After writing about Airborne’s Interbike sale not too long ago (here) a friend of mine decided that she wanted to get back into cycling. What great timing on her part! With the sale price, a bike in a box showed up at her place today for the amazing price of $250! Since I am the resident bike geek in the workplace, I picked up the box on my way home from work to put together the Sabre for her, and thought I would post the build process. I am still not so sure I would call this a build, it was that easy!
The Sabre was packed amazingly well. Every important part was covered, and most if not all of the bike was tied together in one unit. There was a small accessories box that was loose in the larger bike box, that held the manual, reflectors, and two cable ferrules. This box had a small hole that had developed in transit, but nothing seemed to be missing. That would be my only complaint in the shipping category.
Once out of the box, the seat post was installed to place the bike on the rack, and I spent the majority of the build time taking off the packing material. All of the tubes of the bike were wrapped and taped, the fork was bubble-wrapped and taped, the bars were wrapped and taped; do you see a pattern yet? It was packed very well, with nothing really forgotten about. Everything went together as smoothly as possible.
One non-issue, that potentially could be an issue(Maybe?) is that the stem is installed backwards. This enables the fork to be installed during the shipping process, as the stem in the reverse position makes the bike easier to pack. This only takes an allen wrench to loosen two bolts, but I could see some folks just turning the stem around, while attached, and ending up with a fork in the wrong position. I think it would be very obvious, but some might not. I feel it should be noted though…
After the stem was spun around, I mounted the handlebars, installed the front wheel, and inflated the tires to the proper level. While the bike was still on the stand, I tested out the shifting and braking, and everything was as it should be, so pedals were installed and it was time for a test ride.
The Sabre reminded me of my first “serious” mountain bike, only the Sabre costs around $200 less! Just around 15 minutes speeding around the neighborhood, mostly due to this bike not being my size. Anyway though, in my short time with it, I walked away impressed. The shifting was spot on. The Shimano 7 speed shifters, matched to Shimano derailleurs front and back worked like a charm. I was expecting to spend most of the evening fine tuning the shifting, and I did not even have to adjust it. Flawless! The Tektro Novela disc brakes also surprised me, being a great, easy, virtually set-up free disc brake. The fork did not impress me as much as the other items, but I am used to riding a rigid steel bike, so I would probably not be the best to judge the suspension. Top all of that off with a WTB saddle, and that is a smoking deal for your first mountain bike. Well done Airborne!
If you are on the fence about buying an Airborne due to putting it together yourself, don’t be. This ended up being maybe a 30 minute investment, with most of my time removing packaging. If you are interested in this deal, you need to move fast since it is over on the 23rd. Head over to Airborne’s site here to start your adventure!
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:
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
-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?
Troll picture from Surly’s site
Other three pics from Google Images
Yesterday I picked up the latest edition of Bicycle Times and one ad in particular caught my eye. Inside the front cover was a picture of this:
Beautiful disc brake only, single speed, steel frame cyclocross bicycle from Raleigh Bicycles. This bike is amazing. The bike has a decent set of components, some of the highlights:
-Shimano Alfine crank set.
-Eccentric bottom bracket for easy chain tension.
-Double wall rims.
-Kenda ‘cross tires.
I love a single speed bike, but it is almost like this bike was built for an Alfine internal gear hub in mind. That would be an amazing upgrade to an already fantastic bike. ‘Cross bikes are used now a days for more than just cyclocross. I would venture to guess that most end up in the streets for commuting duties, due to more comfortable geometry compared to a road bike. This bike with an Alfine IGH would be a perfect commuter.
Looks like this bike is in the $800 range, not too bad. Nicely done Raleigh!
Photo from Raleigh’s website.
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…
Earlier this year I picked up an older Cannondale touring bike for my wife, thinking she might want to ride a bit. Normally I do not go out looking for bikes for her, but I ended up getting an amazing deal on this one. This bike has an interesting story though: My friend has had it in her basement for years, holding it for her friend who needed a place to put it while in college. But this bike was not just some recreational toy, it was ridden completely across the country! My friend’s friend, bought it only to ride across the nation, and when she came back home, she stashed it in my friend’s basement. Wow. Great history on this bike. So what am I going to do with it?
My plan from the beginning was to turn in into more of an “errands” bike. Sure I have my cargo bike, but sometimes it is just too much. This bike would fill that gap. Also I figured that my wife would like a road bike in this setup, but maybe later in life, as for the moment, no. Luckily, my wife and I share similar size bikes!
Road bars are gone, in their place is an old set of mountain riser bars. Since it was an older bike, it came equipped with a threaded fork. A stem adapter was installed to enable me to use the mountain bars and stem. New Avid FR5 brake levers, and an old Shimano friction shifter round out the bars. The friction shifter will move the Deore rear derailleur across the 8 cogs on the rear wheel. Hopefully this setup works, I do like a single chainring up front. Still more to do, so here are only teaser photos:
Since I am the official bicycle geek at my workplace, I get to do random maintenance projects on friends’ bikes. This latest project, has made me extremely happy:
This is a 70s or 80s Sears and Roebuck Ted Williams edition road bike. A friend of mine actually found it on the side of the road in someone’s garbage. He decided to pick it up and see if I could do anything with it. Fifteen dollars later, he has a road worthy single speed! Granted, I did not do anything too fancy with it, for example, I left the cassette on the freewheel, and also I left both chain rings on the crank. But for this build, it does not matter. What matters is that it is ride-able, for extremely low money. All you need is a new chain, semi horizontal dropouts, and some new tubes, and BOOM! You are riding! The weirdest thing about this bike is that it has Dura Ace brake levers and brakes on it, which I did not expect. A little bling for a free bicycle. Too much fun on two wheels. Here are some glamor shots…
Here is the latest version of the Haro V3. Looks like the xtracycle conversion will have to wait, but for now, this will be the commuter set up. Here are the parts:
-2003 Haro V3 frame
-Sram X9 rear derailleur
-Shimano LX front derailleur
-Sram X7 shifters
-Avid BB7 brakes
-Avid SD7 brake levers
-Easton EA50 handlebars
-Salsa rigid fork (From an Ala Carte)
-Sun Ringle Singletrack wheelset
-Truvativ Fire X mountain crankset with GXP BB.
-Original Haro seatpost
-Shimano clip/platform pedals
-Maxxis Crossmark 26×2.1 tires
I still need to fine tune the shifting a little, but for the most part it is ready for commuting duty. After the shifting is all set, the next thing to order will be some Schwalbe Big Apples! Here’s a few pictures: