Ok so I've been owning a bike for almost four months now, and after cycling over 1,000 km (I do 17 km everyday commuting), it's time for me to customize my bike.
As a reminder, that's what my bike looked like when I bought it.
What I'd like to do is to recreate the same bike I had when I was in South Korea, back in 2016.
More photos: here, here, here and there.
So here we go, here's what I need:
- [x] A rear white wheel
- [x] A pink tire
- [x] A front green wheel
- [x] A white tire
- [ ] A green chain
- [ ] A single speed freewheel
- [ ] A white frame
- [ ] A green saddle
- [ ] Pink grips
- [ ] A pink shifter cable housing and a white one
Finding the parts
Rear wheel and tire
When it comes to wheel size standards, it's quite messy... but it's getting better. It seems like the European standard ETRTO is becoming the global norm. My bike has the most common wheel size: 28", also referred to as 700C (French size) and officially called 622 by ETRTO. When I bought my bike, it came with 28mm-wide tires but I deciced to go with thiner ones, thus choosing a 26-622 pink rear tire.
One very important thing to take into account when buying a wheel is the rear frame spacing (entraxe in French). Mine is 130mm, like most 8-speed road bikes.
Finally, one last thing to be cautious about is the kind of cogset you want: freewheel (roue libre) or cassette. As a rule of thumb, the freewheel system is the oldest, and can't exceed 7 speed. But it's also cheaper (parts are cheap) and you can easily switch to singlespeed or fixie, as it's the same system. The freewheel system requires a simple wheel and all is needed is screwing the freewheel (one or many sprockets) on the wheel. On the contrary, a cassette is mounted on a freewheel body (corps de roue libre) that's part of the wheel. Cassettes are supposed to last longer.
Eventually, I decided to go with this 15-622 white freewheel rear wheel that has a 40mm internal width rim. Since I'm switching from a 8-speed cassette system to a 7-speed freewheel, I had to buy a new Shimano shifter, as well as a new chain.
Front wheel and tire
My front frame spacing is 100mm so I needed to find an adequate green wheel which I still have not found so far (UPDATE: see below). Here's what I've found up until now:
- Roue avant et arrière fixie single-speed 28 pouces Vertes: I could buy just one but the rim internal width is 30mm and not 40mm as I need.
- Roue route - fixie 43mm vert avant: 43mm internal width... not 40
- M-WAVE R4022 hollow rim: that's exactly the rim that I need!!! But buying a whole wheel would be so much easier...
- Roues à rayons fixie PURE FIX 700C 40MM: braking surface has no pain on it...
- Roue Fixie Avant Origin 8 Vert: 42mm internal width...
- Mango 700 C Roue avant QUANDO – Vert Noir avec rayons (Deep Section): too little detail, it does not say anything about the frame spacing, plus I don't know if the seller is trustworthy.
Regarding the tire, I'll go with that one.
Yet to buy
A front green wheel(updated) A white tire(updated) A green chain: I need to be careful not to buy the wrong kind. There are two major kinds of chains: 1/2" 3/32" for most multiplespeed bikes and 1/2" 1/8" for BMX, fixies and singlespeed bikes. I currently have a 1/2" 3/32". A change of the type of chain requires a change of cogset and crankset.(updated) A single speed freewheel(updated) A white frame(updated) A green saddle(updated) Pink grips(updated) A pink shifter cable housing and a white one(updated)
**UPDATE JUNE 29, 2019**
I just received a new parcel in my mailbox: a front green wheel and a white tire!!! YAY!
Turning it into a singlespeed bike: not so easy
First, as I wrote above, I'd need to change the type of chain and use a 1/2" 1/8". Why? Because it's pretty much the standard for fixes and singlespeed bikes. Plus the choices in terms of colors are much wider. And there are more singlespeed freewheels that work with this kind of chain. Then, as a consequence, I'd need to change the cogset and crankset, and remove the derailleur. I could just do it myself with the right tools but for now, it's too much work. I'll just wait until my chain or cogset get too old and damaged and only then will I switch to singlespeed.
Also, and that's good to know, the ratio between speed and ease of pedaling must be taken into account. For instance, say you have a 14 teeth freewheel and a 42 teeth chainring, the ratio would be 42/14=3.
That's it for now. This article will likely be updated in the coming months...
**UPDATE OCTOBER 20, 2019**
Well, that's it. I've bought everything needed to fully transform my bike, including making it singlespeed. To paint my frame, I followed this tutorial and bought these products: before paint, paint, after paint.