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So I bought an cool old bike

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So I bought an cool old bike

Old 07-23-19, 02:03 PM
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Demet
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So I bought an cool old bike

After going through a few other not-vintage bikes, and learning that what I really wanted was a lugged steel vintage bike I bought a Motobecane Nomade II yesterday. Finding a big enough bike was/is a bit of a challenge as I am 6'4"/250lbs with looonnggg torso. But this one seems to fit OK, at least acceptable to learn on. It is 64/65cm crank to top of seat tube, and 60cm top tube ctc. I know it's not an amazing bike, but was first one where I didn't feel way out in front of it, so I'm going to see what I can do with it, and either love it for life or just learn from it and turn it over to someone else once I find the perfect frame. I do like the classy styling and patina, although could also see repainting it if I end up loving the fit/ride.

I will ride it around town, for errands and as my primary transportation year round. Here's a rough outline of my plan, but it's all up for feedback and reconsideration, I'm an absolute noobie and would appreciate any and all feedback! I have so many unknowns, but I know there's a ton of information out there, and I've already started spending my evenings watching youtube videos lol.

1. Change seat to NOS leather Brooks seat that came with one of my failed earlier bikes. Not looking forward to breaking it in, but I hope it will be worth it.
2. Change handlebars to some kind of upright, moustache or straightish bars. The seller threw in a moustache bar so I will start with that. Will try to reuse existing brakes for the short term. I have some Brooks leather handlebar grips I might try, or just reuse the black tape that's on the existing drop bars, it looks like it's in OK shape.
3. Change wheels to 700c with bigger tires (for comfort). Current tires look pretty old, lot's of crazing on the sides. From what I have gathered, changing to 700c will give me more options for tires, and provide more room for fenders, which I want to add. Need to research what all is involved in this change, I guess I need hubs, do I do quick release, will maybe need new brakes at same time...
4. Change brakes if necessary to reach 700c wheels
5. Change gears to single gear for now. I actually haven't changed the gears on the bike at all yet, just rode it home in gear seller had it in, and it was OK, but I didn't have any serious hills to deal with. I'm not sold on the fixie craze but for the short term might try it out, then upgrade when I get other things dialed in. Need to figure out gears to use, what I can reuse from current, wand what I will need new and how to do it.
6. Tools! Need to figure out what I will need. Probably a stand, there are some cheapish ones on Amazon for $50-100 but I would spend more if I knew it was quality. I see some bike tool kits I might go for just to get me started. I have a nice metric socket and hex set, other basic tools, but no dedicated bike tools yet.
(BTW I have Amazon credit that will be paying for most new parts so that's a constraint, needs to be from Amazon or used on CL maybe.)
7. Front basket, fenders, maybe rear rack, bar end mirror, nice brass bell.
8. Nice Ulock, helmet.
9. Possible change to offset seatpost and/or extended bar stem, if needed.
10. I'm sure there are things I have forgotten, or am not even aware of. I can see the learning curve swooping up and away!

If anyone wants to take mercy on a uber-noob feel free to leave a comment ;-) Thanks in advance!
Demetrius
PS I'm such a noob system won't let me post a picture ;-/
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Old 07-23-19, 03:54 PM
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okay.
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Old 07-23-19, 04:03 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. There are plenty of Motobecane fans on here who can advise you on any issue you might encounter. Have fun.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:01 PM
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Good luck! I am with you on the preference for nicer tools. I recommend buying good quality tools as you go along. Park is the obvious choice, but I have had a good experience with some Pedros stuff. Once you can post pics (looks like you are only 1 post away!), post a pic of the bike and the jobs you want to do and we can recommend tools.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:07 PM
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If you are going upright in your riding style, make sure the Brooks is proper in that respect.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Demet View Post
After going through a few other not-vintage bikes, and learning that what I really wanted was a lugged steel vintage bike I bought a Motobecane Nomade II yesterday. Finding a big enough bike was/is a bit of a challenge as I am 6'4"/250lbs with looonnggg torso. But this one seems to fit OK, at least acceptable to learn on. It is 64/65cm crank to top of seat tube, and 60cm top tube ctc. I know it's not an amazing bike, but was first one where I didn't feel way out in front of it, so I'm going to see what I can do with it, and either love it for life or just learn from it and turn it over to someone else once I find the perfect frame. I do like the classy styling and patina, although could also see repainting it if I end up loving the fit/ride.

