New Bike Fix

I ordered up a cheapish frame off ebay recently--an early 90s Raleigh Technium Peak mountain bike frame. I'm hoping to combine the lively ride of my Raleigh Technium road bike with good brakes and the ability to run fat tires. Besides, who else is buying old Techniums?

Alas, when I went to put the frame together, I ran into an issue: the bottom bracket threads weren't aligned between the left and right sides of the frame. You can see the bottom bracket is way off center here:

But I found a good and cheap solution: a $17 YST threadless bottom bracket from ebay. Instead of screwing into the frame, the drive side cartridge screws into the fixed cup.

One small catch is that you need two bottom bracket tools to install it. Good thing my bike shop is pretty well equipped and I have two:

And... it seems to work beautifully. It tightened right up, no special magic required. At least, it works find after I got the right length. 110mm was too short for the Suntour XC Pro crank I had pla…

Inappropriate Technology

With six bikes in the garage (at the time), but no fixed gear, something clearly had to change. My KM could easily be a fixed gear (track ends), as could the Technium or Polyvalent (forward facing horizontals), or even the Jones or Niner (EBB), but I like to do things the hard way: I converted my vertical dropout Rockhopper instead:

It was just dumb luck that this worked out so well: I could use my favorite 40x16 gear with a half link chain, no dropout filing required. With my cheap Nashbar touring fork on the front, I could fit 700c wheels and a moderate sized 34mm tire. It makes for a surprisingly fun bike to scoot around on:

Bike Shop Update

I finally got tired of rummaging around in a cardboard box whenever I needed to find just the right stem:
25.4mm on the left, 31.8mm in the middle, 26.0mm on the right. Simple and easy. I change around stems and bars a lot, so I appreciate this.
I also sold my old Trek 510 last night, so I have a bit more room in my shop now.

B Pluses and Minuses

With this weekend's amazing weather, Alum P2 was actually dry enough to ride. It was in great shape, actually, when I took my B+ shod Karate Monkey out this afternoon:

Mostly good times with the B+ Monkey, but a big issue with my 650b Raleigh.

Bike and Playgrounds

We had a record warm Saturday, so after a morning of working on the basement, Sam and I headed into town for a lunch at Moe's. Fully fueled, we had energy to hit some playgrounds on the way home, just like the old days. Avery Park was first up:

B+ Niner

My thing this winter is small wheels, apparently. I've been enjoying my 26" wheeled Rockhopper, just built a 650b VO Polyvalent, and now I'm experimenting with B+ wheels on a Niner frame (B-Niner?).

Since I've built this, I've only managed one trip to Alum. Rain and warm temps have kept the trails unrideable in these parts, for the most part, but I did sneak in a ride last weekend:

Velo Orange Polyvalent Intro

I certainly don't need another bike, but when this VO Polyvalent frameset drifted across one of my bikes lists for a reasonable price, I didn't hesitate to pick it up. My hope is this will be the bike for my now-longer solo rides into Dublin when I want to run some errands. At least, that's my excuse to myself.

My first build was a quick hodgepodge:

After converting my Raleigh back to 27" wheels, my free pair of 650b wheels allowed this build. My only major problem was that I was out of derailers, so I had to make do: