Tuesday, September 15, 2009

James, Pass me my 2lb Ball Peen Hammer, will Ya?

I found this old 4130(Cro Moly Double Butted Main Tubes only)Schwinn World Sport being thrown away with the trash on roll out day earlier this summer here in Dooleyville on one of my many morning Stay Alives. It was in near perfect condition for an old bike so I threw it on my back and rode it back to the barn for an unknown future project. Little did I know that right after finding this rig I would meet James W. from the Cltblog.com who was in need of a ride more his size. James had been used to riding a bike way too big for him and this one was the perfect size. We just had to do the right thing and convert it to an urban Single Speed for him. Semi Horizontal drops are perfect for an SS conversion, until you take the derailleur off and find out that the drive side horizontal is half obstructed with a steel plate. Bastards.
Yes, I am wearing an old K & W Cafeteria Apron and as any wise owl would I am protecting my eyes with the latest version of the Ventoux by Tifosi while I dremel away at the useless steel blocking the full length of the drop. Check out the Sparks.
Success and calves that are getting ready to be sculpted into chiseled alabaster perfection.
James testing her out for the first time out on the street. Mountain Cockpit and SS chain line, this bike went from roll out garbage to hip in an afternoon.
New PC-1 and Surly Spacers.
The third most interesting thing that happened this weekend was when James came over on Saturday with his old 5 sizes too big bike and a box of parts that he purchased from Ultimate in Mathews for the conversion build of his new Schwinn. I was expecting it to go down in under 2 hours, everything looked in order and there was nothing that should have caught us by surprise. Within 15 minutes I started sweating and having that strange awkward dizzy feeling in my stomach that I have had before because I realized that steel would need to be cut and I was prolly gonna use my big Ball Peen Hammer more than once. As we all know the Dremel Tool and Hammer are not usually recommended by your local shop but getting this rig rolling was of highest priority, like finding Osama Bin Laden because we all know once we get him the entire world will love us. Anyway there was no pressure but James was really looking forward to having this new ride so we dove into it. I spent 30 minutes before he got here taking the useless gear shifty related parts off and prepping the frame for all the new singly stuff that he had bought. Drive train first. I pulled down a 45 tooth front ring from the collection of rings on the ring hook in the barn and realized that due to a bit of confusion at the shop James did not have the shorty chain ring bolts that I had requested. Chain ring bolts, dammit. James, pass me the hammer please. Through all crap on my bench I was able to piece together 5 small spacers for the back of the 5 regular chain ring bolts. Whew, that was a lot easier than just opening up a pack of new bolts even though it took about 35 minutes longer. Then the dremilling, not once but twice. Pass the hammer again, please James. Now put the new 18 tooth cog and spacers on that pretty wheel. No hammer needed but truing was. Okay, the new quill for the new mountain flat bars and brake levers is an inch and an 8th? Should be an inch right? James, the hammer Por Favor. Somehow we found what we needed in James' box of death to use the old quill from another bike that he had stripped down. 4.5hrs after he arrived at the barn for a sub 2 hour bike build James left happy with his new bicycle. I got a note from him yesterday and he reported that he went out on an 18 mile urban ride around town on Sunday. He wrote, "The bike performed wonderfully." Great glad to hear that and of course a good ride makes our efforts all worth it. He did say that he was almost vomited on by an inebriated Panthers fan who hurled in the road near the stadium. Life is Good!


Kathryn said...

Thank you so much for your generosity; he loves his new bike. :) It sounds like you two had quite an adventure, but I'm glad it all worked out in the end.
-James' Wife

Billy Fehr said...

You are welcome, it was a fun project from the start and I am truly glad that this thrown away machine is making someone happy!