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 planned to use, so I ordered up a 116mm instead. Er, I guess that makes it a $34 bottom bracket.

Almost done here:

My first thought was to install dirt drop bars on it with my VO Cigne stem, but this stem is just not working out for me. I like to leave my steerer tubes long, since I've always regretted cutting them. But with the Cigne stem, I can't extend the steerer up past the stem. You can see here I have my basket holding stem, then a spacer, then the Cigne stem. I'm all about high bars and all, but this is too much, even for me. I dropped the drop bars and decided to go with a Jones bar... after I ordered a 27.0 seatpost, adding $18 to my $61 frame and $34 of bottom brackets:

I've only ridden it around the block so far. It seems nice, but then every bike is nice for a quick spin around the block. I need to figure a way to install the rear fender on the wishbone seatstay, and I'll probably have to order a new stem ($20) to get my bars up some. Even cheap bikes add up, even when you have a shop full of parts.

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