Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Chicago PD on Cycling in the City.

I heard that Chicago was making leapts and bounds in regards to bike lanes and making the roads more accessible to cyclists but I had no idea that it went this far.

The Chicago Police Department has put together a very well done video promoting not only bike safety but motorist safety as well and they seem to take bikes very seriously. Here's hoping that this becomes the case everywhere.

Don't forget to check out the how-to articles.
Until next time, ride safe and free.

Gerry :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

City Bike Build, the semi-gloss black paint coat

The stars finally lined up. The weather was nice, temperature was not of the arctic variety, the winds were not of biblical proportions and I wasn't being attacked by a virus, time to get back to building a bike!

Rack, fenders and rigid fork have been installed

Since the primer had ample time to dry I wasn't too worried about scuffing it. The final coat of semi-gloss black was another thing however. Since time is getting shorter by the day for this build, I need to get in gear and waiting days for paint to dry is not an option.

Always check for clearance of fenders and brackets prior to paint.

The next best thing is to attach the most parts I can and than shoot everything right there on the bike. This doesn't make for a very good or durable paint job but since I'm using semi-gloss black it's really not a real problem. Touch ups are a breeze and paint is cheap, time isn't.

After the first coats have been applied. Kinda looks like Batman's bike!

So I pulled out a pair of plastic fenders I had lying around. These are perfect because they are light. I'm building a fully dressed bike and weight can go up real fast if you don't watch it. Next was a nice Aluminum rack, light weight and sturdy. Since I don't want to mess around with any of this after paint, it was important to get the proper nuts, bolts, lock washers and brackets right off the bat.

After painting, bake it in the Sun. Every little bit helps.

Nuts and bolts were the hard part. I'm sure you're wondering why. Turns out that my filing system for spare parts is not the best. I just take a bucket, box or toolbox and fill it until it's full. Then I fill another one. Every time I end up doing a build I am reminded that my system has a serious issue when it comes to small parts. They always end up at the bottom. After covering my shop floor with three buckets I found my small nuts and bolts and realized I was running low on these.  The washers were not a problem, the nice people who made the box I bought had them all filed in separate compartments by size. I also have a bucket full of brackets somewhere but of course, it was nowhere to be found.

The rack will be carrying my camera gear so it has to be sturdy. This baby ain't going nowhere!

I did the next best thing, I built a set of brackets to hold that rack to the frame. I made them using a roll of punched sheet-metal strip used by plumbers and a pair of snips. If you ever want to play with any kind of sheet metal, you need a pair of snips. They are the scissors for sheet steel and aluminum.

This is what I used to make the brackets for the rack.

After everything was installed nice and sturdy, I took the bike outside and applied the Krylon semi-gloss black. Multiple light coats were done in two applications with about an hour between them. The frame is now drying off and I might be able to pursue this build within a week weather permitting. So far it's not looking good but you never know.

Don't forget to check out the how-to articles. 

 Until next time, ride safe and free.

Gerry :)