bike is done

after what seemed forever the cross bike is finally complete. yeah. somehow wires got crossed and the rear spacing came in at 135 mm instead of 130 mm, but the beauty of steel is that additional 2.5 mm on each side can just be squeezed in to accommodate the difference.

the colour of the frame worked out great

yes, that is the longest head tube in manitoba. so long that none of the shops headset presses would work, the top cup had to be persuaded into place with the only tool left in the shop that would work

the final weight 18lbs 11oz fully dressed



little pink houses - weekend turkey update

while i did not get the opportunity to participate in the turkey cross put on by gary and company, i managed to keep myself busy enough with other projects.

most of the weekend, when it was not raining was spent working on the house. we (my dad and tinker tim) managed to get the house basically insulated. some work still needs to be done to finish the insulation, but once this is done we should be able to start to put up the siding

this was also the first weekend of bread baking. as is usual, with the first firing of the oven was the traditional pizza bake

firing the oven

pizza fixings being prepared

pizza in the oven

even the spider was anxious for the pizza to be done

next morning, getting the bread ready

bread about to go in the oven

loading bread

bread in the oven

finished bread

sliced and ready to eat

managed to do some work on the bike. sunday afternoon i went to tom's place and we spent the next hour gluing the tires for the rims. hopefully the wheels will be built up shortly and, if the gods are willing, the bike will be ready in time for southern cross

gluing tires

tires ready - all i we need are the spokes and at least the wheels will be ready


so you want to build a bike?

observations on building a bike from scratch...

building a custom made bike is an exercise in joy and frustration; joy in the construction of a well-made and beautiful bike and frustration in the amount of time it takes for the project to unfold - and there will be frustration. it should not be surprising how long it takes to build a bike, but it always seems to take longer than you expect and want; how long it takes depends on what you want.

the first step is deciding that you want to have a custom made bike and are you willing to commit to the time and money it takes to build such a bike. once you make this decision you need to think about what you want: how do you want it handle, what do you want to use it for, and how do you want it to look and many other options. of course the question you then need to ask is 'do i know enough about bikes to ask for something that will give me what i think i want?'. if you do know enough you are good to proceed, if not, you need to talk to those that do. once you have decided on the bike you want you need to find someone who can do this work for you; of course who you pick will determine both price and time it takes to get a frame, any where from $1100- $5000+, and anywhere from several months to well over a year or more. funny thing is this is the easy part. the planning takes time, but you don't notice this as this is fun because you know you are building something special; it's when you've placed your order and you find out how long it takes to fill that order that the frustration can kick in.

of course there is more to a bike than just a frame, you need all the other parts that make a bike a bike. collecting these parts is both expensive and time consuming. if you are building up a bike, and depending on what you want and where you live, it can be relatively quick or can take some time. sometimes your local bike shop has the stock and other times it needs to order in the parts and hopefully, hopefully, what you want is available and does not need to be back ordered.

here are some facts and observations about my latest project:

1) time:
  • decided shortly after i got my custom 29er that i would get a custom made cross bike - the 29er is the best bike i've ridden and wanted the same thing for a cross bike.
  • talked to mike truelove about this project in june and placed a down payment then. mike was able to start building this in september and finished it shipped it by the end of the month.
  • currently the bike is sitting in winkler waiting to be powdercoated - initially i wanted mike to have the frame painted in squamish but when this was not possible i had the frame shipped to winkler where i had my last frame coated. i picked a colour that was not in stock (a 100% upcharge from their in-stock colours) and they are waiting for the powder to arrive - the bike has been there for 8 days, arrrgggghhh.
  • parts have taken some time to collect because most of them had to be special ordered, this took about 3 weeks because the supplier had to order some parts themselves.
  • forgot to order spokes (assumed the bike shop would have spokes in stock) and this has delayed the building of the wheels even more
  • when i started this project i hoped to have the bike for the beginning of the cross season - now i hope to have it for the last half of the season.
2) cost:

here is what i orderd:
  • Frame - Truelove
  • Paint
  • Headset - Chris King
  • Stem - Thomson Elite
  • Seat Post - Thomson Elite
  • Seat - ?
  • Fork - Redline Carbon Cross Fork
  • Brakes - Paul Touring and Retro Canti
  • Brake Levers - Cane Creek
  • Handle Bar - Bontrager Cross
  • Cranks - SRAM
  • Pedals - Crank Brothers Candy SL
  • Chain ?
  • Hub - Chris King Cross (rear)
  • Hub - Chris King Cross (front)
  • Rims - Mavic Reflex
  • Spokes - Revolution
  • Tyres - Tufo Tubular
  • list price cost of the above, $3720 (before taxes and with still more bits to come). now, i did not pay this price. what i paid is between me and my bike shop. will you get the same price as i do? maybe, maybe not. it depends on what you do: do you race under their name, do you help put on their races, do you refer customers, do you buy with them even though it may be slightly higher than buying online (the will try and get as close to that price as they can). maybe i could have received even a better price if i would have gone strictly online but by buying from a LBS i get great service, easier warranty work, stuff to try before i buy, great advice, etc. in essence, it helps tremdendously to develop a relationship with your bike shop.
just thought i would share some insight on the bike building process for me.



it is starting to come around, bits are coming in and the new cross ride should hopefully be ready by southern cross. the frame is in winkler waiting to be coated; it'll be a green brown colour (RAL 8000), hopefully similar to the colour of the '07 speedvagen. the rims are in the city and are probably being deliverd to my empty house as i write this (if only i could train my cats to answer the door and accept the delivery - damn them and their inability to complete simple tasks). but at least this stuff is in...


cool people doing cool things

this is a story about a guy doing urban farming that gets rewarded for his efforts.