I will ride it around town, for errands and as my primary transportation year round. Here's a rough outline of my plan, but it's all up for feedback and reconsideration, I'm an absolute noobie and would appreciate any and all feedback! I have so many unknowns, but I know there's a ton of information out there, and I've already started spending my evenings watching youtube videos lol.

1. Change seat to NOS leather Brooks seat that came with one of my failed earlier bikes. Not looking forward to breaking it in, but I hope it will be worth it.
2. Change handlebars to some kind of upright, moustache or straightish bars. The seller threw in a moustache bar so I will start with that. Will try to reuse existing brakes for the short term. I have some Brooks leather handlebar grips I might try, or just reuse the black tape that's on the existing drop bars, it looks like it's in OK shape.
3. Change wheels to 700c with bigger tires (for comfort). Current tires look pretty old, lot's of crazing on the sides. From what I have gathered, changing to 700c will give me more options for tires, and provide more room for fenders, which I want to add. Need to research what all is involved in this change, I guess I need hubs, do I do quick release, will maybe need new brakes at same time...
4. Change brakes if necessary to reach 700c wheels
5. Change gears to single gear for now. I actually haven't changed the gears on the bike at all yet, just rode it home in gear seller had it in, and it was OK, but I didn't have any serious hills to deal with. I'm not sold on the fixie craze but for the short term might try it out, then upgrade when I get other things dialed in. Need to figure out gears to use, what I can reuse from current, wand what I will need new and how to do it.
6. Tools! Need to figure out what I will need. Probably a stand, there are some cheapish ones on Amazon for $50-100 but I would spend more if I knew it was quality. I see some bike tool kits I might go for just to get me started. I have a nice metric socket and hex set, other basic tools, but no dedicated bike tools yet.
(BTW I have Amazon credit that will be paying for most new parts so that's a constraint, needs to be from Amazon or used on CL maybe.)
7. Front basket, fenders, maybe rear rack, bar end mirror, nice brass bell.
8. Nice Ulock, helmet.
9. Possible change to offset seatpost and/or extended bar stem, if needed.
10. I'm sure there are things I have forgotten, or am not even aware of. I can see the learning curve swooping up and away!

If anyone wants to take mercy on a uber-noob feel free to leave a comment ;-) Thanks in advance!
Demetrius
PS I'm such a noob system won't let me post a picture ;-/
You have stumbled upon the magic of "French fit", well done, you didn't really need our help after all.

A good stand is vital, it is the foundation of all repairs. It needs to hold securely so you can wrestle with the bike when it, you or the tools don't cooperate and can make or break the task at hand. A good stand can and will be invaluable.

Last edited by merziac; 07-23-19 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:39 PM
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Tools! Need to figure out what I will need.
I published this just for guy or gals like you and me - Store Bought and Home Made Bicycle Tools. Hope it is a help.
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Old 07-23-19, 05:45 PM
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One more post and it's a picture party!
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Old 07-23-19, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Good luck! I am with you on the preference for nicer tools. I recommend buying good quality tools as you go along. Park is the obvious choice, but I have had a good experience with some Pedros stuff. Once you can post pics (looks like you are only 1 post away!), post a pic of the bike and the jobs you want to do and we can recommend tools.
Thanks! I discovered Park earlier today and ordered a wall mounted bike stand/holder. I almost went for a cheaper stand but I try to keep remembering that the money will be saved over time! And today discovered that the tools I thought I could use to cut brake/shifter cables are no bueno. So will research and order the right thing tonight. Diagonal cutters?
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Old 07-23-19, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
If you are going upright in your riding style, make sure the Brooks is proper in that respect.
Thanks, I'm guessing there's some shift of weight and certain seats work better for upright vs. down/forward? I'm just finishing change of handlebars so will see how it affects seat position shortly. I actually don't think I'm going to end up as upright as I thought I might.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
You have stumbled upon the magic of "French fit", well done, you didn't really need our help after all.

