Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thruster Fixie Finished! And under budget as well.

Hello and Welcome,
Things have been hectic around here these past few weeks. We are having one bath-room fixed-up and another completely remodeled. And in the midst of all this my wife's car broke-down. So between cleaning-up after the tradesmen and dealing with the car, there has been little time for this project. So after the first bath was finished the builder needed a week to line-up the tradesmen. And we decided to park the car for a while. This gave me most of this week to take care of some other things.

I have been very eager to see what the new Origin 8 1/8 Single Crank-Set would look like on the Thruster. So let us pick it up the project there.

Above: First step is to loosen the rear axle so we can move it forward.
Above: After removing the dust cap I remove the crank retaining bolt. I do not use an extension on the ratchet. And I use the smaller ratchet. For me this makes it easier to keep the socket snug on the bolt head. I don`t want to round off the bolt head by letting the socket slide off while putting torque to the ratchet. It is equally important that the socket have the same number of points as the retaining bolt head.
Above: Here after removing the retaining bolt I have threaded the crank puller tool into the crank. I am very careful not to cross thread this. To avoid cross threading I start screwing it into place by hand. I put this in snug but not over-tightened.
Above: Now I have moved the wrench handle out to the nut on the threaded post. As I thread this in using the wrench handle it will contact the end of the bracket axle or spline. As I tighten the post, it will pull the crank off the spline. I also have a Park tool crank puller. But on the Park the handle is fixed so it can not be used to screw the tool into to crank. And you can not remove the wrench handle and change the position to get better torque on the wrench. I would say "in my opinion" the Park tool is very well built. But the Sun-lite wrench again "in my opinion" is a better design. UPDATE: Removing a badly frozen crank set on another bike I damaged the Sun Lite crank puller. I had to hit it (crank puller handle) with a hammer to break the crank loose from the spindle. I do not think any puller would have stood up to that much abuse. It does still work but with the threaded spindle now slightly bent, it does not thread in easily. As I mentioned I was able to remove the frozen crank. The Sun Lite crank puller "took one for the team."
Above: When I installed the new Single crank. it went on a little too easy for my liking. So I removed the Crank. I then took it out to the shop to check the bottom bracket splines I had on hand for a match. I found one I liked so I went back in and removed the bottom bracket spindle or axle. I compared the two for length then checked the bearings to see that they rode on the spline the same. After I re-assembled the bottom bracket it was actually smoother than the original. So I went ahead and installed the new crank. The arm on the left side removes exactly the same way as the drive side. I did not expect I would find such a perfect spline or bracket-axle match. Sometimes it`s better to be lucky than smart.
Above: A close-up of the new Origin 8 crank and a look at the new Avenir ultralight pedals with old style toe-clips and straps. I think the new crank looks great! And I still think the Avenir pedals are the most bang for your buck you will find anywhere.
Above: I have chosen to re-use the stock saddle. I like the narrow nose and the over-all design. But of course the real test will be the feel after a decent ride. Not that I am planning any extended fixed gear rides. But you never know. Also you can see the micro adjust seat post is installed. As those of you who have followed this blog for a while already know. A micro adjust seat post is one of the best "inexpensive" up-grades you will ever make. Not only better "performance wise" but it looks 100% better too. And I`m not even going to say "in my opinion" It is simply "better".
Above: Being that I have no brake levers to tape around, I used these extra pieces of cork handlebar tape to create a little more padding. I have used these type bars on about three or four bikes now. So I know this lack of padding has been a problem area for me in the past. I have also done this on the flats of drop handlebars and found it works fairly well. In this pic the front brake is mounted "just to check for fit". I will remove it and give it the full treatment latter.
Above: I taped the bars in the modern way, from the bar end towards the center or stem. Usually the end of a flop and chop handlebar is not perfectly round. So be prepared to work a little bit to get the plugs in place. You might even want to go to a smaller pronged plug. In this case I was able to use the plugs that came with the tape. But I did have to snip off a few burs on the prong side of one of the plugs.
Above: I have borrowed some of the bits (small parts) off the original side pull caliper brake to dress-up this old caliper brake a little. I am using the acorn nuts and barrel adjuster and the shoes. I will now remove the brake and take it apart and polish the whole thing.
