This is how you recycle a Peugeot wanna-be-fixed gear. First of all you take off the wheels with the beach cruiser hub (which can't brake for a damn). Then you hammer apart all the stuck components, imagining you are wielding said hammer against your least favorite prosecutor. Soon, you'll be down to a bare frame, well - a frame wrapped up in electrical tape, because, that's like, you know, cool.
Sheldon Bike's been crashed once before - the handlebars are a loss. Probably someone wanted "fixed cool" without knowing how to ride one, then promptly rode their sluggishly breaking looks-like-a-fixed bike into something. These are the kind of people who buy fixed gears off craig's list then start talking about their "fixies," as though they even knew the word a few months prior.
The hardest part was getting the electrical tape off, then the goo the tape left, then sanding down the bike so that it didn't look ridged from where the paint had been eaten away by said tape goo. Simple Green and steel wool answered nicely. I should have taken pictures, but I was cursing.
Instead of refinishing Sheldon Bike, I decided to let all the chips and scrapes stand for themselves. I hit the entire frame with a coat of clear spray paint. And then thought of taking pictures for the blog. Clicking on any of these will get you a larger picture.
I'm always amazed at the beauty of frame geometry. This particular Peugeot is an 80s model - middle of the line, I think, judging from the frame features. It's welded, not brazed, so there are no external lugs, and the seat post is some weird non-standard Frenchified 24mm thing. Shims, be with me. All in all, it's a clean looking bike, and, because I'm not doing any elite level racing, I'm sure as hell not going to be bothered by a few extra grams.
Here are some of the stripped and scraped bits on the tubes. The blue lion decals survived though, which is nice (and personally amusing, as anyone who has seen my tattoos can attest to.) I'm not sure what kind of person put her together in her older mode, but I'm sure she came by these scars honorably, as only French bikes can. Note the ridges from the dipshit tape job:
A junked Fuji, found at the Miami Rescue Mission for $10, donated some bearings, a quill stem, some nice retro 1970s steel handlebars, and a pair of diacompe breaks with secondary levers.
Next, the cranks, wheels, and chain. I kept the cranks I found on Sheldon Bike - midlevel Suntour. I added some fixed wheels I have around (came across a set for next to nothing awhile ago - and I'm relative good at picking up stuff I know I'll later use. Want creates awareness.) I did a ghetto fixed version with this guy, shifting around the big and small rings and essentially using the small ring as a spacer. The chain-line is perfect, both in terms of angle and tension and chain fit into these old rings. At this point all the hard work is done.
Last step is all the small stuff: seatpost (shims!) a saddle, a front brake, pedals, removing the unwanted break lever, and a final cleaning. I tend to grease liberally as I build, so it's always a good idea to revisit the bike with the cleaner again after everything else is done.
I had to get out some esoteric tools on this one, plus do a bit of filing to get the quill stem to fit the fork. Chewed up about 6 hours of my time and $50 for odds and ends. It's a good occupation for the hands - frankly I'd go nuts if I wasn't able to make/fix something and had to do book/brain work all the time. And it keeps me from infecting my friends with my gruesomeness. Which is getting better.
I took her out for a test spin - she handles beautifully. She rides big and smooth like Hush, but is snappy on the corners. The short Suntour cranks make me a bit less paranoid about pedal-strike, which is still a problem on the Lotus. If it wasn't so wet, and if I weren't so weary, I'd go for a longer break-in ride, because I'm curious about how'd she do on my Miami Beach cycling circle. While I'm feeling better, I'd rather not risk a setback by pushing myself too hard right now.
I particularly like the small steel handlebars. They make her a bit front-heavy for a fixed, but with the Miami roadways I'm not going to be hitting many hills. (I miss Lumina (she's in CT) for her lightness and all around ease in hillier terrain.)
And this is a very tired, greasy, but hopefully healing Scoplaw, on said Scoplaw's very comfy couch, the other end of which is being held down by El Gato Perfecto, who provided bike building supervising efforts:
I think I'm going to finish cleaning the apt., open a bottle of wine, resume a conversation with Riposte, finish off my latest book (Joseph Campbell) and then maybe watch an 80s film. I was listening to the Psychedelic Furs live version of Pretty in Pink at some point when I was working. Hence the desire for some 80s high school drama - but not my own. I also have Howl's Moving Castle from netflix, so it's a tossup.