So i have to admit, I’ve been somewhat neglectful of the bikes section of late. The last update of my little Seeker Mega was just some background and at that point I hadn’t started building it up yet.
I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about how best to pursue building both mine and Neo’s bikes, whether to go for used components or go for brand spanking new parts. In the end the benefits of buying new parts, especially for moving parts such as derailleurs that don’t have the potential for failure for some time won the day. Modern lower end parts (Shimano Deore, LX etc) aren’t very expensive and will often perform as well as older, higher end stuff.
Having previously semi built it up, I’d disassembled the Explorer Mega and used the Seeker to commute to work for the last 6 months. As you may know, roads in winter are full of salt and for the last few months, SNOW!
It’s good fun riding in the snow but a winter of salt, grit, rain and dirt takes its toll and by the end of March, having ridden the last month with no front brakes, it was time to take it off the road and rebuild. Here is a picture of the front brakes after removal…
Completley ceased and useless! After removing all the parts from the frame and giving it a good clean with GT85 (which might I add is great for removing oil, grease and dirt), I was ready to start slotting it all back together again.
The first thing I decided on was wheels. Being northern I’m loathed to shell out any money ever but wheels are something I’m willing to make an exception for. Having ridden around on old knackered rims for years I’m looking forward to braking on a straight rim! I purchased Rigida Sputnik wheels on Shimano LX hubs for £150 from Spa Cycles. By far the most expensive purchase I’ve made for a bike ever but from what I understand Sputnik rims, whilst not being the lightest by a long shot are virtually indestructable and more than up to the job of carrying a few bags on some smooth roads. I spoke to the wheel builder at Spa Cycles and they were very friendly, helpful and well recommended.
One interesting thing I chose for the bike are the combined gear/brake shifters. They’re Shimano LX from Chain Reaction and were purchased in the sale for £19.99 (RRP £99.99!). When I bought them, I didn’t know what to expect or how they’d work and couldn’t find any reviews either, apart from that the gear shifter bit is the same as the XTR shifters.
Basically, the whole lever moves up and down as well as back and forth. Push the lever down to change up and push it back up (with the help of a trigger below for your thumb) to shift back down. It feels unnatural to push up to go down and visa versa but operation wise they’re really nice and do a good job.
Another little thing I’m stoaked about are these bad boys.
They’re in-line cable oilers. Your cable runs as normal except with one of these in the middle, removing the o-ring reveals a tiny hole that allows you to oil your cable from the inside! Sticky and nasty cables are a problem for any all-weather biker so having these will make life a lot easier in time and might even increase cable life. They do 5mm and 4mm for brakes and gear cable respectively although I had to drill the 4mm to 4.5 as I’m using braded cable which is thicker.
I’m also awaiting some more frame stickers. It currently reads foxy on one side as that was all I had left in vinyl stickers however I found some Explorer Mega stickers at Stickerbucket.co.uk. They looked good quality so I messaged them to see if they could make some Seeker Mega ones, I wasn’t expecting much but I thought it worth a go anyway and lo and behold, within a few hours I had a new product on their website! Now if that’s not good customer service I don’t know what is.
Here’s a pic of me with the finished (for now) bike, bags and all. You can find more pics and a full spec list here.
The only thing I’m not sure about is the saddle. Hmm.