IT’S FINISHED (obviously the chain is not installed in this pic)

IT’S FINISHED (obviously the chain is not installed in this pic)


This book came in the post yesterday… its bloody brilliant. That is all.

DIY Lug Lining

I’d been reading up about hand painted lug lining and, being a geek and quite creative, I thought I’d have a go at it myself.

The geek side of me dug out some modelling paints, which I know dry rock hard on metal miniatures and the creative side mixed the paint into the desired colour…

The colour came out like a soft orange with a bit of gold in. I held my breath and began to paint…

I let it all dry and went over it a couple of times for extra resilience…

Next was to make sure that it doesn’t chip off so I popped into Halfords and grabbed a lacquer pen, which, strictly speaking is designed for touching up paint work….

The nib of the lacquer pen was needle like and allowed small blobs to be applied accurately. I then used a modelling paint brush to spread it neatly and right now am up to two coats with one more to go!

Quill Stem Installation

After the successful installation of the headset, next was to fit my fancy Nitto Dynamic quill. But as to be expected nothing goes to plan and the newly shortened steerer tube meant that I could not push the quill in far enough.

So…. back to Withington cycles where Rob kindly agreed to butcher the stem in order to make it fit, and that he did and then (AFTER GREASING, OBVIOUSLY) it fit nicely! 

Crown race and Headset Woes…

I’ve been a bit slack as of late mainly due to the trauma caused by the following harrowing tale…

Last post I was boasting about how i’d succeeded in installing the headset cups and that next was the crown race. I tried installing the crown race using a DIY method employing some plastic waste pipe and a hammer, which, failed miserably. I took the fork and crown race to withington cycles and it turned out that the bit the race actually mounted was a mm too wide. They sorted this no problem and I proudly took my fork home to finish the headset installation which, I began with gusto until this…

Dogshit!!! I wasn’t going to go down the “adding spacers till it fits” route as I like my stem quite low, so… it was off to Withington Cycles again, who kindly cut down the fork steerer and the result was this:

Not bad!


I’ve been really keen on building the whole bike all by myself and vowed to only take it to my LBS if there was a job I just couldn’t do and, based on the prices for fancy headset presses (£90!?!?) I thought this was going to be one of those times.

BUT… I found somebody selling this archaic beauty on ebay for £2.99!!! Ok… its just a threaded rod of steel, some washers and some bolts, but that’s all you need right? RIGHT! 

It’s a good job I’m ripped as it took some serious hard graft to install the headset but all the while I was spurred on by the fact I did it myself and I didn’t pay someone £20 for 5 minutes work.

Next job is fitting the crown race… I think this is going to be tough, but I’m going to get some PVC piping as apparently this one good way to do it.


Today was a particularly good post day… I received my Nitto Quill and Tange Seiki headset.

I didn’t think I’d have been able to afford a fancy Nitto quill stem, but i got some gift vouchers from my employers, possibly to make up for the fact that they normally pay me in dog dirt.


When my frame came back from Bob Jackson, they had kindly removed the front badges and returned them to me. They were pretty rusty and dirty and I wanted to clean them up and refit them.

I think I’d heard of this from HOW CLEAN IS YOUR HOUSE or LOOSE WOMEN or something, but apparently cola cleans metal up really good. So I bought some budget cola and plopped the badges in for about half an hour and this was the result….

It still looks ‘vintage’… but that’s precisely because IT IS vintage. I’m really happy with how they came out. 

INSTALLATION: Bottom Bracket and Crankset

Now my frame is back, I can begin the serious business of building my bike. First is the installation of my shiny new BB and Crankset.

First the Bottom Bracket, which I would install using this tool: 

Once firmly installed I fitted the crankset and it looked like this:

I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far… Next up is the headset and stem!

On a side note, if you are building a bike its worth checking out the SHIFTLESS BASTARDS youtube channel as they have a great step by step guide to putting together a fixie.

BIKE FRAME II: The Bike Frame Returns

I got a call from Bob Jackson Cycles saying that my bike frame was resprayed and ready to be returned. I was so excited I nearly pissed my beige slacks, so arranged to have it couriered to my workplace straight away so I could get it A S A P.

I managed to scam a lift home from work and after 45 minutes of stabbing at bubble wrap with a pair of scissors, this was revealed to me…

They had sent me a cat back with the frame!! which was lovely of them (it’s those little after touches that make for excellent customer service.)

The colour I opted for was “French Beige”(?)… I’m assuming French Beige is cooler than English Beige… like the colour of a French professors corduroy jacket and, not the piss streaked beige slacks of old Mr Smith down the street.

Either way is looks amazing and I’m really happy with the job that the dudes at Bob Jackson did!