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Sunday, January 08, 2006

Motobecane 2.0 Beta 

The annotated Cane
Originally uploaded by rcousine.
As promised, the Motobecane 2.0 (beta) is rolling, and now I have pictures of the build. I did some pretty fun things in building this bike up, including cutting the head tube, respacing and aligning the rear end, an unethical experiment with a Suntour front derailer and STI shifters, and more.

The notes on this photo in flickr make it clear how much this bike was a product of generous friends, bargains, and . The original bicycle came from a garage sale, picked up for $10 with two other bikes. I then have upgraded every part on this bicycle except the BB, rear brake, and seatpost. Well, maybe one of the brake cables is original. I have several other pics in my photostream, so I encourage you to check out the gory details of the build there.Hacking the Cane

nutbar 2.0 beta
I'm not going to deny it. The key bit of nuttiness: all that effort with the headset, the cutting, and the filing was an attempt to avoid spending $20-80 on a 'cross fork with a longer steer tube. And I already have a tool for cutting steer tubes, too.
But what I want to know is how does it ride? It's an impressive technical achievement, but was it worth it? Or did you just put lipstick on a pig?
Gord: that may be the biggest shock of all. I am pretty agnostic about "ride" on a bike, since I believe that most "ride" occurs in the tires, and the frame is there mainly to keep one's butt, feet, and hands at the correct distance from each other.

But this bike is sweet. Smooth, stable, rolls over anything, feels oddly light, and works great. Aside from some shifting problems (I suspect old cable housings are the culprit, and I have some new stuff), the bike has been great.

If anything, the new fork appears to have improved its manners, and the new seat is definitely more comfortable than the leather one was.

Worth it? I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's good enough, and better than any 'cross bike I could have bought for less than $700 used.
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