Friday, February 13, 2009

From Ashes to Glory....






My winter project --

This time of year is rough for me. Its cold, I sit on my trainer for hours and hours, There is no racing going on, so I sit and think about racing, training, riding, and blinging out my bikes. As my mind wonders, it the blinging out my bikes part that gets me into trouble. I think about all the cool carbon fiber bits I could get to make me that much faster, the bike that much lighter, and of course that much sexier! It is this obsession that drains my wallet and puts more mental anguish on myself as I try to find ways to not only justifying spending hundreds or thousands of dollars, but ways to do it! So this year I decided to take on a different approach. I have been wanting to buy a cyclocross single speed, but like everything else -- I don't really need it or can afford it. So I thought, why not build one from scratch. The way they use to build cyclocross bikes. Take a road bike and bastardize it!!! So this is where I am at.

You can't start a traditional CX SS without using a frame for the era of building a bastardized CX'er the 70's. Before big name bike companies started offering off the shelf CX bikes in more recent years, you had 2 options. Have one custom built by your local frame builder, or convert a road bike. Option 2 was always the cheapest! So this is where it starts, with a donated 1978 Schwinn Super Le Tour 12.2 road frame (Thanks Dave T.) .....My journey begins.

The frame was a sexy red, but years of neglect, caused some minor rusting around the seat tube collar. I had to take off all the ancient components, and decided that the paint was rough enough along with the rust, that if I was going to take this project seriously I would need to have it stripped. So I took it into the shop for some "government work" and had the frame sand blasted. I was blown away by the quality of the bare frame. No deep rust or dents, and the brazing was unbelievable!

The next step in making a true CX'er was to add on the all important braze on Canti bosses on the rear triangle, and remove the chain stay cable stop, and relocate the brake cable stops from the bottom of the top tube to the top of the top tube for comfortable shouldering of the bike during hill run ups. Dave at BFB was able to order me a bag of braze-on bosses and hooked me up with Stephens Custom Welding in Port Huron relocate the stops and weld on the bosses. Man they did a great job!

I got the frame home and did some minor sanding an began my quest to have it painted. But I have since changed my mind to have it powder coated. Painting would have cost me $125 -$200 bucks !!!!! No thanks. I can get a 2 coat powder coat from Superior Powder Coating in Fenton, Mi done for $75 bucks for any color or style under the sun. I am taking the frame to them Saturday and hope to have it back early next week to finally start the build process.

When I get it back and complete, I will post up the final steps and results, along with build specs. But I don't want to give too much away... It is going to be sweet!

7 comments:

TP said...

I WANT ONE OF THOSE!!!!

zenbicyclist said...

I just stumbled across your blog. It is amazing how similar our plans are, right down to the Mountain Bike Bible yearly plan and the South Beach Diet (I thought that diet went out of fasion a few years ago). Good luck this year.

jbhancock said...

CHUNKY that bike is going to rock. Will its race debut occur at Ithaca??

chunky dunker said...

either Ithaca or the last day for of doublecross. Depends I how the Categories will be divided up in the tailwind series this year.

cjsbike said...

Single speed sweetness!

Winter is almost done!

Todd Shorkey said...

Awesome Project!

Just think how much more you will enjoy riding and racing a bike you did up like that from scratch! I can't wait to see the finished project.....

wood said...

hey, can't wait to see it finished! btw, i'll think about you on the trainer while i ride in the mountains of new mex.