Monday, April 25, 2016

Chapters 2 and 3 in the Saga of Tilmann--The Earth From Space, and Wheels of Awesomeness!

Today was a big day in the Tilmann Saga. Just to refresh memories, and update, I brought Tilmann home in March. At that time he was just a frameset.
Remember this?

Because I want to use the Gates Carbon Belt Drive system, Tilmann needed to have a frame modification (splitting the rear drive side seat stay to be able to get the belt on). Since he was being modified anyway, we decided to have the extra stuff removed, like the cantilever brake posts (Tilmann will have disc brakes) and the cable guides on the top tube. So, Tilmann went back to the shop so he could be admitted to the "hospital" for his reconstructive surgery. The work was done by a guy named Cory. 

So, now Chapter 2 begins. Post surgically, Tilmann has some "scars". Oh, his modification surgery went beautifully, but...well, that's what plastic surgeons are for, right?
The raw wounds.
Close-up of the seat stay split.

I met Derik at the shop, and we took Tilmann out to the plastic surgeon (aka Powder Coater). One of the most difficult decisions I've had to make was what color Tilmann should be. There are thousands of choices! In order to choose, I decided the color had to have meaning. Tilmann is a Surly World Troller. Hmmm...World...Earth...aha! Tilmann would represent what the earth looks like...from space!

Blue would be the main color, then I'd use the white decals for the clouds, and try to incorporate some green. The brown would be represented by my Brooks saddle. I was thinking abstract, you know? Well, as we are talking to Jeff at Forever Powder Coating, he starts saying how he could easily airbrush clouds, and he could use green and brown to make the continents...WHAT??? You can do that??? SO COOL! He can also airbrush the world SURLY in a "cloud" font! Way more awesome than I ever thought it could be! 

It'll take a few weeks as he has quite a few bikes he's working on, so you'll have to stay tuned to see the end result.

Now for Chapter 3. Derik and I returned to the shop. Last week we had discussed him building the wheels this week. I asked him when he wanted to do that. Turns out, he had time today, and I had time to watch him! I'm hoping to watch as much of the build as I can because I want to know Tilmann inside and out. Besides, it's not every day you get the opportunity to watch a Master Wheel Builder, not only build wheels, but build your wheels! 

Derik started with the rear wheel. He had already cut the black DT Swiss spokes to the correct lengths. The rear hub is a Rohloff Speedhub 500/14. We had to put small washers on the spokes as the spoke holes on the hub are a little big. I helped with that. I tried to be his assistant where possible (without trying to end up like the Sorcerer's Apprentice). To that end, I just handed him the spokes. He did everything else. I watched, and learned...a lot! There is a definite art to building a wheel. And loads of patience required!
The Master at work.

A shot of Rohloff awesomeness!

The finished rear wheel.

The front wheel's hub is a Schmidt Son 28 generator hub. It will power both a headlight and taillight, annnnndddd...have a USB port for charging my electronics! 
The finished front wheel.
The mark of a hand built custom wheel!

I got to show off the wheels to a couple of friends/teammates who happened to be in the shop. Jeff asked how much the rear wheel weighed, so we weighed it.
5.78 lbs. Apparently, the Rohloff hub is not even the heaviest internal geared hub out there.

So, yes, it was a big day in the saga of Tilmann! I can't wait to get the frame back and see the earth from space...on a bike frame!

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