Jenney's last name is Bianchi, believe it or not.  With that in mind, when she first contacted me, she was looking for a Bianchi, and one built to meet her special interests.  her special interests included, a vintage road bicycle of good quality, offering rider comfort and theft prevention.  Other issues such as fit, dependability and the like, were all included in her special needs list.

We emailed each other, back and forth, a few times.  She, attempting to define exactly what she wanted, and me, trying to guide her choices, by offering advice which, I hoped, would best help her meet her custom bicycle goals.  And, one of those advice sessions suggested that she forget about starting with a Bianchi. The Bianchi name is well known and the bicycles are, all but, automatic theft magnets these days.  She was quick to agree.

Now, Jenney lives in a large city in California.  She wanted a reasonably light bicycle, that she cold carry up and down the stairs, to and from, her second floor apartment.  The bike would need to be reasonably priced, comfortable, easy to ride and, once again deter thieves.

As it happened, I had just found a nice old Canadian made Miele at the Dump a few days earlier.  Sadly, there was a significant dent in the top tube of the bicycle.  Too bad, but the bike still sported a fairly decent component grouppo.  However, with Jenney's specifications in hand, it occurred to me that the Miele might be a great choice for her Junk Bike.  She agreed and the build began.

When I build for others, the fundamental work is rarely discussed.  Cleaning, polishing (to a certain degree), rebuilding, lubricating and adjusting bearings and the like are just taken care of.  Component choices, handle bar tape style and color, tire selection, saddle choice are all discussed, based on what used components I have on hand at the time, and the build goes on from there.

It is not uncommon for the customer to decide to upgrade, this or that, as the build progresses.  And Jenney did select an upgrade, or two, but nothing that would significantly impact the price.  The drop bars would be discarded for something that would allow a more upright sitting position.  And that decision would impact brake lever choice, as well as what kind of handlebar grips would be used.  In short, the upgrades from original were minimal.

Building Jenney's bike was a pretty straight forward affair.  The bike was stripped to the frame and cleaned.  Needless to say, the frame set was inspected and measured, to ensure that it was not structurally compromised (bent).  With the frame set set, and the bottom bracket, headset and forks installed, it was time to select a Junk Bike component grouppo.

Fortunately, the original component group proved to be an excellent choice for Jenney's bike.  The Shimano SIS transmission would prove relatively easy to use.  In keeping with the original appearance, and complimenting the bike's appearance, the original drive was retained, even though it would suggest a degree of value that we were trying to conceal.  Pedals were to be something simple, functional and easy to engage.  Simple platforms, the same on both sides would serve nicely but I suggested mountain bike clip-in pedals, fitted with plastic platforms.  She liked the idea, and the pedals were installed.

The Miele branded brake callipers fitted the appearance of the bike and were in excellent working order.  But, the decision to swap out the drop bars made it necessary to seek out an appropriate set of brake levers.  Again, I scrounged through The Old Shed and a reasonably nice set presented themselves.  They were older looking but still functioned well and seemed to fit in with the aesthetics of the bicycle.

The indexed seat post would stay, but an appropriate saddle would have to be found.  And the saddle would have to be a wee bit wider than those I normally install on my bikes.  With that in mind, a period correct Avocete was selected and it suited the bike perfectly.  Once again, the saddle was a bit nicer than I would have preferred but it was perfect for the customer and that was the final deciding factor.

The handlebars were a simple alloy set, selected from a mid seventies Canadian made Sekine.  These bars are nicely made and have a wonderful clean look to them.  The can be had indifferent rises, the ones selected being fairly flat.  A set of grips, picked up at a local bike shop completed the control center.

The Miele's original wheel set remained.  The hubs were rebuilt and the rims trued.  It was at this point that Jenney insisted on really good tires.  I checked at the local bike shop to see what was available and they suggested Schwalbe Marathons.  At close to a hundred dollars each, I tended to question Jenny's choice.

But Jenney was adamant.  She wanted good tires that would not go flat.  I explained that any tire can go flat but the Schwalbe brand was quite flat resistant.  The tires were purchased.  I sweated bullets installing them.  And they looked just fine on the bike, however; they, once again, suggested that there was more to the bike that was was immediately apparent.

A bit of finishing off of cables, adjustments and the like saw Jenney' bike become road worthy.  The bike was still pretty light but the heavy tires did add a bit of unwanted weight, and rolling weight at that.  The transmission worked smoothly and the brakes offered a very positive feel when applied.  All in all, a nice old good quality Junk Bike.


It too about a week of work and emails to complete Jenney's Junk Bike.  She has had the bicycle for a few years now and I do hope she is enjoying her Canadian made Miele "Junk Bike".