Saturday, February 13, 2010

New Bicycle? Cast Dies?

I've got a three day weekend, so other than heading to the gym this morning, I've been pissin' the day away in front of the computer. I've been thinking about the planned bicycle ride this summer and getting my gear in shape. I've been checking on some new wheels, which may require new brakes due to the switch from 27" to 700C. Rivendell has a dandy rear wheel but it's $320.00 plus a new freewheel for $40.00 plus tire and tube and shipping that would put me close to $450.00. Then of course I would need a front wheel as well. The front wheel would be much cheaper but I'm still looking at a ton of money invested in a bike I gave four bucks for. Especially if I need to swing for new brakes. Maybe the answer is just buy a new bike. A new Rivendell or Bruce Gordon is going to be roughly $3000.00 give or take, depending on how it's spec'd out. Lots of money but worth every penny. In the bicycling game you usually get what you pay for. However, there does exist another option, lower in cost, and with a somewhat reduction in component quality, but I'm thinking seriously about a Surly Long Haul Trucker.

The Long Haul Trucker has got a good heavy duty Chrome-Moly frame, comes in two different colors and enough sizes that there's bound to be one that would fit me. It's got bar end shifters, enough bosses for water cages to cross the Sahara and you can get front and rear racks that are specifically made to fit it. I usually carry panniers on the front for the long trips, so a front rack would be good. The components are not top shelf items but that's to be expected for a bike that has a list price of $1095.00. The wheels aren't going to be the quality of the Rivendell ones I was pricing, so I'm kind of comparing apples to oranges but I think it's worth looking into. The only problem is finding one. The closest Surly dealer is about 50 miles away in Chicago. The closest shop in Indiana is about 70 miles. I'm not opposed to a road trip but I am opposed to spending 10.5% tax or whatever the hell it is in Chicago now. Indiana's 7% is bad enough. I'm going to make some phone calls and see who has what in stock. There's a place that advertises in Bicycling magazine that has real good prices on new bikes. Maybe check there as well.

My book I ordered from Lindsay came today. Forming by Hydraulic and Crank Presses - Cast and Molded Dies, originally published in 1943 by the Bureau of Aeronautics looks like just what the Doctor ordered. Or actually, what I ordered. Just glancing at it while eating lunch was pretty darned educational. They show the set-up for die forming an aircraft belly tank, which is pretty close to the shape I'm looking to form. I've got lots to look at and study up on now. Make a die, buy a bike, machine a bunch of parts and fix whatever else comes along. Speaking of which, my tubing came yesterday for the Rickati exhaust and I fixed the Buell cylinder head one more time. The kid and his buddy managed to break off one of the new studs when they put it in the head. Tomorrow I'm planning on spending some quality time with the old South Bend lathe. Parts for the high mileage car and my own projects. Lots to do but I love doing it it.


cuzzin ricky said...

hell 70 miles does't sound like much of a road trip let me know when you're ready to go i'm already getting bored now that i've seen paree it's gonna be hard to keep me down on the farm ain't that a song cuzzin ricky

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Now that you've seen Paree, how about Warsaw? That's where the Golden Corral is by the way. I'm going to call the bike shop in a week or so and see what they have in stock. No real hurry, not leaving until June.

Surly said...

I need to get rid of a bike or two. Consider my Surly or the Simoncini. The Surly is already set up close to what you need.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

Surly: We need to talk Surly.