i have so many things to do around the house.  they used to be just part of my honey-do list, but because i have failed to do them in a decent amount of time,  things have grown into my get-rid-of-this-so-i-can-walk-through-my-house list.   anyway, today was the day when i was going to do it all. heh…

i woke up pretty early and took ziggy [my puppy] for a big 6 mile trail run.  he did a great job. i used to take him when he was younger, and he used to complain a bunch, but no that he’s almost 9 months old he’s a lot tougher.  we were done by 11 and i was feeling pretty good. still plenty of time in the day to get some work done.

after a quick shower and some mindless time wasting, i started out in the garage with big plans and boundless energy.  just as i was starting, my son came by and asked if i ever fixed his road bike wheel.   i said “no, is it pretty bad?”  i spun it and found that it couldn’t even spin without rubbing the break.  so i took it off and put it in the truing stand and gave it my best shot.  i am not that good at wheel truing, but if i take my time i can usually get it done.  i gave it two pretty good shots and finally i had something that would turn.  just as i was putting it in, my son came back out and asked if we could get him some handle bar tape.

“uh..yeah”, i said

before i knew it we were in the car heading to ft collins to the bike shop.  in the bike shop we quickly found the bar tape…then browsed around. hmmm.. . found some sweet wheels that were unbelievably cheap.  oooo… and some brake cables, rim tape.  200 hundred dollars later we were heading home.

i tried to get my son to put everything together, but he didn’t have any experience in some of this stuff.  i gave him some smaller tasks like putting the rim tape on and the tires and tube.  anyway, by 5pm we were done and it was time to test ride the “new” bike.

"new" bike

"new" bike


by 5pm i was ready to start my projects.  needless to say, i got tired and accomplished hardly anything i set out to…. but we got a pretty sweet bike in the mean time.

my bike has a myspace page. i think i am going to sell it if anyone wants it badly enough.



i took my new 25 y/o bianchi out this past sunday for a big adventure. i rode down to hall ranch, rode the trail then rode home. the bike performed wonderfully, except for all the flats. i couldn’t tell what was going on till the third flat. then i noticed that the stupid cheapo rim tape i had bought, without thinking, had slipped to one side letting the spoke holes expose themselves to the tube. this caused the tube to rub against the sharp edges and pop.


i had taken my bike off roading before but not to hall ranch. i like taking my touring bike there because everyone seem to think it’s for mountain bikes only. i can probably do more on my touring bike than 90% of the people out on the trail. i got lots of comments this day.


here is a brief run down of what this bike has:

  • ritchy speed max pro
  • dimension cranks
  • salsa chain rings
  • cane creek scr 5 break levers
  • cane creek scr 3L break calipers
  • cane creek crossstop levers
  • sram x7 front and rear derailleur (which looks a lot like a shimano LX upside down )
  • chris king double nut headset.
  • easton pro bend bars
  • thomson seat post (i love this seat post)
  • salsa quilled stem.
  • weinmann d17 rims
  • shimano deore hubs.
  • and finally the best thing ever….. authentic brooks b17 saddle.

the “ex-cyclist.com” labels came in a couple of months ago. i ordered a bunch of them…. but only needed one. e-mail me and i’ll send you one.


for the past couple of days i’ve been test riding my newly renovated bike.  on wednesday i rode to work with the new ex-diamondback.  i can’t really thing of a good name for my new bike so i’ll just call it that for now.  speaking of naming the bike here are some alternatives:

albino [this could be offensive]

vanilla [this is actually a pretty stupid name, nevermind]

vanilla latte [yeah… that’s much better]

angel [i was going for a reincarnation theme]

tupac [did you see the photos?]

monro [i like this name]

whitey [i think i’d get my ass kicked with a name like that, or i can just add, “my other bike is black”]

lumination [where did that come from…. i think this coffee is doing something weird]

anyway, back to my story. i rode my new nameless bike to work on wednesday. this was the first time i actually rode it further than up and down my street.  i was pretty excited.  this was actually my second attempt at riding it to work, the first attempt failed miserably because i couldn’t get it into 5th gear.  i didn’t know how to adjust the gears, back then… or now for that matter, but they now seem ok.

it’s kind of weird test riding a new bike. i have to be super sensitive to anything that is bothering me.  there were a few things.

