Archive

Touring

I left early one morning to buy this bike from a gentlemen in Wicker Park who promised to hold the bike for me despite having had many other inquiries. It was initially very dirty and needed a decent amount of work. There was a great deal of dried limestone and grit on the rims and surrounding the BB shell. I didnt expect it to clean up so nicely, though.

After stripping, reassembling, and dressing the bike up I was very content with the turn out. It was a 22 inch frame so I was able to ride it semi comfortably.

It took about 2 weeks for this bike to sell which is probably the longest time Ive waited for a bike to sell since last winter. Ive noticed that the prices of bikes have gone up slightly but the quality and workmanship has definitely remained sub par. There is just not a lot of great deals out there for people which kind of baffled me when this Trek didnt sell in a matter of days.

I finally had a young man from Ireland inquiry on the bike. He turned out to be the best person to own the bike. He had knowledge of bikes and an appreciation for 80s steel road bikes, having rode a few in Ireland.

It doesnt scare me that it took that long to sell but the down season is definitely here.

Hey, Everyone

After leisurely sifting through ads on Craigslist for potential projects, and coming up mostly short, this beautiful grape of a bike appeared.

My dad scheduled a time for me to meet the seller the following day. Upon arrival, the bike was fairly clean. We had only replaced the routine components like cables, housing, brake pads, chain, tires, and tubes.

I dont like the idea of selling 30 year old brake pads and tubes to someone as if they were new. Plus, people seem to appreciate our minimal effort to revive these bikes.

Anyway, the bike had a Super Maxy crank which was a cool feature, as well as the original leather saddle made by Bell. Japanese Brooks. It was a bit flared out and lightly broken in so we tightly wrapped the saddle with a cloth in an attempt to mold it back to its original shape. I think it worked.

Oddly enough, despite it being a 23 inch frame I was able to ride it around the block a couple times, semi comfortably. Rode smooth and shifted with ease. I ended up selling the bike to a friend who fell for the aesthetics. Cute bike.

Hey!

I have a few keywords that my Craigslist app pulls up for me (Trek, Reynolds, Raleigh, etc) and I am usually pretty good at checking them. Paid off this time! I found a Raleigh Alyeska frame being sold in Crystal Lake. It was set up as a single speed with mysterious no name Deep Vs and what I think are formula hubs.

I met up with the seller who was trying to liquidate some of his possessions before a move to California. I was really glad I got the frame, even though I knew it was too tall for me.

I loved having the opportunity to rebuild the bike as a touring specific bike, the reason it was manufactured in the firs place. Even though the brands of the componentry used isnt original to the Alyeska, I still tried my best to appropriately rebuild the bike.

I have such an affinity for Raleigh touring frames, especially from the 80’s. I am still searching for one my size but it seems like the world is against me. I did manage to find a Raleigh Olympian but the frame is bent.

Anyway, I did splurge on the build and went out and bought Brooks B17 Saddle from Smart Bike Parts in Logan Square for a great price. I did buy some silver Velo fenders as well but the screws included didnt fit the frame so I just decided to return it all together. I would have had to ask for much more money for the bike had I kept the fenders so I went without them.

The background graffiti moral is on the south wall of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Club on Washington & Sacremento. Ive passed it a couple times and always thought it would make a nice background for bike photographs. This year Id like to be more creative on where I take some of these photos but I need a fancier camera, I suppose.

Hey!

This was quite the find. I was at a Goodwill in Carpentersville killing time before dinner plans and saw this bike out of the corner of my eye.

There was a man on the phone standing next to it and had his hand on the handlebars. When I approached the bike the man actually walked away and I noticed the price tag hanging from the top tube. $30. What a deal! I snapped a quick picture and emailed it to my dad. I rolled the bike over to clerk and promptly paid for it but asked if they could hold it because I didnt have a bike rack or any room in the car I was in.

My father drove to the Goodwill and picked the bike up for me later that evening. He had recently bought a Wright saddle and it looked perfect on the bike. I really should have kept this bike for myself but I sold it the next day for $375 and was told by a couple people that I under priced it.

I sold it to a young lady who met up with me with her boyfriend who was riding a very nice Surly Longhaul. They mentioned that they were looking to bike from Chicago to some where northern Michigan. She loved so I was glad but since then I have had an itch to find a really nice touring specific bike.