Starting from Rust

You might remember a little while ago that Vincent and I built him a bike out of, well, out of a bike. It was a lot of fun!

I’ve wanted to have a guest bike for a while so that when people — let’s say, Malcolm Craig — come to visit, we don’t have to drive into town. It’s stupid to drive there. We have a beautiful bike path and bikes run on lunch instead of gasoline. But, of course, bikes are expensive.

But not if you start rummaging. I was given this beauty a month ago or so. It had vines growing through it. Let’s look at some of the highlights, shall we?

Novara Rustpile

The first things to note: the rat trap is not connected to the frame at the top of the seat tube. That’s because the rack has two holes and the frame, one. When I got it, it was attached by a twist tie.

Also, note the 26″ wheels (that’s mountain bike size) with the drop handlebars.

Brakes at their worst.

Hey! Check out those brake shoes! The one on the left there is from a V brake. You know, the kind that works. The one on the right is the correct kind, from a cantalever brake. You know, the kind that doesn’t. In case you’re unfamiliar with these things: this is a cantalever brake.

This used to be a chain.

I think the rust on here is pretty beautiful. Unfortunately, it prevents the chain from bending.

The Heaviest Bike in the Universe.

This fiesta de crap is donating brakes and maybe the bars and shifters. I wanted to chop and flip the Novara’s bars into bullhorn bars, but I can’t seem to combine the brake levers I’ve got with those bars — the original levers will only work on caliper brakes, not cantilever or V — so I might go with the straight bars. I’m torn, though, because of the bar-end shifters on the Novara. I really wanted to have a single bar-end shifter. So I dunno.

Your bike a splode.

So everything comes apart. Notice the evaporated daylight. I can’t find my 5mm hex wrench now.


That Lady I Like So Much took this pic of me dismantling. I’m trying to get the stupid fucking bars out of the stupid fucking stem. Why did anyone ever think that threading handlebars through was a good idea?

Those tires are total crap and dry-rotted to boot. They’re getting replaced with Bontrager Road Warriors.

I don’t have a picture of it, but not one bolt on the left side of the bike matched its counterpart on the right. One of them was, in fact, a drywall screw.

I’ve been steel brusing off the rust, which has been easier than expected. Once the majority of the rust is off, I’ll take the paint off with some methylene chloride (maybe the nastiest chemical ever created for non-military purposes) and repaint it a deep blue. If this frame were better (and without dents) I’d spray it dark blue, with a black fade underneath to give the paint some depth, then again with a clear gloss. But that’s not for this frame.

(Continued when I’ve got more bike building time.)

6 thoughts on “Starting from Rust”

  1. You are fast turning into a crazy bike person. Soon you’ll have “guest bikes” for your entire extended family.

    Will you have one of your bikes with you this weekend, by the by?

    1. Yep! I was about to call you about that, too!

      I’ll be showing up tonight. Carrie has two friends coming in from out of town today and tomorrow, so she’ll be showing up on Saturday night.

  2. oh geez. i feel so bad for not taking care of my bike better. what do i fill my time with? oh yeah, reading josh’s blog. doh. come out here, we’ll fix my bike.

    1. Hey, sweetie!

      Your bike could not possibly be in the condition of these two.

      I’m hoping to have a functioning bike by the end of the weekend out of these parts. Wish me luck! Especially since the Tri County Fair is this weekend, and my lovely lady lov0rz teh Tri Country Fair.

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