Friday, February 1, 2008
When building up a project bike, having patience is definitely an asset. I started converting the Motobecane last summer and now I am still two steps away from being ready to send photos to the Fixed Gear Gallery. There is a little story behind the beautiful chrome, lugged NOS Phillipe stem in the photo. It was on eBay but I missed it. I wasn't outbid, I just didn't bid at all. I was kicking myself when I found out that French bicycles have a 22.0mm diameter quill spec and the Nitto stem I'd planned to use wouldn't work. So I wrote to the fellow who'd won the auction and let him know I'd be interested in buying it if for some reason it didn't work for him. Well, turns out he'd bought it just because it looked so cool. He didn't have a specific use for it and since I did, he agreed to sell it to me for what he'd paid + shipping. He's a bike mechanic so he understands the component fetish. So I sent him a check. It had to clear his bank in Georgia. A long, long time went by but two days ago, the stem finally arrived. I installed it along with a very elegant Gipiemme/Modolo brake lever and a period-correct Gran-Compe brake, both from eBay. I just need one last component before paint. The stem has a clamp diameter of 25.0mm which means only French handlebars will work. I am using the original bar for now but it's too narrow (39cm) for comfort so I will be ordering some 44cm rando bars in 25.0 from Velo Orange. I'll have to wait just a bit longer but she's almost done!