Category Archives: Cycling

Bianchi Built!

After 3 years I have finally completed my new bike. I picked up a Bianchi frame with Dedeccai steel frame and some carbon chain stays in the winter of 2008. Well, my wonderful Dad picked it up for me in winter 2008 driving through a foot of snow to get it; I was in Malawi, sweating. I repo-ed the frame from my Dad when we returned in 2009 and moved to St. Louis. Eager to build it up, I quickly bought a wheelset, a lovely Reynolds Ouzo fork, a handlebar, a stem and a headset. But, after school hit, as well as the realization that the old components from my Cannondale were not going to function well on a new frame (since they barely function on my old one), the project languished and halted.

It wasn’t until this last spring (2011), that I found a groupset for a reasonable price: Dura-Ace 7800, pristine condition, $450, 11-pieces including new chain, new brake pads, new housing. After a grueling Spring semester, and a wonderful trip to Zimbabwe to teach, I returned home invigorated to build. Today I finished my third ever bike build; and its the best yet.

Can’t wait to ride it, though I may need to upgrade my security.



The Sachs Freewheel I picked up is too wide for my current axle setup in the rear. The 126mm distance between my rear dropouts is the old standard for road bikes.

Now, I can either re-dish my wheel so that it is slightly off center but able to fit the block of gears, or scrap the whole indexing system. ┬áPeople have said that the strength of the wheel decreases when you re-dish it off center, but I wonder how much. I have a Mavic rear wheel, which is relatively new, with metal (aluminium I imagine) spokes and a shimano hub. I just don’t want to lose my whole wheel and really be screwed. I also don’t want to give up the possibility of having an indexed shifting system on that bike (its an 8-speed index, so a normal 7 speed won’t work).


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Seattle Bike Part Finds

We just got back from Seattle. One of the best things about Seattle is the cycling community. Not only are there lots of good shops, there are also shops that carry used components and frames. And not only are there stores with used parts (for us poor enthusiasts), but there are a ton of people who are selling their old, nice parts to these stores, filling their bins with delightful finds. I scored two while in Seattle:

I got a set of Look Road Pedals (PP-357) with silent, smooth bearings for 10$. Amazing.

And on the very last day there, we stopped by Second Ascent. I asked, on a whim if they had an 8 speed freewheel. These are very rare, most companies began producing cassettes once they got to 8 speed. SO 7 speed freewheels abound, but only a few 8 speeds are out there. Shimano made a couple, and Sachs. Online they range from 40$ used to 70$ new. So, I asked expecting a quick no, but the guy asked me what sort I was looking for. Soon after, he dug up a beautiful completely unused Sachs 8 speed freewheel with a really tight gear grouping (12-19) for racing. Look at the teeth, they are untouched:

I was so excited to have scored both for 50$. Really amazing. St. Louis is great, but the poor bike community just isn’t there like it is in the 206.

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