A good stand is vital, it is the foundation of all repairs. It needs to hold securely so you can wrestle with the bike when it, you or the tools don't cooperate and can make or break the task at hand. A good stand can and will be invaluable.
Oh lordy, I spent the last couple hours changing seat and handlebars and fighting with bike flopping everywhere lol. I ordered a Park wall mounted stand today. ;-)
Thanks for the help on the other thread, I learned a ton from all those replies, but had just about given up on a vintage frame, but thought I'd try 'just one more'. Still not 100% sure it's going to work but I'm excited to give it a try.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I published this just for guy or gals like you and me - Store Bought and Home Made Bicycle Tools. Hope it is a help.
Looks super helpful, will dig in later tonight! Thank you very much.
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Old 07-23-19, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
One more post and it's a picture party!
Woohoo! Here's my bike, before changing seat and handlebars, which I did today, pics coming.
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Old 07-23-19, 08:03 PM
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Congratulations on finding your Motobecane, its a good basis for what you are looking to accomplish. Oh, Welcome to the C&V Forum too. Looks like you found a nice example there, the resident Motobecane people will be drooling over her shortly, and offering their input towards your plans and the tips from hard learned experience. Well done sir, very well done finding the bicycle.

@randyjawa 's post above has a great link, his website is a good primer and reference on starting out in restoration and building C&V bicycles, bookmark it for quick references. (As you seem to have found out.)

Dedicated cable cutters work best for me, Park Tool and Pedros both are in my tool chests.

The wall mounted stand might be a hinderance at some points of working on the bicycle, most of us use floor mount, to work bench mounted stands. Getting at both sides easily, and even flipping the bike quickly are big parts of getting tings done. But that is not any kind of deal breaker, IMHO.

Start a build thread (New Post) just for the bike, this makes it easy for others to follow along with you, especially if they are lending advice and have subscribed to your thread. We absolutely love and pretty much demand pictures too, so try to attach as may as you are comfortable doing. This makes it clearer to everyone when describing things on both sides of the team, you and us here.

Tools, you could write books on them, and several have been published, Park Tool, Pedro's Tools, the various big box stores, and the specialists tool suppliers, as well as dedicated makers' tools are just waiting for you. I would personally recommend getting a copy of the Park Tool, Big Blue Book , and bookmarking their website as well. Not necessarily to purchase tools, but for their notes and help section's pages. Its a nice place to reference and they go back to the C&V components and wheels in their coverage.

The good folks here, our Learned Elders come to mind, will have offerings of advice on tools and how to's, for you project. Use them, its time well spent, and some great people here will be adding to what the above folks have already offered up for your consideration.

Best wishes on your build, enjoy the time spent getting things done. don't get discouraged, and when its time to ride, remember to post about that here with pics of the memories.

Bill
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Old 07-23-19, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
Congratulations on finding your Motobecane, its a good basis for what you are looking to accomplish. Oh, Welcome to the C&V Forum too. Looks like you found a nice example there, the resident Motobecane people will be drooling over her shortly, and offering their input towards your plans and the tips from hard learned experience. Well done sir, very well done finding the bicycle.

@randyjawa 's post above has a great link, his website is a good primer and reference on starting out in restoration and building C&V bicycles, bookmark it for quick references. (As you seem to have found out.)

Dedicated cable cutters work best for me, Park Tool and Pedros both are in my tool chests.

The wall mounted stand might be a hinderance at some points of working on the bicycle, most of us use floor mount, to work bench mounted stands. Getting at both sides easily, and even flipping the bike quickly are big parts of getting tings done. But that is not any kind of deal breaker, IMHO.

Start a build thread (New Post) just for the bike, this makes it easy for others to follow along with you, especially if they are lending advice and have subscribed to your thread. We absolutely love and pretty much demand pictures too, so try to attach as may as you are comfortable doing. This makes it clearer to everyone when describing things on both sides of the team, you and us here.

