somewhat daily mutterings

/Cycling Colnago Build-up, Phase II

The build-up proper started today. I picked up the frame along with a few extra bits and bobs from Cycle Analyst, and set immediately to work. I'm just going to cover the highlights:

  • Cleaned off the frame again
  • Touched up some paint scrapes that happened at one of the shops (dammit).
  • Applied frame-saver. Managed to get overspray on the forks (idiot).
  • Installed the bottom bracket. This was a pretty delicate operation, since the threads are so tight and Joe from Veccho's got me scared I'd cross-thread it. And I did, three times, but only finger-tight. I finally figured out to look at the left side of the BB while I screwed in the right. That way, I could keep the assembly aligned perfectly. I ended up installing and uninstalling a few times because I'm a dufus and would forget something (like greasing the left-side threads) or would obsess that I didn't put the BB in the correct orientation.
  • Installed my oh-so-trick Thomson seatpost. It slides right in for a while, then gets tougher and tougher to insert. Methinks Joe didn't go deep enough with his reaming/cleaning. However, it goes in far enough.
  • Installed the cranks. Again, a learning process. I figured splines would make it dirt simple. Wrong. You have to get the splines oriented just so, and for me they seemed to get disoriented much more easily. But after a few missteps the cranks were on.
  • Attempted to put on the front derailleur. Doh! A missing part: the "bushing" or spacer that goes between the fixing screw and the derailleur braze-on. Therefore, the bolt can't be snugged enough to hold. Quick trips to two shops leaves me empty-handed. I ordered the part at the second.
  • Installed the rear derailleur. No problems here, although the set-screw that holds its angle was kind of frozen. Fixed that with pliers and some teflon lube.
  • Installed the dropout adjusters. Got them both in, then realized I'd forgotten the springs. Oh well, it's good screwdriver (and cursing) practice.
  • Installed stem. Yes, I can handle this. Watch me go! Wheee, I'm a bike mechanic!
  • Re-installed brakes that came with the frame. Another no-brainer. I have a feeling I'm going to want to replace these with some D-As as soon as my wallet recovers from all this cheap bike-building. These grey-anodized horrors are just not going with the whole scheme, and I'm sure it will slow me down (in a bad way, not a good way like brakes are supposed to, oh whatever...).
  • Installed handlebars. I'm ready to wrench for the pros now.
  • Installed brake levers. Oh, wait, I'm not ready to wrench for the pros now. I have to hold my mouth just right to keep the covers peeled back enough and not drop the hex wrench that I've carefully wedged into place on the other side of the lever. I try this for a long time, then realize that I can remove the clips that hold the levers on, put those on the bar, then put the lever onto the clip easily. OK, maybe I am ready to wrench for Lance.
  • Installed wheels. Given the number of flats I've experienced, I'm a certified expert at this. Actually, though, getting the rear in was a little tough - the rear-end is pretty tight and with a fully inflated tire, I have to coax the axle past the dropout ends very agressively (coax -- agressively?). Anyway, once the rear is on, I can use the groovy cool dropout adjusters to fix the wheel alignment. So retro.

Now I can stand back and see my handiwork. Hey, it almost looks like a real bike! Maybe tomorrow I'll put on the brake cables.

Posted: Sat Jul 31 20:13:09 -0700 2004

/Issues_and_Commentary My List of Lists

Herein you'll find an assortment of lists that reflect my tastes and values. These are things or people that, to me, exude quality and originality. This is my first stab, so no list is complete (and may never be). I'll keep editing this same entry as I think of more stuff, and the entry will sort back to the top of my weblog as I do so. So, without further ado:

Most Respected Musicians/Bands

  • The Beatles
  • Elvis Costello
  • Sonic Youth
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Pat Metheny
  • Joni Mitchell
  • Beck
  • Radiohead
  • ...more to come...

