Just about a year ago, my friend and I left my place, opened the garage to find this:
My 2008 Specialized Allez Triple road bike had been stolen. The garage was locked and the bike was locked up as well. I was just getting into cycling after my motorcycle accident and was really enjoying it, not to mention getting back into shape after my surgeries. Nothing of value (sentimental or had ever been stolen from me, this was a first. I have to admit it was an awful feeling. But, s#*† happens so I knew I had to get a new bike.
I decided I would replace my road bike (keep it in my bedroom) and get an additional commuter bike I could lock in the garage and not worry too much about if it were to be stolen. While cruising craigslist, I stumbled across a single-speed / fixie bicycle that a guy had built up. We negotiated back and forth for a while and I decided it was just a bit too far out of my price range for a single-speed commuter bike. He called me a few days later, after I had put that bike behind me, and told me to come get the bike. I told him I just did not want to spend the $800 he was asking for a bike to commute on, but he said “no… come get it. It is yours, I want to give it to you.” He explained that he felt like the bike would be going to a good home, someone who needed a new bike (due to mine being stole) and would enjoy it. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
I would constantly find myself looking at it and thinking “I can’t believe that is my bike!” I decided to give the bike a fitting name: Mibiqüe notüRS (pronounced ‘My Bike, Not Yours’). I rode this bike to and from work and well 750 miles.
After much thought, I decided it was time to upgrade it. The bike was extremely heavy, the gearing was getting too easy, and I wanted to do a really nice custom paint job highlighting the name. I bought some new parts on eBay / craigslist and got to work.
My main focus of this project: to make it MY BIKE!
I wanted to do absolutely everything myself. Disassemble the old bike, strip down the new one, paint it, and build it back up just how I wanted it. For budget purposes, I would take it in to get clear coated professionally. That way I could get a nice durable and professional finish and not have to shell out $700 in supplies and paint just for a little bike frame. Without further ado, here is the build!
The old frame with all the decals removed:
The new 2009 Fuji Track Pro Frame purchased from eBay:
and all the parts neatly laid out ready to be assembled after the completion of the frame:
The frame uses a unique design for the seat post and you cut it to your desired height:
Then I stripped the frame of all the original paint. This was a long and, at times, painful process. The chemical stripper burned pretty badly when it touched the skin:
All clean of the original paint. Iwas tempted to leave it like this as I thought it was super cool looking and it has gorgeous TIG welds as well. But I had already decided to go with the white/black color scheme with all the parts I purchased:
Time for paint! First I primed it with sand-able auto primer:
Next, the base coat of white:
After letting that dry, I laid down the stencils for the logos. I designed them in Adobe Illustrator then cut them out on a vinyl cutter. Finally, masked off the rest of the bike:
Then, sprayed the black:
I peeled off the masking and let the final product dry:
A few days later I took it in for a professional clear coat at a local auto-body shop. The frame is finished!
While the frame was being clear coated, the wheels arrived! I cut out some ‘MIWHEhülz’ decals in vinyl and added them to the Velocity B43 deep dish wheels then wrapped them in a set of Continental Gatorskin tires I had lying around:
I really wanted to start assembly now but then I had the wild idea to do a custom color on my Shimano PD-R540 pedals and I wanted all the parts to be ready to go before I assembled the bike.
First I disassembled the pedals. Quite the fun process when you don’t have the special tool to pull out the axle:
Stripped off the old paint while watching Harry Potter with the lady:
I traveled on over to my Mom’s house, where I keep my air compressor and powder coating equipment. Fired everything up and laid down the white powder:
The parts then hang in the oven to cure. After about five minutes at 450°, the powder starts to “flow”. This means the it turns from a powder to a smooth gloss. Then the temperature is lowered to 400° for 20 minutes:
After the buzzer goes off, the parts come out, shiny and highly resistant to scratching and chipping! Which are the two main benefits to powder coating over painting. Very important on bicycle pedals, if you ask me!
The original black coating was thrashed. Nice gloss white looks much better:
Then the nice black and white contrasting pedals:
To make them all work, I used a SRAM PC-1 Single Speed Chain. I will probably replace the chain and the crankset down the road, as they do not line up perfectly with the rear 14T cog. They are typically used on fixie frames, not track frames. Not to mention the SRAM chain is super noisy! But, for now they will work fine:
Next I threw on the Ritchey Comp Road Carbon Fiber Fork and the Velocity B43 Front Wheel. The fork is amazingly light! I got an insane deal on the fork from Recycled Cycles and the logos were already taken off. Great success! The fork was rounded off with a Cane Creek IS42 Tall Integrated Headset, which gives a nice clean look. The FSA Wing Compact Drop Bars, wrapped in white bar tape, are held on by an FSA OS-190 80mm Stem as well:
And lastly, I add the San Marco Ponza Power Saddle that I pulled off my old Bianchi Via Nirone 7, and the Fuji Seat Clamp. I will be replacing the seat soon due to the fact it makes my butt feel like it is bleeding. But looks good for now:
I am ecstatic on how it turned out. Already, just taking it on a spin around the block, someone commented on how beautiful it looks. There are a few little things I will be changing but overall it is exactly how I envisioned it. Here are a few studio glamour shots I took of it last night before I take it out on the road and it gets all beat up:
Just as a side note, I traded in my Bianchi Via Nirone 7, that I mentioned earlier, for a full carbon 2011 Bianchi Sempre 105. It is amazing and I will be riding it on a 200 mile ride this weekend from Seattle to Vancouver. Here is a quick shot of it: