I’m on the left; O’Malley is on the right. Pay no attention to the photo-bomber in the back.
Explanation:With the parts removed from my old blue GT Vantara frame, it was simply sitting around, and with a rusted chain stay that proved troublesomely flexible on the Peugeot UE-8 frame of my friend (the “$33 Touring Bike” ), we thus decided to swap all of his parts over the Vantara.
I am lending the GT frame to my pal (under the condition that he guard it well), and so was stuck with figuring out how the get the Peugeot frame home with him riding on the other bike frame. Quite quickly, this freak was born. First, the front wheel was removed from the Peugeot, and the rear chainstays (which, remember, were too flexible) were bent to fit the front hub. The front wheel was slipped onto the back of the frame, and the fork was zip-tied through its eyelets to the other bike’s rack. A bungee cord was added for good measure.
It worked; he got home safe and sound, with both frames.
The Vantara, interestingly enough, is able to use old 27″ wheelsets, even though it has cantilever brakes and is designed for 700c. By adding a a thick washer to both sides of the rear hub, we were even able to adapt it from 126mm to fit the Vantara’s 130mm rear spacing. Worked like a charm. Too bad the same couldn’t be said about the Peugeot’s front wheel – the “French Standard” 90mm front hubs from back in the day never work with any new frames (which are 100mm). The bolts and quick release are always too short, nor would I really want to add washers if I could, and possibly jeopardize the front’s handling.
Technically, it is still a $33 dollar touring rig, with a loaned ~$70 frame (the front wheel is lent also!). But don’t let that fool you! Decent, non-rusty, frames can be had all around for free, and just a few will give you all the parts you need to build a cheap touring-ready steed. For any Torontonians out there, I recommend “Bike Pirates“, and even better still is the “Community Bicycle Network“. These guys sell quite a few complete old bicycles for cheap, and have used parts from derailleurs to BBs to handlebars for only a few dollars each, so you too can build up an entry-level rig.
How exactly does one go about kicking off a new blog? Well, I’m not sure exactly, so I’ll just start with an introduction. I’m a highschool student in Toronto, and today I should be working on my homework, but as I have recently finished a 18-page long maths portfolio (for friday!), I feel like being lazy. And the weather isn’t making me want to get it done, either:
Raining – no biking today.
With the day miseable, I should be spending time on academic purposes. However, with rain comes no motivation to finish – it is not as if I will be able to spend my time in ways I like. Perfect day to start a blog, non?
I enjoy the experience of getting to know my city better – since I’ve taken up cycling four years ago, I’ve become a lot more familiar with the Scarborough area (where I live!) as well as the more ‘Toronto’ part of Toronto. So, to elaborate, I’ve made my way down town by bike – I don’t just stick around the boonies. Besides, I’m a fan of the ‘city’ feel, with packed streets and the anonimity that comes with this. Did I also mention I love the architechture of late 19th/early 20th century buildings, especially the decrepit and the industial buildings: I do urban exploring, so abandonments and old industrials are particularly cool to behold(in my opinion).
My bikes also bring me to school (except in winter), and take me on tours. I’ve two rigs: my ~35lb GT Vantara touring rig, and my ~22 lb fixed/single speed.
Mine’s on the right!
I personally have logged >5000km on the GT, but the bike is as old as I am and has seen another 2000 clicks from the original owner; my dad. That’s what I’ve asked for as a holiday gift – we’ll see whether my father decided to go with bar-ends or STIs! Right now though, it is equipped with a 3 x 7 drivetrain, and that’s outdated, but more than enough. Its seen me through touring, and by gosh, no whippiness at all, probably due to its 10lb frame built of plain-gauge Tange. This is my main rig, takes me everywhere!
Flamboyant? Maybe, but I love it just the same.
Don’t judge me – I’m not a hipster. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about single speed and fixed gear. “Then why did you go for red?!?”, you must be asking. Well, I like candy canes, so with white deep-v’s, and red-line tyres, it looks rather like candy. Plus, I just like red, and it is way better than the black spray paint that came on the old 10-speed frame.
I appologize for the crappy camera quality – the Sony point-and-shoot digital cam’s sensor died when I left it out in the cold. My only other camera is film – an Olympus 35sp Rangefinder – and I save the film for shots I feel are really worth it.
Here’s a picture of my rig I thought worth taking. Or maybe I just only had my film camera handy?
So, there we have it, and that about wraps up the first post. A very long post, but I believe a good footing for what is to come.