Great Recordings

  • Anything by the Beatles, including and after Revolver
  • I Can See Your House From Here, John Scofield and Pat Metheny
  • Porcupine, Echo and the Bunnymen
  • Mutations, Beck
  • ...more to come...

Great Movies

  • Apocalypse Now
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • ...more to come...

Great Books

  • Deliverance, James Dickey
  • Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, Douglas Hofstadter
  • The Water-method Man, John Irving
  • ...more to come...

Great Technical Books

  • Design Patterns, Gamma, et al
  • Refactoring, Fowler
  • Object Oriented Heuristics, Riel
  • The Pragmatic Programmer, Thomas
  • HTTP, the Definitive Guide, Gourley, et al
  • ...more to come...

Great Guitarists

  • Allan Holdsworth
  • Pat Metheny
  • Joe Pass
  • ...more to come...

Posted: Fri Jul 30 21:23:28 -0700 2004

/Cycling Colnago Build-up, Phase II

Last Saturday I took my Colnago frame to Vecchio's in Boulder. There were three reasons to do so:

  1. Vecchio's is one of the few shops I trust
  2. I needed to know the proper seat post diameter on the Colnago, and to perhaps have them help me ID the model of the frame
  3. They'd built my commuting wheels, so I needed to pick them up.
Actually, there's a fourth reason: to eat breakfast at Dot's Diner.

Anyway, the guys in the shop made a big deal over my frame, turning it around and commenting on this and that feature. It so happens that there was a guy in the shop (not an employee) who is an ex-Colnago rep. He studied the frame for a while, and pronounced it an "early Master, probably late 80's". Good enough for me, although I'm pretty sure Colnago Master frames were always built with specially-shaped (not round) tubes. (more on the whole frame ID topic)

One of the guys grabbed the frame and immediately set to work on the seat tube. He proclaimed it a very sloppy 27.2, with a compressed seat lug. He stretched out the lug and reamed out the tube and got it nice and round. He then proposed a complete frame prep (lots of "chasing" and "facing"), an offer which I accepted, and he did the work while I waited (and watched - Vecchio's is that kind of shop).

It turns out that the steerer was cut woefully short back when the bike was originally assembled, so the guys helped me find a very short stack height headset (Tange) at another store (Cycle Analyst, in Denver). Then Joe set to work on the head tube, milling it down a bit to give just the slightest bit of extra room for the headset.

On the way home, I dropped the bike at Cycle Analyst. They had the headset in stock and would install it during the week.

I pick up the frame tomorrow, and the building will begin in earnest. I only need a BB and cable kit to get started.

Posted: Fri Jul 30 21:21:43 -0700 2004

/Cycling Yet Another Rain Ride...

...and yet another flat.

I rode home through a pretty vicious thunderstorm yesterday. Just as it eased up, and just as I was drying out a bit, I flatted. In the same exact location where I flatted last time I rode home in the rain! (I mean the same point in the ride, not the same place in my tire, smart-ass.) How weird is that? And again, it was so relatively close to home, and my wheels and tires were so nasty and gritty that I just called MB (my personal SAG wagon) in for a rescue rather than do a field repair.

As usual, when I got home I immediately rinsed the bike down to get the road grit off before it "set", so my beloved Serotta is all purty again. It's supposedly not going to rain tomorrow. We'll see about that.

Posted: Thu Jul 29 20:37:58 -0700 2004

/Cycling Cycling Milestones

  1. The Serotta that I bought earlier this year, and that I use for commuting purposes, has over 1000 miles on it as of this past weekend.
  2. Today, I blew apart my previous morning commute (moving) time PR of 43:40, with a new time of 42:50. My average was 19.6. Before the previous time, I had convinced myself that I couln't crack 45:00. I guess I just wasn't working hard enough. I have to admit, watching Le Tour has me pretty fired up (for what purpose, I don't know -- I don't race).

