Friday, June 29, 2012

More customization

(I don't know about y'all, but I've been having EXTREME difficulty accessing any Google site except for the main home page. This has put a serious damper on my ability to email or blog or upload photos. Grr.)

(Ah! Looks like the flash upgrade from earlier this week munged things up. With the new download, everything is again tickety-boo.)

On to the actual post: I mentioned my dislike of the stock saddle and grips on the PUBLIC Bikes C8 and I took haste to replace those troublesome items. The creamy white of the Selle Royal Contour and the PUBLIC Leather Ergo grips purred "Buy ussssss..." and I was powerless to resist.

The saddle installation was surprisingly easy. It was so easy, in fact, that I worried I'd done something wrong. But, after several test rides around the block, the saddle felt like it was in the right position and angle. After the saddle installation, I scoured the intarwebs for information on how to remove and install handlebar grips. I was shocked to learn that three out of three bike shop guy videos said to use hair spray as both a lubricant and adhesive.

Sure enough, with a light coating of hair spray inside the grips, they slid right onto the bar. I waited a while for adhesion and then took the bike out for a spin to test the new grips. I took off... and nearly crashed when the left grip popped right off the bar in my hand. That was more than a little bit terrifying. I tried coating the bar ends with hair spray, slid the grips on, and let them cure overnight.

I tested the grips in the morning and they popped right off again. After work yesterday, we carried my bikes over to Spokes, Etc. After the wonderful mechanic swapped the clipless pedals out for my old spiky pedals on Lily the Ariel -- the numerous and painful crashes just weren't worth it and I wasn't strong enough to remove the pedals -- I asked him to make my grips not slide off the handlebars. What I didn't realize is that the tiny little hole in the end of the grip held a tiny little screw that would help the grips not fly off the bar when I took off from a standing position.

The mechanics fixed my grips -- they needed to slide the shifter and brakes in a bit -- quickly and I was a fairly happy cyclist. When I got home I futzed with the brake and shifter position and got them back into more comfortable positions. Scott came into the kitchen at one point and said that I was as bad as a gearhead. I don't think I'm worthy of that title until I actually build up a bike, though. And with everything accomplished, I was a completely happy cyclist.

Now my beautiful bike is even more beautiful and the color coordination eases my need for harmony. I realize that the saddle and grips will get grimy just like the lovely cream tires have, but for now everything is perfect.

In the name department, the top contenders are Mina, Hermione, and Cate (as in C8...Cate). Yes, the cruiser is "Kate", but I think of that bike as being free spirited like Kate Winslet and the loop frame is more elegant like Cate Blanchett.


  1. I successfully used hair spray a while back to put grips on a bike. But the first couple of hairsprays I tried didn't work. You need cheap, sticky hairspray, and I think that's getting to be a rare commodity these days. :)

    That said, these days I prefer Ergon brand grips. They have a nice, positive fastening (allen screw) that locks them on quite well. I have them on my Trek and my Brompton. (No affiliation with Ergon, just a happy customer.)

    BTW, make sure your wrists are supported correctly with the ergonomic grips. You still want to keep a nice neutral position like you do with a keyboard. It does make a difference!

    1. You know, as I sprayed my chi-chi hairspray into the grips, I thought, "This is a job for Aquanet!" I might have to relinquish my Southern woman card for not having any on hand. ;)

      My hybrid came with ergonomic grips and I love them!

  2. I agree with the above and know that only cheap hairspray works with grips.

    By the way your bike look so much better now. Question is, why did the manufactures not do this first time? Can't wait to start building up my new bike. Colour scheme is all picked and ready :)

    1. Thanks! The black accessories were so jarring against all the other soft colors on the frame. It looks like the cream and orange frames come with grey accessories which look a lot better. Ah well. I'm happy with it for now. :)

      Please document your build! I'm looking forward to seeing your new bike.

    2. I will do. My aim is to build a 29er singlespeed but with a fairly retro colour scheme.

  3. I love a nice colour coordinated look....Your bike really does have that totally matched appearance....I really like it!!