Monday, November 3, 2008

Paramount update


I have finally managed to get the Paramount together! Here is the rest of the saga, as it were:

Whilst in the middle of putting the pieces together for this Paramount conversion underway in my last post, I stumbled across a guy on craigslist (who happened to live right in my neighborhood) was selling a mid-90s Look 171 road bike. There was this picture of it:

but the part of the post that caught my attention was about it having a full Dura-Ace group on it and it was going for $250!!! I snapped it up! The seller was at first saying in the ad (per picture above) "I'll try and find the wheels" or something to that effect. He did indeed find the quite nice Mavic/Shimano Dura-Ace wheels as well, so this ended up being a complete bike in need of a little light TLC. The Look frame is a carbon frame with aluminum lugs. The whole bike weighed something like 16.5 lbs. Unfortunately, it was a 56cm frame, so it wasn't going to be a complete bike for me, but I put all the Dura-Ace stuff on the Paramount! It's a 7700 group, for those keeping score, really nice stuff worth significantly more than the entire bike's cost. Hooray for craigslist (again)! I am now going to build this frame back up with my mix of Shimano 600 and 105 parts. It will still be a really nice ride. I'm going to either try and have the missus check out riding it as a more serious road bike ride, or if she's not terribly into it, I can just resell it this spring.

There was an irritating learning curve during this parts raid though. I installed and used the STI levers, but without a front derailleur as I was waiting on a braze-on derailleur clamp to come in to mount the DA derailleur. I took the bike up to Madison and rode it as an 8 speed for the weekend a few weeks back. It was really nice and fun. The DA brakes are really like a whole new experience in stopping. I even manually shifted the front ring once! It's not that bad for those trying to simplify their setups. Anyway, when this clamp came in, I put the derailleur on and was futzing around with setting it up when I just f-ed up the front ring shifter. DOH!!! I didn't realize that the derailleur had a sticky spot from sitting around for so long and was trying to shift it when it was already shifted and, long story short, I bent this little sort of cable stop part of the casting in the lever and it was ruined! I ended up having to poke around for a couple of weeks on ebay before finding a reasonable price on a similar vintage. Apparently they were a little later and I must have not been the first person to do this as the one I bought had a totally different, reinforced construction at the same spot I bent. I finally just got this thing on, lubed up the derailleur and got it all sorted out. It's really nice!!! I had been riding this Centurion I picked up a couple of months back (I haven't even written about that one!), and I would think "this is a pretty nice ride" but I got back on the Paramount and it was like being on a cloud comparatively!

I did this last tweaking on a little 2 day furlough from the tour I am on right now (live sound engineer), and I spent my full day off just riding all over the city running errands, etc. Went about 23 miles maybe altogether, nice fall riding day. However, at the VERY end of the day while turning onto my own street, I caught a pedal on the pavement and just threw myself for a big wipeout! CRAP!!! Quelle embarrasing! I was alright more or less. I poked some ugly little holes in my shorts where my keys ended up between my thigh and the ground in my pocket, bruised my leg there, kind of shocked my wrist and got a few little scuffs. The bike was more or less fine, it took a little hole in the seat, a nice newish $10 Fuji I got off a guy on CL as well. I'll have to doublecheck it when I get back.

Anway, that's the saga! I can't wait to get back home for hopefully a handful more of nice days before things go full winter. It's incredible right now, high 60s, early 70s. I'm in Omaha, NE today on the tour and next I'll tell the story of my nice day off in Omaha that I'm in the midst of.

It's nice to post right now. Something to do besides obsess about the election!! I need it!

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