Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Motobecane" Jury

                                          Motobecane Jury eBay Frame

My next fixed gear is not shown! I owned a Surly Steamroller for about 3 years, but never seemed to get a picture of it! It was a pretty nice riding bike, but Surly had some strange ideas for was not the ideal commuter bike, but not bad. Unfortunately the frame broke after about 2 and 3/4 years. I must say, Surly was good about giving me some reimbursement for that. Good company, with interesting designs.

UPDATE: Well, I found a shot of my Steamroller set up for commuting, here it is:

Steamroller commuter.

With the refund in hand, I went shopping for a new commuting/ fixed gear frame. I wanted another purposely designed for single speed riding. I was inspired by an internet article about the Jury in "Bicycle Fixation", see the link below...

The picture above shows my Jury before the final addition of Velo Orange Stainless Steel fenders and my Carradice Nelson Saddlebag.

This is a $200 dollar frame, you can't really expect to much of it. However, having said that, I must say that I was pretty happy with the quality of it's construction, and overall finish. It's a TIG welded frame, nothing fancy, but the welds were nice and clean, and the frame was straight and true. The braze-ons were just what I wanted for my commuter frame, one set of water-bottle eyelets and threaded eyelets for front and rear fenders, perfect.

The one odd thing about this bike is the crazy amount of clearance for the brakes. You must use extra-long reach brake, and even then, if you want a rear brake, you need a drop bolt, (which is supplied), to even reach the rear rim! For a fixed gear, a rear brake is not needed, so this is not a problem for me. I think the reason this frame was so cheap was because of this clearance issue. I'm pretty sure it had to be a mistake in the specs.

Anyway, this is now my main commuter, so it gets plenty of mileage. It gives a good ride, I'm very happy with it.

Here's the Motobecane with commuting gear mounted. That's a Carradice Nelson on back. Also installed are: Velo-Orange SS fenders, and a Sigma Pro LED headlight.

UPDATE: In the above posting, I neglected to mention one problem I have found with this bike; there is a fair amount of "toe clip" overhang with the front wheel. It's really apparent with the combination of my big, (US size 11) feet and the fenders. It's something I've got accustomed to, but it can cause problems for the unwary, some might find it unacceptable.

UPDATED: Link to my latest post regarding the frame failure on this bike.
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1979 Raleigh Competition GS

1979(?) Raleigh Competition GS

My next fixed gear bike was not really intended to be a fixed gear. I had bought this Comp. GS with the intention of building it up as a nice old fashioned Retro-road bike. Unfortunately, the local frame builder who did the brazing work for me had some strange ideas about routing gear shift cables, and didn't bother to ask me about any of them. He was also really really slow....I'm not naming names, but if I ever have a custom frame built, let's just say it won't be done in Sacramento.

Anyway, since I decided that I could not run derailleurs, this would make a great fixed gear project! So it did. It was a nice riding bike. But I was disappointed in not having it as a multi geared bike, so I sold it.
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Raliegh Super Course

ca 1972-4 Raleigh Super Course

I've had a number of fixed gear bikes. dating back to the
late 70's when I would strip down my Puegeot Super-comp
during the winter.

I also dabbled in track racing while in San Diego county, riding
a Bianchi "Eco-Pista", a really nice little entry-level track bike.

Sadly, I've no pictures of those two. I started to get interested
in Fixed gear again in Sacramento in the 90's. I bought this old
Raleigh Super Course and converted it to a fixed gear commuter.

The bike had a bent fork, so I got a replacement Raleigh International's
fork, which was probably worth more than the rest of the bike put

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My Mercians: 1980 Olympic, 1982 Olympic, 1999 Audax Special, 2012 King of Mercia.

1982 Mercian Olympic

The oldest bike in my stable is my Mercian Olympic, purchased from La Mesa Cyclery in late '82 or early '83. This was the only bike I brought with me to my new life in Utah in late 1983. It has been a sport bike, a long distance tourer, dirt road semi mountain bike,and now, it's serving as a fixed gear fun bike.

My 1999 Mercian Audax Special

My next Mercian was an Audax Special. I found Mercian on the web back then and was able to order this frame via email. A nice sporty geometry. and another beautiful bike, in Anquetil Blue, (Mercian Flamboyant #6). Unfortunately a tad small due to my ignorance in Mercian sizing. I also decided that I wanted more tire clearance than the short-reach version offered. I eventually sold it.
February 2013 update! - -Link to my latest Mercian!

Update- 2017! One more! I picked up a used Olympic, a 1980, and modernized it to become a workhorse go-fast bike:

Reworked 1980 Olympic.
And here's a link to the story of this bike: 1980 Mercian Olympic