Above: Every original part of the brake caliper has been cleaned-up. As always I used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on the cast alloy arms and Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover on the steel. And the small pieces were brass brushed with a fine brass wheel brush on the low-speed drill. I only did the assembly in the house, the brass brushing and polishing was done in the shop.
Above: Here the caliper brake is re-mounted on the bike, complete with smudge marks from my greasy hands. Now it is time to run the Jag Wire Basics brake cable and cut the cable housing.
Above: The barrel shaped end of the cable fits into the corresponding hole in the inner ARTEK brake lever. If you look closely you can see I have not lined up the grooves or slots in the barrel adjuster and nipple.
Above: Here with the slots lined up I am able to swing the brake cable into place. Once in place I screw the barrel adjuster in so the slots no longer line up. You always want the adjusters screwed in all the way when you install the cables. This is so you will have plenty of adjustment to work with latter on when the cable stretches or your Jag Wire brake shoes wear down.
Above: After I have cut a piece of cable housing to length, I check the cut end for obstructions with a small nail or wire. In this case I did have to cut off a little bur with my diagonal cutting pliers. And before running the new cable through I gave the inner housing one drop of cable oil. (one drop because it is a very short cable)
Above: Here with the cable properly connected at the lever, I route the cable through the housing. Then down through the caliper adjuster and through the cable clamp or anchor. I hold the brake caliper closed with one hand then pull the slack out of the cable. Before I tighten the cable anchor, I check to see that my cable is inserted into the barrel adjusters at both ends. If it all looks good, I just tighten the anchor bolt. Then test the brake. There are cable pullers available that will make this job easier for you. (if needed)
Above: Once I have tested the brake and checked both ends of the cable and I am satisfied with the amount lever pull. It is time to trim off the excess cable. I like to use this particular pair of pliers / side cutters. You will probably want to use bicycle cable cutters.
Above: After trimming off the excess cable length you will want to use a Jag Wire Cable End Crimps right away. If you are a beginner, you might want to leave a little extra length, just in case you have to make an adjustment latter. Then when you are 100% positive all is well, you can cut-off some more excess cable.
Above: Because I like the cable routing better, I chose to install my front "and only" brake lever on the right side. If you are accustomed to it being on the left side you might want to just go with that. Even if you have to relocate the lever position to do so. NOTE: Rear Breaking is done by skidding the rear tire. Check-out the "Video(s) of the Week" section to see how to properly skid your fixed gear bike.
Above: Finally the Greenfield kick stand. I know some do not like them. But for my needs it works out fine. If your friends tease you, you can always remove it latter. Personally, I almost never worry about what other people think. I have seen people really stress-out over what other people will think of them. That is no way to go through life.
Above: Drive side view. All finished and on budget. CORRECTION I make it to be $191.50 not including taxes and delivery. But there is one other thing to consider and I will get to that in a minute.
Above: A view from the front left side. I can`t wait to get some pics of this bike outside.
Left: A view from the front. I`m thinking about removing or modifying the graphics.
Above: Here is the other thing to consider. What is the value of these take-offs? I will use most of this stuff eventually. Except for the plastic grips that I cut-off with a Stanley Quick Slide utility knife. And there is also a good set of handlebars that no doubt have some value. So all things considered, I would say a conservative value of the take-offs is 30.00 . Subtracting the 30.00 the build Total Cost is $161.50 (not including taxes and shipping). (Take-Offs : New parts removed for upgrade or personal preference)
Above: Just before the Holidays I picked-up this rolling tool box. I thought it would be handy when I need to take some tools on the road with me. It has already worked-out well for bringing tools in the house. That's when I have some "not so dirty work" that I can do indoors. BELOW: The bike as new from the store
I was so bloody tired when I wrote this, that I forgot to close. So Until Next Time, Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh
A sincere Thank You to those of you who have been using or just checking out "Hugh's Online Bike Shop". It is pretty well stocked now and it is getting a little more organized every day. If you have not visited it yet and would like to. The link is in the top right column just below the Followers. And the Amazon Search feature is still located at the bottom of the right column. And I am in the process of adding word links to the components, tools and supplies I use everyday. The word links like Hugh's Online Bike Shop are powered by amazon.com Using any of these feature will help support this blog. Thanks for your continued support.
Cheers, Hugh

