The Bianchi is done. Like, done-done.

The Bianchi is done. Like, done-done.

So, I know I kind of dropped off from posting Bianchi updates for awhile. It’s a long story, but first, there was a failed attempt to soak the frame and remove the rust. Then, life happened for awhile. Then, a client of mine who does auto restoration wanted to do some trade work, so I had him handle the frame re-painting (see failed attempt to soak the frame note above). And his chromer took forever. And then he got busy. And, well, a year later, I had the painted frame in my hands, and it was… awesome. At that point, I pretty much spent all of my spare time wrapping the bike up. And you know what? It turned out pretty damn great, if I do say so myself. I opted for some less traditional choices in terms of colors, but I really like how it turned out. I...

Introducing: Frankenbike. My (not so) new Surly Cross Check build

Introducing: Frankenbike. My (not so) new Surly Cross Check build

For those of you who have been playing along (which I’m thinking is less than 1), you may remember that I was working on building up a Surly Cross Check frame during the late Summer. I thought that I had posted some completed bike photos, however, as I looked through my articles today, I now see I somehow neglected to do so. So what’s a guy to do? I’ll tell you. No, really. Today I pulled the bike outside during a dry spell and snapped some photos (see below). First thing you’ll notice is the bar tape. It’s orange (copper, actually) and shiny. If you’re like me, shiny things distract you easily. This makes riding the bike a challenge. Next thing you might notice, if you know anything about bikes, is that this bike is running a...

Bianchi Update: Preparing to soak the frame

Bianchi Update: Preparing to soak the frame

I admit it, I’ve been feeling guilty. That poor, poor Bianchi has been hanging in the garage, neglected in favor of my Surly Cross Check, which has been bringing me much enjoyment. That’s going to change this weekend, however, as I’ve finally got a day with no other major commitments, which means it’s time to soak the frame in an oxalic acid solution. Oxalic acid is essentially deck cleaner. One can purchase it off the shelf at their local paint store. The solution is a fairly diluted one of oxalic acid and water. From what I’ve read, I can expect it to soak for a day or two, with some scrubbing at the rusty spots here and there. Once it’s done soaking (i.e., rust is gone), I’ll drop in a box of baking soda to neutralize...

Cross Crusade #7 and SSCXWC: A new cross racer is born

Cross Crusade #7 and SSCXWC: A new cross racer is born

Somehow, and I’m not quite sure how, my eight-year-old son, Dylan, decided he wanted to ride in a Kiddie Kross race. I tried not to pressure him, just suggested it. Really. I made sure he was aware of the risks, the trials and tribulations of cross racing, the veritable behemoth of obstacles that lie ahead of him. He still wanted to ride. Then, I pulled out the big guns. I told him to do it for him, not for me. I told him I wouldn’t be disappointed if he decided not to ride. He still wanted to. I’d be lying if I told you there wasn’t a small tear of pride forming in my left eye, so I won’t pretend that there wasn’t. At any rate, last Sunday we got his bike ready, dressed him up in some bike/rain/mud friendly attire and ventured...

Off to the Cross Races

Last weekend I took my kids to the Cross Crusade series races at the Alpenrose Dairy Velodrome. It was the first time at a cross race for all of us, but we had a good time. Tons of people were there, but everything (aside from the parking) seemed to be really well-organized. We only had a chance to catch the last half of the Men’s Clydesdales and the Masters Category C 35+ races. I really wanted to stay for the kiddie cross race (if not for my kids to see it) and also the pro races later. Alas, my son had to be at a friend’s birthday party and all the waiting in between the two races we saw was quickly wearing away at my kids’ patience levels.Thankfully, I was able to buy them some cowbells so they could cheer on the racers. It’s really...

Update: Bianchi and Cross Check

Bianchi The Bianchi has been in somewhat of a holding pattern as of late. Once I got the headset and bottom bracket removed, it became clear that the frame needs some attention. So I took some time off to think over my next move. In the meantime, I did some shopping and managed to pick up some odds and ends, one of which is a Campy Record front derailleur from 1960, which appears to be of the proper vintage to me. Ordered it from France and it actually arrived here in three days. Another item I purchased was a tin of Brooks Proofide, which has allowed me to bring the original Brooks saddle for the Bianchi mostly back from the dead. Another purchase consisted of two small tubs of Oxalic Acid, which I’ll use to soak the frame and remove all of the rust while...