Friday, April 29, 2011

Building a Mountain Bike Part 7: Finished (But Wait! There's More!)

It started as an idea, mostly inspired by my cousin after I left a visit with him at Bluff Point State Park. I just started thinking: 'Building my own mountain bike. How hard can it be?'

It was hard. A lot harder than I thought. But it was the most fun I've ever had in my shop. It all began with this:


And now, after weeks and weeks of building, making mistakes, ordering parts, making more mistakes and repeating, I have....THIS!


I highly recommend building a bike, if for no other reason you get a photo album at the end where you can go over the different stages of development, like baby pictures. And like a baby, it grows up so fast.

I will say this: it took me a huge amount of time to adjust the front derailleur, but once I did I was able to add a few other features to make this bike my own.

The ToPeak Defender I bought from Greenwich Bicycles had, as I found out when I got it home, received some negative reviews online. However, the ones I read had to do with the fender not staying in place over the wheel.

Because the mountain bike is sharing the same excellent Cane Creek Thudbuster with my Dahon Matrix I had no interest in mounting the fender to the post itself. So I did this:


Yes, it is mounted to the frame, providing barely enough clearance for the tire. I used tin snips on the fender to trim away the plastic before drilling a hole. I then inserted a plastic wire tie, which help keeps the fender in place.

I also decided to make shock boots out of a piece of vacuum cleaner hose. The boots are light, keep everything from getting scratched or dinged, and actually looks pretty cool. Well, I think so.


Now, I wanted to document my first ride with it in a special way, so I seriously thought about buying an HD Hero video camera. But I was just about out of money for this project and couldn't think about spending a dollar more for a while.

Then I remembered something: over the summer of 2010, I bought an iPod Nano 5th Generation, which has a video camera built right in it. It's a nice little extra feature, and I don't understand why Apple took it away when the 6th generation came out a couple of months later. Maybe they wanted to stockpile it for the iPad 2.

Anyway, I had the iPod Nano, so all I needed to do was figure out how to mount it to the mountain bike. So I consulted the 304...


...and I found some rubber O-rings and some old plastic mounting bits from a bike's rear reflector. The discovery of an unused parts sorter gave me everything I needed.


I also have, as you can see, a plastic case for the Nano to go in. Thrilled to extend the mountain bike project further, I set to work on the camera mount using the things I had found. This is what I came up with:


I broke the lid from the parts sorter and used a utility knife and a pair of scissors to cut it into the shape you see there. I added a couple of notches so that the Nano would stay in place with the O-rings. Some careful drilling gave me the holes for the mount, and rummaging through the 304 got me the nuts and bolts. I mounted it to the handlebars, adjusted the angle, and was left with this:


Now, it isn't an HD Hero. I mean, it is a bit awkward to turn the camera on and off and it isn't waterproof, but on the other hand it didn't cost me anything and I had fun building it.

I'll post a video of the first ride another day, but the Five Boro Bike Tour is the day after tomorrow, and there's still a bit more tuning and adjusting that needs to be done on the museum piece I'll be riding.

2 comments:

  1. Try to avoid getting sand on the bike chain, and/or on the gear sprockets.
    The sand will cause friction on the chain and the gears and will cause more wear and tear on your cruiser.
    bicycle fender

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sweet internet site , super design , really clean and utilize genial . studds helmet 

    ReplyDelete