Sunday, June 28, 2020

single-speed bikes: i still love them to pieces

I sold Stompy III last year when money was tight and I knew I had no business riding a singlespeed off-road bike anymore. And while I don't miss that bike in particular (except for the handebars, but I digress), I DO miss having a singlespeed in my stable.
Sometimes it's really nice to just throw a leg over a bike, stomp on the pedals and just GO somewhere, without thinking about anything over than stuffing a mini U-lock in my rear pocket.

So yesterday, I scored this lovely number (at left), with the express goal of converting it to a singlespeed bike.

It came with thoroughly rusted wheels and chain, a pretty rusted handlebar and stem, and rust pretty much rust everywhere. But the paint looked good, and dripping some ProGold or Weigle's inside the frame should be enough to deal with anything in there. I MAY choose to save the handlebars and stem, but the wheels are already earmarked for the metal recycler.
It just depends on how cool I want this bike to look when it's rideable again.

The decision to remove rust rather than replace a part is case-by-case. The handlebars are definitely salvageable, as is the crankset and bottom bracket; but the rims are beyond saving and as long as I'm dismantling the bike I may as well upgrade the bottom bracket and crankset anyway.

Stay tuned. This will be fun.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Workbench, improved

A couple days ago I was out on a ride and spotted a square metal panel with a thin foam backing. Computer part? I didnt know. But I immediately knew it would be just the thing to cover the rest of my workbench top with a metal surface that could stand up to grease and occasional pounding. So I slipped on my rack, held in place by my saddlebag, and took it home.
While pulling up the cheap plastic cover I'd nailed there 16 years ago with some carpet tacks, I knew I'd also want to solve the issue of the gap at the back, where things often fell down behind the bench. So I found a couple of license plates, cut them into the pieces I'd need, and fixed that issue as well. Fastened in place with long wood screws behind the new metal sheet, they were strong enough to support the various tins of spares I kept on the bench, and freed up more space.

It's not a big benchtop -- I'd never intended it to be back when I installed it in our newly-built shed -- but there's just enough room for me to spread a shop rag and clean a headset or bottom bracket, or rebuild a brake lever.

It's been nice to have time to go through the pile of parts and make more workable space in the Brain Trust this spring and summer. I'm looking for abandoned or donated frames to build up (and thereby shrink the parts pile further).

It's been hard at times, not being able to go out and participate in the protests and other community actions because of my compromised immune system. I figure building up bikes for people in need is about as good as it gets for now.

Which leads to this:

I'm looking for old mountain bikes and mountain bike frames in small to medium sizes that I can repair and/or rebuild for people in need. If you live in Portland and you've got something to offload, please shoot me a message at: to arrange drop-off.
Thank you.

Today might be cooler, at least for a little while. Ride solo, wear a mask and rubber side down!

Friday, June 19, 2020

still at it: corona-wrenching

Since the shutdown began in late March, I've taken in a dozen bikes for tuneups, another six for repairs and three donations for teardowns (dead frames, salvaged parts).

This week I finally got around to straightening up.

Over the next week I'll be going through a small pile of parts and things I no longer need, including frames, wheels and small bits.

I'm still taking in repairs and tuneups by appointment.

If you're local and want some bikelove hurled at your wheel, hit me up.
Happy riding!