Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Life for an Old Friend

Some bikes tend to stay with you forever. This Silk Path 500 was built with help from an old friend, frame builder extraordinaire Terry Osell from Minneapolis. I laced the wheels up myself in 1997 if I remember correctly. It was my first urban/commuter/city bike and I got it for a song and replaced some parts with some orphaned mtb items. Strangely enough, it was rarely used and sat patiently to be called into service heavily after our move to Basel in 2005.

Since then, it has been my daily commuter, reliably getting me to and from work as quickly as possible. She began to lose spokes in the back lately and after a few attempts at replacing them, a rebuild was necessary. So there she sat yesterday in the stand, sans rear wheel, and I decided to upgrade parts yet again. When you have a spare parts box full of interesting things, team only parts, one-time anodized CODA 900 cranks, etc... you start to get ideas to put new life into an old bike.

After hours of messing about, I finally found all the appropriate parts, correct-length axle, bearings and the rest. I fitted it about ten times before getting the right combination that allowed the arm to clear the seat stays, the chain guide to pass the chain and the correct chainline that the Nexus 7 will expect. I also changed tires, seatpost, lockout knob and fork boot. In all, I saved 855 grams - get this - for free! I can't wait to get the fresh rear wheel back and rock this thing around town this summer!

I'll get a new alloy tubular rack and some new fenders next week as well.

Carbon riser bars, Ergon grips, and the HeadShok "holee" stem from way back when.

Ever seen a CODA 900 crank anodized in crap? Here it is! Some custom hammering and the chain guard continues to function as it likes.

It's funny how a bike built from odd parts can be more fun to ride than your (or my) latest 14.5 pound road bike built from the latest and greatest. Plus, you can't leave that road bike leaning outside of the local bar without losing your desire for a beer!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

La Primavera

So I've been far more active on Twitter lately, so here goes with a quick post-MSR update. I went down to Italy with the dogs for a bit of pre-race errands on Thursday and Friday. Even though MSR is probably my favorite race (along with P-R), I decided that I'd far rather watch it live on tv than make the trip to San Remo. Plus, with the dogs, even though they don't mind catching a big race now and then, it's far easier!

So I headed to Venice and spent Friday morning at the team warehouse doing some catchup with Gianfranco. After that, we busted tail for Milan. I had some frames that I needed Ivan to sign... some lucky chaps will be the recipients of these!

Then, I spent some time with my friends from Mavic, as well as the mechanics. As usual, Arco and the team got the bikes perfect before the race. Arco is so fast - he bends spokes! Don't believe me, check it out... thanks to the fast iPhone camera!

I spent some time with the big favorite for this weekend, Bennati. This was his first San Remo where he wasn't injured or working for a team leader, and he was quite excited. He is in great form right now and was certain that he'd make it with the lead group into San Remo - and he was right. Unfortunately, luck wasn't on his side. I think it was the final turn that found him out of position and unable to respond to Haussler's attack - sixth. Anyway, he also had a new paintjob for the race... check it out.

So now it's off to Belgium and the rest of the classics!