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"Office Bike" coming together (pic)

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"Office Bike" coming together (pic)

Old 01-23-11, 01:26 PM
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Machine Age
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"Office Bike" coming together (pic)

Commuting from home is impractical but I keep my Office Bike at work and ride to most meetings / lunches during the day. Just replaced a too small Trek 1200 with this bigger, cooler and much more supple 715.



Still to do:

-Convert to 6 speed with thumbie and Suntour Cyclone GT MII
-Eventually get some different tires. The Gatorskins are very tough but feel dead to me. Maybe I'll try those Grand Bois or one of the Rivendell gumwalls etc. Any recommendations for a 32 / 35 tire that feels more alive, springy, etc but still kevlar belted?
--Rack: Much as i would like to keep this original Bob Blackburn rack, I don't like the way it droops. Question for you experience rack people: Are rack sizes standardized or do they give a measurement for the height? How do I make sure that I get one that installs level? So happy to have a rack on this bike.
--I am very happy to have discovered the OYB pannier. Will be perfect size for iPad, notebook, wallet, etc...all the stuff i bring to meetings.
--Not delighted with aesthetics of brake levers but they work well
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Old 01-23-11, 01:34 PM
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Also forgot to mention the seatpost issue. Bike had original SR seatpost in it but I had to screw down the seatpost clamp until the ends were touching and couldn't go anymore. not good. But after investing in some 15 dollar calipers it turned out that the problem was the post, not the clamp (I was worried that it had stretched etc). Post was barely over 27.0. Took the calipers to LBS and found a true 27.2 post and now it all fits properly.
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Old 01-23-11, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Age View Post


--Rack: Much as i would like to keep this original Bob Blackburn rack, I don't like the way it droops. Question for you experience rack people: Are rack sizes standardized or do they give a measurement for the height? How do I make sure that I get one that installs level? So happy to have a rack on this bike.
Cool project.
Do the arms connecting the rack to the seat stays telescope to allow you to adjust it more to your liking? I can't quite see from the pic. That, plus some careful heating and bending of those arms might do the trick.
To my eye, it looks like the rack will be pretty close to level when the front bridge of the rack touches the seat stays. You can use thick zip ties or wire to connect the rack bridge to the stays, using some thin rubber or electrical tape between the two.

That bike is begging for fenders, IMO
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Last edited by canyoneagle; 01-23-11 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 01-23-11, 01:43 PM
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Looks very business like.
With a ride like that, you're a shoe-in for that corner office.
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Old 01-23-11, 02:03 PM
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Beautiful bike, Looks to be about my size
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Old 01-23-11, 06:05 PM
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I already have the corner office, just needed a ride to match

@canyoneagle: Nope arms are not adjustable. Is that what people do...bend the arms? I know the Nittos on the Rivendell site have adjustable stays but ideally i'd find a rack that would just bolt into place in the perfect size.

Would be great to get recommendations for 32-35 tires that have good feel and are puncture resistant. Maybe I'll get some of those Jack Brown tires from Riv.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
That bike is begging for fenders, IMO
I'm kind of torn on fenders. absolutely don't need them since i live in a desert and don't ride this bike (the Office Bike...with Office Clothes) in the rain or wet. And i have to carry the bike up and down two flights of stairs. But I agree they would look great. Generally don't like having non-functional crap on the bike but on this kind of bike, maybe aesthetic is function...which was the reason for holding out for a great one of these instead of buying perfectly good Surly LHT or Sam Hillborne.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:56 PM
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Nice commute bicycle. For tires, try going to REI and getting some Vittoria Randonnuer Cross tires. They're kevlar-lined, get good mileage, and I've never had any issues with the two bikes I've got them on. They come in both 32s and 35s. Velo Orange has some nice old-style all-metal brake levers that would look gret on that bike (about $20). some brown grips to match the saddle would also look good. Racks: Some come with adjustable legs that'll allow it to fit and bike - check REI if you go there, but I believe the only ones they sell are all black. Also go to a LBS selling cruiser bikes and see if you can find a Wald rear rack; they come in different sizes and might work, too.
 
Old 01-23-11, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Age View Post
I'm kind of torn on fenders. absolutely don't need them since i live in a desert and don't ride this bike (the Office Bike...with Office Clothes) in the rain or wet. And i have to carry the bike up and down two flights of stairs. But I agree they would look great. Generally don't like having non-functional crap on the bike but on this kind of bike, maybe aesthetic is function...which was the reason for holding out for a great one of these instead of buying perfectly good Surly LHT or Sam Hillborne.
Agree fenders wouldn't be necessary, given your location.
That just gives you more flexibility for tire size! 32's are a nice blend of comfort and performance. I really like my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, but other good tires are available - Vittoria Randonneur, Gatorskin, among others.