Posted: Mon Jul 19 06:41:46 -0700 2004

/Cycling Colnago Build-up, Phase I

I spent some time yesterday preparing my new old Colnago frame for the eventual build. Tasks completed:

  • Pulled the bottom bracket. Had to take it to the shop to get the right side pulled. Note to self: Italian-threaded bottom brackets are right-hand threaded on both sides, regardless of what your crappy service manual says.
  • While at the shop, got a Campy seatpost binder to replace the ugly bolt that was being used by the previous owner.
  • Pulled the brakes, and washed the frame and fork, taking note of all the scratches and worn spots. The cleanup itself resulted in a better looking bike.
  • Washed and lubed the brakes.
  • Took a bunch of detail photos.
  • Bought and applied touch-up paint. Luckily, the worst paint dings were in the black sections of the paint job, so I fixed the worst dings with black metallic model paint. It seemed to be a pretty decent match. I also applied fresh white paint to the clover logos on the down tube lug and rear brake bridge. I didn't have the courage to attack the more detailed white-filled areas of the frame such as the seat stays and fork crowns.
Colnago frame after touchups

Colnago frame after touchups

Colnago downtube lug detail

Colnago downtube lug detail

Colnago seat stays

Colnago seat stays

Colnago seat cluster

Colnago seat cluster

Tons more pictures at my .mac site.

Today, I took the above pictures. I noticed while manipulating the bike, that the 26.8mm seatpost (the size that the eBay seller said this frame requires) didn't seem very tight -- it was very easy to rotate the bike on the seatpost while it was clamped into the stand. so, I tightened it a bit more. I could still move the seatpost, even by hand. Looking at the expansion slot in the seat tube I could see that it was completely closed. So, I tried putting a 27.2 seatpost in. No dice. I put the 26.8mm one back in and bore down on the shiny new Campy binder bolt, and promptly snapped it :-(. Another newbie mistake. Now I'm left wondering what the hell seatpost size this bike actually is. I'm guessing it's actually designed for a 27.2mm, and I've compressed it a bit by screwing it down onto a 26.8mm. It would help so much if I knew the actual model and year of this bike.

Posted: Sun Jul 18 08:44:07 -0700 2004

/Cycling Picture from 2004 Elephant Rock

I just got my $15 5x7 photo from the Elephant Rock. Sure was the most underexposed $15 photo I've ever seen. Anyway, I scanned it and did some photoshopping (I stopped short of photoshopping myself thinner).

2004 elephant rock

Near the end of the 2004 Elephant Rock Ride

In all the pictures I could find of our group, I was leading. Naturally, this led to me teasing the guys that now I had photgraphic evidence that I'm always doing all the work.

Posted: Sat Jul 10 21:34:18 -0700 2004

/Cycling Colnago Frame Purchase

Well, I bid on a mid-90's Colnago frame on eBay, and won. I went over my $300 limit a little bit, but nothing too horrible. The sale of my old Cannondale frame for $175 sure softened the blow, so I'm not losing any sleep over it.

colnago bike frame

Colnago Frame (picture from eBay listing)

I've already started buying the extra components I'll need in order to build it up. Even though my boss gave me the Dura-Ace drivetrain, there are still a lot of bits and pieces needed to make a complete bike. From Performance, I bought some Shimano MTB pedals (I use MTB pedals on all my bikes, mountain and road), a Thomson seatpost, and a Flite saddle (what else?). From Excel sports, I bought a set of Ritchey Design bars (46cm c-c) and some Deda bar tape (white, naturally).

Vecchio's, in Boulder, is building me a set of 36-spoke commuting wheels with Velocity rims, Ultegra hubs, and DT spokes, which will go on my Serotta commuting bike. The Open Pro/Dura-Ace wheels that are currently on the Serotta will go to the Colnago.

Naturally, I'll post pictures here once the bike is built up. It may take some time, since next weekend is my anniversary, and the following weekend I'm doing a motorcycle trip out to Ouray.

Posted: Sat Jul 10 14:37:55 -0700 2004

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