Up until about 6 months ago, I didn’t know a thing about bicycles. My dad being a mechanic and a very project oriented person himself, I’ve always been familiar with at least the maintenance on my cars and motorcycles, changing oil, brake pads, etc. I became intrigued recently with the recent rise in popularity with fixies and single speeds, and realized this was just another thing that I could learn about, tinker with and customize to my own specifications. I started with this bicycle as a donation from a friend, a French racing bike with a great degree of surface rust and old, crusty grease.
I took it apart, piece by piece until nothing was connected to anything else, learning how everything was supposed to go together in reverse, hoping it would all make sense when the process was to go the other way. Since it had a French threaded bottom bracket and headset, I had to refurbish it with new bearings and grease and then systematically began converting into a single speed with virtually all new parts. It could have been easier (or even cheaper) to simply purchase a bike, but oh man, not as satisfying. I sandblasted the paint and rust down to the metal and gave it a rattle can paint job, some component swaps via eBay and shady, back alley deal on a brand new wheel set got me where it is today.
It had to be Italian themed in keeping with virtually every project I did with my dad growing up. The meatball on the head tube gets a chuckle when it’s noticed.
Not actually a bad looking bike. It’s crazy fast, too.
I’m actually impressed with how it rides and feels and hasn’t whimsically fallen apart on me yet. Above all, it was very gratifying to start with virtually no knowledge and very little to work with and make something all my own. Booya.