Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gold Belt Recon

Today I did a little Gold Belt recon on my Moto Guzzi, so I didn’t exactly suffer but I was on two wheels with my knee's in the breeze no less. The road was just as I remembered with epic dirt sections, teeth jarring washboard sections, and tremendous views all day long. The Moto Guzzi handled about as well as a road bike with 25c road tires, just all over the place, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I knew there were rest area's but I didn’t have mileage points from last years ride so I went back to get them down and to take notes. So all is well, I didn’t miss a turn and I'm really looking forward to riding it again this year.

One of the many wood bridges.

Beautiful Day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pimp my Bike, volume 1

I spend a lot of time riding and training on my fixed gear / single speed. A 1999 Schwinn 'Sherwin' Paramount with 853 steel tubing, once a road bike I converted to fixed/SS duty. It a fantastic bike, a blast to ride, and a real workout that will forever change your riding style and how you approach your attack. Enough about that, we're here to see how Eric Pimped his Bike. I get a ton of comments on my 'custom' cranks, "Wow Dude those cranks are sick, where did you get them..."

It's starts with a set of my favorite crank arms, Shimano Dura Ace 7700. They look like a traditional pair of cranks should, light weight, and their supper dupper mega stiff. Perfect for my project. Used, without rings, and hammered on... eBay, $35

First you take said cranks and give them the old one-two with a DA sander, if you don't have one use some 'hand-paper'. I use 120-150 grit, 150 is fine in most cases even for the ruff spots. Hit everything you can with the machine, you'll save a lot of time. You need to remove the factory clear coat and go back to smooth raw aluminum, a clear coat is much easier to remove than say an anodized finish, which can also be removed with oven cleaner first before sanding. There are many grades of aluminum, whatever Shimano uses it's very hard and dense, it's holds a polish extremely well and looks great for a long time without tarnishing.

Next move on to the 320 wet and dry paper, I do it in the sink and rinse the paper frequently. After a good rub down with 320 do the same thing with 400-600 grit. If you doing it all by hand you'll have to use 400 first and then 600, also wet/dry paper with water.

Now back to the machine's. You need something that can turn a buffing wheel, here I used my wood lathe I've converted to a polishing station. There are buffing specific machines for less than $100 from sources like craftsman.A grinder will also work, but you might want to add a motor speed controller or a rheostat to slow it down a little for polishing. You don't need those sweet cranks ripped from your hands on thrown on the floor. You can get polishing wheels and kit's at TarHeelParts, I have a link to it in my Hook Up section to the right. Polish till you can see yourself, and you've just Pimped your Bike.

If you don't want to invest in the polishing station you can also get the same results by hand, been there done that... Just move on to 800 grit, than 1200 grit paper. Then as the polishing step use 00 steel wool with Mother's Polish. You might also need to use 000-0000 with the Mother's for the supper mega shine. Takes a lot longer, hours vs. minutes but you'll get the same results doing it all by hand.

A little investment into the proper supplies and you'll have the mean polish on your bike parts in no time, making it look new all over again. I bolted on a 'used' Surley stainless ring, it was also polished in the same manner, and I now have a sweet looking single speed crankset.

See Kirk at Creek Side bikes for his cool 3/32" single speed chains with old school master links!