Friday, May 27, 2005

Another Mutt From the Stable


The main commuter rig. A Schwinn CrissCross, lugged steel goodness!
Guitar Ted Productions

Every so often I will feature one of my bikes, or guitars for a breakdown of it's history, and usage in the world of Guitar Ted. Today's example is my main commuter bike.

This gets a bit complicated, so bear with me. This started out originally as another bike entirely. Going way back to my first shop rat gig at Advantage Cyclery, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. In a download of bike parts from a customer, (another looong story for another time),I managed to get my hands on an old Raleigh Gran Sport, lugged steel frame and fork. I eventually built up some wheels for it, and threw on some stuff I had laying around for running gear. I used this bike rarely for the first six or seven years that I had it, and in fact had it torn back down to a frame and fork for a long time. Fast forward to 2002, when I got my current gig at Europa Cycle and Ski. I had determined that I would commute by bicycle as much as possible. I got the Raleigh back together with much of the "original" parts. Whilst riding back and forth to work, I noticed that this bike was rather "whippy", which I found un-nerving at times. Well, me being a "clyde" and all didn't help that! Then one day, the husband of one of my co-workers saw me leaving work on the Raleigh. He says, "Wait a minute! I think that was my bike!" Well, it turns out that at one time it was his bike, which he used for cyclo-cross. He had snapped the fork legs off at one point and re-brazed them back together. The work he had done was still evident. He said that I shouldn't trust to that job, and that I shouldn't be riding that fork anymore! Well that made up my mind, real quick! I was looking for another frame and fork.

Enter the Schwinn. It came to me from a customer that had lived in Florida by the ocean. (Which, granted, is hard NOT to do in Florida!) Every part on that bike that wasn't painted, or aluminum was corroded from sea salt spray. He got another bike and gave the shop his old one for free, which I quickly glommed onto. My boss gave me the green light and voila! What you see above came into being. The old Raliegh frame and fork went to my boss as part of the deal.

The set-up may look goofy, but this bad boy has a long top tube which corresponds to a 59cm. bike, with a seat and head tube that correspond to a 53cm bike! No wonder Schwinn went bankrupt! 400mm. seatpost, and high rise quill stem make up for it though. Nice stiff ride, and plenty of clearance for 38mm. tires with fenders. ( which are going back on soon!) Hope you enjoyed the commuter special! Get your bike out, and ride to work!

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