The initial plan
One of my goal of this spring was to make a good use of the cracked frame of the QBikes I "repaired" (see "this article"). I knew the frame is more than OK as it did Śnieżnik and Skalnik the very last times I rode it !
Since I had the new Tomac frame, the old Q-bikes was taking space in the flat.
Having an extra pair of disked-wheels, spare pedals, a spare seat, and many other items available too, I decided it was a bit a waste not to do anything with all of that.
I've thought for long about what would be that bike for, having already a great sussie for mountain excursions and a still tough old commuting bike. As for Dorota, her bike is doing great too, with many improvements, however terribly heavy.
After thinking the whole winter, I decided anyway it could be worth to use the Qbikes for a multitude of purposes.
First, an alternative commuting bike for the days when nothing else than commuting is needed (The car park is monitored at work, but I'm afraid to leave a suspended bike locked in other random places in the city). I tend recently to have a slight pain in the back, and suspension would be more than welcome on cobbles... Only problem: most of the mornings I drop Mikolaj to his kindergarten few blocs away. Baby sit incompatible ! (however I'm sure he would also appreciate the suspension too !). No idea too if the cracked frame would tolerate his 16kgs.
Featured with slick tyres, it would make a great cyclotouring bike for rides that are mostly on the road. Road, yes, but Polish roads are like they are...
Also, when my wife and I are going somewhere with the trailer and our son, a cyclotouring bike for her, settings easily changeable thanks to a mobile handlebar stem and swapping the female seat.
Then, featured with MB tires (the old pair of Geax would go on it), a bike to lend to friends willing to accompany me but do not own one (mostly friends flying to Poland... btw, MBPosters, you don't have any excuse now if you visit Poland !)
So I launched the project in April. My first step was to visit 2 or 3 shops in order to make an estimate of the list of needed parts. I needed basically mechanical disk brakes, rear gear derailleur, pedals and hub, handlebar and all the cable stuff. And a fork, that could one day fit the Blue Specialized (currently in France, original fork dead since long) if the QBikes crack reappeared and make it dead for good...
I found a V-brakes-compatible fork for 220zl (55€), and spent approximately so far about 500zl (120€) for all other items. That's cheap stuff, but hey it's a cracked frame...
As for pedals, I built a left pedal with a spare working right pedal, replacing only the axis !
The fork tube was kind of long and I hesitated to cut it a bit, but I decided to leave it as it is, it makes a wider range of settings if I want to make it higher for Dorota. And I also keep it willingly kind of high for myself too, as it eases city-commuting where eyes all around the head are needed here in Poland. I ended by doing the cable stuff, pedals, chain and sprockets, then by making a try with Dorota's sit low.
For this, in order to put is as low as she likes, I used the upper part of the tube whose rest served to fix the frame, inserted into the vertical tube ! The remaining bit is 10cm long but enough to hold a sit at minimum height.
However after trying it, she declared "being scared" by riding such "weird engine", and still prefers her old museum item that weights, if I remind, 17kgs ! :(
The first tries with this bike led me to few modifications and a couple of surprises. The first of them was the too short chain that broke the first day I commuted !
Then, I felt it was kind of weird to ride a sussie featured with such thin tires. I had purchased a pair of Schwalbe Big Apple for the old Specialized, in order to make it as smooth as possible with slick tires, but it didn't take me long to swap them to the Qbikes, from the moment I realized I did not used often anymore the hardtail, apart from baby-sit purposes.
So I did with the ergonomic handles that initially were for Dorota (she got instead a similar pair without horns), supposedly incompatible with revoshifts for space reasons. But, by moving them and the brakes more in the middle, I made myself a very comfortable handlebar.
I am now riding a very comfortable bike daily to work. The Schwalbe tires are featureless but large enough to cope with mountain-biking terrains; after all, since my commute is quite straight, lateral grip is rarely needed. And I can ride really fast on asphalted parts, blocking the suspension too, and I enjoy it like this !
People ask me why no jagged tires, I just usually reply "but why ?!" :) I just built the perfect bike for commuting in the ramshackled Polish city I love, with all her secret passageways !
And when taking the hardtail again, I just wonder how could I commute with it for so bravely and for so many years... Commuting with the newly-built Qbikes is just too good, one of the best parts of the day, and I'm happy to go to work just because of this ! Even better is the return, when I vary the route according to my moods, and turn it into some mountain-biking session everywhere I can.
And realized recently jumping without automatic pedals was not as simple as it was... which is why I bought a pair of second hand Time-Atac :)
A last note : all of this would never have been possible without my best bike-fixing assistant :)))