Problem Solved

Further to yesterday’s post, this afternoon I took the latest parts bike out for a shakedown ride:

[Believe it or not this bike is steel. Even aluminum bikes are like, “Those are some fat frame tubes!”]

You’ll be pleased to know that I finally solved my disc brake issues…by switching them for rim brakes:

When I returned to the bike this morning, the brakes had gone all spongy again. I figured I’d just bleed them, but I also couldn’t align the rear brake in a satisfactory fashion. The tabs allow a little forward-and-backward adjustment, and the caliper itself allows a little outboard-inboard adjustment, but with the caliper all the way outboard the rotor was still making constant contact with the pad, and I saw now way to compensate for that short of filing or bending stuff. And even if I did manage to get it aligned, why fuss with that all over again anytime I change the gearing or whatever? I don’t want to have to futz with alligning the wheel to the millimeter or anything, I just want to crank the bolts and go:

So I extricated the v-brakes from the mostly-stripped frame of the now-badly-rusted Ironic Orange Julius Bike, breathed new life into them via liberal application of lubricants (including that Dumonde stuff)–and, best of all, found enough brake cable and housing to complete the installation, allowing me to keep to my $0 budget. Sure, the brakes have some rust patina, but they work great, and are perfectly appropriate for such a boneheadedly simple bike:

Indeed, the entire bike felt really good:

It doesn’t have the sumptuousness of the Engin, which is plush and sproingy in a way you wouldn’t expect from a rigid singlespeed bicycle–a result no doubt not just of tubing and fit, but also the much lighter tubeless wheels. However, like the Engin it is quite nimble in a way newer, slacker bikes don’t seem to be anymore, and which is especially important on a singlespeed since by definition you’re almost always in the “wrong” gear and when you’re grinding up a rough or twisty climb it’s really frustrating when you can’t change direction quickly while maintaining momentum.

All of this is to say it’s lots of fun to ride. But what simple bike isn’t?

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