Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

20 October 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

Today was the first time I've spent any time at all on any of my bikes in a week and a half.  My eye infection seems to cleared up, finally.  My riding consisted solely of errands, and it was my first time on the Gyes "Parkside" saddle I've installed on Marianela, my old LeTour.

I made a couple of other changes to her, too.  As I had a bottom bracket and chainring, and had gotten a suitable pair of crankarms cheaply, I took off the old double crankset.  Marianela is now a true single-speed.

And I sold the old cranks on eBay for a bit more than I paid for what's on the bike now.  Because the cranks were engraved with the "LeTour" name, they had some value, apparently, to someone who was doing a period-correct restoration.  Ditto for the stem, which I sold and replaced with a newer steel stem that has a longer extension and is a bit more upright.

After having a seat stolen, I am using an old messenger trick on the new saddle.

I took an old single-speed chain and cut it to the length I needed to wrap around the saddle rails and seat stays.  I inserted the chain segment into a piece of old inner tube, and after wrapping the encased chain around the saddle rails and seat stays, I riveted the ends of the chain together.  

I'm going to keep the ratty-looking paint, as that bike is parked on the streets.  Besides, I like the color, even with the current state of the paint job.


  1. So, how do you keep them from stealing the rack?

  2. What are the crank-arms that you got? I might need an extra pair soon, for a classic 3-speed, and these look about right.

    The Le Tour looks very happy to be undergoing all this sprucing up, I think I see her beaming! How do you like that VO saddle?

  3. So far, I like the saddle. It feels a bit softer than the B66 (which is a B67 with double rails) I had on another bike. On the Le Tour, I don't mind it so much.

    The crank arms are Origin-8, in gray. They make other colors, as well as silver and black. Some messengers are using them, and they're cheap. Plus, they take 110 BCD rings (the same diameter as what's on your Alpina) and a 107 mm bottom bracket, and I just happened to have both. Go to eBay and type "fixed gear cranks" or "single speed cranks" into the search browser; a number of places auction or sell them.

    As for my rack...well, I haven't had anyone try to steal a rack on any of my commuter, knock on wood (she says as she taps her head with her knuckles).