I've made a few decisions on what is to become of Irene Fenderbottom, the ridiculously comfortable mixte. Since the Swoopy One is going to live with my mother and enjoy hours of riding with her and because Mrs. Gale went to a new home, Irene's getting a make over.
Here are the plans, thus far, and subject to change....hourly.
1. I'm building new wheels - 650b's. Her original 27" steel wheels are as true as they can get and they don't stop in the rain worth a darn. I've done all the measuring and testing and even put The Swoopy One's 650b's on her for a spin. It's going to work wonderfully. I already have a pair of VO fluted fenders which will work with the 650b wheels.
2. She's getting a two-speed kickback hub. I really like the look of her as a single speed but would love a little versatility. With Sturmey Archer's new S2C, released last year and getting some fun praise, I figured, what the heck! I can keep the nice clean look of a single speed with just a touch of versatility.
3. She's getting a powder coat. I know some purists would look at her and wonder how dare I, her paint looks great. Well, I 'm simply not a fan of her in white. The only reason I held on to Mrs. Gale so long even though she wasn't comfortable for me was because I loved her looks. The only reason I don't ride Irene very often is because of her looks. Vain? Sure.
This leaves two undecided issues, the color and to coaster brake or not to coaster brake. I'm going to borrow a bike with a coaster brake this week so I can get a feel for riding one again. I mean, it's been 35 years....maybe more!
On color, I'm seriously considering recreating the highly metallic silverish blue of Mrs. Gale fame. Either than or a deep dark navy blue. I'll likely decide while at the powder coater.
I'll likely order the wheel makin's this week, once I decide on a hub. And since it supposed to be pretty rainy a couple of days later in the week I'll drive to work one day and take some time over the lunch hour to take the frame in.
All that said, I'm open to other suggestions. Bring them on!