Oct 242011

I got the frame and fork back from the powder coaters just in time for the weekend so I spent Saturday reassembling the bike. I love the way the finish come out. Even though I know it is stronger than paint I was still afraid of scratching and chipping. After several slips with wrenches I was convinced the finish was on there for good and would provide plenty of protection from the road and weather.

Assembly went off without a hitch. Had to replace one damaged brake cable but other than that a good cleaning is all that was needed for the parts that were to be reused. I think the wheels need to be trued, never tried it so maybe I’ll just let the shop handle that job. There is not much else to say besides how happy I am with how the bike looks and I just wish Powder Coating was a little less expensive.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Bike – Free, thanks to my uncle
  • Powder Coating – $206
  • Tool Kit – $45 but reusable
  • Seat – $29
  • Bottom Bracket – $13
  • Grip Tape – $5
  • Brake Cable – $3

Such a nice clean looking and uncluttered bike if I do say so myself. Next bike will have to be a fixed gear bike, but I think I’m supposed to build a poker table first. Maybe I’ll post that project here too even though it has nothing to do with transportation.

 Posted by at 3:56 pm
Oct 092011

I decided to start cleaning the Ross bike to get it ready for the Fall riding season. Fall? Yes, it has finally arrived, although a little late, to Texas. The bike needs a complete shake down to make it ready for the long rides I have planned for it. Possibly the MS150 in April.

I made a checklist and placed an order at my favorite online bike store: nashbar.com. I can always find a good deal or two on their site and catalogs.

Here is what I had planned:

  • Replace the seat.
  • Replace the bottom bracket, the one in there was in bad shape.
  • Replace the handle bar grips.
  • Repack the wheel bearings.
  • Clean, Clean, Clean, this thing has a nice layer of dust, grease and surface rust.

I started by taking the wheels off and repacking the bearings. They are now spinning much better.

Then I removed the cranks and bottom bracket. The tool kit I ordered from nasbar is really nice but did not contain the tools for removing a 35 year old bottom bracket. A pipe wrench was a great substitute tool for this job. I have a nice Shimano sealed bearing that will go back in, the kit has the tool for that job.

I ordered a nice split seat to try out and it will go on in place of the temporary seat that was on there before.

I also ordered a good set of handle bar grip tape that I hope are long enough for the bars (They seem to be longer than modern bars)

Then I started taking parts off to clean and I kept taking parts off to clean until I looked up and noticed I had completely disassembled the bike. I had not planned on taking it this far down but I kept finding more grease residue and rust the further I got in. At this point the bike is going to get a complete make over and I’m really excited.

The bike weighs a lot less than I expected for an all steel bike so I’m going to stick with the stock frame, fork, crankset, brakes and derailer/gear setup. Reusing all these parts will allow me to focus on the finish of the frame and fork. The paint on the Vigilante is not as strong as I would like so this time I’m going to try powder coating. I am not sure on the price for this service yet so I will follow up in another post.

When I decided to go with powder coating I realized I would need to take a few more parts off of the frame. Specifically the fork bearing cups. Guess what, another tool needed that I don’t have and there is a specific tool just for this job. I found this one from Park for around $30:

Not wanting to wait for another order or even pay the price for a gloried piece of pipe I decided to make my own. It cost me the grand sum of $2.48 for the pipe and 10 minutes with the cut-off wheel. Since I have enough pipe to make 4 of them I set the total price of this tool at $0.62. How did it perform? flawlessly! Let me know if you need one, I’ll only charge you a few bucks. Here  is my version:

I’ll put together a price list in the next post…Assembly.

 Posted by at 10:18 pm