23 November 2009

Getting There!

bicycle photo updated 10 speed
What a treat to look back at my post from March 4, 2008. As of this weekend I have accomplished all the goals listed there and more.

chainguard and other upgrades on vintage 10 speedOn the list for upgrading I had:

Well, as to this last goal, I decided that an internal hub might be better for my needs while still accomplishing the winter protection I was looking for. My husband built the wheel and we got it installed yesterday. The only challenge was that my handlebars are not round, and not standard, so getting the shifter on was a big deal. Everything else went smoothly. I chose a new Sturmey-Archer three speed mostly because it was already sized for my very narrow dropouts and I didn't want to have to spread the rear triangle. We laced it to a Salsa Delgado rim. My only complaint thus far is that I didn't realize the hub would click whether I was pedaling or coasting. I used to be much more stealthy! But that's not much of a complaint and I'm thrilled with how the bike now just smoooothly glides. I had no idea how much resistance had built up in the old wheel and derailleur. I know the derailleur was contributing because now when I backpedal I marvel at the lack of friction.

In the photo below you can see the results of my fender painting. After all these years of full-time commuting my Honjos are not looking as shiny as they did. I'm liking the pinstripe that now picks up my frame color on the fenders.

close up of drive train
I still have more upgrades planned. I have a tire and new brake pads waiting for a new front wheel, I'd like it to match the rear. Hmmm. Is that it? Might I be getting close to the end of upgrades for the bike? Is that possible?

driveside renovated 10 speed

I might have saved some money (maybe) if I'd just bought a new bike and was done with it. Especially now that there are some cute, affordable city bikes (though probably made in Taiwan).

I am perhaps more proud of this old bike. I created this. It's my bike, there's not another one like it in the world, and I have learned so much in doing this. My husband has also learned a lot, I have him to thank for taking the wheel-building class. We've both grown in bike knowledge (and if we can, anyone can).

There's a wealth of old 10-speeds out there, and many are great bikes. Please don't send them to the dump! There's an adventure, sometimes frustrating, always informative, to be had in recycling them into lightweight beautiful city bikes.


Trisha said...

Hooray! What a feeling of accomplishment. :) The bike looks beautiful; I especially love the pinstriped fenders.

Astroluc said...

lovely work; the bike looks great..!

and speaking of parade day (March 4), that is so my birthday ;)

JPTwins said...

Awesome! Congratulations! Do you usually ride with the wine box, or is it just for special occasions?

And if you really feel like you're at the end of upgrades on this bike, you can either:

a) wait a year, and update anything worn or

b) find a cheapie on craiglist and play around with different options.

I got a cheap fixed gear wheel at BikeNotBombs to try it out, converted one city bike that way, and another with some other gear I had laying around. As long as there is always ONE bike in perfect working order, you're okay for the commute. Plus, winter's a great time to tinker!


Anonymous said...

Nice bike! I have a Specialized Hardrock that looks exactly like the picture you posted of your dad's bike in another blog. I'm having trouble identifying what the model year of that bike is. Do you happen to know the model year of your dad's Specialized (the blue/green paint with pink lettering)? You can email me at loubs@lovett.org. Thanks for your help and Happy Holidays!!

Charlotte said...

Thank you all!

Anonymous, I don't know how old Dad's bike is. I know he bought it at a garage sale (so, used) sometime before 1994. I know that's not much help!

Thom said...

You'll get used to the sound of the hub. I find it very peaceful while pedaling, actually, it's like your own traveling metronome, helps keep the pace.

I am definitely with you in the long-term school of project completion. Can't rush these things.

Filigree said...

Fabulous updates, congratulations! The bicycle looks beautiful and unique. It is certainly true that no one else has one like it. The aqua stripe on the fenders came out super; it really picks up the frame colour in a subtle and charming manner.

Seeing the hub conversion made me gasp, as I am still not certain what I think about hub vs derailleur. How does it feel now on hills?

Charlotte said...

Filigree, This bike is intended as a city commuter, not a long distance bike. I would not ride this hub for long distances, and I will never again commute in a Boston winter with derailleur (unless I moved to a house where I could wash the salt off regularly, maybe I'd consider it then, maybe).
The hills I've taken have not been a challenge. I am certain there will be hills that will be difficult.

Mike said...

This is a gorgeous bike. You are 100 percent right about the satisfaction that comes with having built it yourself and knowing there isn't another like it. I can't imagine that feeling comes with a bike you roll off the showroom floor.

Thanks for the helpful updates and how-to's.

dr2chase said...

Hey, how are you dealing with the hub leaking oil out its filler cap? That's a common problem for me.

You might consider using a synthetic oil (Mobil 1) for a winter bike; on the one hand, monster overkill for a 3-speed hub, on the other hand, those lubricants are truly superior.

Charlotte said...

I haven't addressed the oil issue, I figured a brand new hub was probably ok in the near term, that may be a bad assumption.

For my previous bike I just used the oil I already have for my sewing machine. It has a nice applicator tip which helps drip it into the filler cap.

Jon said...

I agree, the fenders are superb. I always enjoy it when I can add a little touch of customization like that, and I enjoy seeing it on other people's bikes.

Btw, I don't know if you saw my "flower bike" watercolored sketch fom a couple of weeks ago, but my sister said to me "That reminds me of Charlotte on Chic Cyclists!"

Charlotte said...

Jon, That's such a compliment, and I love the flower bike. THANK YOU.

Bikes and flowers just go so well together, I have a Thanksgiving treat in the works along those lines.

Christie said...

Hey Charlotte I'm totally inspired with the wine box idea! Even better, I work in the industry and there happens to be a wine bottling plant in our building - I'm sure there'd be a spare box lying around (although I doubt I'd be lucky enough to get one with a bicycle on it!) I linked to your post from my entry yesterday

Chandra said...

nice bike and great reflective walled tires!

peace :)

Charlotte said...

Christie, I'm glad you like the wine box. I think every wine box is special, I just saw one on a bike this morning that had handpainted designs on it. I wish I'd had my camera out, the lady riding was wearing the most beautiful cape.

JPTwins, I only use the wine box for big grocery hauls. Most of the time I travel light! :) I suppose I should get down to work on Dad's bike, he'll be here soon...

Tom SVDP said...

On a yellow road bike, as much as those honcho fenders that "everyone" gets, planet bike has yellow "safety" fenders but they certainly look stylish on some bicycles unrelated to the "safety" issue. Lots of ways to think outside the box. To bad, planet bike doesn't make a variety of colors.

Also, per what others have said, maybe one doesn't want a "steel crank" because it is antiquated, but a good Solida steel cottered crank feels so smooth to the feet, vs. the usual Sugino or what-have-you made from aluminum. Honestly.

Elizabeth said...

good idea your update grades. i have to try this