Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mrs. Irene Fenderbottom's gettin' a make-over!

I've been craving a new mixte.  Not just new to me, which is the case with most of my bikes, but something with new technology and looks.  With the departure of Mrs. Gale I've decided to completely revamp Irene.  Her frame is in excellent shape and is exceptionally comfortable for me.  She's going to be reborn as a three-speed with new wheels, drivetrain, saddle, etc. and more than likely a new color.  

I don't even know where to begin with the project so suggestions are welcomed, especially for the wheels since that's where it's really all going to begin.  She has 27" wheels so I'm not even sure what all my options are?  My goal is for a quick, comfortable around town bike. 


  1. If it were me, I'd drop the 27" wheels in favor of 700c, considering all the changes you're outlining. There are far more tire choices in the 700c size. Standard (long) reach caliper brakes should reach the slightly smaller diameter 700c rims without trouble. However, if you're going for a repaint, I would seriously consider installing cantilever mounts on frame and fork. Cantilever brakes offer better tire and fender clearance. You could also take the opportunity to install rack mounts, bottle mounts and other things that the Raleigh is missing. To put the icing on the cake, you could even opt for a Gates Carbon Drive, eliminating the chain for a belt drive, which is grease-less and very smooth operating. A while back, I rode a Spot brand three-speed with 700c wheels and a Gates Carbon Drive, and it was just about the perfect setup for a townie. Just my two cents. Good luck with the project.

  2. Yes, I agree on the 700 wheels. I did some measurements last night to see if I could also consider 650b's....maybe. I think I'm going to have someone build new wheels for it. The Baker could be I'm afraid I might not have the patience to wait for him. We'll see. I'm not sure I could do canti brakes without having some modifications done, but then that's not out of the question.

    I'd not even considered a belt drive...intruiging for sure!