Thursday, 26 August 2010

Beige Grey? Chrome?

Borrowed from the LFGSS

Here is the colour in RAL
Well, here is the final colour choice after a fair amount of deliberation. And a look at this thread about the RAL colour schemes from the ever awesome LFGSS or London Fixed Gear and Single Speed forum has various powder coat frames and forks at available at Armourtex. I have a half baked idea about chrome plating the forks and maybe I will in the future, but for now I'm sticking with flat colour.

Unless I can find a good chromer I suppose. Hmmmm. And they would do it for a good price? Hmmmm.

Anyway, the idea to move away from blue/black was to make it have a vintage feel and really ping off the brown/honey colours I'll probably end up with from Brooks line (saddle and tape). And even though the bike shown above has a Charge saddle is does enough to sell the colour to me. And it feels old Surly colours like Curry Squit or Beetroot poo. This blue malarky feels a little too sensible for my liking.

Chrome forks? Wonder who sells them as the cheapest I've seen to chrome them has been £120.

And this will definitely mean swapping my headset for a silver one. *sigh* 

More research it seems.


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

It's arrived

Got the frame last Friday which was a tricky gig trying to weave through London's Underground system with a large box. This being hindered of course by my own consumption of beer in celebration of it being a day ending in Y.

Of course, I wasn't alone in my descent into what British people do best, which is trying to erase some deeply embedded guilt by consuming an entire wave of lager. London was awash with others in much the same state. 

However, singletons take note, I was inundated with drunken questions about the box. By none other than the fairer sex. All these years I'd tried a multitude of various 'pulling' techniques with varying success but had I known all I needed to do was attend pubs and clubs carrying a suitably large box*, it would've made life more simple.

I made it home with most of my clothes intact having been ravaged by laydeez on the train almost feverish to find out the contents of my box (the truth would've bored them to tears) to find 2 cats we've just started to foster. Both incredibly cute and handsome. And here is the unfortunately named Monkey taking his place as chief 'guard'.

The bike is cool and I quickly chucked the brakes on it to see if they looked good. First signs are they do.

Onwards I guess now.


* One girl did ask if I had a dead body in there. I blame the The Daily Mail.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

From 58 to a 60cm. Experiment time.

I originally ordered a 58cm frame for my LHT based on my experiences with my Surly Steamroller which I did with intentionally long seatpost and smaller frame so I can whip through traffic with higher control. And shake my fist at drivers easier.

Besides, I always like the look of smaller bikes. Big bikes looks so clumsy (like me).

But after looking at the surly lht google group and various flickr groups it seems as though the fit needs to be more precise. Makes sense I suppose, given that I'll be doing heavier mileage on the LHT and the Steamroller is my City Whip and only does about 20 miles a day. But some of the most fun I can have after a dull day at work.

Anyway, the bike frame has arrived now (a pic will come tonight) and so the parts will be ordered one or 2 parts at a time.

As mentioned before I got a Fire Eye Headset in XL and black (it was cheaper). Still wondering about it. Should I have got silver? Should it have been a Chris King ;)


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

The Only Mistake?

Got my Avid Shorty 4 brakes today. A massive d'oh moment as they're black not silver. Must pay attention more when ordering stuff. Also got a Fire Eye Stem. It's massive.

Now upgraded to Shorty 6's and they arrived in spiffing silver. However, my love for a cantilever bike build my be shortlived as I'm reading a few people having bad experiences with these brakes. 
If they're full of fail, I'll swap to a V Brake and see what happens.

In the meantime, they do look very swish.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Back In Black

Wasn't amazed at the colour choice for the Long Haul Trucker, so I had a quandry. Wait for the 2011 models and hope for a change or take the frame up to armourtex and have it resprayed.

In the past Surly have done some nice colours for the LHT, however the stock colour for 2010 is Blue or Black.

Now, I've never liked black bikes. They're too commuter-ish. And although the blue is nice, my MTB is blue and I fancy a different colour.

Still, I wrote to Surly:

Hey there,

I'm very much into building up a LHT but not too enamoured by the colours, so I thought I'd ask what the 2011 colour scheme might be if there's a colour change.

No worries if not, I'll just get the frame resprayed.

And they replied (probably wondering why I'd spelt colour wrong):

The 2011 LHT will look just like the 2010 – black and blue all over (again).
No color change is in the works. Warm up the powder coater.

Eric Sovern
Surly Bikes

So, seems like I may be off to Armourtex. Now, what colour shall I go for?

Monday, 2 August 2010

I've bought the frame

Finally ordered a 58cm 700c Surly Long Haul Trucker frame and will build it up very slowly (mainly due to space restrictions in a London flat). I shall endeavour to tell a story of all the parts I buy and the trials of putting it all together. All the workings out and maybe co-erced decisions made by anyone following this blog.

I'm being helped along the way by 2 friends who both work in bike shops. One for general advice on putting together a new bike (I've made 2 rat bikes in the past which are both excellent, but I doubt I want to whack in my new headset with a hammer etc :) and another who'll be showing me how to build the wheels.

Once the bike is complete then I can start telling the stories of the actual rides. Which hopefully will include a nice trip to Norway or maybe Northern Spain.

Until then, I hope you can benefit from my journey of putting it all together.