Friday, April 29, 2005

Mint Julep & Superman

My fixie is finished--now I just have to learn how ride her. To be more precise, I need to learn how to make her stop. I only rode her the mile home tonight, and I realize that it will take a decent amount of practice to ride her confidently.

I didn't realize how much momentum would be exerted keeping the pedals turning--it takes a decent amount of force to slow down the rear wheel. I've experienced the ass-over-handlebars experience once before--and I'd rather not do it again. I'll need to learn the right combination of front-brake/rear wheel slowing. Currently I don't feel like I can stop the bike in any reasonable distance. I look forward to figuring it out, though.

The Julep is going to be fast (once I feel confident enough to slow/stop her). She is very light and I don't expect to give her the fender/rack treatment, unless I start commuting on her. She's riding on skinny tires--23 x 700, skinnier than the Bianchi tires. I had a bitch of a time trying to mount those tires on the rims until I was shown a trick by Arlene. Together, the wheels/tires of my fixie cost almost as much as the Tank himself did.

I also improved the Superman quite a bit, too. The wheels he came with were crappy, untrue, heavy steel and 26 x 1 3/8. Several bike-knowledgeable people told me that I couldnt' get new alloy wheels in this size, and that more standard sized wheels wouldn't fit. I wanted to swap the Mint Julep's old rear wheel onto the Superman, and according to my eyeballing of the situation, it should work. So about two minutes after the instructor tonight warned me to not even think about swapping the wheel, I threw Superman onto a stand and gave it a shot.

The swap totally worked. The brakes were adjustable and the wheel fit easily in the frame. The hub itself is still too tight and needs some work, but the wheel fits fine. So, ha ha to everyone who said I couldn't do this and told me I would be stuck with old steel rims. I adjusted the brakes so they stop the bike better and hoisted the seat up higher to make him more comfortable. I hope to start riding him regularly next week.

Too bad I don't have a camera to get pictures of the new bikes.


At 11:49 AM, Blogger Frick said...

You should get a digital camera. Then again, its harder the argument to you. For most people, you can simply point out that the amount they spend on gas, or an food in a week could buy a decent camera. For you, that's enough to live on for two months, so it could be considered a greater sacrifice. Then again, you're A LAWYER.

Also, would it be possible for you provide a key for bike name/bike build? It gets confusing to follow sometimes.

Bianca: Super fast road bike
Mint Julep: Fixed speed
Superman: Fixer bike??

At 1:45 PM, Blogger jojo said...

Happy Birthday Frick!

Yes your sister is an attorney, but you know I'm not pulling down a crazy huge salary.

Plus, the fast-approaching H-bar investment is going to force me to live like a poor student for the next several months. Besides, I have just dumped almost $1500 on bikes and their accessories in the past three weeks.

I like the idea of making a permanent key describing my bike stable--maybe with pictures!

Bianchi: Fast road bike (nowhere near the caliber of big brother's)

Mint Julep: fixed gear

Superman: A work in progress from a ridiculously-heavy Schwinn Collegiate frame. He is Superman blue and will hopefully become my daily commuter. Carrying him up my steps and riding him around the city might turn me into Superman.

Tank: recently departed clunky, beloved, hybrid. With a suspension fork & seat, I rode him over potholes and other rough roads as easily as if he was a tank.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous said...

I just want to make sure I read this correctly: You were able to fit 700's on the Collegiate? I picked a Collegiate up from Working Bikes a couple weeks ago myself and am looking to put standard wheels on it.

Some people are telling me that they won't fit, others say they will. I don't have any other wheels to test the fit. Any info would be great!

At 1:25 AM, Blogger jojo said...

I put a 700 wheel on the rear and it works fine, but I haven't found a wheel to swap out for the front. So yes, for my collegiate, it worked. Your frame clearance might be different depending on the year it was made. Give it a shot!


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