34 comments:

  1. Sweet looking ride Hugh, those Avenir pedals do look smooth. I am running old school clips and straps on my Miyata and enjoy them. Have you considered running one yellow and one red toe strap on the pedals to echo the tire/wheel combo you have going on? ;-) Looks like you have a fun errand/exercise/run about bike that won't require alot of maintenance.

    Ryan

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    1. Sorry I must have missed this comment all together

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  2. That bike looks very very nice.....
    The cost of this is pretty amazing..well done.

    -Trevor

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  3. Hey Trevor,
    Thanks! But I screwed-up and forgot to include the pedals which were 17.00 (with my discount). I will make the correction right away. I kept track of everything I purchased for the project. I missed the pedals, probably because I already had them in stock. However even with the added $17.00 If I subtract a conservative value of 30.00 for the take-offs it was still a fairly inexpensive project. The take-offs include the following - one single crank set w bracket spline - pedals - one brake lever - one complete rear brake - one front brake minus shoes and bits - one 25.4 seat-post w collar clamp - one kickstand - front-and rear reflectors- and two cables and some cable housings. "All said and done" I am still pleased with the final result. And I am really looking forward to the next warm day.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  4. Hey Ryan.
    Thanks. Those pedals are a good buy. They are tagged at 20.00 at my local bike shop. And with my 15% discount it`s even a better deal.
    Different colored straps? LTMS... We are trying to keep the cost down :)
    As far as reliable goes, we will see just how much the adjusting, rebuilding and re-greasing helps. I would love to take it out for a ride today. But it is colder than a Bats azz out there right now.
    I hope I can find another "clean project" that I can do indoors. I was out in the shop hunting for a replacement speedo cable
    last night. And I gotta tell you brother, Damn it`s cold in there!!!..lol
    Cheers, Hugh

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  5. Nice work as usual. Tool box looks really handy, is it too heavy to lift up stairs or into a pick-up truck when loaded? When I worked as a copy machine tech smaller boxes that stacked on a luggage dolley worked best.

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  6. I hear ya Hugh I have been avoiding the garage lately also due to the cold, although here in Seattle it has finally warmed up to the normal winter "50 degrees and raining" from the Snowpocalpyse we had last week. I just got some new parts, including french bb cups, for a Peugeot project so I am hoping to get out there today. Hope you get to ride the Thrasher soon.

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  7. Thanks John,
    It is not too heavy, I try to bring only the tools I think I`m going to need. I`m sure if I loaded it up with everything, either the tool box or I would collapse. I probably have enough old tools to keep a full set in the truck. I think that is what I will do when the weather warms up a bit.
    By the way I found a fold-up luggage dollie at a thrift store. Pretty handy to have when traveling to family reunions and picnics and such. Makes a great cooler hauler too :)
    Cheers,Hugh

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  8. If you keep the bike for a while, let us know how that colored front rim holds up to the brake pad.

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  9. Hey Steve,
    I will do that Sir. I suspect the answer will be something like "not very well".
    Good to see you got to ski this winter. Our total snowfall has only been 12.9 inches "so far" this winter. We have 3 ski lodges within a 45min drive from home. One (Alpine valley) is only 10 min away. I don`t know how they are going to survive this winter.
    Cheers,Hugh

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  10. Hey, thanks for the post! After reading it I decided to pick up my own and apply a lot of the same mods you made. Really appreciate the info.

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    1. Hey Anonymous,
      That' excellent. I would suggest you pay particular attention to the head-set, crank and both axles. As all were set too tight and poorly greased right out of the store. Good Luck with your project.
      Cheers

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  11. I was thinking about picking up one of these bikes. I was wondering how long of a reach replacement brakes need to be for this bike? I read somewhere the tires were wide, like 38c, and even in your pictures it looks like you have the brake pads set as low as they can go. Great article and loads of great pics BTW!

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    1. Hey KC
      Sorry I was sure I had already responded to your comment. I must not have entered it correctly. Yes it does take a long reach brake caliper. That caliper off an old 10 speed that had 27-1/4 inch tires. I did not actually measure it. And it is long gone now. If you look carefully you will see there is still a little bit of slot left under where the shoes are attached. I think you are in the ball park with the tire size. I really should keep notes. Glad you enjoyed the post.
      Cheers

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  12. Hey man, excellent blog! I have the same bike, and ended up buying a new crankset. However, after reading I may as well buy a new bottom bracket, too. What size/brand did you end up using? Thanks and great job!

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  13. Hey HE,
    I really do not know the brand of JIS square taper bracket spline or axle I used. It was a salvaged one I had laying around. I believe it was 107mm but I`m not positive. I re-used the original bearings as they fit the spline nicely.
    You might want to check-out the bottom bracket I just used on my last post. Shimano BB UN55. It comes in different lengths. You will need to check to see which size and type your single crank requires.
    Cheers

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  14. Hey Hugh,
    I have a question regarding the chain and its length. When switching from 50T to 46T crankset, and moving over to fixed gear does one need to adjust/cut the chain in order for it to have the correct tension? Thanks, and pics coming soon!

