Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Now with added Randonneur

A few weeks have passed in a blissful state of commute, the weather has been pretty spectacular and the winds kind. I have also gradually increased my fitness levels such that atop the trusty Surly I made it to the top of Dyers Pass without stopping once, and even passed someone! Admittedly she had a good decade on me and admitted that she was quite hungover, but still, take the victories as they come I say.

There have been many small changes to the bike, and it is now getting where I want it to be give or take a few bits here and there. I had already decided that the bullhorns were not doing justice to the classic look of the frame, so on a whim I bid on a set of Salsa Short and Shallow Cross Bars on TradeMe, mostly because they were very cheap and the right diameters for what was wanted.

This turned out a mistake really as the ergoness looked faintly ridiculous on such a classic looking frame. The reach was also a bit short for my stem, so I then decided to find the perfect bars, and an extensive internet search gave me this result;

The Velo Orange Randonneur bars along with the very similar Nitto 136A. I thought to myself that both of these would be pretty hard to find in NZ, but then I looked to see if there was a local distributor for Velo Orange, and lo! Contact Dave at Velo Ideale..... as it turned out Dave had the perfectly sized set in stock right there, so I snaffled them pretty sharpish.

They were put on last night and I am really quite pleased with the look;

A burgundy leather sofa, today
As much as this bike lends itself, I have observed correct etiquette with bicycle photography; valves at the bottom, crank aligned with downtube etc.
I painted the guards black as well, it looks much cleaner...
I love the slight upward curve of those bars
To clean up the look some more I did away with my cycle computer and relocated the light to the head tube. I also purchased those quite sexy little Tektro canti brake thingies from Dave as well, god I spend some money with that man.
My by now signature Blue Handlebar Tape (BHT™)
The stem has not broken yet, I am pleased
I reworked the Jtek Mount to be adjustable for both height and tilt, it is still slightly awkward to pull it back into 1st, and kind of in the way until you get to 5th, but I cruise in 6th and is dead easy to get there so it is an acceptable compromise.

The other slightly disturbing thing that has happened is this;

Fresh rust on a handbuilt bicycle frame, today
I fully expected it, but maybe not within 2 weeks of getting it coated. This just confirms my belief that paint is for mugs. I guess it is because the clear coat does not have an etch prime like paint does. I don't really mind as long as it does not get structural, but I am now toying with the idea of electroplated coatings. There is a particular one I have in mind, but it would mean sending the frame up to Auckland, which I am disinclined to do. We shall have to see.

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