Sunday, January 20, 2013

Schwinn Crisscross close enough to done to call it done.

So the Crisscross lives! I pulled it up from the dungeon.. er I mean basement, filled the tires up with air and took it for a short spin around the neighborhood just to see if it felt any different with the risers on it. I am sorry to report that this one is not going to be for sale, it seems to have a longer top tube than other bikes and that's the formula for comfort for me as I have short legs and long arms. Initially when I bought this bike it was to flip, it was a craigslist find and I put minimal dollars into it so far but since it fits me so well I don't see why I shouldn't keep it.

I first bought the left shifter for it off of ebay and installed that, the bike functioned as it should, next I popped a rear rack that I had laying around onto the bike but it was not the right size and into the shed it went until recently. I liked the way the bike felt but thought it would benefit from some new bars as the straight bars that were on it were starting to rust and since I had an extra set of low risers I shot them with a coat of black automotive paint let them dry and on they went. I bought a set of Planet bike Trippy grips a while back with the thought that they would end up on this bike and the blue in them matches the blue lettering on the frame pretty good so they were a great buy. 

I did have to buy a shorter M6 bolt for the left side brake lever as it was poking through the cover on the brake and I like the way the bike looks currently. The only addition I would like to add is a set of black fenders and this will likely become a poor weather rider or as I mentioned the bike that I take for a quick ride to the store when I know I will be riding the road and the trails. This bike is fairly light feeling and pretty responsive, I still have a couple small things to do to truly call it complete like taking that plastic disk off of the rear wheel and some final touch ups on a few very small rust spots but again I say this bike is in really good shape and rides as it should. 

Fenders to come and its going to be an all around kind of ride, lend to a bikeless friend, or quick run here or there just for kicks kind of bike, Over all I am happy with how its come along. 

Keep those cranks turning!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Some time with the Schwinn CrissCross

This evening I got to spend a little time with the Schwinn CrissCross and I got it pretty much done which is awesome! the not so aawesome part is that when I bought this bike I bought it as a keeper and Wify is trying to get me to thin the herd a bit. I removed the rear rack that I had added a summer ago took the flat bars off which were all rusty and replaced them with some low risers and added some Planet bike Trippy grips with blue trim to match the lettering on the frame. I also picked up a new shorter bolt for the brake lever so everything fits right now and the bike looks pretty cool in my opinion the only thing I would like to add is some black fenders to finish it off as a run to the store or quick ride on the road to rail trail bike. The brakes were adjusted and I lubed the chain the bike is ready to ride as I type and I may take it out tomorrow for a quick spin on my short loop ride that I use when I take a non bike riding friend for a quick spin just to see how it feels with the short risers on it.
I did not get any images yet as I literally just came up from the basement and thought I would pop a quick post out there for anyone reading along and will do my best to get a few up tomorrow or later in the week. This bike feels good initially to me and could really make a nice extra bike or even a light tourer.
Tomorrow I am planing on finishing the Motobecane up, I just need to wrap the bars and cut the pins that were extra long for the turkey leg brake levers for it to be a complete bike but to make it respectable looking I do believe a new saddle and some hoods are in order. I was initially going to put hammered fenders on the bike along with honey bar tape and saddle but since I decided that it just does not fit me comfortably I am afraid it will be sold. Because of the likelihood of the bike going up for sale I went with a more universally accepted meaning a more common looking red tape by fi'zi:k and to sell the bicycle was leaning towards a black saddle and no hoods but I believe it will be an easier sell with a honey/tan saddle and hoods so I may put the extra money into it for that reason.
Getting some time with the bikes lately and I will try and keep this blog updated as much as possible, if you are reading along feel free to pass the link to anyone that you think may enjoy it.
Thats it for tonight, until next time keep those cranks turning!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Crisscross and the Nomade, just an update.

I have been less than as far as this blog goes for a while but fear not my seven followers! I have begun the madness of playing with my double wheeled contraptions in the basement again and will attempt to post regularly which perhaps will help gain a couple more followers! I pulled the Crisscross and the Motobecane down there and will do my best to get some images and progress reports up here. The Moto will be sold as I found out I just don't like the way it feels to ride it, can this be fixed with different bars? perhaps but I have grown less attached to it since the summer and a couple short rides which is a shame because of the love that was put into the bike, yes I just said love went into the bike.

