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Old 10-21-07, 06:14 PM   #1
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A Time Trial Bike for the Homeless

Obviously, I first owe an explanation as to just where the idiot title of this thread originates.

A couple of months ago a bike appeared in Numbskull of the Day - like most others, utterly forgettable other than the momentary amusement we all got from it's abysmal condition coupled with the ridiculous pricing aspirations of the seller. I can't remember what make the bike was, it's color, or anything about it . . . . . except that it was a complete piece of crap and, for some reason, had time trial extensions on the handlebars. In the comments section, somebody mentioned that, "It looked like a time trial bike for the homeless." No idea who, although for some reason East Hill comes to mind.

Like many non-sequitor (sp?) phrases, odd snippets of old disco or Britney Spears songs, or horribly unfunny jokes, this statement settled into my mind, grabbed hold, and absolutely would not go away. So of course I had to build my own versions of a time trial bike for the homeless.

Now, I do not build beater crap. Period. The closest thing to a beater that I've ever ridden/driven in my life is my current Chevy S-10 pickup (purple, scratched, but still looks good from five feet away) which my wife has had to listen to me whine about for the past year since the budget doesn't allow for it's replacement. So of course, while my budget would have to do the "for the homeless" bit, the final product had to be as pristine as anything else in my garage. So, the final rules became:

1. You may spend money on bar tape (I don't recycle old bar tape) and tyres/tubes.
2. Everything else must have been picked up for free, or at least have been on the shelf long enough, or used in another use, so that the previous purchase price was amortized long ago.

Starting point came out of the deal that got me the Peugeot UO-8 - Dan, as is his usual, tossed in a freebie on the deal, a 1981 Raleigh Gran Prix (s/n NB1413534 - Nottingham built) minus the wheels and cranks. Lots of little scratches, but the paint was solid, the chrome good, and it cleaned up beautifully (more on this later). Yeah, it's 59cm, which is the absolute maximum that I can straddle, but I do clear it. So I use it.

I reused as much as possible, added a Scott time trial bar and old mountain bike stem picked up from the freebie box at Richmond Recycle, crankset, shift and brake levers came from my stock and got a great deal of polishing. The wheels are true to the original concept - at least a lawyer would see it that way. They are something I built a year and a half ago strictly for stretching spare tubulars: Helicomatic hubs with Ambrosio rims. And the Vittoria Rallye's are part of my spare tyre stock. Ten bucks for two boxes of bar tape, and . . . . .

. . . . . here's where I blew the budget. Remember that line about bikes having to look perfect? Well Raleigh's silver from that year is an almost perfect match to 95-96 GM silver. You gotta be within six inches to see the shade difference. Add in one bottle of touchup paint, and every scratch on the bike has been covered.

As to the final result:





I've yet to ride it - the tyres haven't been glued on, and this weekend was spent in first rides/final fettling of the UO-8 - but that's planned for next weekend. Only things I'd really like to complete it is a replacement set of pads for the arm supports, and a set of SunTour bar end shifters. And some blue cable casing would be nice. All of those will wait until I figure out if I even like what I've built.
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Old 10-21-07, 07:26 PM   #2
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faux track for the homeless

xx

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Old 10-21-07, 07:39 PM   #3
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Hmm, I don't remember using that phrase, but as long as it's memorable, I'll go ahead and claim it until the real owner steps up .

Blue cable housing would be nice, but I do like the handlebar tape matching the blue of the head tube! It's a lovely frosty silver, that bike.

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Old 10-21-07, 07:45 PM   #4
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haha, I remember the comment about the "time trial bike for a homeless person" comment. I too got a good 5 minutes of laughter out of that. Then a week later I read that someone from my town is trying to make a "Homeless soccer team"

Just wait, I am going to eventually turn my old beater MTB into a "ghetto cross" bike once I start collecting the parts for installing drop bars.
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Old 10-22-07, 04:34 AM   #5
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Reverse snob alert thread!!

EDIT Oh..that's a GOOD THING!!
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Old 11-22-07, 06:36 PM   #6
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Thought I'd resurrect this thread and give an update on the bike.

