Monday, January 25, 2021

Over The Weekend

An old square taper 105 crank set will be repurposed, potentially.
First of all, a big "Thank You!" is in order for all the well wishers for my birthday Saturday. Both here and on social media I was feted for my "birthday ending in a zero" accomplishment. So, again- thanks to everyone and all for the messages. 

Secondly, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you all know what I did, since I am sure many of you were hoping/thinking I'd get a ride in. Well, not so much, actually. I decided that instead of riding, I would work on a ride. You might remember the old high flange Dura Ace hubs I was lacing up into wheels. Well, I finished those on Saturday, then I mocked up the bike I am going to set up with these new wheels. 

The wheels built up really well. I used a mix of what I happened to have. DT Swiss spokes on the front wheel and Wheelsmith on the back. It worked out that I could do my half black spoke/half silver spoke idea, and I used all silver brass nipples on this set. Then I taped up the rear wheel and mounted the 700 X 36mm Pasela tire to check out my chain line, see about clearances, and to see if I might be able to mount some fenders. 

The Panaracer 700 X 36mm Pasela tires fit, but only just so...

 I have clearances all around, and fenders should work out, but I could not put a bigger tire on this bike than this 37mm one. Not if I want some modicum of clearance. Oh, and by the way, this is not necessarily a bike I would ever use on gravel, but I could. No, this is being built to serve a different purpose. 

I gave my main 'errand bike' away to Andy last year. So, ever since then, I've missed having that around. A bike I could just grab and go on. This bike would have to be set up with flat pedals, and have a lock on board along with lights, in case I need to do any night errands. Fenders would allow for wet weather errand running too. Simplicity is a big focus here, as I don't want a high-maintenance machine, but rather, just the opposite. Utility is very important, so eventually, I may rack and bag this thing up, but initially I will use some big saddle/seat post mounted bags to get the bike into service. 

So, a single speed makes sense, and the old Trek I have was made with horizontal drop outs with axle adjusters, so it will make for a great single speed. Plus, since it comes from the era when braze-ons were held to a minimum, all the cable stops are removable, even the downtube shift bosses. I cannot use the original crank set as it is an odd-ball one that has the inner ring bolted to the big ring which is- in turn- part of the crank arm. So, I cannot utilize it due to my inability to make it a single ring crank with proper chain line. The bottom bracket, a serviceable type, is in wonderful shape, but my choice of a mid 1990's Shimano 105 crank set may make me change that out. This crank can be set up to work with the chain line and still have a single ring. I'm going to see if I have a 40 or 42T ring, but the crank has a perfectly serviceable 39, so I could use that in a pinch.

The ACS Claws 20T free wheel I have to use for this project.

The final gear ratio will be determined by my only choice for a rear cog which is a ACS 20T free wheel. This is a necessary choice since the Dura Ace hub is a screw-on free wheel type. 

Other bits will include a silver Thomson seat post, probably a drop bar, (An old Origin 8 Gary Bar is on there right now), some new bar tape, some flat pedals, of course, and plastic Planet Bike "Freddy Fenders" which I have used on various bikes over the years. 

I needed a saddle, and I thought I might have an old Brooks B-17 around as there was one I had been thinking of that was unaccounted for. After a bit of searching, I found it, a green leather Brooks B-17 Special, the one with the copper rivets. It was the original saddle on the Singular Gryphon I had years ago now. It's turned a dark olive color over the years. You'd barely know it was ever green.

I'm going to have to figure out what is up with the brakes too. They are old center pull Weinmann brakes. Whatever the old levers are that I had been using are not compatible with them. They do not pull anywhere near enough cable, so I will be scavenging up something different for levers. I really think that long pull levers will work well, but that is an experiment that may not happen depending upon what I have at hand to work with. 

So, when this all comes together, I will test it out for suitability, and if it all passes muster, then I might pull it all apart to maybe get the frame powder coated. On one hand, a bad paint job makes the bike less theft-worthy. On the other hand, anything that says "Trek" on the frame is a target for thievery here. If I get it powder coated, don't put anything on it for a brand, then it becomes just a weird old single speed bike. No one will be the wiser, and the bike becomes less of a target. Actually, if I made the bike a fixed gear, it would be even better! 

So, anyway, messing about with that and then spending Sunday playing in the church band and then watching NFL play-off games with my son was what I did for my birthday weekend. Again- thanks to all who passed on well-wishes and congratulations.

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