My Crisscross I kind of have an attachment to, and its for no other reason than the frame fits me and I think it would make a decent short tour bike, problem is I do need to thin the herd a bit and get rid of some of the 16 or so bikes that I currently have. My wife would like nothing more than to see all but 3 or 4 bikes gone but I tend to want to keep everything that I get that is even slightly different than something else I may have and I have a  disease when it comes to prowling for the next bike so they are stacking up. Maybe I can talk the boss lady into keeping one more if I sell it to her as "its so that I can go on longer rides honey" which she will of course read into and know it would mean more money for racks, panniers etc so we shall see.  

I will keep this post short and sweet but look for more coming soon with images of whatever I may be working on or where I may be riding, its coming! I promise! also if anyone has a source for 16x2.0 tires that would fit on that RS16 that I picked up please leave a comment! I have considered buying a girls 16 inch bike just for the tires but I think I would like it to look good too so a source for something more the same vintage may be the way to go. Did I mention that I would like to keep the RS16 too?

Thanks for reading and whatever you do keep those cranks turning!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Aquired a Raleigh RSW 16

So life got crazy and I have not written in this blog for a bit but here I am with an update, I want to start by saying that I have not ridden nearly as much as I wanted to this season but an attempting to get back into a groove and wanted to share something that I picked up over the summer.
My cousin works for people running their estate sales, garage sales etc and from time to time I get a text with a photo attached asking me about a bicycle and am I interested in it from these sales. The family and I were vositing Mystic Aquarium one day and a text came through with a very bad image of a small red Raleigh bike, to me it looked like a folding bike but my cousin insisted that it did not fold and wanted to know if I would like him to get it. I returned his text with what I would pay for it not knowing what it was or the exact condition as to my cousin every bike he finds "is in awesome condition" and went on with my day at the aquarium. He texted me back "Got it" a couple hours later, so now I needed to swing by to pick it up, fast forward a couple weeks and I pull up to his house and out rolls a Raleigh RSW 16.

I ride mountain bikes, I never ride anything but my mountain bikes but I have lots of bikes of all different sorts and I always tell myself that I will take the Schwinn Criss Cross out for a ride some day or I will go for a nice easy ride on that Motobecane that I am working on but I always take one of my mountain bikes and the others sit. When I saw the RSW I thought, this one is a keeper, it looks cool and like nothing that I have, a smart guy would clean it up and post it on craigslist but its hard for me to get rid of a lot of the bikes that I get, addiction maybe? or perhaps I just get attached after I do the work on them I am not sure.

This bicycle seems to be in great shape and everything works as is, the internal 3 speed hub shifts nicely with no noise or play, there is minor surface rust here and there and it has a nice chrome rack on the back. The wheels are true and even sport the original white tires! The tires are no good but are there and look cool, I attempted to put some air in the rear tire but as soon as I put the cap on the tire blew which scared the hell out of me because its not what I was expecting so it will need tires. Of course i will go over the whole bike cleaning, lubing and adjusting everything and I will probably just buy a cheap kids bike off of craigslist to scavenge the tires from for now and toss a better saddle on but I may hold onto this one for a while because I find it a cool little bike.
I wanted to mention that Motobecane that I have been working on because its just about completed and I do not think I will be keeping the bike which is unfortunate because I really think that its a good looking bike now that its almost done. I went with a dark red Fi'zi:k bar tape and will be adding a saddle with rivits along the edges to finish it off, I am also o the fence with adding a rack onto the rear as it has a sleep look and the rack may throw that off. The Moto is currently in the back of a large pile of bikes or else I would pull it out for a quick photo, trust me its looking pretty decent!
I will try and post more often again as I make progress on whatever I may be working on at any given time and I will try to get more ride photos to pop in with as well.
I thank you for taking the time to check out my little space on the web.
Until next time, Keep on pedaling!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Xcal on the trail and a new project.

I have been doing a lot more riding these days and a lot less posting but if you are reading along you know this, The weather has been incredible and what I would call perfect riding weather. The Adams trail a bike has been getting a ton of use with my daughter, I may just make a cyclist out of her yet! I have almost completed that Motobecane that I am working on and took it for a test ride, something unexpected happened while out on the ride in that I don't think that I am a road bike kind of guy. The bike felt uncomfortable to me and I am unsure why but I think that the bars are too narrow for my large frame and I just didn't feel comfy while riding down the street so I am not sure if I will keep the bike which is a shame after all of the work that I put into it.

Took a quick shot while we stopped for a break during Saturday's ride.

The Xcaliber next to my buddies Jamis Exile 1

I did get out this past Saturday with my riding buddy and we did just under 20 miles on the rail trail and I got a chance to take the Xcal out. The trail that I ride goes past the LBS that I use and the front brakes were feeling weak so we did make a pit stop and the mechanic had the brakes all fixed up and we were on our way pretty quick but I always like looking around at the bikes so I didn't mind stopping. I have to say that over all I am very happy with the Trek and my decision to go with this bike, it fits me great and is the smoothest bike that I own as far as function goes.

