Thursday, August 09, 2007

the belle of the ball...

At some point during college, I came across a Raleigh Grand Prix bike frame. It had horizontal dropouts. I wanted to learn to build bike wheels. I wanted a fixie. All these things came together with the least amount of investment possible to create my first fixed gear hoss: Ghetto Prom.

I built the wheel with a 17 dollar Suzue shit-hub and a rim I found in a dingy basement. I stripped the frame with a chemical illegal in California. I used a dremel to remove all of the braze-ons. I sanded, painted, sanded, painted, masked, painted the frame until I had a sweet custom paint job, and 143 dollars later, I had her built up.

Cheapest bike build ever.

We had some adventures, me and Ghetto Prom. One time, I was riding home from class on Ghetto Prom. I had BMX flat pedals on the bike and no brake, because hey, I was a cocky asshole. I was also riding in flip-flops.

Well, I come to a traffic light, and I am doing a trackstand next to a campus shuttle bus. The driver gets pissed because she thinks I'm leaning on the bus. She opens the door and yells at me, and we both take off when the light turns green. Well, at the next intersection, she arrives first and pulls off to the side to tell a cop that I was hassling her. As I'm riding by, the cop steps out of his car and yells "Hey you, Stop!!". I respond with a polite yet abrupt "No!" and continue my ride home as he stands on the corner confused.

I'm laughing to myself and in my distraction, I take a turn too tight and bottom out the ridiculous oversized pedal on the inside of the turn. I flip over the handlebars, taco the front wheel, and manage to put a couple holes in my exposed feet. Still laughing, I shoulder the bike and trot home to nurse my wounds.

Well, it turned out that in that crash I also bent the chainstays of the bike to one side. This meant a rebuild was in store, and the shop I worked in at the time had an old Trek 620 that fit the bill: free. I decided to throw on some flat bars and voila, the rebirth of Ghetto Prom was complete. This is the bike I raced in the DE State Time Trial Championship.

Never again without a brake. You can't plan the other guy's next move.

A few months ago, iPaul(c) gave me an old red Atala frameset. My plan has been to give Ghetto Prom yet another makeover, and get rid of the 620 frame. I never really liked it. The only problem was that the fixed bearing cup was seized in the bottom bracket. We tried everything to get that thing out. No dice. So I took the bike to work and let the guys in the machine shop noodle it over. This was the solution:

Old school ISIS bottom bracket.

That's right, weld a bold to the bottom bracket bearing cup, then wrench the mo-fo out of there. Ingenius. I owe Mikey a sixer of Yeungling.

Tonight I built her up, and like a phoenix rising from Arizona, she shines. Turns out I had to rebuild the rear hub as well, because it wouldn't even complete a 1/4 turn when I tried to spin it. That may have been why the DE TT hurt so bad. Yeah, I need to replace that rear wheel. It's just so tough, because Ghetto Prom likes it dirty.

The latest and greatest build. Fenders too!

Thanks iPaul(c)!

4 comments:

Silas said...

I like the very professional looking fender setup.

As for the bar tape...did you take white cork and barf on it? Jesus that is loud...

Suki said...

speaking of proms...

I've got this little 'thing' coming up.

a little 'party' of sorts.

and while women CAN attend alone (men, however, cannot. how strange?)...its suggested they bring a 'partner'.

sooo...*kicks toes in dirt*

you in?

JenBob said...

nice ride yo! I like the reflectors in the rear wheel. been meaning to do the same to mine.

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