Annas Weblog

The bike project – part 7
September 6, 2008, 4:23 pm
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Started and almost finished a single speed mountainbike today according to the wishes of one single person… . And here’s the result:

The frame has been roughened with sandpaper and oversprayed with black varnish (silk finish for grounding). Today the black automotive shiny varnish was sprayed on some of the parts. If this job is finished it’s gonna look goooood.

When I tried to take off the crank protection to get rid of the two spare chain rings in the front, I had to realize that the three chain rings were riveted. So I figured ‘what the heck, just take off everything and put a new chain ring on’. I continued this thought until I realized that the crank corroded with the bottom bracket and there was just no way … which made me once more appreciate my choice for GIANT (10 years ago) where even the single parts are still of a decent quality. Fischer sucks (and I don’t mean Gary Fisher).

The bike project – part 6
August 29, 2008, 11:53 pm
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Finally done!

… or almost finally. If I got rid of the little Ahead spacer tower, it’d be REALLY done but other than that: I would have almost killed a man in a wheelchair today who was suddenly appearing – and absolutely invisible to the naked eye – behind a parking truck. (I must add, that the man was pushed by an older lady.) In the last split second I pulled over to the left so that his foot only slightly touched my backwheel … and a split second later I was already gone.

Fame and glory, fame and glory … I know!

The bike project – part 5
July 24, 2008, 9:43 am
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the gear wheel cassette is done. Finally!

… and for some mysterious reason, I am an official ad-driver for the local underground sport: bike polo:

To put it with Alanis’ words: “Who would have figured?”


The bike project – part 4
July 22, 2008, 7:43 pm
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The fork project

Well, well, well … where to start? Originally I thought it can’t be that hard to stick newspaper to the fork and make it last by varnish. Well, that proved to be wrong: After I stuck the newspaper on it, I got told that the varnish would macerate the paper. So I bought transparent film (for school books) and “sealed” the newspaper from any kind of moisture. That was hard, especially around edges and holes (e.g. low rider screws). However, I went back to my automotive paint shop and the two kindest Russians I have ever met. Many thanks to these guys! They explained me everything about the right varnish and needed accelerators (or hardeners). So I started to paint clear varnish on the layer of transparent film recognizing that in some spots the film did not fully cover the fork. Wherever there was only a tiny crack, the newspaper underneath turned grey. Wherever the film was not a hundred percent touching the newspaper, little bubbles built up underneath. However there was no way to change it. So I just went on with the varnishing process for 4 times (=4 layers). This took 2 days. I always went back and forth between work and paint shop in my lunch break, painted my fork, chatted with the Russians and went home to continue working.

When we recognized that there had to be another way, the Russians started to develop ideas and we tested them. This is why I bought another fork today (it’s only 10 Euros) and the next one is gonna be perfect for sure!

However, after we were done with the varnishing process, the owner of the automotive paint shop didn’t charge me anything and even asked me to come back which was really, really nice.

I took my fork and rebuilt my bike and here we go:

For the parts of the bike: If you don’t count the single screws, shims and grommets and take the single functional parts as an entire “thing” (e.g. brakes = 4 – making 2×2 brake entities with break shoes), you still come out at 109 parts. For the wheels every single spoke was counted (because the bike would work with one spoke less and there is the option of way less spokes) which makes one wheel already have 37 parts.

Am I counting raisins? – well, yes.

Am I nuts? – you choose.

What kind of investment would I need to go single speed? (prices in Euro)

2 race bike wheels (used) = 65,00 (wheel rim Mavic, hub Shimano) – you may get it for less

2 mantles (new) = 25,80 (Schwalbe Lugano) – you may buy them used for less

2 tubes (new) = 11,80 (Continental)

2 pairs of mini v-brake calipers (new) = 19,80 (Tectro) – good for this price (imo)

2 brake levers (new) = 10,00 (Vanguard) E-bay

1 headset (new) = 25,90 (Tecora) – good for this price (imo)

1 stem (slightly used) = 5,00 (3T) – pah! what a deal! 🙂 – retail price: 49,90

1 chain (new) = 12,00 (KMC Kool) – you can get a chain for way less … but not a KOOL chain

1 chain ring = 9,00 (Shimano)

1 halflink = 2,90

1 fork (used) = 10,00 (Stevens) – what a deal, too!

11 spacers rear, 4 spacers Ahead = about 10,00 (ask for old cassettes at your local bike store and take the ones with allen key holes, tip the bike shop owner and give him a smile and you’re fine with less than that)

1 seatpost (new) = 7,50 (GID) E-bay

1 saddle (used) = 1,50 (E-bay)

1 handlebar (used) = ??

SUM=206,20 Euro. Cost estimate of the bike shop to fully fix it: 470,00. Saved: 263,80

The bike project – part 3
July 19, 2008, 7:28 pm
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After all the other parts arrived yesterday via Hermes, DPD and German post (I love when my plans come together), today was the day of action. The biggest helper in the world arrived with two tool boxes and we started to take my old bike apart. Taking things apart is something I’m good at. Putting things back together: not so much.

This is what I needed this guys’ tremendous experience for (thank you, thank you, thank you!):

Someone else thought the whole action to be rather boring:

And here is the outcome of today’s work:

The little ahead tower needs to disappear later … once I found out in which positions my hands need to be. Oh, and of course the KOOL chain is lacking but that will be fixed soon. Other than that: I just love it!

What do you say?

The bike project – part 2
July 16, 2008, 3:28 pm
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After my brand new and nearly unused wheels arrived…

… I started to think about designing my fork. The original plan was to glue newspaper on it and let it have varnished at the automotive paint shop around the corner because they have the kind of UV- and scratch resistant varnish I would want to have. I called the painter who liked the idea and asked me to stop by which made me all happy and motivated and that’s why I started right away with the design-process:

Arriving at the painter’s shop the guy went “Yeah, well this won’t work.” I thought “Alright, why did you not mention THAT EALIER?” and asked him a “Why?” that could have sounded slightly impatiented. He then explained veeery patiently why his varnish would macerate the paper. Basically the black ink of the other side would come though and make it all blurry. We both agreed that this would certainly not look nice. So he recommended to take the paper all off again (…well it was barely a job of 3 hours…), take a page of the newspaper, go to some car-sticker service and ask them to copy the paper on a foil which then can be glued on to the fork.

Or I could ask at a stationary shop for binder film, pull that over and come back but then it still would look stupid. I might have to sleep that over again.

Jesus, all the decisions these days!

The bike project – part 1
July 15, 2008, 4:06 pm
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Remember this guy Dave with his 100-things-challenge ?

I was recently thinking about that a little longer and wondered what I would and could not give up or away or … just not keep it anymore and I found it impossible already thinking about it. Since I love the idea, though, I figured I’d do the small version and “downsize” my bike to 100 parts. When I did research on the internet, I found out that someone invented that already and it’s basically called “a single speed bike”, which was actually the sort of first bike in the world but after the gears, uhm no sorry years… I meant, gearshifts came up and nobody (except for the dutch) thought of single-gear-bikes anymore.

So I figured “what the heck, just do it!” and here we are:

That’s the bike in its pretty disastrous condition:

It weighs about a ton and the two wheel rims have been being dead ever since they hit a curbstone at about 40 km/h. (I suffered from bruised wrists weeks after it).

So, basically 24 gears are 23 too many if you want to go single-speed, right? And this is the point where you have to chose. So the first step includes the commitment to ONE gear.
But which one?