Saturday, April 30, 2011

Better photo

The bike looked awful with that brick background. It looks better here, though the yellow sort of hides the yellow in the frame. Remaining question: are the housing loops too long coming out of the brake levers? The Nitto cage looks better but still a bit off.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Build, Day 3

Well, it's all it one piece. Here are some photos, with an entirely inappropriate brick background (first photo replaced—it made the colours look all wrong). Proper photos will follow next week.

I'm very happy with almost everything. The fender lines are almost perfect (any imperfections here are due to the angle more than anything.) All the important things are right.

Pretty close:

Here's the seat cluster—one of my favourite areas, with lots of decals, good reflections, lots of colour... (Curnoe routed the cable on the other side, but I decided to go left, for a number of not particularly interesting reasons...)

The rear brake (which works well) and the fender reinforcer.

The day's best view. Lots of triangles, and all the main colours...

The bottom bracket area looks nice. But, unfortunately, I'll probably need to swap the actual bottom bracket. This SKF 116mm JIS taper BB is too narrow by about a micrometer. With the driveside arm tightened almost enough, it's about to touch the overly-large driveside cup on the SKF BB. Another quarter turn and there would be creaking. I'm sure they're very nice BBs, but they're just not practical for use with TA cranks. I'll swap in a Shimano—after photos, for this red cup looks too good! (Maybe the red cup with fit on to a Shimano BB?) The good news is that all the clearances are right with a 116mm BB, and the chainline works...

RED CHAIN! Silly, perhaps—but one of the best details, I think. Note that the Chorus derailleur had no trouble shifting on to the large cog (24). We'll see if the reduced chain gap has any effect on shifting.

View from the front. The Nuovo Record headset was the right decision... Note also the red donuts, which look good. I'll lower the stem a bit.

So now I need a proper studio shot of Greg Curnoe Bike with a white background. Once I have that photo, from the same angle as the painting, Phase One of the project will be complete. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where Are You Little Shakespeare?

I spent the day looking in ditches and behind sheds in Port Credit for my girlfriend's lost 20-year-old cat. If you see her, let me know! Back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Build, Day 2

Today was all about fenders. And any day spent with fenders is bound to be a pain. Indeed, even though I had pre-shaped these fenders, drilled all the holes, bent the stays, etc., it took a long time just to install them. (Getting the eyebolts centred was the main thing.) But they are now on—and they not only do they fit well around the wheel, but they look incredible colour-wise.

The first thing I did was put on the reinforcer for the rear fender, which Noah was kind enough to prime and paint. Here it is from the inside...

From the outside...

And on the bike.

The front fender was a lot more difficult to install. On the rear fender, you have two fixed points—but on the front only one. It took me at least an hour to get the front fender all ready. But here it is. (Look at how the Columbus [Italian for dove] decal lines up with the fender...)

After this I put on the brakes, without actually setting them up. Here is a photo from the same angle as yesterday's. Do the fenders not look like tires? Admittedly, more like fat Hetres than orange time trial tubulars...

Finally: I took some flak for insisting that Noah paint my cable guide orange, but this photo FULLY justifies my insistence!

Tomorrow I'll set up the brakes, install the bottom bracket and cranks, set up the drivetrain, etc. It should be more or less done by tomorrow night...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Build, Day 1

I picked Greg Curnoe Bike up from Noah yesterday. He looks spectacular in person—the colours are really luminous, but less "neon" than they appear in photos. Of course it's been very rainy and dull in Toronto for the last few days, so that may account for GC's more subdued look. The paint job is really excellent—the only hitch is that, with all the layers of paint, it is a bit on the thick side, and some of the crispness of the lug edges is lost. Since the lugs are all masked, though, this is sort of a non-issue: it's pretty clear where they begin and end. As you can see below, I did decide to ask Noah to put on those Columbus decals on the fork blades.
I spent the day in the shop today getting paint out of places I didn't want it to be, which meant facing and reaming the head tube and crown race, filing out the binder slot, and sanding the Mafac bosses. After doing that I installed the gorgeous Nuovo Record headset and shortened the steerer to the proper length. Once I got home I glued the Dugast tubulars (which I sincerely hope I did correctly) and finished things off by using a bit of left-over tubular cement to glue an aluminum chainstay protector (it's wrapped in yellow electrical tape to hold it in place while the glue dries). Tomorrow I'll install the fenders (which are orange and incredible) and attach all the other parts. Then I'll take Thursday to cut housing, set up the brakes, etc. So the build should be complete by Friday, which, weather permitting, will be a photo day.
The weather has been awful, and I wasn't about to take photos of this bike in the rain, so I took these shots inside and with a flash, for which I apologize.

