Tag: bicycle

Keeping the project bike rolling

RenovatedA few years back I did a bike renovation. A 1999 Specialized M4 frame was stripped clean and powder coated. The original Manitou Carbon fork was put back on, now attached via a Chris King headset. Race Face Next Carbon bars on a 110mm Ritchey WCS Carbon stem would do the steering, with Titec Pork Rinds keeping the hands from slipping. The rider would sit on a Selle Italia Flite SLR seat over a Thompson Masterpiece post. XTR cranks and Crank Bros Ti Eggbeaters transferred the power (or lack thereof) from the engine to the axles (XTR + Control Tech Ti skewers sans quick-release). The transmission was re-cabled, and the brakes were re-padded. Old school by today’s eight-grand standard, but all said and done the result weighed in a hair under 19 pounds.

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Oh, the wheels in the sky…they are flat flat flat

hanging-bikeMy bicycle rebuild project from last spring was a big hit for the right side of the brain, and an even bigger hit on my wallet. Fortunately, it’s the lightest bike I’ve felt in a long while, a point even more enviable considering the frame and fork are ten years old (and the fact that I own it) – the endeavor was worthwhile. It’s been hanging in my home office all winter long, and now the tubeless tire setup is dead flat…

flat tireA short while after the original photos were taken, I switched to Conti Speed King 2.1s – they held air better with the NoTubes bit, but I found they tracked (and wore) funny – the front still has bead on them, and the back is almost ready for replacement. Further, I’d added an XTR crankset, a Thomson Masterpiece seat post, a Selle Italia seat, and put stickier brake pads on it. This was mostly in the name of reducing weight, but I found the classic Manitou Carbon fork still wasn’t cutting it. Reason: Fly fishing lends itself to eating on the run, and since I do a lot of fly fishing I’d turned into one chunky dude. Or at least that’s the excuse I’m using.

I’ve since been on a mission to change that fork action. First, I rebuilt the fork from the ground up – dismantled the whole thing down to it’s tiniest parts, then cleaned, lubed, and put it all back together again. Second, I’ve knocked 20 pounds off my otherwise fat behind in the last sixty days, and the goal is to cut another 30 by the first of June (and primarily through long-term dietary changes). This has been done solely for the purpose of making my bike perform even more fabulously – I’m going to live to a 100+ no matter what I weigh. Once I get back on the machine it’s a done deal, on all accounts.

But first I have to reinvigorate that tread. I’m going to pull those tires off this weekend, and clean all the old Stan’s goop out of them. Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of practice with the otherwise pain-in-the-ass remounting process, and I don’t expect this go-round to take more than an hour or so. Now, to secure some more of that sealant.

Editor’s note: both Lance Armstong and Paul Kedrosky have had some nasty wipeouts in the recent past – I hope they are back on the multi-speed horses in no time. I for one will be taking things a little slower until I get my legs (and lungs) back.