I needed a week off work to take a break. I also needed to make the distance between the saddle and the pedals bigger on my bike. So cue "CrapBike II week" (CBIIweek for short), in which I modify my bike a bit.
Today I got the frame pretty much finished, meaning tomorrow I just need to build mounting points for all the hardware, if necessary (brakes...), build the seat and give it a lick of paint.
The first job of the day was welding the last strut into position, to reinforce the headstock. Once this was done I put the wheels, handlebars, cranks and pedals on for a test ride. To prevent a sore behind,I discovered a cunning new way of creating a makeshift saddle; put a jumper down your trousers. This has the useful side-effect of making you able to pull a jumper out of your flies.
As shown in the test rides video (below somewhere), the bike is a bit tricky to ride - as you pedal, the bike steers towards your other foot, making it snake along. This was something I was aware of before building the bike and now, after a couple of short test runs, is becoming a lot easier to handle.
More of an issue was the steering, which twisted round again, despite being done up really tight. When I pulled out the gooseneck I found that it had cracked. The forces on the steering gear are a lot higher on a bike where the front wheel does both drive and steering, which made itself quite evident.
To combat the issue, I did a little of bodging, creating a second support tube for the handlebars. The tricky bit with this was making it removable, as the handlebars need to be removed to take the bike apart. The video below explains how I did it, far more easily than this paragraph:
Parallel to the head tube, a second tube is welded to the old seat post. I then used a bit of tube to connect this to the gooseneck and welded the whole lot together. To make it removable, I cut the first tube, and put a short length of tube that fit snugly inside sticking out of the end. The fit's a proper engineering on, so needs a hammer for assembly!
I ended the day by trying to strip the paint off the bike. I decided to invest in some Nitromors, despite my current attempt at frugal living, to save hours of grinding and sanding. It turns out Nitromors does a wonderful job on most paint, but does nothing to bike/car paint. £10 down the drain.
So, to end, a video compiling a few of my attempts at riding the thing today. By the end of tomorrow it should be ready for it's final assembly on Friday, before I try to ride it to work on Monday...
I found a flower stuck in my shoe!