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!


  1. Luckily you had the parts lying around, great way to pass some time.

  2. My daughter has a black Cannondale townbike too. Hers has a quill stem. She had me install a Nitto rear rack with a milk crate, and drops with barcons. Gives it a little more of that collegiate, urban flair. It also has something yours doesn't - a Rydjor Bike decal on the downtube. Eat your heart out.

  3. Yo Rory!
    How goes it buddy, its your your ol' friend Wayne here from the c-dale Bethel dayz. I hope all is going well is Basel. Quick question, I am converting an old F700 HT into a commuter & have been questioning which fenders to buy with the old Headshok fork, can you advise? What do you have pictured here? do I need any adapter pieces or anything? Thanks a million man, maybe we'll see each other next time your in Bethel...Peace!