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Posts tagged “bike build

New bike thoughts…

So on my last post, I talked a bit about dissembling my HaroX cargo bike, and moving the parts to a new frame. What frame you might ask? This guy:

Surly Troll

That’s right, a Surly Troll. If you have read this blog before, you know that I am a big fan of Surly’s products. As for the Troll, this is no exception. I was contemplating the Troll when it came out over a year ago, check here and here. It is an amazing frame with lots of options, and most of all, versatility. I will still be able to haul my daughter around, using the free trailer that I picked up this summer. So here is the plan:

Once the new frame is in I plan on taking it over to my father’s motorcycle shop to make some changes. First, the rim brake bosses are going to be cut off. I never plan on using them, it will make the bike look cleaner, and it will slightly increase my tire clearance. After that is done, it will be powdercoated. Not going to reveal the color choice just yet, I will keep that a surprise. Once I get the frame back, it will be parts swap time, and time to add some recently acquired purchases. Parts will look something like this:

-Sun Singletrack wheelset
-SRAM X7 shifters
-SRAM X9 rear derailleur
-Shimano LX front
-Avid BB5 disc brakes
-Avid FR5 levers
-On One Mary handlebars
-Salsa stem
-Truvativ FireX crankset and BB
-Shimano XTR pedals

And the new purchases:

Chris King headset

Brooks B17 narrow

Maxxis Ardent 26×2.6 x2

That should round it out. I am really pumped to be building this up. But the question now is: Should I order the frame now, or wait til March when the newer frame starts hitting the shops, with an extra bottle mount on the downtube and the extra mounts on the fork legs? What’s a couple more months?

Coming soon…

Troll picture from Surly’s site
Other three pics from Google Images


Poor Man’s Rivendell…

After spending a little more time on the T500, I have already begun planning some changes to the final set up. I have decided that this bike is going to be my “poor man’s Rivendell.” Have you ever heard of Rivendell Bicycle Works? Basically, they make bikes that everyone should know about. I say should, because I doubt many people do. Their models have a retro feel, but at the same time is very classy and functional. And their frames are working pieces of art in my opinion. Take a look at some of their work:




These are just a few models to give you a feel for what they are all about. Basically, they make bicycles that will last long enough to will to your kids when you die. Before that happens though, you can ride them everywhere and back, probably while carrying enough gear to keep you comfortable. So, the changes to the T500 that I am pondering:

-First, a Brooks saddle.
-More cruiser type handlebars, or possible mustache bars.
-Tweed or canvas, older style bags for the front and rear.
-Front rack to support the handlebar bag.

I think with these minor changes, it will make a fine version of a “poor man’s Rivendell.” With these changes though, all of the parts would swap to a Rivendell frame, which start around $1000 and go up to $2000. Quite the price tag for just a frame, but factor in the fanciness, and the longevity, and that upfront price tag is not as bad as it seems. Not a bad price for a working piece of art.

Photos of Rivendell models are from their website, go check it!

Cannondale T500… part 2…

After putting this project off for quite some time, today, with the nice weather, I decided that the Cannondale should finally be finished. The weather was just too nice to be inside so my daughter and I spent all day running around in it. First it was a long walk for me, and a wagon ride for her through the neighborhood. Next, it was off on the HaroX to hang out at the new playground. Once home from those adventures, it was time to finish up this long overdue project. So, without further ado, I give you the T500:

This bike has come a long way from when I first acquired it. (You can read about that here.) The big change is the riding position. Drop bars are gone, and replaced with a nice mountain riser bar. This gives you a nice upright stance, so you can take in your surroundings, and not stare at your front wheel or the road. These bars make you slow down a bit and enjoy your ride a little more.

Also gone with the drop bars are the road style shifter/brake levers, which were replaced with Avid FR-5’s and an old Shimano friction shifter. I am completely excited with the shifter set up, having never used friction shifting before. All I can say is smooth. Still needs a little tweaking, but overall a very nice shifting feel. No front derailleur, only 8 cogs on the cassette. I have always liked the simplicity of a single speed, so this is a logical step in the direction of gears. Speaking of gears, they are being managed by an older Shimano Deore rear derailleur that I have had laying in my parts bin patiently waiting for action once again. Eventually this will probably be switched to a short cage derailleur, but for now, this is the bees’ knees.

Other parts rounding out the bike are my well worn set of Shimano XTR pedals. These guys are rock solid and in my opinion, you can not find a better pedal. An oldie but goodie Blackburn rear rack, and an equally old Selle San Marco saddle make this budget bike stand out from the rest.

This bike came together better than I ever expected. And to top it off, it came together very cheaply. The only parts that I needed to purchase were the brake levers, a couple tubes, and a new chain. Not too bad in my opinion. This bike will serve my wife (and me!) for quite the years to come.

Now if only I could lock down my next bike purchase…

Ramble on.


So, I have had some time to put in a few miles, what can I say. It’s pretty awesome. Yesterday did around 10 miles before the newest snowstorm hit the Cincinnati area, and everything feels really good. Maybe its the fact that the bike is long, or that I have more gears than I have ever had, but this bike climbs really well. I am also surprised how well the Maxxis Crossmark tires roll on pavement. These tires will give me some options when the nicer weather rolls around. Here are some pictures of the complete bike as it sits…

Teaser shots…

Got the XtraHaro back from Bishop’s Bicycles, had to have new derailleur cables and housing installed. The included kit did not work unfortunately. Another thing that did not work was the chain extension, which was not a nine speed chain. So I had to buy two new chains. Bummer. At this point, I don’t care. The bike is now functional!
Only a quick ride home from the shop, so not a true shake down, maiden voyage, but I plan on hitting the streets tomorrow once I am home from work, and of course some better photos. Here are a few teasers:

And so it begins…

After just four days of waiting, the Xtracycle kit came today! Pretty speedy shipping from JensonUSA. I ordered from Jenson, instead of directly from Xtracycle, only because Jenson was in stock. Xtracycle would not be shipping anything until February or March. The only difference with my kit than from the company itself is that the freeloader bags are the older style. I’m fine with that.

The big heavy (19 lbs) box arrived around noon today, so my daughter and I took it down to the basement to at least open things up to take a look. I’m not sure if anyone has ever tried to do bicycle maintenance with a toddler around, but it is not too easy, and nothing every really gets done.

Once out of the box, I was amazed at how long the Freeradical is. It was as long as the Haro itself, at least the frame. After briefly looking through the included manual, which was very well done on recycled card stock it seems, I had a window of a few minutes to bolt everything together. All that I can say, is wow. This thing is long. Crazy long.

After my daughter lost interest, I patiently waited until my wife was home from work and tried to finish everything up. A couple interesting things to anyone interested in this kit. 1) The cables and housing that are included are ready to go out of the box for v-brakes. I am running discs. 2) You will need a larger rear rotor than a 160mm, the frame says 203mm. These are just two minor inconveniences, but still a little bit of a bummer. After I discovered these items, I took the rolling chassis down to my local shop Bishop’s Bicycles to have them finish everything up for me. They are a great shop, and they seemed jazzed to have a long bike roll in.

So that’s where the project pauses for the moment. I hope to have the bike back in the next day or two to really try it out, and see how this thing works. I am already stoked, and I haven’t even rode it yet, it just looks comfy and practical. Can’t wait to put it to use this year. Makes me think of a great Dr. Seuss book, and how it starts…

Today is your day.
You’re off to great places,
You’re off and away!”

Can’t wait…


Just ordered my Xtracycle conversion kit! Cant wait to get the ball rolling on this long overdue project of awesomeness!