Twelfth Bike

or Ride What You Will

Archive for the ‘Steel Bikes’ Category

650b Conversion!

Posted by Susan on June 1, 2011

Liz loved her Casati, but felt limited by the high pressure skinny tires. This light and fast Italian racing bike made a good candidate for a 650b conversion.

Liz with her Casati

Liz loves her Casati

The 650b Conversion allows her to ride with a larger tire, which means she can now ride our favorite dirt paths.

650b allows for more tire clearance on the casati

32c Gran Bois 'Cypress' tires fit the frame, with room for fenders, if desired

Before the conversion Liz’s saddle was too low to permit clearance for a Carradice Saddle bag. But now, there’s plenty of room!

Carradice bag on the casati

Now the Carradice won't drag against the tire.

Also, there is no more toe overlap!

No toe overlap

No more toe overlap!

Liz enjoys riding this bike more than ever. With the fatter tires, it is more comfortable over Boston’s rough roads and able to conquer many a dirt path. She can’t wait to ride it at D2R2!

liz riding with lucy

Lucy likes 650b!

Some notes about the Casati set up

It sports a compact double crankset. Again, I converted a triple to a double using a chainguard for the outer ring. Due to oversized oval tubing (Columbus Oversized EL tubing ) The Casati cannot take a clamp-on derailleur.  This presents a problem, as the derailleur braze on is located too high for use with a compact crankset. The problem is solved using a triple derailleur with a chainguard. Right now, gearing is 44, 32.

Another triple converted to a double.

Another triple converted to a double.

Posted in 650b Conversion, Bikes for D2R2, Casati, Gran Bois Tires, Italian bikes, Steel Bikes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Why Custom?

Posted by Susan on April 24, 2011

Riding my new custom built Sketchy (see previous post) gives me a new perspective on the question of why one would want a custom built bike, and what custom means.

Me riding my Sketchy

Enjoying the sun on the Sketchy

  • A custom bike fits well: I can ride with my bars level with my saddle, and there’s leeway with the fit so the bike can grow with me.
  • It rides the way I want it too: for me this means that it is lighter and faster than my commuter, but is still steady for me at a slower commuter pace.
  • It does what I need it to do: all my bikes do double duty as commuters. I needed room for bigger tires with fenders and the ability to carry a light load on the back.
  • It looks the way I want it to look. I didn’t want clunky fender and rack attachments. I love the pink.

The Sketchy is so much nicer than I imagined. It just flies! To me it’s beautiful, and a joy to ride. I used to think that custom was primarily about fit, but it’s really about getting a bike that fits your riding style and fulfills your riding needs.

Posted in Custom Built Bicycles, Pink Bikes, Sketchy Cycles, Steel Bikes | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Sketchy!

Posted by Susan on April 22, 2011

Here’s my new custom built Sketchy, built by expert frame builder Mike Salvatore of Seven Cycles. Made to fit me and my riding style, it’s light and fast, has plenty of room for fat tires (700 x 35) with fenders, fits a rack on the back, and has triple water bottle mounts.

Front view of the sketchy

A long distance dirt road riding machine.

Pink Sketchy

Color is RAL 3015 Light Pink

I wanted a simple mounting solution for rack and fenders.

Brake bridge with integrated fender and rack attachment

Brake bridge with integrated fender and rack attachment

Since this bike is intended for epic rides (such as D2R2), I wanted a third set of water bottle cage mounts. These also work nicely for holding my Lezyne pump. Though the frame does also have a pump peg, should I decide to carry a “normal” size road pump.

Pump intalled in place of third water bottle.

One good use for a third set of water bottle mounts.

Since I don’t race, I don’t ever find that I need a front ring larger than 42. This triple crankset is converted into a double, with a chain guard in place of the third chainring. This is a simple solution to compatibility issues of using small rings with standard derailleurs. This gearing is enough for me, the chain guard offers a little extra protection against grease when I’m commuting, the weight is negligible, and there is less chainrub in the front.

I’ve put about 1,000 miles on it so far. It’s wonderful to ride.

Stainless steel head badge

Stainless head badge.

Posted in Bikes for D2R2, Custom Built Bicycles, Pink Bikes, Sketchy Cycles, Steel Bikes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »