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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Commuter bike project

Toward the end of last year I began feeling very convicted for driving unnecessarily when I could have been riding a bike. After all, riding a bike is better for me, the environment, the community, the country, and the pocket book. When I started commuting I quickly realized that I didn't like commuting on my Scott for various reasons.
The reasons included the following:
  • My Scott is expensive and so it would be devastating if it were stolen.
  • I ride tubulars on my Scott which are expensive to replace and with most of my commute to work being in a debris filled bike lane (which I'm very thankful for), it doesn't make financial sense compared to the cost of replacing tubes and tires on a clincher.
  • I have to store my bike outside at work and the Drew Center and I don't like the idea of my Scott baking in the summer SC sun all day.
  • I didn't like having to ride with a backpack to carry my stuff

So as a winter project I decided to build a commuter bike. Of course the first step was to find a bike to start with. My friend Tommy really hooked me up with the perfect bike for this. Most importantly, it was my size. It'd been sitting in his shed for a while and had definitely seen better days, but it was ideal for this build.

After some research I believe I was able to figure out the year it was made. It's a 1990 lugged steel frame Centurion / Diamond Back with down tube shifters and complete 7 speed Shimano 105 groupset. 1990 was the year that the Centurion name brand was phasing into the Diamond Back brand which had been selling well in the mountain bike space. They produced this bike with predominant Diamond Back logos and a small "Designed by Centurion" logo along the chain stay.

Here's how she looked:

Here's what I did:

  • Cut and sanded off 3 rusted cable stops that ran along the top of the top tube
  • Sanded off the logos and a few rusty areas
  • Spray painted the frame black
  • Added reflective tape to the frame
  • Replaced the wheels and tires
  • Replaced the cabling
  • Replaced the saddle
  • Replaced the handle bars with Urban Pursuit that I cut down some
  • Added a pair of Cane Creek TT brake leavers
  • Replaced the crankset with a barely used one from the same era and groupset
  • Added pannier rack and bags
  • Added some pink Speedplay pedals that can off my wife's old bike
  • Added a nice cyclocomputer from my wife's old bike

Here's how she turned out:

3 comments:

David said...

Hey Nick! Glad I found your blog.

Looks like a good winter project. I have an old Peugeot frame I've thought of doing something like this with. If it weren't way too small for me (54, and I ride a 60 roadbike), I probably would.

You doing Parris Island? I'm looking forward to it!

swimshady said...

I'm glad you found it too. I just put it up yesterday so I'm still trying to figure some things out. For instance, I'm hoping that I'm replying to your comment ... I'm not sure if you'll actually get this :-)

Yeah, the commuter was a fun project although I've haven't been able to ride it much lately because of the stinking weather!

I'm not planning in doing PI. I think I'll start my season at Langley. I feel ya on the trainer thing, at least the boys go numb after 15 minutes or so.

Bill Lawrence said...

I like it. I like the TT looking handlebar set up and the pink speedplays are a bonus. You are going to kick some serious tail next season!