anything sitting around you have been thinking about working on, maybe an old bike you want to restore or some experimenting with changes to your set up now is the time to do it.  We have the time and it gives time until next season to test everything out.  Shoot even if you just want to come get some advice or just have us help with part of a project we would love to help.  It sure beats doing inventory on spoke nipples and brake ferrules :-) 

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhhhhhhhhh the staple of my career at Europa, Mike's bike being worked on. Miss you guys.