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  16. Hey Heberto,
    Switching crank size from 50T to 46T you will need to remove a few links. This is not really difficult if you know the tricks. First with the wheel mounted just loose enough to move it forward or backwards. You want to position the rear axle about 3/4 of the way towards the back of the drop-out. Then center the wheel and tighten just enough to hold it in place. Using the chain tool start to remove one of the pins. If you watch carefully you can take the chain apart without completely removing the pin. This is important as it will make putting the chain back together easier. So when it looks like the pin is pushed almost all the way out remove the tool and firmly grab the chain on both sides of the partially removed pin and pull while twisting slightly. If it will not come apart use the tool to push the pin out just a wee bit further and try again. Once you are able to separate the chain with the pin still held in place now you can check the chain for for length. Hold the chain in place (with chain going around front and rear cog/crank) with the excess passing the other end. Now count the extra links. Now remove the extra links making sure the two ends are male and female. If both ends of the chain are the same it will not re-connect.(without a master link) Since you have kept the pin in place on the opposite end you can remove this pin all the way. You want the chain to be just a little loose. As you still have a little room on the drop-out to move the wheel back to take out the slack after you re-connect the chain. Now using the chain tool you can now push the pin back into place. Make sure you have the two ends lined up perfectly in the chain tool. You will want to remove the chain from the big sprocket so you have some slack while pressing the pin back into place using the chain tool. As you re-insert the pin using the chain tool, make sure the pin sticks out the same on both sides of the chain when finished. (usually about 1.50 / 32 of an inch. I hope this is helpful.
    Cheers, Hugh
    P.S.
    I will be doing a post about this soon with pics. Trying to explain this without pictures is difficult at best. I hope this information is useful. I will be installing a new chain this coming week on a beach cruiser. I will take some pics then and do the post. It is a coaster brake wheel but the process is the same.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  17. hi, i dunno anything about bike and i wanted to get that bike from wal-mart just to ride to class everyday. however i couldnt find any info bout what are the stuff that i need to change on the bike after i purchase, im so glad i found your blog.
    im planning on purchasing the bike this weekend and i got 50bucks to spare to change the parts. what are the main parts that i need to change? i read from some review that i need to change the crank,pedal and break. is that true?
    and isit possible to get crank,pedal and break for 50bucks?
    thanks

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  18. Hi, maybe I missed it but what kind of crank did you install?

    Thanks

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  19. Hey Anonymous,
    The crank I installed is an "Origin 8" 46 tooth
    which takes a 1/2 x 1/8 chain. And thank you for the heads up.
    Cheers

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  20. Just came across this blog. NICE WORK!! I'm almost done building up my Thruster. I commute to work daily (in fixed gear mode)with it. Some mods were essential for reliability purposes (brakes, crank, headset, tires). Others modes were just for personal comfort (stem, handlebars, seatpost, cog, pedals).

    My mods/upgrades are:

    46T Losco crank(165mm);
    17T Surly track cog;
    Orgin8 Headset;
    Orgin8 threadless stem adapter;
    Orgin8 110mm stem;
    Orgin8 stash straight bar;
    Tektro R559 (front brakes only with Kool-Stop Salmon pads);
    700cx35 Forte Metro K (kevlar semi-slick tires);
    Forte Clipless/platform pedals.
    M-Wave 350 mm seat post.

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    1. Hey N/A That sounds like one nice bike you are modifying there. I sure would like to see it. Feel Free to post a pick or two or three even on the face book page for this blog. You can find the link logo in the right column on this page near the top.
      Thanks and Ride Safe.
      Cheers

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  21. What size is the seat post you used? I got one i am going to moterize the bike but want a quick seat release on it.

    rrich52806@gmail.com

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    1. Hey Roger,
      According to the order I placed just before this post. I ordered a 25.4 x 350 mm micro adjust seat post. Good Luck with your project. Cheers

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  22. Thanks. My Fixie Thrasher gets a test ride tonight aftger I get home. My motorized built completed. Took tweaking. Spacers in rear wheel. Mufler shop bent the pipe to fit.

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  23. Hi Hugh
    I just purchased this bike and was wondering if you could put up a parts list on what you upgraded and where I can find them. bike looks awesome

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  24. Hello Hugh,
    I was wondering if you had to adjust the chainline because of the new origin8 crank?
    It looks like the Origin8 crank would need a shorter spindle like a 103mm. The Thruster appears to have a 113mm spindle. Thanks for all your contributions.

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    1. I remember I did not like the fit of the single crank on the original bottom bracket spindle. I found a salvaged spindle in the shop/garage that I used. I honestly do not remember the size. But the chain line looked pretty good. I sold the bike shortly after it was finished.

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  25. Hiya Hugh,

    Awesome blog ^_^

    Just a quick question for you... how would the wheels hold up with maybe 700x23 tyres? I'm not really a fan of the balloon tyres on these bikes but it's hard to tell if the rims would take such a skinny tyre.

    Thanks for putting together such a detailed build up.

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  26. Hi Hugh!
    I just bought the same bike and my crankset broke. I'm planning to replace it with a shimano 600 52t 170mm do you think it'll fit? :)

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  27. I have no idea. But why a 52 tooth crank on a fixed gear bike?

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