Monday, January 25, 2010

Introducing the Emerald Shadow

Here's my new bicycle:

Recall the bush bike's original form:

The whole process was longer than expected...mostly due to stripping and painting.  Some things to note:
- The chrome fork.  I couldn't use the stock fork with "industry standard" 700c wheels because even "extra long reach" caliper brakes wouldn't reach the rim.  This was a bummer because I spent upwards of two hours filing the axle eyelets to fit a modern axle.  Oh well.  The chrome one looks nice and was inexpensive.
- The chain.  Another unforeseen bummer.  The chain I ordered online wasn't long enough.  Yeesh.  And because my local bike shop only carries half-link chains I had to get one of those.  It's funny looking, but reportedly stronger.  We'll see.
- Only one brake, and no, it's not a fixed gear, just a single speed.  A rear brake won't work for the same reason the stock fork wouldn't work.  Now I've read, heard, and had explained to me by a physics professor, that the majority of braking is done by your front brakes.  So that's fine.  And I've never gone over the handle-bars either, which Lord Sheldon says rarely happens.  So I'm thinking we're ok.  We'll see.
- The brake lever.  It's one these cross-style "interrupters" which are great, small, torquefull, and versatile, but they don't give you the hood-of-the-brake riding position for drop handle-bars.  Thus, I'm reduced to the tight / upright or low / back-pain-inducing positions.  We'll see.
- The paint isn't quite as shiny or tough as I'd hoped.  Oh well.
- The frame provide less rake than I'm used to.  Means we're less stable, but "better" at if that's ever a problem.  But it also means that the front wheel bumps my toes sometimes.  Oh well.

Overall, I'm very happy with it.  The gearing is a bit higher than my previous bike which means I work harder and go faster...which aligns perfectly with my life-theme...  It's wonderfully smooth, startlingly silent, and as comfortable as I'd expected.  For those interested, here's the inventory:

Frame: 1978 Raleigh Tourist (SL-1?), lugged steel
Fork: BBB chromed steel
Handle-bars: Nitto's smallest track drops
Wheels: Sun CR18 36-spoke
Hubs: Origin track flip-flops
Crank-set: Sugino 67.5m w/ 46-tooth chain-ring
Pedals: MKS urban track
Free-cog: Shimano 16-tooth
Brake Caliper: Cane Creek SCR-3
Brake Lever: Cane Creek Crosstop
Stem: BBB's cheap MTB version
"Seat": WTB speed
Seat-post: some BMX thing
Chain: BBB half-link BMX chain
"Tyres": 700x25 Continental Gatorskin Ultras


  1. Emerald Shadow is delightful! Congratulations.

  2. On the "no rear brakes" thing... I never use my rear brakes, ever. I do 100% of my braking on the front.

    I've only gone over the handlebars when I tried to hop a curb and missed.

  3. Hi Gerow!

    I am working when a song came on my pandora station, it was the Flobots with Tim Mcllrath from Rise Against, which reminded me of you.

    How are you doing man? You have an email?



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