Friday, December 21, 2012

Catching up on 2012

I decided in January to set Bronze Gears aside for a bit.  My bike habits had somewhat stabilized, and I wasn't feeling the need to share what little I was actually doing with my bikes.

But I have had some projects -- mostly focused on dismantling my fleet.  Most of my bikes are gone, and I have only one remaining in service today -- the Colnago I built about a year ago, which is more or less as it was after I finished the build, apart from a change in stem to raise and stretch forward the bars, just a bit.

My beloved Motobecane Grand Touring was retired early in the summer and hung on a wall, after a single commute proved that it really wasn't well-suited to that role.  Apart from not having proper provisions for racks, with a loaded bag at either end, the bike felt really soft and flexible.  I had the sense I was overtaxing it, not doing either of us any favors.  So I pulled it apart, and hung it on a wall for the rest of the season, but I have plans to put it to better use soon.

The fillet-brazed Schwinn Sports Tourer that carried me around a small slice of Tuscany is also gone.  A good bike, but I worried about the creaky stem and was ready for something different, though that something different hasn't yet appeared.  Again, parts removed and repurposed, and the frame sent off into others' passionate hands.

The Shogun Katana I bought when I was 23 or so met the same fate -- parted out and mostly gone.  And my old Paramount MTB has replaced it as the bike my dad has in his hands.  It's not being used any more than the Shogun was, unfortunately.

So that's a lot of parting out and selling off!  But not everything has flowed outward -- there's been a fair bit of building and inbound traffic going on as well.  I'll tackle those stories here in the coming weeks.

There's a Puch mixte that was salvaged from my family's ancestral farm and is now in the hands of a friend, complete with many parts that have graced my bikes over the years.  I figured my older sister would want this, but she declined.  But it's a lovely bike, in its rebuilt state -- really a joy to ride.  Its new owner seems to appreciate it, too.

There's a Pinarello Treviso now in the hands of my 12 year-old daughter, built up mostly with a Shimano 600 (6207) groupset taken from a Bertoni I bought to replace the Motobecane.  After I realized it wasn't any better up to the commuting task, it was dismantled as a source for Pinarello parts, and sold off.  The Pinarello is a beautiful bike, and Juliana seems to love it.  She's pretty fast, and this will help her keep up with me much better than the 650B Schwinn does.  That bike is still part of the family -- a loaner bike of sorts -- but it's in storage right now.  The Pinarello deserves some time up here, for sure.

Also in storage is a smaller version of the same Bertoni I mentioned above.  This little bike needs a little work, but it will serve Ava well in a year or 18 months.  She has only about a year left on the Fuji, I think; her legs shooting out seemingly every day.  She doesn't have the speed bug like her sister, but she seems enjoy riding (not climbing).  And the Bertoni will be a super little bike for her, equipped with a mix of 105 (1055) and 600 (6207) parts.

So -- lots of projects under my belt in 2012, and several more to come in 2013, including building up some wheels (three pairs planned), experimenting with tubulars, creating a single-speed for the city, and finding a better commuting solution than the Motobecane was.

2013 should be a good year for bikes around here.  I'm looking forward to the projects, and I'm looking forward to sharing.

All for now,