The time trial side of the project didn't work in the slightest. Discovered that I'd rather ride fixies in hilly country than spend an afternoon pounding pavement trying to do personal bests on preset laps. I'm just not that competitive in my riding. I found being down on the bars to be discordantly unstable, uncomfortable, and just plain not fun .

Having thrown this mess together out of a free frame and anything I had sitting on the shelves, I found it had a few other shortcomings: 1. Geared way too high for me (52/39). As I was using a cheap cotterless crankset, the kind where the high sprocket is swagged directly onto the crank arm with the lower sprocket bolted to it, the crankset had to go. 2. The dérailleurs reeked! Raleigh branded SunTour V-GT/Compe-V, and I could not get the rear to climb one sprocket at a time for love nor money. Easily the worst SunTour mechanisms I'd ever ridden. 3. The stock saddle was best described in two words: gay **** .

I had the Shimano 600 crank sitting around from the original incarnation of the Rossin, and everyone here has no doubt read about the travails of figuring out the bottom bracket. In the end, the bottom bracket itself was 71mm wide, so I ended up combining the original English threaded cups with a Shimano 105 Italian spindle and fitted the crank in nicely. A 50/42 combination is an improvement, and while I'd really prefer a 48/42 or 48/39, I can live with it for the time being. Stopped by Richmond Recycle and picked up a mint pair of SunTour Cyclones (black label and in brand new condition) for twenty bucks, and hit the LBS for a cheap Bontraeger saddle (I find them a comfort bargain at fifteen bucks, have them on both my Rossin and modern Fuji Finest).

The end result was reasonably pleasant:



and the fifty miles I put on this morning before the annual turkey feast gave me an enjoyable ride and the knowledge that I've now got something worthwhile to play with. Raleigh definitely had a talent for putting a nice ride into a cheap frame.

If only it wasn't so tall . . . . The frame's a 59cm, and I normally ride a 56. I can clear it (barely), but the search is now on for something Reynolds or Columbus in my size to transfer all the components over to. Raleigh or Rossin preferred (Gitane, Peugeot or something Italian is equally likable), although I'm not going to start seriously looking until after the Christmas shopping is completed and I know what the January bills will be like.
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Old 11-22-07, 06:47 PM   #7
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i just bought one of those saddles this afternoon! $10!
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Old 11-22-07, 07:46 PM   #8
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Syke,

I'm glad to see those Cyclone parts being put to good use. I can't believe that they sat around the shop for so long before you picked them up. I personally couldn't justify picking them up with no bike to put them on. I'm glad you did. I think this is a much better incarnation than the TT bike.

Rob
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Old 11-22-07, 08:22 PM   #9
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It looks much better to me like that and I'm sure it's more comfortable. My eyes are drawn to all those cable ties every time I look at the picture. Sure you got enough?
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Old 11-22-07, 09:02 PM   #10
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Nice
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Old 11-22-07, 09:08 PM   #11
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It looks much better to me like that and I'm sure it's more comfortable. My eyes are drawn to all those cable ties every time I look at the picture. Sure you got enough?
Welcome to why all my other bikes have wireless cyclometers - this was a cheap out from the original construction. I've got one old wired cyclometer that usually gets hooked up temporarily until I get around to getting a good one.

And I've done a lot of electrical work in my life, anywhere from computer building to auto accessories to construction. I can't stand wires not laying neatly in line.

Yeah, I'm compulsive. The fact that I've got nine bikes with eight cyclometers between them should tell you that.
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Old 11-23-07, 10:14 AM   #12
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That's a really nice looking bike! On the top end of my size but perfect for a 'vintage-look' saddle height. How heavy is it now with those nice wheels? I'm guessing sub 25lb or so? I like the look with the centre-pull brakes - it has that 1960's pro-bike look to it. Nice work!
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Old 11-23-07, 10:23 AM   #13
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Most of my bikes have been built up in this manner... on a low budget and by using recycled parts.

