Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pinstriping Done!

Well, after finding a particular dearth of pinstripers in the Carrboro-Chapel Hill Metroplex, I resigned myself to getting the pinstriping done on my own. I headed to Michael's, and found, to my delite, a gold paint pen with an extra fine tip.

This was good, because my intention was to keep the striping quite subtle on this bike, simply highlighting the steel lugs on the frame with a fine gold line.

I tried my hand first around the bottom bracket, being sure to keep the frame as stable as possible, and giving myself plenty of time. I needed to get used to the flow of the pen on the frame, and after practising on paper for about half an hour, I decided I was ready.

The result surpassed my expectations, actually. The flow was even and perfect, and the lugs provided an outstanding contour upon which to rest the pen tip. Next, I moved on to the seat stay lugs. After a succesful attempt there as well, I finally moved to the more ornate head tube.

Not bad for my very first pinstriping job, even if I am saying so myself. I'm satisfied with it anyway, and it's my bike, so there. (^_-)

Next thing to accomplish will be getting the wheels built. I'll look into making that happen next month. I also just found a source for inexpensive French-thread sealed-cartridge bottom brackets! WOO-HOO! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Frame is BACK!

This evening after work, I drove down to Pittsboro to see Jerry Campora, and pick up my frame and forks. The evening was turning a lovely dusky grey, and the weather was FINALLY starting to cool off to a manageable temperature. (Alas, the Jeep, however, was overheating. I had to stop twice on the way down, and five times on the way back to let the engine cool off.)

Jerry was happy to show me the work he'd done, and for good reason. It is remarkable. The finish is even and smooth, like a glass surface. The color is dead uniform all over. (We heart powdercoating!) Jerry says the finish is three mils thick, which should provide a lifetime of protection and toughness to the steel underneath.

The finish around the lugs is quite nice, leaving the detail of the lugs visible, while simultaneously providing protection on all surfaces of the lugs themselves.

The next step will be to outline all the lugs with gold pinstriping. However, I'm having a hard time finding a pintsriper in the Chapel Hill area. Anyone know of one? If I don't find one nearby, I may be forced to learn how to do this myself.

Once the pinstriping is done, next will be lettering. I am in NO way comfortable doing that myself, so I will take my time, and find someone in the area who really knows what they're doing.

This brings up an interesting quandary for me. Originally, I had planned to get factory decals from ebay for the bike. But since I have basically discarded that idea in favor of a more retro look, I am left with coming up with an earlier Peugeot design, or ditching the Peugeot name, and coming up with a completely original Marque/Name for the bike.

In one direction, I get "Peugeot" lettered on the downtube of the frame in the original script of 1940's French Peugeots.

I also find and add a really old, retro Peugeot head badge, like this:

Or this:

In the other direction, I abandon the Peugeot logos and badges all together, instead giving it a name and identity all its own. For instance, I could call it a Renard Ruse', french for 'Sly Fox', or maybe Renard Ruse' ReCyclerie, or some derivation, and have a local artisan / jewelery maker create a custom headbadge just for me and this bike. (Like a beaten-copper silhouette of a Fox, perhaps?)

All that has yet to be decided. At the moment, my focus is on the next steps: Pinstriping, and the construction of the wheels. I will also be using the frame and forks to get measurements, thus allowing me to finalize the list of parts I need to purchase to make the bike ridable.

Many, MANY thanks to Jerry Campora. He's in the process of building a website right now, and I will link to his as soon as he's up and running. I recommend him to anyone considering custom powdercoating. He was a pleasure to work with, and made the entire process painless and rewarding.

I got my frame back! WOO-HOOOOO!!!! (^_^)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trying to decide...

I'm trying to decide on a seat. I know I want a leather saddle, one that will break in to fit me perfectly. Brooks is pretty much the only way to go. The question is, which one? I've narrowed it down to three choices:

First: The Brooks Flyer. Simple, single-rail, 2-spring design, smooth saddle surface.

Second, the Brooks B135. Double-springs in the back, a push-pull arrangement, double-rail, with looped spring in the front. Textured saddle surface.

Third, the Brooks B33. Twisted, all-chrome springs, triple-rail, loop springs at the front. Textured saddle surface.

Any of these three saddles fit in with the Porteur style I'm going for. They're made for riding upright, and to soak up heavy hits and rough surfaces. They'll add just the right vintage look, while breaking in to be a perfect saddle to fit me and my riding style.

So many decisions!