I love starting a new-old bike project. But I always feel a little bummed when it's finished. Oh, there's the feeling of completion, the satisfaction of riding it, and admiring it of course - but I love the whole project of putting a new bike together. Choosing colors (if it's getting new paint), picking out the components, assembling it, and fiddling with every little detail until it's "just right." For me, the preparation, the choices, the shopping, and the building, are as much a part of the fun as the riding and the ogling. Is it just me, or do others feel the same way about that?
Sometimes I think I should turn it into a business - building or renovating old bikes for other people. In fact, I often wish I could do exactly that - essentially open a bike shop. However, I have this feeling that I'd hate parting with the bikes once I was finished with them. Anyhow, it's just a dream - not likely to become a reality.
I've got some pictures of the completed Sequoia to share:
|I'm pretty happy with the colors of the saddle and bar tape. The brown saddle has just a bit more "red" to it than what I seem to be able to get into the bars, but the saddle may darken a bit as it gets used.|
|I've been debating whether to do another coat of shellac on the bars. One more will give them a little more of a leather-like shine - but might also make them a little darker than I want them to be. Decisions, decisions.|
|The SunTour Cyclone M-II derailleurs are a great complement to the frame. This long cage version handles my chosen gearing very well.|
When it comes to restoring bikes like the Sequoia, I figure a person has a lot of leeway in choosing components. I mean - yeah - one can always build a bike up however they want, making it as modern or retro (or mix it up) as they wish. But at the same time, I like to fit a bike with components that seem the most suitable to the era it was built in, as well as how they'll fit with the way I'm going to use the bike. And some bikes just scream for certain kinds of components. For example, a '70s vintage Italian racer just wouldn't seem right without the full Campagnolo Nuovo Record gruppo - am I right? But these early Sequoias (and their stable-mate, Allez) were available a couple of different ways. They were sold early on as framesets, to be completed by their owners, or by individual bike shops. For that reason, it isn't unusual to find them equipped with whatever their owners or the shops saw fit. Shimano 600 was a popular choice for components back then -- I've seen a few that were equipped that way. They were also sold by Specialized as complete bikes - often with a mix of different parts (though predominantly SunTour). Many of the complete early bikes were sold with Superbe derailleurs (with a now-rare long cage version in the rear). For mine, I went with early '80s Cyclone for the derailleurs and hubs, and Superbe for brakes and pedals. If I could have found a long-cage Superbe derailleur in condition as nice as that Cyclone, I might have used it - but the Cyclone is no slouch. Most of my components are consistent with an early '80s bike. The main exceptions are the aero levers (DiaCompe did make aero levers when this bike was made, but mine are the second-generation version from a few years later) and the crank (the "S" logo marks it as mid-late '80s, though otherwise it looks almost exactly like the earlier version). And my Brooks saddle is modern production - but then, have they changed in 100 years?
Here's the complete parts breakdown:
Frame: 1982 Specialized Sequoia, 62 cm. Repainted by Franklin Frames.
Wheels: SunTour Cyclone sealed bearing hubs with Araya rims, 32 mm Panaracer Gravel King tires.
Crankset: Specialized ST-4, 50/36 chainrings.
Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood, 108 mm.
Rear Derailleur: SunTour Cyclone M-II, long cage.
Front Derailleur: SunTour Cyclone M-II.
Shift Levers: SunTour BarCon.
Freewheel: Shimano 600, 13-28.
Brakes: SunTour Superbe with DiaCompe AGC 251 aero levers
Pedals: SunTour Superbe, with Specialized toe clips and Soma Fab. straps.
Bars: Nitto mod. 176, 44 cm
Stem: Nitto Technomic Deluxe, 100 mm
Seatpost: Sakae-SR Laprade, 26.8 mm
Saddle: Brooks B-17, antique brown
Headset: Tange Levin
Chain: SRAM PC-8