1. the seat was too low, now any of the components fault, the the dork that put it all together.

2. the handlebars were tilted wrong…. again not the handlebar’s fault.

3. the brake hoods were too far down, i felt like i was sliding forward on the bars the whole time.  ideally i should have tilted the bars down more, and put the hoods way up so i could rest on them.

4. the hub doesn’t seem to free wheel for very long. all the gearing in the hub provides enough resistance to prevent it from spinning freely for very long.  i think i could feel this as i was riding, but it might have been something else.

5. the shifter worked well, but every time i shifted i had to stop pedaling for a moment, or even back pedal to let the gears snap into place.  this could be kind of a problem for some people, but my old bianchi uses friction shifters, and the best time to shift is before you need to.  in general, i think that people shift too much.  i’ve seen people shifting gears while in the middle of some pretty rocky technical sections.  then i usually see these same people on the side of the trail pulling their chain out of the little area between the bottom bracket and chainring.

6.  the breaks were too loose.  actually i don’t know… they may have been too loose, but maybe it’s just not what i’m used to.

7.  i don’t like the pedals. they are huge.  i’m a little worried to take these things off road.  also, i couldn’t fit my spd’s into the clips. i had to ride platform all the way.  i think they are too heavy as well.

8.  on most of the little hills, 5th gear was too hard and 4th was too easy.  i should look into putting a bigger chain ring on the front.  right now there is a 38T.  when i was figuring out the gearing, i think that my gear calculator was using the SP5 cargo hub, instead of the one that i have.   anyway with the small tires and the really long crank arms, i think the bike is a bit under geared.

good things?

1. well the bike is super light. i think i can ride this bike up anything.

2. i really like the metal frame.  it’s so much more comfortable than my road bike.

3. the padded bar tape is wonderful.

4. i love they way my bike looks.

i really can’t comment on too many thing, because there were so many little bad things earlier that once i fix the above i will have better things to say about the rest.

by the way, i really need to put a speed odometer on this thing… i really feel like i’m not going that fast.  maybe i’m not, but i just gotta know.  does anyone want to go bike riding with me?  i need a feel for how i compare to other bikes.


well this bike renovation is not going very well.  for one, everything is taking a lot longer than i planned.  my wheels turned out to be the bottle neck.  i can do anything until they come in.  i can’t do the breaks, because the rim needs to be in. also i can’t put the break levers on till i get the shifters… and the shifters are supposed to get here with the wheels.

the hubs rims and assembly was ordered over one month ago.  the lame shop where i ordered it from seemed to order the parts in serial.  once they ordered the hub, and the hub came in… then i found out about not having the shifter…. so they ordered the shifter. then once that all came in they decided to order the rim then the rim became back ordered… i don’t really think that they did it like that, but from my point of view that how i found out about everything.  finally last week, i sent some really angry emails to them, and asked if they had any other rims in stock. they actually had a much better rim in stock, that they would sell me for a reduced price.  anyway i jumped on it and they finished the wheel and the next day it got shipped.  now that the wheels are in the ups tracking system, i’ve been watching it. usually ups takes three to four days… it’s been 6 days.  there was a weekend in there but still.  and now today is delivery day and the package has not even checked into colorado yet.  i know it’s going to be late, and damaged or lost…. crap.

