Friday, February 8, 2013

Sequoia Now Pink Part II

A better rendering of actual colors

I have assembled the Specialized Sequoia back into a bicycle after getting the frameset from the powdercoater last week. The assembly was not without some difficulty.

Head tube
The crown race was deformed beyond being usable when I was removing it from the fork. Though some shops and ebay sellers sell a Tange 26.4mm crown race for less than $5, I wasn't sure whether it will work with the bottom cup and bearing of the Origin8 Propulsion headset I had on this bike. I could probably call Origin8 and see if the company can send a replacement, but that might take some time. At the end, I decided to buy a cheap 1" threaded headset--a Ritchey Logic--from my local bike shop Missing Link, and used the bottom half to go with the top half of the threadless Origin8 headset. Since both were silver, the headset doesn't look particularly mismatched until closer inspection. I have the tools to press in the cups, and I asked Missing Link to press the crown race on for me.

I also had the shop chased some of the threads that I couldn't do myself, mainly the bottom bracket. Later as I was putting on the drivetrain, I realized that the derailleur hanger needed chasing, too. It's a 10mm thread, which is not a common size. I remembered that I still have a wheel axle from a busted Surly hub from my fixie-riding days. I cranked two nuts together and used them with a pedal wrench to turn the axle once I got it threaded into the dropout with some cutting oil. After applying significant force the hanger was usable again. The drivetrain went out without a problem after that.

Front wheel fender line
The third difficulty was reshaping the fenders. I bought some Tanaka 45mm alloy fenders for 700c at a discount. For this project Honjos were simply too expensive, and VO was out of stock on its 650b 45mm fenders. I used the Tanaka fenders once before on a fixed-gear build, and thought they were of decent quality. It took a little time to spread and bend the fenders into the right diameter for 650b wheels, but they turned out pretty well, and slightly wider because of the reshaping. I moved the chainstay attachment closer to the wheel axle by using a nylon spacer to improve the fender line further. Now the fender lines look nice for both wheels, but I might have to deflate the rear wheel slightly to remove it.

I also changed some of the components and set up on this bike. I am using a more traditional road drop handlebar than the ultra-flared Midge On-one I had on the bike. Velo Orange's Grand Cru Classic Round handlebar is the choice. It looks very nice and comparable in terms of weight to the nitto bars I have on my other bikes. This handlebar is deceptively long, though, as a full roll of Soma's thick and zesty bar tape can barely wrap the handlebar adequately, leaving more than usual metal exposed. I also moved the left-hand shifter to the downtube to reduce drag from the extended housing. However, I like how the bar-end shifter work with a top-normal rear derailleur, and had less than satisfactory experience with a downtube-top-normal derailleur combo, so the right-hand shifter stays at the bar-end.

Drive side 3/4
I wanted to find a solution in the front so I can put on the take off a front low-rider rack (Tubus Tara in my case) without messing with the fender's attachment, as both need to use the rear-facing eyelets on the fork. I thought I had the solution--I can screw on M5 bolts from inside to outside the fork, put the fender's R-clips on the bolt, and use a M5 coupling nut to secure the fender attachment. Then when I want to put on the low-rider rack, I just need to use a M5 bolt and secure the rack's lower mounting point to the outer end of the coupling nut. Alas, I can't find a M5 coupling nut in the two local hardware stores I visited. Peter White sells fender nuts for installing SKS fenders to recessed brake holes. If I can't find M5 coupling nuts, I can buy those from him.

The rest of the build list is the same as the bike before it was painted. But I will list the parts here for reference:

- Specialized Sequoia frame with Paragon cantilever posts added to the chainstays; 58cm
- Kogswell 64mm-offset Konversion fork 1" threadless, with Paragon cantilever posts added
- Mismatched headset: Origin8 Propulsion upper half, and Ritchey Logic lower half
- VO Grand Cru Classic Round Bend Handlebar 46cm
- VO threadless stem 90mm 6 degrees
- Soma Thick and Zesty bar tape, yellow
- Tektro R200 brake levers with mismatched hoods
- Tektro CR720 cantilever brakes
- Nitto M12 front rack
- VO Campagne boxy handlebar bag
- Velocity Dyad/Shimano LX dynamo front wheel; 32h
- Busch and Muller IQ Cyo Senso head lamp
- Velocity Dyad/Shimano LX rear wheel; 32h
- Panaracer Col de la Vie 37mm (on dyad rims) tires
- stock seatpost 26.8mm
- beat up Terry Liberator saddle
- generic bottle cages x 2
- VO 1st-gen compact double crankset; 46/34T chainrings; 165mm crank arms
- SRAM 9-speed chain
- IRD bottom bracket; 68x107mm
- Campagnolo Veloce double front derailleur
- Shimano LX top-normal rear derailleur
- SRAM 11-32 cassette
- Tanaka alloy 45mm fenders (originally for 700c)
- Suntour ratchet shifters (L: downtube; R: barend)
- Crane bronze bell
- Crank Brothers Candy C pedals
- Cygolite Metro 300 rear blinky mounted on the fender

I think going with a powdercoater who is very experienced with bicycle frames is very important. The powdercoater I used this time overall did a good job--the paint was pretty even, not too thick, and seems to have good coverage. However, not all the threads were covered properly, and the stainless steel dropout were painted also. If I were to paint my frames in the future, I would go with an powdercoater experienced with bike frames.
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