Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My submission to velospace?

I realized last week that I'm not sufficiently zen. I was once, when I did a book report on The Cat Who Went to Heaven. I made this board game called "Nirvana or Hell" or something like that. You rolled a stone, drew cards and strove towards asceticism. The more you slept on an uncomfortable bed, divorced yourself from worldly trappings and wondered down the eight fold path, the closer you went towards winning the game. Although, you couldn't really win, because there's nothing zen about board game competition.

Anyway, I bought this old Colnago 'cross frame (with Reynolds 531!) off eBay awhile ago. I have no idea why. I already have one old and weird 'cross bike, but for some reason I felt that a second was needed, especially because it would be shipped from the Netherlands if I won. It arrived packed in newspapers I couldn't understand, lots of bubble wrap and milk cartons. It was actually quite a pretty looking frame and some other parts came along with it. I acquired a couple Nuovo Record parts off of eBay and then it just sat. Unsure of what to do and feeling paralyzed by the presence of this strange fancy bike, I ended up posting it on craigslist. Of course, the only responses I got were from TJ and Salem. Salem just wanted to buy the Mafac brakes.

Then, like in a lot of religions, I had an epiphany: I should make this into a fixed gear! It had sliding (and elegant) Campy dropouts and would be suitably absurd. So, I plunked down $120 on some CR18s laced to Formula hubs and built it up.

Admittedly, 38:17 is a little low of a gear for riding on the road, but it's very comfortable off road. I'd really like to have a 40t chainring, which would put me at 63 gear inches, right now I'm at 60 1/2". But, the bike performed quite well as a silly fixed gear 'cross bike on the yesterday's factory tour.

A lot of the parts aren't period correct, especially the Bontrager seat post of my mid 2000s Gary Fisher. I actually have a 27.2mm NR seat post, but I got so fed up with the stupid position of the second bolt, that I gave up and threw the single bolted one one.

Also, I have no plans to take the brakes off. They're very pretty as is.

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