Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter Beast

They say that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Well, back in the summer time when I was putting out my garbage, I noticed that my neighbour was throwing out an old bike. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a steel Raleigh, a Grand Prix model to be exact! The frame was in decent shape, no bends, dents, just worn out paint and stains. The rest of the parts were junk. I grabbed the bike and tossed in the garage thinking it would make a great project for a winter bike.

Cool old-school head badge!

I stripped the frame right away and planned to put together over the fall. However, as these things always go, October rolled in and "The Beast" was still just a frame. I needed to get working on it before the snow hits. However, the one issue on the frame I was not comfortable dealing with was the bottom bracket. It was in pretty bad shape, it hardly turned and was very “crunchy”. Therefore, I took the frame to the good folk at Phat Moose.

This Beast is a single-speed, of course. So, I took the opportunity to have the boys at Phat Moose ensure that my chained line was properly aligned. Once I got the frame back, I spent a couple afternoons visiting the Bike Dump and Re-Cycles for various parts. Finally, the time came to put it all together. Things went pretty smoothly for the most part. But the one hiccup was the brakes. The frame is meant for 27” wheels but I retrofitted 700c wheels; so, the reach of the brakes pads was a bit of a stretch and on top of that, I planned on running only front brakes (I don’t use back brakes anyway!). I “Magivered” the calipers using a dremmel and did some more filing by hand. This gave me a bit more reach which helped my braking a bit. However, the braking is not ideal. The solution is to swap the fork for a 700c, which means another trip to Bike Dump or Recycles.

Just front brakes - pads are lowered to their limit

For the rear wheel, I used a kit the I got from Performance Bike.

Nice and clean! The pedals are from MEC and cost $8! I wear Sorels inthe winter, no need for clipless pedals. The gear ratio is 42 - 18

Beauty! Check out those sexy fenders!!

If you’ve read any of my posts, you know that

I love Kenda Small Blocks 8 ! So, they were

also my tire of choice for thebeast. I am sure

these 700x32 will make great winter tires.

My SS stable - Cannondale F900, Norco VFR4 and the Beast

This is my third single-speed I put together. Now I only need one bike to complete my collection - a single-speed 29er, one like this one would be just perfect!

I have been riding the Beast for a couple of weeks now. The fatter tires and steel frame do a good jop absorbing road vibrations. The ride is a lot less harsh than my aluminum Norco. I am looking forward to riding it in the snow.


the original big ring said...

that's awesome Gilles! Very nice. I've got a very old ccm cruiser from the fortys sitting in my basement waiting for some love.

I dig the garage too! Some punks tag it like that?!

Anonymous said...

nice ride Jack!
I have me a sweet CCM.
She's a darling.

Papa G said...

That cruise from the 40s sounds like a great winter project!

I painted the garage door after some punks tagged it. I figured I'd put my own tag on it.

The Vegan Vagabond said...

Love it!

Rob Young said...

Hey from a fellow Ottawaite! :)

That's a great looking winter bike. I used those pedals for the winter in years past, I found they're really slippery when they get icy. The small block 8s look really fun!