DIY Skibike - Fettling

Posted: Tuesday, 24 January 2012 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: ,

Having got my new skibike assembled on Sunday I spent a few hours doing some fettling, some were practical tasks, others purely cosmetic in nature.

The new Suntour XCR forks came equipped with studs for mounting old skool V-Brakes, as well as modern disk brake callipers. I felt that having a couple of spiky protrusions at the front end of the skibike was probably not the safest option. Removing them should have been a simple matter of unscrewing them; unfortunately after initial moving they then seized into place. My efforts with a spanner and a length of tubing as a lever only resulted in rounding off the flats.
Even subsequent efforts with a pair of mole grips came to nought. Finally I "got biblical" and cut off the offending items with a hacksaw! I filed the rough cut surface to a clean finish and plugged the threaded holes with a pair of socket headed stainless bolts.

These were also fitted to all of the threaded inserts in the frame. This keeps out dirt, reduces corrosion and future disassembly is a joy rather than a pain, to my eye they even possess their own functional beauty.

The rear triangle on my previous skibike frame was constantly being damaged by contact with chairlift safety bars. You can refinish parts, used frames of the same vintage are now common and can be sourced cheaply through eBay or RetroBike. However, I decided to see whether wrapping these vulnerable surfaces in self-amalgamating tape would work. This type of rubber tape is used in communications systems to waterproof sensitive wiring joints. You have to remove a release sheet, then the tape can be wrapped over objects with an overlap and pulled tight to form an amalgamated surface.This all sounds very complicated, but if you have ever refurbished a tennis racquet or a pair of dropped handlebars, you'll know exactly what I mean..

All sensible chores completed it was time for some frivolity. I graced the headtube with a reproduction WinterXbike sticker (now known as Alpine Skibikes) made for me by Gil from The Cycle Shed who can also reproduce many of the decals for bikes of all ages for very little cost.

The front ski mount was treated to a SAGB sticker, with a design featuring the Union Jack flag adding a small touch of "Cool Britania" to the overall package.

SAGB sticker - Cool Britania?
With a few other minor details tidied up I was all done, in a few short days I will head off to Flaine in France with Carl Day, I hope this skibike goes as well as it now looks.