the next item on the list is my thomson seat post. i ordered a beautiful post from some bike shop in san diego.  right off the bat i got an e-mail telling me they were going to be late [not back ordered…just late].  so i called up and had them send the brake cables i also ordered from them so i wouldn’t delay the project.  i can build the bike without a seat post, but the brakes are a little more key.   they sent the cables express usmail for 9 dollars.  it was just a small padded envelope!  they could have put some stamps on it and sent it for 75 cents.  and it would have gotten here in 3 days… which is how long it took.  so a couple of weeks later i get an e-mail telling me it’s back ordered.  i called them again and tried to change my order because maybe my seat post length was the problem. the guy told me to just hang tight for a couple of days. i hung on for almost two weeks.  finally yesterday i called and they still had no eta.  i canceled the order and found a bike shop on ebay that had one for about the same price.  i haven’t gotten the “your item ordered yet” but they sounded like they had this thing in stock.  we’ll see though…

the last item on my waiting list are some cyclocross tires. these things are so cool.  i wasn’t even going to put knobbies on my bike, because i was planning to ride it on my commute first.  so i am in no real hurry to get these, but i’d like to put them on my bike before i get it all dirty.  i called them the day that i ordered, because i wanted to add something. the lady was glad i called because wanted to tell me that her shipment was stuck in us customs… and it would be there for 7-10 days.  oh well… two days later i get an e-mail from them telling me that my items have been ordered and will be shipped via fedex.  i never got an e-mail from fedex or a shipping number… so i think they just ment that they looked at my order.

finally, i am really pissed off this morning. i just found out that i deleted my bike renovation post about how to install the headset.  i am really irritated about that. it took me almost longer to write about installing the headset than it did to actually install it.


the bike parts for my project have been coming in very regularly now. i only have two more orders left. the big one is the order with the wheels. the other order has the seat post which is not a big deal, and the brake cables which is a really big deal.

anyway, i’ve been kind of vague when my wife asks me how much things cost… so far so good. when this thing is done it’ll be pretty sweet… i hope.

i have a description of how i put together the headset, i’ll post it tonight.


i just got my bike back from the powder coaters, at it was about half the price i was expecting. the powder coating was not quite as good as i wanted, but it will do.

the paint have a few little problems. the first one is that it is not shiny. i guess i didn’t ask for shiny, so i can’t really complain. they also left a few little grains of sand or something under the coat, so now there is a little bump. overall it’s not bad, just i can’t enter any custom chopper competitions :(

i also got my breaks and lever in the mail today…. i’m really happy with them so far.

they are “TEKTRO Orix” cantilever breaks weighing in at 162 grams x 2 = 324 grams.

and here are the levers Cane Creek SCR-5 (267 grams). they have internal cabling and they have a very long pull. these are way nicer than i thought they would be. i think i’m going to get a pair for my bianchi. btw the bars weigh 250 grams!

tomorrow is the big day when i get my headset, and bottom bracket. it shouldn’t be a big deal, but i totally guessed on the bb. i pulled a size out of my butt. if it doesn’t fit i think i can use it on another bike. i am worried about the headset because the powder coating on the fork went a little bit high. the crown may not fit any more.

total weight so far is 324 + 267 + 250 = 841 grams = 1.854 pounds

not counting frame and paint :)

i got my handlebars yesterday…. somehow i’m a little worried that they will be super uncomfortable. they mostly got good reviews, but i’m always different.

my new midge handlebars

at first i thought it will be cool to have little drop bars, but now i do think so. i’ll still put them one, because i can’t afford to get other ones.

more stuff will come in on monday.

my bike project is almost a week old and i still haven’t taken it in to have it powder coated. i’ve had three places in mind, and two of them i had quotes from…and the third one…. well. i took it to the third one, which happened to be pretty close to my work. the receptionist was friendly enough, but the guy who was going to do the painting was kind of odd. he looked about 65 years old, but in reality he was probably about 50. he looked like he had been smoking since kindergarten. his skin was all wrinkled and he was shaking like a cold wet dog. he gave me some ridiculous price, i pretended to be interested, but just asked some question about powder coating then somehow got the heck out of there.

i ended up taking my bike to the berthoud place, they seemed a bit hillbilly, but they were cheap enough. i was also told by a coworker that it is pretty difficult to do a bad job of powder coating.

also, i got my headset and crown removed for free at the local bike shop. now i feel obligated to by something from them…. shouldn’t be difficult.