Wednesday, April 11, 2007

KempFrog

Well, I've been working on this little project for a friend down in the workshop.

It started probably several months ago with a post to the old Rivendell list-server. Someone had posted a message selling the frame. I forwarded it to the appropriate person who was beginning the search for an intelligent bicycle. Just a week ago or so, the frame and fork arrived at my house and we went shopping for some parts to complete it.

Went for a visit to the good folks at Hiawatha Cyclery where I could certainly count on finding the kinds of parts that would make just the right thing to make a good frame into a great bicycle. We blew the wad on a the parts for a good set of wheels and the important points of contact. Picked up a Schmidt front hub, an XT Rear, some Velocity Dyad rims. Picked up a set of 48cm Noodle bars, a Nitto stem for up front, and a Brooks for the rear. Tires, tubes, fenders, a light, and what-not and the register receipt was enough to throw the heart off a beat. Ouch.

Once the money was spent (wisely I feel) on the important stuff, I made the vow to see what I could do about completing the build.

One of the first orders of business turned out to be the crankset and rings. Just so happened that I have a couple of old Shimano XT crankset. I also had some black Syncros chain-rings in a good size 48x34x24. The bottom bracket that was in the frame wasn't long enough, but another trip to Hiawatha put that in order too. Found a brand new Shimano DX front dérailleur in a box. Had to put a strategically placed dent in the rear fender so that I could maximize the clearance on fenders and not interfere with the cable anchor.


Well, more digging in the box full of old parts revealed a cruddy looking XT Rear Dérailleur of the same vintage of the rest of the parts. Okay, so I sensed a "theme" to this bike coming together. I took it apart, cleaned it all, and got out the Mother's Aluminum polish. The really neat thing about this particular dérailleur is that it has an unusual lower pulley on it. This particular pulley came from Marty at the bike shop I used to work at. It uses actual ball bearings and adjustable cups and cones. So, I overhauled the lower pulley. Things cleaned up nicely. You can also see the "chain-stay protector" that I made out of an old inner-tube and wrapped with some cloth tape. Finished it off with some wrapping of Hemp twine.


I found the old Control Tech seatpost that came on the custom Rivendell that I purchased from Curt Goodrich. I sanded it out, and more Mothers Aluminum polish and we were in business.


More digging and I found a pair of old XT Cantilever Brakes. More Mother's Aluminum polish and new pads from Hiawatha and we were ready to go... er, stop.



Don't pay any attention to that extra set of bolts in the front fender. I screwed up. In a moment when trying to hold the Berthoud mudflap on the fender so that I could mark where to drill the mounting holes, I could have used a third hand. By the time I tracked down my wife to offer that third hand to mark while I held things in place, I had turned the fender around. Well, I drilled the holes on the wrong end of the fender. Doh! So, I filled the holes with a couple of small bolts and nyloc nuts. You can also see the new DL Lumotec LED light in the above photo. I am excited to try out this light.

The finished product is here:


In the stand, everything performs admirably. I am excited for things to get nice outside and dry up a little. I want to give the bike a good shake-down ride to work and back. I'd prefer not to be the one who gets it too dirty to start.

I'll have to find some racks to really complete the bike. I do have something in mind, but for now, I am not quite ready to front too much money to complete the build. I may go back to the basement to see what I can find for something used. I just might be able to come up with something. :)

2 comments:

Tex69 said...

Nice looking build. I have a standard Lumotec, but there's nothing better on a "do everything" bike than a hub/gen light.

Reflector Collector said...

Thanks, I am really excited about the bike. Since I got my Schmidt myself back in December, it makes me wonder why I went for so long without one. I am impressed with the Lumotec Plus in the stand, will be excited to see what it is like in the early morning darkness.

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