Tools, you could write books on them, and several have been published, Park Tool, Pedro's Tools, the various big box stores, and the specialists tool suppliers, as well as dedicated makers' tools are just waiting for you. I would personally recommend getting a copy of the Park Tool, Big Blue Book , and bookmarking their website as well. Not necessarily to purchase tools, but for their notes and help section's pages. Its a nice place to reference and they go back to the C&V components and wheels in their coverage.

The good folks here, our Learned Elders come to mind, will have offerings of advice on tools and how to's, for you project. Use them, its time well spent, and some great people here will be adding to what the above folks have already offered up for your consideration.

Best wishes on your build, enjoy the time spent getting things done. don't get discouraged, and when its time to ride, remember to post about that here with pics of the memories.

Bill
Thanks Bill, more good advice and resources! Bike people are good people I see ;-)
I put a Park cable cutter in my Amazon basket, thanks.
I went with the wall mount because the clamping/rotating mechanism seems much better for the money then the one that comes on their lower end stands. It's the one they use on their $3/400 stands. And I have a spot I can put it where I can get around the front and back of the bike pretty good. Hopefully I won't regret it!
OK I thought this would be my build thread but I guess I need a new post, I'll look into it.

Here's a picture I took this evening on a test ride with new seat and handlebars (which seller threw in with bike). No bueno, those bars actually put me a little more forward then the drop bars did, and makes it uncomfortable on my hands/wrists. Figuring out the right bars will be my next big challenge I think! I'm thinking I might try to use these bars though to find good body/hand position, by rotating them up and back and trying different positions. Worth a try. Also wondering if I might need a different stem...?
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Old 07-24-19, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Demet View Post
Thanks Bill, more good advice and resources! Bike people are good people I see ;-)
I put a Park cable cutter in my Amazon basket, thanks.
I went with the wall mount because the clamping/rotating mechanism seems much better for the money then the one that comes on their lower end stands. It's the one they use on their $3/400 stands. And I have a spot I can put it where I can get around the front and back of the bike pretty good. Hopefully I won't regret it!
OK I thought this would be my build thread but I guess I need a new post, I'll look into it.

Here's a picture I took this evening on a test ride with new seat and handlebars (which seller threw in with bike). No bueno, those bars actually put me a little more forward then the drop bars did, and makes it uncomfortable on my hands/wrists. Figuring out the right bars will be my next big challenge I think! I'm thinking I might try to use these bars though to find good body/hand position, by rotating them up and back and trying different positions. Worth a try. Also wondering if I might need a different stem...?
Ah yes, many have fallen to the charms of the mustache bar only to realize once installed that they don't do what the rider wants them to do. Ask me how I know... You might be better off getting a flat bar or a city-style flat bar (some examples here: https://velo-orange.com/collections/...d-upright-bars) and new brake levers with the correct amount of cable pull. If you still want to try these mustache bars, you can get a shorter stem to try to bring the bar closer to you.
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Old 07-24-19, 03:45 AM
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I really liked my Motobecane Grand Jubilee and tried a few handlebars to get the feel and fit the way I wanted . The mustache bars were pooey-stinko in the comfort department but they looked cool...



The drop bars did suit the looks of the bike best...


...but this upright handlebar satisfied by my look and ride appeal. The bike is gone but I still have the handlebar as the new owner asked to have drop bars installed again...
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Old 07-24-19, 06:05 AM
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This can well be the build thread, and if the wall attached stand works out for you best, that is what is best. Looking good on the beginnings, should be an interesting build.

@DQRider has a Raleigh he built in this fashion, from his pictures, and fantastic ride reports, you might get some ideas from him.

Check the, "Where did you ride today" Where Did You Ride Today (New and Improved Version) thread in the stickied threads at the top of the forum's portal page.

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Old 07-24-19, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Ah yes, many have fallen to the charms of the mustache bar only to realize once installed that they don't do what the rider wants them to do. Ask me how I know... You might be better off getting a flat bar or a city-style flat bar (some examples here: https://velo-orange.com/collections/...d-upright-bars) and new brake levers with the correct amount of cable pull. If you still want to try these mustache bars, you can get a shorter stem to try to bring the bar closer to you.
Haha yes, live and learn although at my age I should have already learned ;-) Thanks for the link, I see a couple there that might work!

Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
I really liked my Motobecane Grand Jubilee and tried a few handlebars to get the feel and fit the way I wanted . The mustache bars were pooey-stinko in the comfort department but they looked cool...

The drop bars did suit the looks of the bike best...

...but this upright handlebar satisfied by my look and ride appeal. The bike is gone but I still have the handlebar as the new owner asked to have drop bars installed again...
Thanks for posting that bike, very nice and similar to how mine will look I guess. I might do black bars and fenders though, not sure, I should probably comb the net for examples. Those bars you have there look like maybe they go a little forward before turning back, yes? Is the hand position in line with the stem? No worries, if you don't have it anymore to know for sure, I'm just trying to get a feel for what I might want.

Another question: are those 700c wheels, and what tire size are they? Thanks!
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Old 07-24-19, 02:33 PM
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Those bars you have there look like maybe they go a little forward before turning back, yes? Is the hand position in line with the stem? No worries, if you don't have it anymore to know for sure, I'm just trying to get a feel for what I might want.




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Old 07-24-19, 02:43 PM
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Another question: are those 700c wheels, and what tire size are they? Thanks!
The wheels feature Dura Ace high flange hubs laced to Weinmann concave 27" rims. The tires, I believe are 27 x 1 1/8. For what it is worth, I am running the same rims on my Legnano, only the Leggy has 700c rims. Needless to say, though pretty heavy, the rims are darn near bullet proof and look the vintage part also...


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Old 07-24-19, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tricky View Post
Ah yes, many have fallen to the charms of the mustache bar only to realize once installed that they don't do what the rider wants them to do. Ask me how I know... You might be better off getting a flat bar or a city-style flat bar (some examples here: https://velo-orange.com/collections/...d-upright-bars) and new brake levers with the correct amount of cable pull. If you still want to try these mustache bars, you can get a shorter stem to try to bring the bar closer to you.
if you are going to not use drop bars, you should change out the brake levers i like the tekrro https://velo-orange.com/collections/...-22-2-dia-bars

the postino bars from velorange might be a good options

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Old 07-25-19, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
The wheels feature Dura Ace high flange hubs laced to Weinmann concave 27" rims. The tires, I believe are 27 x 1 1/8. For what it is worth, I am running the same rims on my Legnano, only the Leggy has 700c rims. Needless to say, though pretty heavy, the rims are darn near bullet proof and look the vintage part also...
Thanks for the info. on the wheels/tires. I will likely start that tomorrow with more research and ordering what I need. I want to max. out tire size but with room for fenders. Not sure about the vintage look issue, I don't think I have an eye for that yet, not enough experience to know what looks vintage haha. I'm not too concerned with being period correct though, just what looks 'good' ;-)

And thanks for the pics of the upright bars, I bought some very similar ones today from a bike shop for cheap, they were take-offs from a Linus he said, $20. Will put them on tomorrow. Actually looking at your pictures again I think maybe these bars I bought don't have as much rise. I'm thinking they will still be a bit low, so I may consider a different stem next... Will post pics tomorrow.
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Old 07-25-19, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
if you are going to not use drop bars, you should change out the brake levers i like the tekrro https://velo-orange.com/collections/...-22-2-dia-bars

the postino bars from velorange might be a good options
Thanks for that tip, will definitely consider those brakes. Once I settle on which handlebars, and then wheels I plan to upgrade brakes including levers.
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Old 07-29-19, 01:43 AM
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Making some progress. Changed handlebars, and I like them, but I need more rise, so ordering another one. Also ordering an offset seat post. Next I need to figure out wheels, want to order some 700c wheels and tires...

I have had a couple of "Nice bike!" shoutouts while riding around ;-) On the other hand the bike guy at REI was strongly arguing against putting a lot of effort into this bike, a losing battle he said. Ugh.

Gears are not very well tuned, and I think when I do new wheels I will try fixed gear for a bit. Have been hardly shifting at all, and am fine 95% of the time.

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