Posted on | May 10, 2009 | 11 Comments
The Waterford‘s conversion is finally finished and looking very pretty. The small frame looks much better proportioned with the 650B wheels and with the new Terraferma fork, GB Cypress 650x32B tires and a trail of 46 the bike’s handling and ride are perfect.
Despite the Brooks sprung saddle (807g !), larger tires and Berthoud stainless steel fenders the bike weighs in at a fairly svelte 23 lbs. Much of that is thanks to the old lightweight components, many of which are 40+ years old:
- Philippe Touriste bar 216g
- MAFAC 2000 front brakes (braze on mount) with koolstop thin dual compund brake pads 120g
- MAFAC 2000 rear brake (center mount) -with mounting bolt + Koolstop dual compound bake pads 170g
- TA rack 125g
- Stronglight A9 Headset 82g
You would be hard pressed to find lighter components among today’s top end kit. The bar-end shifters are Campagnolo 10spd with the plastic housing painted to match the frame. Shifting is handled by a Campy Chorus 10 spd rear derailleur and Record front derailleur. Brake levers are Soma Urban Cross. Water bottle cage, bottom bracket, MKS pedals and brass bell are from Velo Orange and the Velocity Synergy rims were built up with Campagnolo Chorus hubs by Peter White.
The TA rack (above) is, in my opinion, the most beautiful rack ever made. I used some pivot bolts and delrin washers from old MAFAC brake parts to secure the fenders to the fork crown and the Sheldon fender nut in the rear. Since we were making a new fork the front brakes are mounted to MAFAC studs but to save the expense of paint we used center mounted rear brakes.
The Suntour Cyclone crankset has a Cyclocross World Wetzikon chainring guard stripped and polished on the outside ring and an old French tripilizer in the inside position. The leather grips were made by first wrapping the bar with Cinelli gel cork tape and then wrapping that with leather that was stitched with contrasting waxed thread. Craft stores sell scrap leather for around $3.00 a lb. A lot of the leather scraps come from seating for luxury cars and it makes for a very nice grip.
It took a lot longer then I anticipated but it was worth the time and effort. Thanks to Mike Terraferma, who made the fork and Dirk Smeets, who did the final build. The info and feedback I got from the 650B list and Jan Heine’s online writings and publication Bicycle Quarterly provided the knowledge needed to get the build and geometry right.