I mentioned that I was almost finished with the Motobecane and I like having something in the stand getting worked on so I decided that I would oblige my fathers interest in riding and put something together for him. My father has expressed interest in having a bicycle a few times to me "You should find me a bike" he keeps saying so as his birthday approaches I thought it would be nice to get something together for him, enter the Raleigh Rampar. I went into my Pile O bikes and found that I had a large framed Raleigh Rampar back there which was complete minus all of the cables had been cut by someone (before I took possession) so it was a good candidate for a clean up for pops. I am not going to chronicle the build but I will post a photo of the final product when it is done, the only things I needed to buy was a cable set, bar tape and I might need tires but may have a set of tires put away somewhere so this will be a decently cheap bike to get going.

Over all things are going good on the weight loss, I am down about 15 pounds in the last month and I think that the warmer weather with the added riding and walks that I have been doing are contributing a lot to those losses.

Keep on riding!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Motobecane progress, cables and wires done.

I needed some down time so I headed off to work with the Motobecane yesterday for a couple hours and finished up cleaning the rear derailleur, the shifters and I got the cables/housings installed. I am still not done by a long shot and there is still a lot to do before the bike is done I did make some good solid progress on the bike last night. I chose Jagwire platinum braided cable housings to blend in with the frame a bit and I really like how they look on the bike! I did make a couple decisions on just how closely I was going to polish things up, I was thinking about the fact that I am planning to ride this bike and polishing everything to a mirror finish didn't make a lot of sense because of that fact, I mean if its going to get grimy anyways why make it shinier than when it was new?

With that said, I did not skimp on the polishing! I think that the bike is starting to look pretty nice even if this shot makes my basement look like a dungeon! who am I kidding.. it IS a dungeon! I still have to completely do the wheels (I just tossed them on to see how the bike looked) as I have not touched them other than a small test spot where I polished the rust off of the chrome and I do believe that the wheels will look pretty good after some elbow grease. You can see that I laid the rack on there just for a look at how it would play out and I think that I like it and will stick to the original plan of doing fenders and rack on this bike.

Above is a closer shot of the braided cables installed on the shifters, I think they compliment the silver frame pretty nicely! I am still on the fence with what color I should do the tape/hoods/saddle in but I am sure that it will come to me... eventually. I originally wanted to do the bars and saddle in brown/honey but that is more expensive than the other options and since I am not 100% on whether I will keep this bike in the long run I keep going back to just do the bars red, black saddle and brown or black hoods, I am very on the fence with the whole thing. I don't really ride road bikes let alone vintage road bikes! and that is why I am unsure about whether this will become a permanent ride in my ever growing fleet of bicycles even though I have put a good amount of thought and time into this bike.

Finally a shot of what I started with compared to where I brought it, I think there is a big difference and when I am done I think it will be even bigger! Next on the list of things to do will be the tape and saddle and I am very anxious to see how it looks with a bit more of a finished feel to it. Now the decision must be made on the tape, once that happens I can choose a saddle and finally hood color, some new tires and we will be off for a ride to snap a couple photos in a nicer setting than my dungeon... er I mean basement!

Until then, keep on pedaling!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

First ride on the new wheels.

Yesterday was such an awesome day and I couldn't let it go without getting outside for some exercise, early in the day I packed the tiniest kiddo into the stroller and went for a walk around the lake which was awesome! Later in the day I asked my daughter if she would like to try the Adams trail a bike that I picked up last year for the first time and though she was a tad hesitant she agreed so off we went.

A quick stop next to the lake so that my daughter could play on one of the beaches.

Getting out for a ride allowed me to take a spin on the new wheelset too and I must admit that I really liked the way the smoother street tires rolled and they were silent compared to the Kenda Klaws that I had on there last year. I do need to adjust the brakes to the new Avid Clean Sweeps though, I did have brakes but I really had to squeeze down to get the back brake to grab good so this afternoon I will be making adjustments because my daughter asked if we could go for another ride today and I want the bike to be set up correct before we start riding around on a regular basis. I have a new stem and set of bars for the K2 as well that I need to install but I may just wait until I decide on whether I will be doing a rigid fork or not before I make that change and once that is done there will be not much stock on this bike.

That ride ended a great day where I got out for a nice walk with my youngest daughter and a ride with my eldest daughter, the sun was starting to set while we were stopped and above you can see the view across the lake that we had.

I have a feeling this year will be a good one when looking at things from on top of my bicycles.

Until next time...