Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Baking a Casseroll...

Introducing my nouvelle petite reine.1 Well, her torso, really.

A spicy Salsa Casseroll, size 57 cm, that is dreaming of rolling suburban byways and city alleys with a fix on. First impressions are that this is a well-constructed, well-finished frame. I believe it's about a pound lighter than my Cross-Check (both 4130 chromoly)—not much of a weight savings, but at $280 for frame and fork, I couldn't pass it up. Ginger Beer is the color. Stainless-steel, semi-horizontal dropouts. Elegant. Hell, I'd even go so far as to say "classy", though in a meretricious way: a versatile strumpet with a sense of fashion, not yet jaded by nights spent trolling the seedy streets of DC.

I installed the headset the other night using my homemade headset press (HHP), aka "the warranty voider". Both cups went in like a dream, straight and smooth and...transposed. Zounds! Seems that in a single-beer induced fog, I'd installed the bottom cup in the top of the head tube and the top cup in the bottom. Nice.

When I mentioned this oversight to Butch, he suggested I leave it for style points, citing as a precedent the ofttimes flamboyent rickyd's deliberate such transposition some time ago. But anyone who knows me would see right through that ruse. Butch then turned me on to a homemade headset remover (HHR) constructed from a foot-and-a-half section of 3/8" diameter copper plumbing pipe, quartered on the business end with a hacksaw to form flaring tines, and capped on the other end where the pounding takes place.

A quick trip to the LHS (Local Hardware Store), a little handyman action, and I soon had a new tool on the cheap to add to the arsenal. Like the HHP, the HHR tackled the task with pugilistic aplomb, wresting each cup from its steely burrow with a few quick taps of a stout hammer. Double-checked that I had the cups properly placed, and back in they went. I drove the fork race home using a section of PVC tubing as a slide-hammer, and viola!—the job was done.

Without further adieu, I include a list of ingredients:
  • Phil Wood front and rear high-flange track hubs, 32 hole (polished silver)

  • Velocity Aerohead rims (silver)

  • DT Swiss Competition Double Butted (14/15 guage) spokes (silver)

  • Vittoria Randonneur tires, 700c x 28mm

  • Surly track cog, 17T

  • Sugino 75 cranks, 49T (silver)

  • Crank Brothers Eggbeaters Quattro SL pedals (silver/black)

  • Chris King headset (silver)

  • Soma Fabrications "Major Taylor" track bar w/ (black) track grips

  • Thomson Elite stem and seatpost (silver)

  • Salsa Lip-Lock seatpost collar (black)

  • Selle Italia (dick-friendly) SLK saddle

  • Phil Wood bottom bracket (108.5)

  • Tektro R538 Long Reach front brake caliper (silver)

  • Paul Component Engineering E-Lever front brake lever (silver/black)

  • KMC Kool chain
Since I built up the wheelset before deciding on a frame, I had to order a Phil conversion kit to stretch the 120mm (track) width rear hub to a 130, the Casseroll's spacing. Currently awaiting the arrival of this kit and the uber-pricey Phil bottom bracket. It'll be a few days before this baby gets a taste of the tarmac.Disembodied bling...

"Warranty Voiders" I and II...

1. La petite reine ("the little queen") is a French term of endearment for the magical, mystical transportation-device-cum-carnival-ride object most commonly referred to in English as "bicycle".

8 comments:

DT said...

Sweet sexyness! New bling to get you through the winter. Better add a couple coats of frameswaver...

Icon O. Classt said...

Linseed oil. Figured I'd go green on this one, ha.

Where ya been, boy?

AteMrYeats said...

Wow, Doin' it right, Steve. Let's see the complete bike.

b1umb0y said...

Damn that is going to be a gorgeous bike! Nice choice on hue coordination and the parts list is built for endless miles.

I can't wait to see it completed.

Icon O. Classt said...

Thanks, gents, just waiting on the bottom bracket and hub axle conversion kit to arrive.

Put on the track bars the other night, and this baby is lookin' sweeet! Can't see throwing black on this frame color when the silver hits the spot so well.

Speedy said...

I was drooling over that frame about six months ago. And Babycake aka my wife said to me, "I almost got that for you, but I wasn't sure if you wanted it, or where we would put it." She just left it at that, can you believe that crap? Oh well, it looks and sounds great. Enjoy.

Icon O. Classt said...

speedy, that's one of the reasons I'm still single, ha.

Coming together nicely; last part is the Phil BB, which is due for delivery this Wednesday...yee-ha!

Tom said...

That is a pretty neat frame, I thought of one myself. Let me know how you like it.