Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kali the Hill Destroyer

Frame/Fork: 1979 Nishiki Olympic 12, 60 cm
Material: steel
Cassette: Six speed Shimano Uniglide
RD: Eight speed Shimano 105
FD: Suntour
Crank: Generic Shimano, double, 48-34
Hubs: Shimano 600, f & b
Rims: 700c, Araya (f), Mavic (r)
Stem: Profile Design H20 70mm, 105degree rise, 1 inch quill
Handlebars: cheap-o bullhorns, 42 cm
Shifters: Shimano 8/9 bar end shifters (set to friction)
Brake levers: Generic TT levers
Tires: Panaracer T-Serv Protex 700 x 28 Kevlar Red

For the last six months and 2,200 miles I've been rolling a smaller Scattante alum frame/carbon fork built up, barely, with used parts. I love that damn bike, but after a couple wrecks - nothing serious - I considered steel as perhaps a more pragmatic material. Plus, with autumn upon us, I wanted a sturdier frame (that actually fit my body) with street tires. A friend, Justin, kicked me down the barends last summer, and I wanted to somehow integrate them into bullhorns (call me simple, but I hate taking my hands off the bars to shift. It feels sketchy and slows me down).

I built this, piece by piece, starting in July. First was the frame, $20 off craigslist.com. The seller actually offered a lower price, but because I'm a sucker for honest people, I gave him the $20. The wheels came off craigs, as well, $60, and introduced me to the obsolete technology of Uniglide. I don't think they are stolen, but it was sketchy, they weren't as described. Let this be a lesson about buying things from strangers in Renton parking lots. The front hub needs to be rebuilt, and the rear is going to get tossed when it finally gives. My friend, Jeremiah, kicked me down the cassette, saving the day.



I drilled out the brake holes to accommodate the recessed nut of modern dual-pivot brakes. I think the new Tektro R556s are the most expensive component on the bike.


The coolest part of the bike, if I do say, is the bullhorn/TT lever/bar-end setup.


 

It took a little experimentation, and in my haste, I screwed up the first wrap and had to shell out $15 for another.
 
 After building it, I was hearing this awful, creaking, clicking noise from the BB while under load. I was at my wits end, and figured either 1) the rear hub, which is pretty rough, was failing, or, 2) the bottom bracket was scorched.

Jeremiah and I rode it around the alley, one riding and the other running beside, stooped over, trying to identify where the noise was coming from. It wasn't the kind of regular, rhythmic bike noise your ear eventually tunes out, but the intermittant, irregular creaking noise that sounds like the bike is about the fall apart.

As a last resort I swapped out the pedals with a pair Jeremiah scavenged from a Motobecane mixte Mr. Q found in a dumpster.

Quiet. Awesome quiet. Just the smooth click-clack of a healthy drive train.

I rejoiced.

On Sunday night Mr. Quintana and I ventured forth and did a 40-mile night ride around the north part of Lake Washington (see below post), welcoming my new bike to the world, and introducing it to the pleasures of night riding.

The hubs need work, but beside that, it's a pretty sweet ride. I'm planning to roll it through the winter and spring, switch back to my lightweight ride (for the STP?) when the weather improves, then strip the steel down and paint it.

It is geared for Seattle's hills, basically taking the mid-range chain rings from a triple. It's not the first to the bottom of a big hill, but it can be the first to the top.

I have to admit, I bought the tires because they are red. They are good tires, what I was looking for, but the color, that's what sold this fella.

This bike is named after the Hindu deity Kali the Destroyer. This bike destroys hills.

This is how I look after a couple FOUR lokos and a grape Swisher. I'm the blue lady, and the person she is standing on, that's a hill. The hill I just slayed. Right on.

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