Saturday, August 24, 2013

The bike lives!

Well, that was quick.

I spent a couple hours at Kraynick's today, and it's good to go! The last few parts (bottom bracket, cranks, chain, brake) all came together really easily.

Here are the parts (and this is as much for my future benefit as yours)
Eighth Inch Scrambler frame set: $150, includes frame, fork, seatpost/clamp, headset.
Frame: 59cm chromoly steel, horizontal dropouts
Fork: 1 1/8" chromoly
Headset: threadless
Seatpost/clamp: whatever, it works
Seat: Velo Plush something, I already had it around
Stem: $20, XLC adjustable A-head, it says: ΓΈ: 25.4mm, and 90mm 
Handlebars: $3 bargain-bin, plus some old grips I had lying around
Brake: $25 Shimano Sora BR-3400 (like this) dual-pivot side-pull brake, recessed mount. 
Brake lever: $3 bargain-bin mountain-bike-style
Brake cable and housing: $5
Bottom bracket: $26, Shimano UN55 68x107mm Square Taper
Crank set (includes sprocket): $34, 170 mm, 46 teeth, 1/8" steel chain ring
Another crank arm (non-drive-side) because the first one got rounded off after I didn't tighten it enough: $3
Pedals: $5, bargain-bin
Chain: 1/2x1/8" KMC Z410 BMX-style for internal gear hub/single speed, maybe $10
Wheels: $110, includes tubes and tires, 700c x 18mm freewheel/fixed (riding fixed now)
Lights: a couple little blinky things I had lying around
Lock bracket: $2 (to hold the lock on)

Total: $396, which is maybe about $96 more than I was planning to spend, but not terrible. Time invested is in the low tens of hours- maybe 20 or 30 if you count all the looking things up online.

Riding a fixed gear bike: a little weird! I'm nervous to go anywhere near as fast as I usually do. I have no idea if I'll be able to go on hills ever. For that matter, the following things are also weird: only one brake, skinny hard tires, no gears.

But the following things I love: no quick releases, pretty lightweight, the look of the thing (isn't it pretty?), almost no logos, and I know everything that went into it and how to fix a lot of it.

All it needs is a name! Taking suggestions.
EDIT: I think the best name, as suggested by someone on my kickball team (Tim, I think?), is Brian Eno. Because: A. it's minimalist and great, and B. what gets you more cred than a hand-made fixed gear bike named Brian Eno?
EDIT EDIT: Thanks also to my dad for the bike stand!
wanted to catalog some important things I learned:
- to get the headset into the frame, use a headset press, without the bearings in it (which is obvious if you think about it, but you can smash the bearings if you don't think about it)
- when installing the bottom bracket, be careful when starting it so you don't cross-thread, and put anti-seize compound (which is like grease plus molybdenum bits) on it
- install the bottom bracket on the drive side first, and don't ride it if it starts to come loose!
- when installing the cranks, really crank them the heck in there (and then re-tighten it after every ride for the first couple hundred miles).
- you want the chain to be tight. Tighten the left axle nut (not sure what that's called), then pull the wheel into place while tightening the right one.
- don't take the tip off your crank puller and then try to use it :-/

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Building a bicycle

This is far enough along that I'm confident that I'll end up a Guy Who Built A Bike and not a Guy Who Blogged About Building A Bike And Then Never Did It.

I'm building a bike! It is both easier and more complicated than I thought. Slightly more expensive than I thought, but not wildly. It is definitely more expensive than buying a bike.

I'm roughly following this guide. It'll be a fixed gear, 10% for cred and 90% because that seemed easiest. (although I got a cool wheel that has a fixed cog on one side and a freewheel on the other, so I could switch it if I wanted. the difference is that you can't coast on a fixed gear, and if you push the pedals backwards, it brakes; if you have a freewheel, it's just like any bike that you're used to, but only one speed.)

I've been getting a bunch of help from the guys at Kraynick's (Jerry Kraynick himself, and other folks who just happen to be in there fixing up bikes at the same time). Couldn't do it without them; like I said, it's kind of complicated. It's exciting, though! I'll post more when it's done.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eat salads for breakfast

1. They are usually about the healthiest thing you can eat, so making a habit of eating a big one every day means that, over time, you'll get a ton more good healthy things into your body and less unhealthy things.
2. They are easy: buy a huge tub of greens for $5 and pile them with whatever you want on top in a giant bowl.
3. Relatedly, they help you use up whatever's in your fridge or pantry. Cheese, nuts, fruit, avocado, fish, whatever, pile it all on.
3. They're messy, with dressing flicking all over the place. All the more reason to eat them at home.
4. At home, too, it's easy to make your own dressing: 2 or 3 parts olive oil, 1 part vinegar, mix.
5. If you don't like salads, and you're half awake in the morning and rushing to get to work, you don't want to rush through something that's really tasty- just stuff some greens down. Then eat something more tasty and less healthy when you've got time to enjoy it.
6. If you do like salads, then hey, you get to eat a salad!