Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alumite Nothing: My Bars Arrive, and Other Good News

The puzzle pieces begin their final alignment with the arrival of my Grand Bois Parallel "MARS" bars.

With terrifying haste, they travelled from Kyoto to my door in two days. (I ordered the chainring and cog from New York state almost a week ago, and no sign of them!) Grand Bois is a classy operation: they have their own cardboard boxes, for one thing. And these bars are good-looking, and have a very promising shape: lots of reach, a totally flat ramp, not a lot of drop, and a bit of a flare. Very important to me and the stylish Japanese, they are non-anodized (or, in the words of the Babelfish translation, "Alumite nothing"). I'm going to leave lots of shiny aluminum unwrapped in the centre to show this off. At 40cm, they are wide but not too wide — this is the narrowest available size. Witness their beauty:

The other good news is that: (a) I ordered five sets of NOS Reynolds 531 tubing today from Bicycle Classics. This is an "investment in myself"; I have now committed myself to building five frames. Soon I will begin laying out on here what their design will be. They'll be good. (b) I interviewed Mike Barry tonight for a couple of articles I'll be working on, and it was great. Lots to go over. More on these articles soon.


Karl said...

off topic but was wondering if you know from your framebuilding course what wall thickness and diameter steel tubing would make a nice rack. Steel rod seems overkill. I am thinking perhaps of using stainless and TIG welding it. Thanks, Karl in LA

mcscholt said...

What are you doing with the GB Randonneur bars?

XO-1.ORG said...

Don't be selfish! ;-) Tell us how / where you ordered those GB bars and what they cost!

mcscholt said...

AH said...

Sorry for the long delay in responding to these comments! Who knew so many were coming in!

Karl: definitely go with tubular steel. Alex Wetmore covers this topic in depth on his blog. Google "Alex Wetmore rack building."

The GB randonneur bars are being held on to for the time being and for a future project. I see them fairly often on eBay. I have a second pair I'm using on my cross bike, which I paid $15 for. Photos of that bike with its new bars forthcoming.

I paid about $75 CDN shipped 2-day express (from Japan) for those bars. A good deal!