Archive for May, 2014


Ass Harpoons, Frantic Activity, and a Finished Bike

Well, it’s done.

Except for the paint, that is. I don’t paint ’em until I’m sure that the frame won’t explode or otherwise spontaneously disassemble itself while I’m riding. I mean, shoot, you have to ride it first in order to find out whether the frame or fork are dangerous pieces of crap, and who wants to waste their valuable time painting a dangerous piece of crap?

I got in around 30 miles on it this morning, so I’m pretty sure that it won’t kill me.  Actually, it is a damn fine bike.

Kicking off our photo tour, here are the obligatory “bike against a wall” shots (with a tip of the cycling cap to Andy White of Fyxo for thinking that up…).

Pretty swanky, no?

A damn nice bike, if you ask me.

What you see here is a Columbus SL tube set (fork too), held together with a set of Long Shin copies of really nice Cinelli lugs. The specs:

Top tube: 55cm (center to center)
Seat tube 55cm (center to center)
Angles: 74 degrees head and seat tubes
Chain stay: 40.5 cm

A word about the seat stays: the fancy slugs that finish off the top of the stay (and are brazed onto the seat collar) are growing on me.  When I first pulled them out of the box from Nova Cycle Supply, I thought that they were maybe a little too foo-foo looking for what I was envisioning.  I was envisioning this bike to be a manly steed of steel, a companion-at-arms in the rough and tumble world of cycling. Something along the lines of a two-wheeled war horse to carry me into battle and other manly exploits in the company of other like-minded manly men.  Then I slotted the slugs into the top of the seat stays to see if they would fit. Low and behold, any worries about the seat stays being too foo-foo immediately disappeared.

In fact, what I was holding in my hands looked pretty fucking dangerous. Spear-like. And given where the damn thing was going to end up on the bike, the first thing that entered my mind as I turned it over in my hands was “ass harpoon.”

Yes, Ass Harpoon.

I mean, look at it.

Yes!  Look at it!

Ass Harpoon: I predict that this will be the hottest trend in steel bikes at NAHBS 2015.

What I had in my hand looked amazingly like a small version of a whaling harpoon that, once it was attached to my bike, would be aimed directly at my ass. More to the point, it became painfully clear that if I didn’t do an exceptionally good job of brazing that thing I could expect the seat stay to come loose and give me the surprise of my life. In other words, what I had here was an Ass Harpoon.

Anyway, after that little epiphany I’ve taken to calling this style of seat stay the “Ass Harpoon.” Not that I talk about seat stay styles a lot; but it does come up in conversation every once in a great while.  I tried it out today at the bike shop when I was showing off my new ride; “Take a look; it has Columbus SL tubing, Cinelli lugs, and I used the Ass Harpoon style seat stays…”

They dug it.

Anyway, having unleashed this term on the internet, I’m shooting for “Ass Harpoon” to become the accepted nomenclature for this style of seat stay by the NAHBS show in 2015.

The Parts:

A brand new Nitto two bolt post…

Nitto = Beauty.  Too bad hat I didn't manage to actually get a picture of what I am talking about in my post.

New-Old-Stock Shimano 600 front and rear derailleurs. The front is a braze-on. Forward motion is brought about by a Sugino Super Mighty Crank Set, with drillium rings, tied to a Miche track bottom bracket….

It ain't fancy, but old Shimano 600 sure snaps off the shifts.

I did a braze-on front derailleur because the bolt on ones tend to 'eff up the paint.  It's a little more work, but is sure looks nice....

Brakes are really sweet Shimano 600 single pivot calipers. Shifting is New-Old-Stock Shimano 105 down tube shifters. It indexes perfectly with the IRD 6 speed freewheel (13 – 24) out back.

That works.


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