Saturday, May 09, 2009

From the Scrap Pile to the Road

Beater bikes are made, not born. Jim Ayyy has been considering his options for a rainy day bike and finally started piecing together his first junk box custom attempt on Arf's old Super Course frame.

Only the frame and fork were together, with a headset that had to be replaced.

Crank arms match in length and basic type, but not in crank of origin.

Jim Ayyy hasn't totally settled on a drive system yet. The fixed gear intimidates him on his hilly route. It's worse than mine, so I don't blame him for his reluctance. That's okay. A bike is more than the sum of its parts, but those parts can be combined in a multitude of ways.


Tom Reingold said...

What year is that Super Course? I built up a Super Course just this past fall. I have determined that it's probably a 1971 model. I haven't posted pictures yet, but you've inspired me.

I expected the bike to ride "just OK" but I received a very pleasant surprise. It's a very nice ride. The three main tubes are Reynolds 531. It has a very friendly feel to the handling. Very stable. Not altogether nimble but not at all sluggish. I could spend all day on this bike, and I got a lot more than I bargained for. I picked it up from the street on bulk garbage day.

cafiend said...

The graphics look like early 1970s. That bike's been apart so long I don't remember what it originally had for parts. Cottered steel crank I'm pretty sure. So that dates it.

Funny thing about Super Courses: every one I've measured has had the same length top tube, about 56 cm. Because of that, the 53-ish-centimeter one I rode had a similar ride feel to my Surly Cross Check. Depending on the size of your frame, you could be experiencing the same thing. In sizes above 56, the TT would feel short, giving a tighter feeling and perhaps calling for a longer stem. Chainstays also seem to run a constant length similar to the Cross Check's 42-42.5 cm. This means you can't tuck the rear wheel right up under you, but you're not dragging it a yard behind you, either.

I don't know how head angles compare. My 'Course had long ago lost its original fork, too. But as a fixed gear I wasn't slapping it into any tight corners. Open road handling was nice.

They're a good deal, especially free in the rubbish. They do lack a built-in derailleur hanger.