Bike frame back from painting

I handed the raw bike frame off to the painter a couple of days after I got it, and went to pick it up a few days later and this was the result:

the frame, painted

Now that the urgent problem of oxydation and paint is out of the way, I can deal with actually building on the frame.

I have been thinking what kind of frame it is. I noticed that there was two small dents right above where the break (or lock) mounts, which to me indicated that at some point this bike had a rear luggage carrier mounted. At first I had thought that the bike had been a racy commuter, but after some thought this is probably wrong. It's much more ordinary than that. Now my guess is that it used to be a slightly racy commuter bike. With either 5 or 10 speeds, as according to Sheldon Brown, 120mm is common among 5-speed frames. As far as I know it was quite normal to have a 5x2 setup in the olden days, so 10-speed is certainly not unrealistic.

Along with the frame I got a few bits and bobs, notably the bottom bracket, and a few parts for mounting the fork, although even with my limited knowledge, I am quite sure it's not a complete headset.

During last weekend, I was talking to one of my childhood friends and while I knew that he was a bit of a bike nut, I did not know that he builds wheels. Something he said he could probably do for me, which could make getting the "right" wheels a bit easier.

He also shared with me his impressions of freewheels that mounts on a hub, either via splines or threads. He does not have good experiences them as they broke after a while. And after some reading I think I have concluded a few things. First that splined parts are rare and that they have a little bit of sway in them. Second that I can probably live without a freewheel. Sure, I will need to adjust the way I ride from the fast and hard way I ride now, to a more paced, especially between the lights, speed.

I think I would also appreciate the simplicity and durability that comes from a single speed fixed gear bike. Which actually is one of my goals, I want something simple and easy to maintain.

Lastly I have been looking at brakes recently, and some might think that that is silly of me to want to mount brakes on fixed gear bike, but this will be a city commuter, I need to be able to stop fairly quickly. Especially while I am in the noob period of fixed gear biking - and thus somewhat dangerous to myself and possibly others. The specific type of brakes I think could fit is calipers. As far as I understand their only problem is tire clearance - especially in muddy conditions, but I am anyway not planning on going mountainbiking with this bike. In addition I think have heard some corners of the internet whisper something about higher brake force on one or the other, but I may have understood something the wrong way. In any case it should still be enough to stop efficiently and even block the wheel.

Now that I think of it, I do not think I have the holes for mounting cantilevers.

So the plan is:

But first things first: wheels.

Project: DIY Bike

Posted Aug 12 2014 by Esben Sonne