As for the rack, if you want to keep the Blackburn, bending the stays (heat them with a torch or they would weaken and/of break) or removing them and attaching the bridge to the stays seem to be the best options. Otherwise, many nice racks with adjustable arms are available. Tubus, Axiom, Civia, and Topeak make such racks. The arms can be cut to the correct size if need be.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:00 PM
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You need a rack with adjustable stays if you want it to sit level. Look into Axioms, also some Trek branded racks as well as a few other brands. You're going to have a tough time finding a solid/rigid mount rack that's a perfect fit for a frame that isn't a 54-56 size.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Age View Post
Commuting from home is impractical but I keep my Office Bike at work and ride to most meetings / lunches during the day. Just replaced a too small Trek 1200 with this bigger, cooler and much more supple 715.



Still to do:

-Convert to 6 speed with thumbie and Suntour Cyclone GT MII
-Eventually get some different tires. The Gatorskins are very tough but feel dead to me. Maybe I'll try those Grand Bois or one of the Rivendell gumwalls etc. Any recommendations for a 32 / 35 tire that feels more alive, springy, etc but still kevlar belted?
--Rack: Much as i would like to keep this original Bob Blackburn rack, I don't like the way it droops. Question for you experience rack people: Are rack sizes standardized or do they give a measurement for the height? How do I make sure that I get one that installs level? So happy to have a rack on this bike.
--I am very happy to have discovered the OYB pannier. Will be perfect size for iPad, notebook, wallet, etc...all the stuff i bring to meetings.
--Not delighted with aesthetics of brake levers but they work well
It must suck when you have to reach for the water bottle unless you are built like an gorilla.
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Old 01-24-11, 01:56 AM
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I like it a lot! It reminds me of the Lotus I put together for commuting, only much nicer. I agree, if the fenders don't server a purpose, leave them off. Commuters should be more about utility with good looks being a bonus. I like the brake levers you used... I also used a modern set and don't regret it for a second.

I used a Minoura handlebar mounted bottle cage holder. It's not gorgeous but I can carry two bottles within my eyesight which is nice for riding in heavy traffic. I also stuffed some Suntour barcons in the end of the north road bars which have been amazing.

Nice bike!
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Old 01-24-11, 02:04 AM
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Looks good!
Here you go: Touring style brake lever
https://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Steel-...5856149&sr=8-3

Any need for a chainguard?

https://www.amazon.com/Civia-Chaingua...856302&sr=1-26
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Old 01-24-11, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
Looks good!
Here you go: Touring style brake lever
https://www.amazon.com/Pyramid-Steel-...5856149&sr=8-3

Any need for a chainguard?

https://www.amazon.com/Civia-Chaingua...856302&sr=1-26
Yes. A chainguard. That is a good call. I actually like this one for the shiny polished aluminum that will match the Rigidas. I wonder if this will work with my 6 speed 40/32-13 gearing.

Originally Posted by treebound View Post
You need a rack with adjustable stays if you want it to sit level. Look into Axioms, also some Trek branded racks as well as a few other brands. You're going to have a tough time finding a solid/rigid mount rack that's a perfect fit for a frame that isn't a 54-56 size.
OK this is what I don't get. No matter what the frame size, the wheels are the same size, chain stays are the same length. The seat stays are longer but why shouldn't the rack braze-ons be in the same place (relative to dropout) on every bike so you could have a standardized size?

Originally Posted by 531phile View Post
It must suck when you have to reach for the water bottle unless you are built like an gorilla.
Ha, it's the shifters that are the real hassle hence the thumbie conversion. Since my rides are no more than 7-8 miles each way max and mostly less, I don't work up much of a thirst. Usually what I carry in the bottle cage is this genius coffee cup that doesn't spill a drop.
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Old 01-24-11, 08:01 AM
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Looks really nice, Machine Age.

Here are my thoughts:
  • Jack Browns are very, very comfy. I love them. They measure 35mm on my rims with 22mm inside width. I also love the Ruffy Tuffys. You can't go wrong with Paselas in 35mm either. FYI, any LBS with a Merry Sales account can order the Jack Browns/Ruffy Tuffy.
  • I think the brake levers look fine. If you don't like the black, the VO city bike levers (as someone above mentioned) or the Tektro FL730 might appeal more to you.
  • You must address the unlevel rack, but you already knew that. Fenders would look great, but if you don't ride in the rain or on wet streets, don't bother.
  • I'm a big fan of the VO bottle cage handlebar mount and the Retro cage.
  • I have a new VO chainguard for sale/trade, but it's not going to work with your derailleurs.
  • I have the OYB bag and like it. The pannier is small, but looks really nice.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:08 AM
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Chainguard? What you do is get some lengthy nylon socks ... preferably black. Cut them just back behind the heel. If you are wearing classic Italian type slip-ons, you just drop them and pull them on over your regular socks. Fold yer suit pants/slacks around your ankle to minimize creasing and pull your "sleeve-sock" over the cuff. Keeps you cleaner than even with the chainguard. If you hit a patch where the street flusher has been, a drizzle, windborn debris, winter chills etc it out does the guard and you are minus the nerd factor.
...which was the reason for holding out for a great one of these instead of buying perfectly good Surly ....
I think you done gone did real good! Worth the wait!
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Old 01-24-11, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lenton58 View Post
Chainguard? What you do is get some lengthy nylon socks ... preferably black. Cut them just back behind the heel. If you are wearing classic Italian type slip-ons, you just drop them and pull them on over your regular socks. Fold yer suit pants/slacks around your ankle to minimize creasing and pull your "sleeve-sock" over the cuff. Keeps you cleaner than even with the chainguard. If you hit a patch where the street flusher has been, a drizzle, windborn debris, winter chills etc it out does the guard and you are minus the nerd factor.
Right. Because those socks are so much cooler than a chainguard.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:38 AM
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I've picked up a few bikes that came with those racks and would have kept them, but none of them sat level on my own bikes. It seems like the braze-ons were located to suit the racks.

