Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Franken-bike Part 2 - The Donor Cycle

Once we had the frame and fork for my bike, thing got a bit more complex.  The frame is French and that means French-threaded.  (Who knew there was such a thing?)  You know the old saying "Lefty loosy, Rightie tighty."  Not true with the French.  They screw things on and off the opposite way.

That sent Steve searching for French threaded bike parts - wheels, headset, bars, brakes, derailleur, chain rings, chain, seat post, cranks.  Low and behold a few days later, a Motobecane bike came up for sale about an hour away from San Diego.  The bike had been repainted and we couldn't tell exactly what it what model it was.  Steve studied the photos and said "those dropouts were on put on the top end bikes.  Let's go take a look."  On the drive, I tried to not get my hopes up that we'd find all the perfect parts  in one stop.  I'd be happy to find one or two parts that we could harvest.

When we pulled up to the seller's house I knew the bike would be perfect.  In the driveway there was a vintage Jaguar XJ Convertible, 3 meticulously maintained Harley-Davidson motorcycles and 2 SUVs in perfect condition.  His garage was perfectly clean with one wall dedicated to those big red Craftsman tool cabinets.  Next to those cabinets was a hand-built triathlon bike.  This is a guy who knows good quality and knows how to take care of his stuff.

The donor-cycle was a gem with every component being top or near top of the line. The re-paint job was a signed Joe Bell paint job - again top of the line.  Steve wiped the drool from his chin and I paid the man.  Yep, miracle of miracles we found a perfect donor cycle on the first try.  It's almost a shame to harvest the parts, but the bike is too small for either of us to ride.  We'll resell the frame and some tiny person will love it. 

(PS...Sorry for the posting scarcity.  We've planned an entire wedding in the last 2 weeks.  We rock! But man, we're exhausted.)

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