May 7th, 2012
Here it is.
For better or worse.
I decided after some deliberation that the assless should transmogrify into something.. well.. with an ass. During its construction we’ve had a handful of names for it. The Ass bike, the R.I.P. Assless, the SS.ass bike. I think what I’ve landed on, though, is Hardass.
Most of the parts for the assless were donated by the folks who made them. It was a very generous gesture at a time when I really needed the moral support. These parts, though, were made to last a lifetime, and it felt a little precious just to put them up on the wall hanging from a strange frame that no longer has a use! Use it up! Wear it out!
This bike is the result. I switched the handlebars, and added (naturally) a seat post and a seat, but the rest is unchanged.
If I’d had the sense back when I built the assless, to put TWO brakes on the thing, I’d have a really nice single speed mountain bike. But I built the assless under a certain amount of duress. I had only been building bikes for about 9 months at the time, and had just found out I had cancer and couldn’t ride them anymore! I wasn’t thinking straight. I was used to riding brakeless fixed gear bikes, and honestly I was worried about cancer killing me, not inadequate braking! (so add a brake, Caldwell. Easier said than done. The rear hub has no provisions for a disk, and the rear rim is a disk rim to match the front.. so I can’t use rim brakes.. Like I said, I wasn’t thinking ahead.)
There’s also a bit of a gear ratio issue. What feels comfortable to stand and pedal is pretty different than what works for sitting. That’s easily changed, however.
The bike is TONS of fun. An urban baller. A light front end that pops up onto curbs easily (I’m gonna get tickets on this bike. I can feel it). A super comfy riding position for old dudes with sciatic pain. And if I ever put together the paper for a new rear wheel, I can braze on a disk tab and take it into the woods!