Monthly Archives: November 2012

Yes, this is another Fuji Monterrey and yes, the original paint job (with some subtle differences) was the same as the Monterrey in the post prior to this one. We some how ended up with two Monterreys at the same time.

The wheels were stripped and the hubs were salvaged to be laced with new spokes and rims by George. The rest of the componenets were either saved or toss into the scrap bin. For it being a high tension steel frame, it cleaned up pretty nicely.

The guy I rebuilt this frame for wanted a charcoal or grey color given to the frame, which was really easy for Mark to execute at Fresh Start. Ended up going with him for this project because Im kind of done experimenting with other powdercoaters, despite how cheap they can be. There continues to be some minor issues here and there that Fresh Start has absolutely no problem avoiding. So yeah, no real reason for me to get work done else where.

Ended up turning out gorgeous. Very clean, minimal, and respectable look.

I personally would have liked to have used a color walled tire like a mocha brown or even a gum wall but the black Strada Ks were fine and were requested.

Im so impressed with how this color turned out I am thinking of rebuilding a sports touring frame for myself in a similar shade.

The buyer was very happy with the turn out. At the last minuted we ended up going with a vintage Brooks I had which I was kind of excited to use, kind of a cherry on top.


I had rebuilt a Puegeot Record Du Monde for a friend of a friend (who is now a friend!) back in June prior to my Portland vacation. She wanted a cool vintage single speed that she could cruise around the city with and keep up with her friends on. She was riding a slow and heavy mountain bike and wanted something swifter. I ended up building her this:

Unfortunately, after my vacation I got an email from her stating that she had a friend test ride the bike one evening and that test ride turned into an accident involving a motorist. Apparently her friend T-boned a car so hard that it shattered the cars window. The incident didnt substantiate to the point where the law needed to be involved but her bike was mangled. The fork was bent along with the front rim. The rear had a hop but I didnt trust it. She explained to me that her friend was offering to pay for the bike so she wanted to commission me for another build. I felt bad so quickly showed her this bike that I had picked up.

At the time, a friend of my dad’s had a guy who could get frames powdercoated for $50. He offered to hook us up and since that was such a good price I figured Id get the Fuji powdercoated for my friend, giving her a fresh look. The powdercoating job ended up taking FOREVER and costing $70. On top of that, there was some over spray issue. You get what you pay for so needless to say, I wont be going back with that guy. Fortunately, the bike turned out very nice.

(forgive me for these unbalanced photos, was standing on a curb two feet from automotive death)

I have a number of vintage grocery/wine crates that I have been dying to incorporate with these builds, wanting to play with the Porteur style bikes.

I really loved how it came together.

The great thing is, I was able to salvage some components from the Peugeot like the calipers, stem, handlebars, levers, hubs, freewheel, and chain.

Found some very nice faux leather wrap, nicely reupholstered saddle, solid Continental tires.

I went with orange just because the last frame was orange but it ended up being appropriate for this fall season.

I ended up not giving her the crate only because it was a bit over sized. When I delivered the bike to her I told her that she could have it though. She was extremely pleased with the finished product.

This was the Capri that was traded in for a Motobecane Mirage (2 entries ago). Like I explained in that post, the only reason they guy traded it was because he didnt like the handlebar set up, which was fine because I was able to help him out and help the buyer of this Capri out as well.

I didnt have to do any extensive work, just replacing tubes, cables, handlebars, saddle, handlebar wrap, and levers.

It ended up turning out very classy looking. The cream saddle on the bike really gives it such a unique touch.

Just wish I was able to get more/better photos before selling it.

What a weird bike. My dad and I bought this bike from a guy and his son up in Mchenry, Il. They seem to stumble on bike for resale and usually give us a courtesy call when they are listing a new bike on Craigslist. This particular bike wasnt listed because they had just picked up and we just happen to see it while there buying a Schwinn World.

They quickly showed up the unique feature on the bike, a cam that is actually integrated with the with the bottom bracket cup.

I had no idea what kind of bike it was or where it came from and neither did they. I thought it may have been a German or Belgian bike with a name like that but it turns out that Houdaille was an American company.

To my understanding this is the only bicycle Houdaille Industries made. What makes this such a rare bike is not only the manufacturer but the Powercam crank, which is conjured in competition with Shimano’s Biopace technology.

The bikes Powercam crank is definitely different. From what I read it was designed to help the rider at their weakest extension while cranking, improve cadence, and build muscle. After riding locally on the Houdaille, and getting use to the strange relief motion you experience when your leg is furthest forward while cranking, I can agree that it has the ability to build muscle quickly while ‘kind of’ making it easier on the rider. You can definitely build and maintain speed very easy with this bike without exerting as much energy as a conventional crank. I think the primary reason this technology did not take off is because of how different the riding experience is. Its definitely not a bike I would take our leisurely. It is meant to for performance applications like competition and racing.

This project was another “build to order” for a guy who needed a sleek commuter that rode well. We set up a deal to trade his Raleigh Capri and Schwinn Varsity plus $25 for a Motobecane Mirage frame rebuilt as a single speed:

It was a decent deal but all and all, I really helped him out. This panned out to be a very nice bike.

I bought the wheelset (Weinmenn DP18s) off someone who had recently upgrade to Mavics. The wheels had only seen around 70 miles so they were in pretty good shape.

One major reason the buyer was willing to trade me his two bikes for this one was that he recently bought the Capri as his commuter because his last bike had gotten stolen. His last bike had bullhorns and he really missed the style of those bars and wanted them back. I didnt exactly give him bullhorns but rather, cut & flip drops which he was fine with.

He also requested to have an aggressive gear ratio so I set him up with 16/52. Another request was some efficient tires so I bought him Vittoria Zaffiros.

I really loved the way this bike turned out and so did he. Definitely an upgrade from his Capri.

Ive been pretty busy with projects for specific people these last few weeks. Projects for individuals often prove to be challenging but fun. Ive met some cool people along the way and its always interesting seeing the different reasons why someone needs a bicycle and flattering that they want me to rebuild one for them. This bike almost ended up not being thrown in the “build-to-order” category but it was very similar to a bike I already had lined up for a young guy.

Originally the guy was going to have me rebuild a Miyata One Ten frame Ive had for the past year now. He needed a commuter and wanted to mess around on a sturdy vintage steel frame with decent tubing. Once I discovered this frame I knew it was a much better buy than the Miyata seeing that it had Columbus tubing and a much sportier color scheme.

I didnt have to replace really any of the componentry, just recondition it, add new tires, tubes, cables, housing, wrap, chain, saddle, true the wheels, and a good cleaning.

Its a sharp bike and rode very nicely. The guy was pleased with it and thought it would be perfect for his applications.

Every once in awhile I’ll build a bike that sub quality components. What I mean by that is steel. Steel components are heavy, restricting, and dumb. Cottered/one piece cranks, heavy steel handlebars, and of course steel wheels that each weigh a ton. They just are efficient components and there are more than obvious reasons why they were left in the shadows 30 years ago. But like said, I use them on occasion because there is an abundance of them and if they are reconditioned, they can be used for a budget bike. Thats what I did here:

Had this project called for alloy components I would have charged much more but since its equipped with steel, its considered a budget bike for a budget buyer. I dont want to be known as someone who is too prideful to work on shitty bikes or attempt to build a decent bike within a tight budget and I think most people who buy these budget bikes appreciate that. Not everyone values, appreciates, or can afford $250+ bikes so helping those individuals out is something I enjoy doing, which is why I made this steel clunker as efficient and pretty as I could.

Unfortunately the buyer of this bike didnt appreciate the extent of work/resources that went into this bike. I received a call on a Saturday prior to heading out with friends regarding this bike. It was a young man calling on behalf of his father who thought the bike looked great and was priced accordingly. I set something up with them the following day and everything was in order. Next day came and I called the young man an before I left to confirm that we were still on for the afternoon. He confirmed and then confirmed the price that he claims we agreed on. Thing is, we didnt talk about a price at all, I assumed they were paying my asking price. I was somewhat flexible but I didnt want to bend that much because the bikes was already priced for someone on a budget. We agreed to $10 less than my asking price which was fine.

They lived on a very narrow one way street outside of Chicago and I met them in the street since there was no parking in front of their flat. Young man and his father came out and scanned the bike without compliments. Instead, the father quickly made a fuss about paint chips, the very few that were on the frame. I tried explaining that paint chips are extremely common on frames that are 20-30 years old, even younger, but he wouldnt budge. He claimed “he had to get the thing repainted”. I told him that if the frame didnt have those chips I would have charged more and that they are common and meaningless. The bike is in great shape and full functional but it didnt matter. Him and his were trying to drop the price on me even more and I frankly got upset. I knew I was being taken advantage of and I felt really disrespected. While this was happening a car pulled up behind me and sat there. I basically had to make a decision. Take the father’s bullshit offer or drive off with the bike. I took his offer to justify my 30 mile trip to their home but respectfully shook the mans hand and told him to have a nice evening.

Everyonce in awhile you run into jerks like that but in any line of service you will. Hope he enjoys the bike.