Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Building a Bike

I'm tall. I have been trying for some time to find a bike frame that fits me good. My friend D. found a guy that had about 300 bikes in his basement with the hobby of restoring and selling them. I found a Schwinn with square frame (25" down tube, 25" top tube) Which fit me perfect. D. then convinced me that it would be fun to convert the bike to a fixed gear, and so began my decent into madness.
I guess it was nativity on my part, expecting interchangeability between bike parts. My bike was old. To avoid needing to rebuild the back wheel to switch to a fixed gear hub I bought new wheels with the new standard of 700c sizing. That lead to new brakes to reach lower. The bike had a single piece crank that wouldn't work for lining up a fixed gear so I bought an adapter but that required a freakishly long bottom bracket. In the end the only part that I didn't end up replacing was the frame and the seat tube. For what I spent converting the bike ($380+$160 for the bike) I could have bought a new bike that was already a new fixed gear bike. I keep getting solace from the idea that I wouldn't be able to find the right sized frame but it is still frustrating. The good news is that no part of a bike is foreign to me and I know all the tricks of converting between English and Italian sizing. Not to mention I bought a bike tool kit which was the right way to go since I have now used every tool in it.
The part that stings though is that D. was supposed to make a fixed gear too. He instead built a racing bike. The original idea was to have a fun bikes for all of us to ride through central park so I guess it is still OK.

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