Friday, September 19, 2014

1992 Original Miyata Elevation 5,000

This is the original and almost unadulterated Miyata Elevation 5,000. The bike was laid up in storage for a few months until I decided it was time to resurrect it to its full glory. Needless to say, all the second-hand bikes I acquire are never in pristine condition purely because my standards are rather high. However, it is the ability to see through all the muck and grime to know that there is a gem hidden underneath all that. 

My first inclination was to retain as much of the original parts as possible. However, as the pieces started coming off, I decided that some parts will have to be replaced to upgrade the bike and make it more pleasant to the eye.

The brake levers were the first to go and replaced by lightweight Dia Compe SS-7. The thumb shifters were working well as always. The original Ritchey stem was replaced by a lightweight Uno stem.

The original brakes were the fat cantilevers type which I replaced with the very handsome XTR brakes.

Some of the stickers were scratched but not to an unacceptable extent. Besides, removing them and respraying the bike was never an option.

Some knicks here and there but no major damage like dents could be seen on the frame.

Miyata makes the most beautiful seat stay. Just look at the way it is sculptured to fit the brake cable holder.

 Shimano Deore XT is the standard running gear.

The original 3 x 7 speed transmission was retained.

Even the Ritchey Logic seat was retained for posterity reason. The seat post had to be replaced because the clamp head was broken.

The famous APA bonding system adopted by Miyata on all their bikes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 Alero Basic Bike (Sold)

The sole purpose of building this bike was to clear as many spare parts lying in the bin. Sadly, it was a futile attempt. While quite a few parts from the bin were used to build the bike, tons of other parts are still lying around in the store. However, the good outcome from the build was that I added another bike to the collection.

This is called the Basic Bike because that is really what it is; no frills, just things that work when needed. The Ferrari seat would probably be the most exotic part of the bike.

The cockpit area consists of a Ritchey 110mm stem, Giant low-riser handlebar, Microshift 3x7 shifters and Deore brake levers.

The fork was from a previous bike. It's a Manitou spring-loaded fork with some slight adjustment but in my opinion, makes no real difference. The fork moves up and down as required quite efficiently without any drama. The actual colour was white but it was stripped off and plasti-dip in matte black. Maybe a red sticker on the stanchion will give it some oomph or else, the front end looks boring. The Avid Mag V-brakes adds some color though. These brakes are really nice and powerful.

For the first time, there is a saddle bag attached to the seat. The bike just looks so bare, most people will not even give it a second look.

The crank is a 3-speed Shimano Octalink Deore LX. It can only be used with a 121mm bottom bracket which was a real hassle to find because it was so hard to find. The front derailleur is Shimano Alivio.

The most exotic part of the bike.

Avid Mag rear brakes are powerful and stops the bike on a dime.

7-speed rear cassette with Shimano Alivio rear derailleur. Works like it should without any problems. It would not take any abuse on the trails though.

The plasti dip forks are rather nice. The one thing I learnt about plasti-dipping is preparation. Make sure the surface to be dipped is clear of any oily stuff. It needs to be bone dry for the plasti dip to stick on fast.

While it may be a basic bike, there is actually a substantial amount of customization that went into building the bike. It actually started off with a Kona Project 2 rigid fork but the fork looked really skinny on the bike. Taking it out for a spin after the build was completed, the bike feels really nice to ride. It's a bike you can ride around the whole day because the seat is comfortable and the riding position is a little upright so you are not hunched over the handlebar. It would make a good city commute bike for riding in the park or even for long rides over pavement.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2007 Giant Revive (Sold)

Once in awhile, good things do happen. The Giant Revive is one of those thing. Its a really rare bike and Giant does not make it anymore. Read the reviews of the Giant Revive and all you hear are positive comments. There are 3 variants and one of them is electric.

The previous owner lived in Singapore for over 20 years but alas, he had to go home. Obviously, he was not going to bring back the bike so he put it up for sale. His advertisement did not even show a picture of the bike. So, curious as ever, I decided to see what is this Revive thing he was selling. Lo and behold, when I saw it, I knew I had to have it.

I met up with the owner who lived in an apartment along Orchard Road. It was not in pristine condition but everything was working well. I paid for the bike and rode it home. The recumbent riding position needed some getting used to and the bike was rather twitchy because of the set up.

I kept the bike in its original state for as long as possible but decided it could do with some enhancement. So, the grip shifters were swopped for regular shifters and the grips were replaced also.

The original crank had only 48 teeth. I swopped it for a 52 teeth so that it could go a bit faster but of course, it also took more effort to move the bike at standstill.  I kept the rear 8-speed cassette but changed the derailleur to something better. The rear shock is actually broken, only the rear spring is holding up the bike. Its hard to find the original shock but since its not creating any issues, I left it on while still searching for a replacement.

The original mud guards went around the wheel but I swopped them with something more racy. It came from the folding bike. Actually, its kinda nice, makes the bike look more modern.

The original tires were 20x1.75 but I swopped them for 20x2.1. In doing that, I lost 1 gear because the rear derailleur could not pass the fat fire to reach the 8th gear. Anyway, I seldom go there, so its alright. I might put back the 1.75 tires when I need to ride it over longer distance.

The Revive must have the best seat in the world. It is so comfortable, you can ride the whole day and not feel any aches or pain. The seat is adjustable for height and reach and the back rest can also be adjusted up and down. Its a bike that fits anybody!

The riding position is one whereby you lay back on the seat and just pedal. Beautiful!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Raleigh Ultra Race

It all started with the Klein Quantum Pro. Well, I had to blame someone or something to justify my need to build a second road bike. The Klein was just too precious to be let loose on the road and subjected to abuse. I know I will thrash it when I am on it, so the next best thing is to build another road bike. Chain Reaction Cycle was having a massive sale and prices of past year models were going for a song. The Raleigh Ultra Race frame was 60% of retail price. An offer like that cannot be missed.

The main triangle is made of aluminum but the seat stays are made of carbon fibre. Its not exactly a featherweight but certainly lighter than the Marin Fairfax.

I like the stance of the bike. It looks fast and the color combination was spot on.

Carbon fibre was the choice material for the parts. This included the stem.

The headset is by Cane Creek. I broke the cap because it was made of hard plastic and had to replace it with a Ritchey top cap.

Shimano 105 brake/gear shifters are good enough for me.

The Campagnolo Centaur brakes were also on sale. They blend in nicely with the rest of the bike with the black and red theme.

The front end of business.

Bianchi alu-carbon fork.

Raleigh has been dropping in popularity over the years. I hope this bike will help revive the brand in a small way.

FSA SL-K carbon cranks. These cranks cost more than the frame and is the most expensive part on the bike.

Shimano 105 rear derailleur.

The rear end showing the carbon fibre seat stays.

The bike looks like it has blood vessels running throughout the bike.

Omega titanium seat. Light but not the most comfortable,

The aorta…

Fulcrum Racing 7 wheel set. 10 speed.