Friday, August 01, 2008

The Friday Fix

It just dawned on me that I haven't posted about my new (to me) but older model Bianchi Classica single speed/fixie commuter bike I built a couple of months ago. I thought I would make it the feature of this week's Friday Fix, granted it's not a mountain bike but I have it configured more like a cycle cross bike, so that's close enough.

I picked this bike up on the side of the road after someone try to sell it at tag sale for $10 and there were no takers. It is a Bianchi Classica and I think it made in the early 1990's. It doesn't have the engraved CLASSICA at the start of the seat stays as the first production year model did, in fact I thought I read somewhere that this bike was the first of the Bianchis to be mass produced in Japan.

The addition of this bike to the stable prompted the sale of the Cannondale. That was a sweet bike but just too small for me. This bike, with the longer stem feels just right for me, although the seat tube measurement was smaller than the Cannondale's. It was fun stripping down the bike, though. I was able to pass on the cables to a buddy who was refurbishing an old mountain bike and needed specific suntour cables that you can't buy any more. The drop bars went to the Cannondale and the pedals were pretty cool.

Back in March, I purchased a 700c Alex Rim flip flop wheel that I was going to put on the Cannondale but you might recall, the rear drops on that bike were true vertical drops and I just couldn't get the enough chain tension with this wheel. For the longest time I kept scouring Ebay and Craigslist for a 700c front wheel but never found anything. Just when I was about to breakdown and buy a new wheel from NYC bikes when I found someone on Crankfire.com that was willing to trade a 700c steel fir wheel set for a pair of Crank Brothers' Candies.

I got a pair of Bullhorns from Profile Designs and the levers are Cane Creek 200TT, both of which, along with the cork tape I bought at Pricepoint. This was the first time putting tape on bars. In fact, I do have a post about bar taping in which I use the Bianchi as an example, called How to Tape Your Bars. I started out by first using electrical tape to keep the brake housings underneath the bars and then wound the tape onto the bars. I was able to tuck the ends in on themselves for a very professional look.

I played switcheroo with the pedals. I decided to put my CB Acids on the Fixation, thus moving the Candies over to the Bianchi. I am going to try riding clipless but it seems most fixie riders use toe clips or no clips at all. I think that may be so that if they have to loose contact with the pedals in an emergency it's a no brainer. Clipless might be another story so I will try it for awhile and see how it works. I can always go back.

The last couple of things I need are better brake pads, fenders although running the 700x42 tires might not fit with conventional fenders, so I might have to get creative, and the last thing is good mirror. So far, little jaunts around the neighborhood, the bike feels really nice. The 42:16 gear ratio feels really nice on asphalt and I can't wait to tackle the Route 25 climb into Brookfield with that gearing.

Can't wait to start riding this to work!

1 comment:

Peter said...

Looks great, enjoy ! The fat tires build up alot of momentum and will help you as you move along but when set up fixed be aware as they will be harder to slow down. They spin heavy.
I had 700x42 on the Trek 510 and just dropped back to the 700x32 cross tires.