Friday, January 28, 2011

Now What?

This project started with three frames, three forks and an idea.  But where do we go from there?

It has been the better part of two decades since I built up a bike from the frameset.  In that case, the process was relatively easy after the hardest part - coming up with the cash.  After that, I knew that I wanted a road bike with Campagnolo parts.  This was in the late 80's and I was in love with the romance of European bike racing, which meant a love affair with Italian components, Belgian riders and a French race.  That sounds like the start of a bad joke if we throw in a priest and a rabbi, but it was true.

For that project, I went in to see Steve at his old location on the South Hill (although this process may have begun when he was in his location across from Lulu's Ski Shop) and quickly settled on a frame that he had in the shop and the Campy gruppo that I could afford.  I don't recall which gruppo, but it probably translated from Italian as "gruppo cheapo".  I might be able to figure it out, since the bike is currently attached to my trainer, but I know many of the parts have changed.  I know it started out with index shifters (wow! these index shifter are a big change from just "shifters" (we later called them "friction shifters")), but it had combination brakes/shifters at some point.  Ironically, these cable have been cut and it has friction shifters again, but it was the cheaper way to get the full-time trainer bike to shift again rather than re-build or replace the worn out shifters.  Anyway, the point is, I don't build a lot of bikes from the ground up.  My cyclocross/commuter bike was a bit of a Frankenstein bike; built from left-overs from my basement and Steve's basement.  Since practicality and frugality where the watchwords for that build, however, I didn't spend much time worrying about the pieces.  Just wanted something functional at the end and I left it to Steve to make it work.

This time, however, the boys and I are digging through catalogs, pouring over websites and boring my wife to tears with endless discussions of seat post set-backs and wheelsets.  It is a lot of fun to take our time and ponder all of the possibilities.  If we had three unlimited budgets, it would make it faster, but part of the process for this project is spending the time to learn about the parts, the compromises that make sense and some that don't.  In the next week or so, we are sitting down for an extended consultation with Steve to go over a the full spec for these bikes.  That will give us a projected budget and will undoubtedly leave us with some question marks.  It will also give my wife more reasons to wear headphones during dinner.  I'm looking forward to it.

Well, no.  Not my wife wearing headphones.  I mean I am looking forward to putting together the spec. list.  Look for it here soon.
Single Speed Dad

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