Auspiciously timed, I finished building up the old Bridgestone that I’ve been working on since November last night. Calling it by its decals, I give you Resurrectio:
Here’s the original, for compare/contract purposes:
A quick note regarding the name: Riv sells decal sets for old bikes made new. There’s lots of resurrection and phoenix motifs in them. Here’s a closeup:
And the seat tube decal:
I quite like them.
For the final push of getting it from assembled to “no really: ready to ride”, I had some help from Ken down at Stan’s Monrovia Bicycles with the bar tape. I wasn’t sure how to wrap the end of the bars such that the shifters would still fit in (turns out that you just don’t tuck the tape in to the bars), was impatient, and knew that Ken help me put a bullet in the project.
The blue tape is, I think, an extra-nice touch. Thanks, Ken!
The other thing I’m rather happy about is finally getting to use the saddle that Stephanie gave me for our anniversary last year.
Overall, I’m just really, really happy with the way the bike turned out, and I’ll probably do another sooner or later. (Definitely not until I get the garage cleaned out and tools organized such that I can avoid taking over the entire garage. No really: cars go there. It’s true.)
Building up a bike from parts — especially an old bike — was a really educational experience. I got to learn all about the difference between 27-inch and 700c wheels, and between recessed brake caliper mountings v. nutted mountings, and which parts screw in left-handed, which parts really, really need grease before you install them. Etc. It was a lot of fun, but I think I’d do a few things differently next time. (In particular, I’d not paint it until I was 100% sure that all the components fit. Trying to MacGyver in brakes on a freshly-painted frame is more angsty than I’m down for.)
I was able to take it for a short ride this afternoon. You know, shake down the components, make sure it’s adjusted correctly, etc. The seat is angled a little far forward, and I’m going to have to make a new shim (the first one is too thin) for the seat post. Also, I really don’t need a 52t chainring. I’ll never use it. So probably I’ll swap it out for the 42t “small” chain ring and put a 34t or something on as well. (I know that I forfeit any roadie kred by doing this. Oh well. I can still hang out with the touring crowd.)
Without question I would be remiss if I did not thank the people who helped me out with this project:
- New Belgium, for the best seat-post shim stock on earth
- Rivendell Bicycle Works, for a gang of parts and inspiration
- Sheldon Brown, for an endless stream of maintenance and repair tips
- Stan’s, for more parts, advice and making Monrovia a cool town to ride in
- My parents and in-laws for helping me avoid tragic technical errors along the way
- Fletcher, for being a shop hand without comparison
- Stephanie, for limitless inspiration, creative consultation, support and that just-right amount of ass kicking to get me to finish the damn thing. I love you!