After the disaster in Part 4 of not being able to get tyres on the weekend the first chance I got I popped into the LBS handily located across the road from work. With my small shopping list I ended up walking out paying far more than I thought I would for the rest of the bits I needed to finish off this project - new pedals, a seat, brake shoes and those tyres.
It was an eager me when I got home. Straight out to the shed to get this project finished. I was very keen to get on and start riding and the finish line was well and truly in sight.
My first task was to get those tyres on the rims. I put the tubes in the tyres and using tyre levers worked the tight tyres over the edge. It wasn't that easy, as you almost need three hands, but with a bit of patience they went on without trouble. I gave some air to the tubes, with the semi-useless hand pump that I had, just to give it some sort of rigidity but would have to a better job of that later.
With both wheels out of the way I turned my attention to saddle. I whipped off the old tatty BMX seat and installed the new one on the stem. I then put the new pedals on the cranks and bolted the cranks onto the bottom bracket. The bike was looking the real deal but the details needed finishing.
The old BMX seat is beyond repair
The major detail which needed doing was the rear brake. The one I stole from the SunTour bike was set up to be connected in reverse to the way I wanted to use it. This shouldn't have been a problem to change except cable connector wasn't designed to be removed. In the end I had to grind off the cable connector and install, after drilling the hole bigger, the one from the Malvern Star.
The brake shoes, which always take a little bit of time to adjust, went on and then it was a quick trip in the car down to the service station to properly inflate my wheels. As I am only familiar with the normal car type tube valves a little lesson was learned about Presta type valves in the process of inflating them. They don't have a built in spring so they won't return a reading on the gauge.
I was blowing up the tyres trying to see the pressure and then realised that they were already well and truly inflated. They needed to be around 100psi, so I just had to guesstimate it.
When I got back it was time to cook dinner so I would have to wait a little bit longer to take out the steed. But it wasn't long after sustenance that I was putting the last finishing touch to the machine - the chain.
The chain I had was a dedicated BMX single-speed chain, which can accommodate the slightly larger teeth of the sprockets. To get the right length, I only needed in the end, to take two links out.
With the chain installed the bike was ready. Even though it was almost 9 at night I couldn't wait to test ride. I maneuvered the incredibly lighter machine out to the street and took off around the nearby carpark. I have to say it was an incredible sensation. The bike was ultra quiet and seemed to just glide along. I was not going to miss the gears at all.
It is now a day later and I have fine tuned the bike to suit my size and taken it out on a long ride around town. It is almost perfect. Almost because I have ordered new drop track-style handlebars .. and I will wait to pass judgment to see if the new bars make it special.
I now have what I wanted from the beginning, the perfect very light weight commuter bike to take on the train each day .. and an early birthday present.
continued in the final Part 6 ...