MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

 

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MY "TEN SPEEDS"

 

 

ABBEY'S BAUER - INTRO

FINDING ABBEY'S BAUER

BUILDING ABBEY'S BAUER

 

 

BUILDING ABBEY'S STEVE BAUER

Even before the Ebay listing for the Steve Bauer Sirocco frame set had ended, a young woman from the US was in touch, hoping to purchase the frame.  She was unsure of how to go about purchasing a frame set on-line, and was delighted that I could offer her guidance.  She was even more delighted to learn that I had built bicycles for many other people, and would be happy to build a bicycle for her, and in accordance with her build specifications.

And, that simple thought, got the ball rolling on the Sirocco build.

When building a bicycle for others, it is my habit to try and send daily updates of how the build is going.  I include opportunities to make component choices, or build decisions, when decisions are needed.  By including the customer in the build process, it is my hope that the bicycle will become even closer to what they envision, while increasing the fun factor associated with buying a new, or old in this instance, bicycle.

Abbey defined what she would be using the bicycle for.  Basically, she wanted a bicycle that would be good for around town commuting and errand running.  It had to be theft deterrent, suggesting that cosmetically challenged, this or that, would not be an issue.  She was, as are most of us, working on a tight budget, so cost was a factor and cosmetically challenged components are much less expensive than their pristine cousins.  Finally, the bicycle would have to be fairly light, since she had to carry her bicycle down/up, two flights of stairs, for storage purposes.

Actually, it was the bicycle weight idea that initially caused Abbey to think about getting a road bicycle.  However, she was wary of the drop handlebars and, with that taken into consideration, I suggested that she go with a nice light set of near straight flat bars.

Based on Abbey's size, a suitable reach steering stem was selected, the bars installed, and then a set of no-name brake levers.  When the controls were assembled, and complimented with a set of black cushion grips, the entire effect was one of simplicity.  The look was light, in keeping with the nature of the bicycle and quest of the owner.

The levers selected, blended in nicely with the looks of the bicycle and worked perfectly when sending power to the Exage Action brake callipers.  These "light action" callipers work great, in my opinion, and the ones selected, though in perfect mechanical condition, were cosmetically challenged.

An indexed alloy seat post was chosen to support the woman's Avocet leather saddle.  These old saddles are very well made, incredibly durable and quite comfortable to sit.  When building bikes for other people, the saddle choice is always a crap shoot.  Saddles are, perhaps the most personal component on a bicycle.  With that in mind, it is impossible for me to predict if a saddle will prove acceptable or not.

In keeping with the comfort need, gear selection found itself under the microscope.  Though I could have installed a triple ring crank set, the cost would have jumped considerably.  With that in mind, and following Abbey's advice on her riding conditions, a Sugino VP crank, with a 52/42 ring set, delivered power to a six speed, wide range cog set.

Of course, using all of those gears required shifting.  I selected a Suntour Accushift indexed transmission, with hopes of offering the best possible user friendliness, considering the bicycle would still be fitted with down tube shifters.  I had tried to suggest that thumb shifters might be an option, but Abbey decided against them, though I cannot remember why.  Perhaps a cost issue, once again???

That left the running gear.  For all intents and purposes, there was nothing wrong with the "as found" wheel set that came with the Bauer.  Quick release no-name hub were laced to Araya 700c eyeleted rims.  Though the spokes were a bit oxidized, the nipples were free, allowing for easy truing, dishing an stress relieving.  The final choice, again driven by the cost factor, was tire selection.

Generally, I warn people about the dangers of using old tires.  Though a tire can look just fine, it might well have failed invisibly.  The rubber or cotton cords might have rotted, creating a dangerous situation, should the tires be used.

With this in mind, I looked for a suitable set of used tires.  I considered myself lucky to have recently acquired a fairly decent on a nineties something, frame damaged, Pinarello.  The tires were not perfect, but they appeared to be structurally sound.  The fact that the blue matched the blue of the bicycle was just a wee bonus, in my opinion.

And that about completed Abbey's Steve Bauer Sirocco build.  I tested the bicycle, never being able to actually appreciate ride quality since the bicycle was way too small for me to ride with any degree of comfort.  But it did ride well, tracking straight and true.

The Siroccor shifted like a charm, a testament to the wonderful Suntour transmission, and the braking proved to be a non-issue.  All in all, the bicycle should prove to be exactly what Abbey had envisioned.

 

 

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