Your bike is really pleasing esthetically and sounds like it is also a very nice ride so all in all ...it's a winner.
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Old 11-23-07, 03:50 PM   #14
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It's definitely a nice ride - having finally figured out what is comfortable clothing for the mid-40's days we're having this weekend, I've knocked out 78 miles on it in the last two days. Smooth, comfortable . . . . and possibly already on it's way towards being replaced with another frame. Doing some talking to one of the group about a 56cm Trek 460. We'll see what happens.
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Old 12-14-07, 02:17 PM   #15
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Guess I should tie the thread up.



I need to get some new pads, got a surprise when I tried to stop on my post office run today!

All It needs now is a 25.4 alloy seatpost, real pedals, and a Brooks.
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Old 12-14-07, 02:19 PM   #16
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Looking very classy now, especially without the cable ties .

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Old 12-14-07, 02:34 PM   #17
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And with a bit of luck, I should have the last bits in this weekend for the interim completion of the Trek. Still considering depriving East Hill of pictures, through.
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Old 12-14-07, 02:58 PM   #18
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Still considering depriving East Hill of pictures, through.
Thousands of fellow C & Vers would be denied holiday cheer and fellowship with their fellow man/woman if you did that ! Think of the others!

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Old 12-14-07, 03:19 PM   #19
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Welcome to why all my other bikes have wireless cyclometers - this was a cheap out from the original construction. I've got one old wired cyclometer that usually gets hooked up temporarily until I get around to getting a good one.

And I've done a lot of electrical work in my life, anywhere from computer building to auto accessories to construction. I can't stand wires not laying neatly in line.

Yeah, I'm compulsive. The fact that I've got nine bikes with eight cyclometers between them should tell you that.
Not to get the thread too off topic, but what wireless computers do you use?

I hate mine. It's receiver picks up signals everywhere to the point where it is virtually useless. Alhtough it does give me some impressive stats (Top Speeds in the 70s and averages in the 40s and 50s)
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Old 12-14-07, 11:19 PM   #20
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Not to get the thread too off topic, but what wireless computers do you use?

I hate mine. It's receiver picks up signals everywhere to the point where it is virtually useless. Alhtough it does give me some impressive stats (Top Speeds in the 70s and averages in the 40s and 50s)
I'm running a Filzer dB4LW (usually pick them up at Performance Bicycle when they're on sale for $24.95) on all but two my other bikes. They've been very accurate, easy to set, you can reset your mileage when you've had to replace the battery (very important in my scheme of things), and you're only dealing with two screens. Very highly recommended.
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Old 12-14-07, 11:20 PM   #21
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Thousands of fellow C & Vers would be denied holiday cheer and fellowship with their fellow man/woman if you did that ! Think of the others!

East Hill
The parts arrived today! Hopefully I'll have the bike done by midweek.
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Old 12-16-07, 04:08 PM   #22
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To close the thread, here's the final loose end - redneckwes' Trek 460 frame with what was on the Gran Prix's original build, plus a few changes in between (Sugino Aero crank, DiaCompe 500 brakes). It'll stay like this for awhile, as I slowly put together the missing bits to convert it over to entirely European components.

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Old 12-16-07, 04:29 PM   #23
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I'm running a Filzer dB4LW (usually pick them up at Performance Bicycle when they're on sale for $24.95) on all but two my other bikes. They've been very accurate, easy to set, you can reset your mileage when you've had to replace the battery (very important in my scheme of things), and you're only dealing with two screens. Very highly recommended.
That's what I've got.

Right now my max is 75.9 and I reset it just before my last ride.

Maybe I should consider a racing career.
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Old 12-16-07, 04:40 PM   #24
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Maybe I should consider a racing career.
Yes, I would say so!

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Old 12-16-07, 04:40 PM   #25
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To close the thread, here's the final loose end - redneckwes' Trek 460 frame with what was on the Gran Prix's original build, plus a few changes in between (Sugino Aero crank, DiaCompe 500 brakes). It'll stay like this for awhile, as I slowly put together the missing bits to convert it over to entirely European components.

Beautiful! Worth waiting for, even if you were teasing me .

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