Update: By steadying my camera against the wall, I was able to get this excellent (though grainy) shot, from an interesting angle...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Photo of the Day #6: From the Front

Here, in the last of our series, is Greg Curnoe Bike seen from the front, on the proper Curnoe-ian non-driveside. Over the weekend I'll glue the tubulars and get the rest ready. Then on Monday I'll pick up the frame and install the headset. Then I'll build everything up... I'm also hard at work on a lengthy, energetic, and theoretically thorough Statement of Artistic Intent that I will unleash on this blog when everything is ready. I can't wait.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Photo of the Day #5: Drive Side

Here it is all together. I really couldn't be more pleased! I'll go pick it up from Velocolour soon, and then it's time for more fun. Remember that orange fenders are going on here. Things will only get more colourful.

ps: for those of you just joining us, read about the idea behind the project here, more about it here, and then skim at your leisure.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Photo of the Day #4: Downtube

Good things do come in threes, apparently. In the last few days, I've handed in a big application for a fellowship, submitted my thesis, and gotten my first look at Greg Curnoe Bike's paint job. In the thesis vs. bike competition, I think the bike is winning. Here's a look at the downtube—with, again, incredible work by Noah.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Photo of the Day #3: Front Drive Side

After a Sunday rest, the series resumes. Allow me to summarize my thoughts about this photo with the following statement: Noah Rosen of Velocolour is the greatest bicycle painter alive! Note the way the stripe on the headtube lines up with the edge of the logo, and the stripe on the downtube lines up with the top of the shifter braze-on.
I was thinking about putting a red Columbus decal on the fork blades. Reasoning: the fork blades are Columbus; the Curnoe bike had a Columbus decal, on the seat tube; and the Curnoe bike had a red Mariposa decal on the fork blades. But I think this looks so good the way it is that I'll probably let it be.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Photo of the Day #2: Seat Cluster

Here is the second photo. This one reveals, in addition to the lovely and colourful paint job, some less than stellar lug filing. The lug edges look very mushy and the lug itself a bit uneven—which is a bit surprising, given the absolutely insane amount of time I spent on this lug. But this is the drive side, which is not the "show" side of the bike. Things may, and should, look sharper from the other side. But let's stay positive: it looks pretty amazing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike Photo of the Day #1: Headtube

Noah is sending me one photo of the bike per day. This is both because he is looking out for me (I am submitting my thesis on Monday and need to focus) and because he has a sick sense of humour (I want to see them all!) But this should make for compelling blog-reading for the next little while. Here is Photo #1, which I think already presents a strong case for Greg Curnoe Bike being the nicest bike of all time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holy Crap Greg Curnoe Bike Is Looking Incredible So Far

Photos courtesy of Noah of Velocolour, whose masterful painting they depict.

Wow. The green looks a bit lime-y without all the red and orange to balance it off, and the frame looks generally a bit odd without the parts attached—but this is going to look utterly incredible when it's all built up. It looks pretty damned good right now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Happy Paris-Roubaix Day

I was up at 6am this morning to watch the race, and it was entirely worth it. I don't want to be a spoiler and give away the result—suffice it to say that, as a tall and lanky cyclist, it was nice to see a tall and lanky racer take it. Not so nice to see Michael Barry Jr. hit the deck, though.

The picture above comes from one of my prized possessions: a Mavic-branded Paris-Roubaix t-shirt. I was, of course, wearing it this morning.

Another aesthetically pleasing item: my KMC X9 red chain, which arrived in the mail on Friday.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Greg Curnoe Bike: Component List

Greg Curnoe Bike will be ready very soon. For the truly interested (and bless you all), here is a comprehensive list of every part listed in the upper-right-hand corner of the Greg Curnoe print, and then every part that will go on to my version of the bike.

I only recently got a chance to look up close at the Curnoe print, so I was mostly guessing from the image itself when I put together the components for my version. So I thought, for example, that the original had Campagnolo brakes (they're Weinmanns) and a Cinelli stem/bar (they're T.T.T.). I had no idea that Curnoe used Pino Morroni QRs, but, wow, that's cool. But knowing this probably wouldn't have changed my choices very much, given the semi-autobiographical nature of the project, and given the emphasis I'm putting on "adaptation." The basis of my adaptations appears in the chart itself, where I force myself to justify my departures from the original, either on aesthetic or athletic grounds. 

Yes, I do know that I am weird, and that this is just a bike. But by clicking on the image below (and you will need to click to be able to read it), you tacitly acknowledge that you too are weird—and that this is not just a bike!

ps: how awesome was the Tour of Flanders yesterday? I'm going to turn this blog into a racing blog some day! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Jocelyn Lovell Bike

Spring has arrived in Toronto. This has two consequences for Jocelyn Lovell Bike, who was finished last winter just as the snow started to fall:
  1. I want to ride him.
  2. I can now finally take nice pictures of him.
The question of riding and photographing are closely linked: until I took nice photographs, I didn't want to ride him and get him dirty and scratched; and until it was nice enough to take good photographs, I didn't want to ride him. So now things are in the proper order, and I have taken the archival photographs that will free me to ride Jocelyn Lovell Bike as much as I want.

Keats told the "fair youth" of his "Ode on a Grecian Urn," stuck eternally in a painted half-kiss,
     Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
     She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Well, Sweet Bicycle, you cannot now fade, having been frozen in these photographs. But unlike the fair youth, you can now split into two lives—one preserved eternally in two dimensions, and the other as my ever, ever-rideable (and kissable!) three-dimensional companion on blissful Poplar Plains hill climbs.

In fact, we've just been on our first hill climb—and he is a very nice, svelte vehicle. Also, I am happy to report that the first person we passed—a high school student—saw the bike and immediately exclaimed, and I quote, "Holy fuck, that is a nice fucking bike." Thank you, fair youth!