Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Gift of Two Wheels

A family that rides together, stays together. Or that's what I remembered written on the wall of a bicycle-themed coffee shop I visited many moons ago. So it is very natural for cycling enthusiasts to spread their love of bicycles to their significant others.

The owner of this classic Nishiki mixte might have all the luck in the world: the bicycle was acquired from Central Java in an absolute great state. And I mean it: the mixte is adorned with Suntour AR derailers dated from the early '80s, Sugino crankset, and Dia Compe brakeset, all intact with very little cosmetic flaws.

With an intention to present the mixte for his wife, some changes are planned. First, the original 27" wheels are to be replaced with 700c-sized pairs to reduce significant weight and to allow the use of tires with more volume if needed be. Another change is to replace the dropbar with upright handlebar to provide relaxed riding position, which means that the stem-mounted shifters and brake levers to be replaced. A set of fenders, a double kickstand, and a front rack are also added.

The wheel swap was an easy breeze considering the difference between 27" and 700c wheel radii is only a minute 4mm, so all we have to do was to drop the brakepads to fit the new rim sidewall position. To complement the Suntour group and keeping the classic vibe intact, the new wheels are built using a pair of Suntour XC-Pro hubs laced to high-polished Araya TX-733 low profile rims.

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