Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My new 3-speed steed....

I haven't put up a bike specific post in a while because I've been pretty slammed with photo assignments the last few weeks (that's a good thing!). However, I have been able to sneak in a few moments to play bike mechanic, usually when my slow computer is processing RAWs to JPGs.

Anyway, here is my latest new/old bike. You may remember it as a fixed gear that was even on Fixed Gear Gallery. I decided to make it a bit more utilitarian. I rode fixed and it was fun but wasn't really my thing. I'm more of a simple bike commuter/tourist than a fixie nut or roadie.

I took my Surly Steamroller and turned it into my urban hack version of the English 3speed. I got hold of a Nexus 3speed hub with a coaster and built a wheel around it. Got some neat swept back Nitto handlebars and cork grips.

I shellaced the grips and twine I put on the top tube to give it a nice brown woodsy feel.

The toughest part was the cable routing. There is none. So I had to McGuyver it and use zip ties. It has been fun cruising around town and doing errands with it. The shifting works fine and the gearing gives me around 50 gear inches on the low end, 70 in the middle and 90 in the high. Basically, a low enough gear to cruise Long Beach while carrying small to moderate loads.


Jason said...

Looks great, Russ. That's got to be a fun ride.


Jason Crane
RocBike.com | The RocBike Review
"Nothing To Lose But Our Chains!"

Doug said...

I like it. I'm currently having a new wheel built with a Nexus 7-speed hub to put on my Cross Check. It's been fixed for 2 years. My reasons are the same as your's. I wanted a more utilitarian bike for all my commuting.

Joe said...

Russ, really great re-conversion (or something like that). I'm keeping my fixie but a couple weeks ago I pulled out my old Raleigh International frame (c. mid-1970s) and I'm building up a 6 speed townie with similar spec's, equip., and aesthetics as your 3 speed--thanks (inspiring!)