Very nice office bike Machine Age!!
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Old 01-24-11, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
Right. Because those socks are so much cooler than a chainguard.
Well it wouldn't exactly stand out in Japan...
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Old 01-24-11, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Machine Age View Post
OK this is what I don't get. No matter what the frame size, the wheels are the same size, chain stays are the same length. The seat stays are longer but why shouldn't the rack braze-ons be in the same place (relative to dropout) on every bike so you could have a standardized size?
If you draw an imaginary seatstay to an imaginary 56cm TT you'll see that the rack mount points will be somewhere around an inch, maybe more, farther forward.

With some creative bracket extensions and clamp-on seattube rackmounts you could probably level that rack.
https://www.amazon.com/Sunlite-Clamp-.../dp/B0014GGN3W

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 01-24-11 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 01-24-11, 10:06 AM
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I just happened to think that those brackets might be fixed. If so, I guess they'd get in the way.
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Old 01-24-11, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
If you draw an imaginary seatstay to an imaginary 56cm TT you'll see that the rack mount points will be somewhere around an inch, maybe more, farther forward.
+1

I went to an LBS looking for those twisted arms that bolt underneath a rack and to the braze on, and the ones they had were way too long after the twist.

Another rack I had was adjustable, but had a downward angle in the arm, missing the braze on on my 22.5" mountain bike.
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Old 01-24-11, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
Looks really nice, Machine Age.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Jack Browns are very, very comfy. I love them. They measure 35mm on my rims with 22mm inside width. I also love the Ruffy Tuffys. You can't go wrong with Paselas in 35mm either. FYI, any LBS with a Merry Sales account can order the Jack Browns/Ruffy Tuffy.
  • I think the brake levers look fine. If you don't like the black, the VO city bike levers (as someone above mentioned) or the Tektro FL730 might appeal more to you.
  • You must address the unlevel rack, but you already knew that. Fenders would look great, but if you don't ride in the rain or on wet streets, don't bother.
  • I'm a big fan of the VO bottle cage handlebar mount and the Retro cage.
  • I have a new VO chainguard for sale/trade, but it's not going to work with your derailleurs.
  • I have the OYB bag and like it. The pannier is small, but looks really nice.
Hmmm I will check out the Jack Browns and the REI Vittorias look good too. Would the VO chainguard fit after the 6 speed conversion? I will have no front derailleur and a 40 tooth ring.
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Old 01-24-11, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Machine Age View Post
Hmmm I will check out the Jack Browns and the REI Vittorias look good too. Would the VO chainguard fit after the 6 speed conversion? I will have no front derailleur and a 40 tooth ring.
It will likely work with a 1x6 setup. The chainguard I have is designed for a 48t ring, so it wouldn't look right with a 40t ring. In my opinion, a single 40t ring is going to look bad. Especially on such a large frame.

A 48t chainring and a 14-28t 6sp freewheel will give the following gear inches with 700c x 35mm tires.

100.3
86.9
72.5
62.1
54.3
46.6

A mega-range freewheel will change that last gear to 38.4 gear inches. Using a 46t chainring will, of course, lessen these numbers a bit. 46-48t rings for 110BCD cranks are not hard to find.

https://cgi.ebay.com/Shimano-5-Bolt-1...item230db1f7b7
https://cgi.ebay.com/Specialized-46t-...item4156200df7
https://cgi.ebay.com/Campagnolo-Eucli...item19c2351a6f

Also, if you're going to go to a single ring up front, it's best to center it between the 3rd and 4th cogs by replacing your BB spindle with one a bit shorter.
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Last edited by ColonelJLloyd; 01-24-11 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 01-24-11, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ColonelJLloyd View Post
It will likely work with a 1x6 setup. The chainguard I have is designed for a 48t ring, so it wouldn't look right with a 40t ring. In my opinion, a single 40t ring is going to look bad. Especially on such a large frame. Also, if you're going to go to a single ring up front, it's best to center it between the 3rd and 4th cogs by replacing your BB spindle with one a bit shorter.
I think for the conversion I'm going to try, at least initially, what worked with the last Office Bike, which had a 39-tooth ring to make the most of the Dura Ace 6 speed cluster. I just took off the large chainring and kept the small one on the inside and it lined up pretty well. Never had an issue w/chain coming off etc.

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