Library Card

September 28, 2009

A great manual for your first build – with more about bicycle engineering than you ever wanted to know. It’s a little old, but not bad it you’re restoring an old bike anyway. Available at the Cleveland Park Library, if I ever return it…

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Build Lesson #2

September 24, 2009

The second lesson of building a bike: you can buy a new one cheaper. I know people will argue with this, but unless you want to build a cheap trap, individual parts are more expensive than the completed factory item. What I budgeted for: $30 for the frame + $350 in parts (granted the brooks saddle tips the scale).  I won’t give you the total because then I’d have to talk about the powder coating cost as well…

From one of my new favorite blogs, here’s basically what I want to accomplish, new, for 359 bucks…paint and all. But all that said, anyone can buy new. I’d rather build it myself.

Painting Lesson

September 22, 2009

Spray- paint paint jobs look like spray-paint. Unless you’re an artist, there’s no way around it. I’ve sanded, cleaned, primed, sanded, cleaned, painted, and sanded again, but my first build from scratch looked about as nice a barnacles under a rusted ship. So, I took the frame — an old Japanese 3-speed — to get the job done right. By next week she’ll be powder coated smooth. We’ll see how Figure Engineering LLC does…and it better be good. It was a three and a half-hour, round trip from DC in traffic. Made me appreciate the usual bike commute in.