The Chainlink

These will now be posted in the calendar but are usually the first and third monday of the month from 9:30 until Midnightish.  This is a social bike building worshop.  We build bikes.  We argue about whether one band is metal or not.  We might or might not drink beers while building,  We often cut out early.  I often come 10 minutes late.  It is relaxed and there is no stress and none aloud.

 

There are bikes that require building and maintenance as part of our regular fleet of rides, but we also work on wheel building, repair, customization, full-builds for our regulars. It's a pretty relaxed way to learn a bit about bike repair, maintenance, etc in a social atmosphere. 

 

That lacks heat and plumbing by the way.

 

Now listen.  This isn't hard. 

 

You need to call me to get the location. 

 

Not hard...773-255-6347.  Please don't send me a text or a message or an email.

 

Call on the phone.

 

Thanks and hope to see you there. 

 

Cheers - Lee

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Comment by Lee Diamond on November 27, 2009 at 5:22pm

I am in the process of getting ready to build up the next dozen bikes for our library of loaner cycles. We give these out to people who have no bikes but want to look for places on bikes, or come to our tours. There are also some bikes built for curators. Curators are people who have done things beyond the call of duty and beyond that even and we are doing our pitiful best to pay them back by building them a bike

The idea is to have a sufficient number in a range of sizes so we can accomodate all kiinds of riders.

The project is called the Big Shoulders Recyclery. After the build ups, last season's builds and the new builds will all be subjects of a massive photo-shoots for all of the bikes, done in a pin-up style with the typical beach ball and such nonsense props and a new section on our site with all of the builds.

Each one is a recycled bike needing a new life. Most are old steel frames except for the cyclocross frames which are all aluminum. Each bike is then named for an important individual in Chicago's past. The person can not be living.

An example of this is here.

I supply:

an amateur knowledge of bike building.
a dozen bikes to work on
an amateur shop
space in an unheated old theater
social and forgiving atomosphere

i am still learning and have exactly 14 builds of experience. I am not doing any wheel building as part of this project. I know a couple of folks that wanted to learn a bit about bike building expressed interest in doing this, so I figured I would post this here and see if any others are interested.

I am planning on doing this in the evenings, basically because that is the only time I can do it. It will be the second and forth Tuesdays of the month from 9:00 to midnight. Beers may be drunk. Pizza or similar wares may be eaten. Strictly social. No putting down my lack of skills, but on the other hand, if you are a capable and fine bike builder, this is probably not the deal for you, unless you still, really love doing it, in which case your knowledge and presence are very welcome.

If you are interested, rsvp to me so I know you are coming. You can shoot me a message on the chainlink. Cheers and take care Bike Builders!

Comment by Moc Artsy on November 28, 2009 at 10:13am

Hi Lee,
I am definitely interested in doing the builds with you. I sent a friend request so I can message you.

Comment by Lee Diamond on December 2, 2009

OK y'all. I made a huge mistake by saying Tuesdays and I can NOT do Tuesdays for bike builds. I can do Mondays. I hope this is an inconvenience to none or few and apologize for this. Here is the schedule I propose for those that are interested in joining this social build night.

December 7 – bike builds – 9:00 to midnight
December 21 – bike builds – 9:00 to midnight

January 4 – bike builds – 9:00 to midnight
January 18 – bike builds – 9:00 to midnight

February 1 – bike builds – 9:00 to midnight
February 15 – bike builds – 9:00 to midnight

Cool? Sorry for the bonehead moment.

Now for those that want to come, I need to get you the SECRET ADDRESS! bwa ha ha ha.

Talk to you all soon - Lee
So to answer A question from Primitive Don, I have a workshop set up. I have tools. I have A bike stand. The majority of the work on a bike is quite easily done without a stand, and for the stand, it would just be taking turns. I am probably getting a few more stands, but that will be over time.

I have all of the tools necessary to take apart and put together the bikes that I have. In many cases, I have duplicates of tools so several people could be using stuff/doing things simultaneously. As the tool gets more specialized, there is less likely I have two or more of them. I have no frame tools so there is no bottom bracket facing, tube reaming and the like going on here. That will be done by the powder coater.

The order of doing things will be roughly this:

Step 1 - Photograph and disassemble bicycles. (I am documenting every bit of this)

Step 2 - Assess bicycle needs - clean/source parts as needed

Step 3 - Take to powder coater. When the bikes are returned - they will be fully ready to build. They will have the following performed:
- Fully stripped of all paint and decals
- Fully cleaned
- Phosphate-dipped for frame protection on interior of frame
- Braze ons for at least one bottle cage when not already present
- Frame dents, dings and holes when possible will be repaired, fixed or otherwise made less bad.
- seat tubes and head tubes reamed
- bottom bracket threads cleaned, faced and installed.
- same with headset and forks when present.

Step 4 - Build a bunch of bikes

Cool?
This is a very cool thing and much along the lines of what came to be West Town Bikes.

I lived in a very cool building in the 90's until 2004. I had a great workshop space in the basement with ample bike storage throughout. It was the first respectable shop that I had built and it earned the name Tinker Town. I was building lots of projects and fixing folks bikes from the building and neighborhood. I started opening it up to friends and neighbors and eventually Tuesday night became the scheduled night for others to come and use the shop. It was the first regular Open Shop that I offered and it continues still as Tinker Town Tuesday - Open Shop at West Town Bikes.
That is cool to hear about. I have only ambitions of a good time hanging with folks that dig working on bikes. If anything, the group that came was too knowledgeable! I am by no stretch any kind of bike mechanic, and at least two of the folks that showed up were quite fine left to their own devices dissasembling the fleet mach 2.

Thanks for the history Alex. It is very inspirational, even if I am not particularly aiming to do anything with this but have a bit of fun and hang out with folks. To that end, thanks to Mike, Jason, Ryan and Don for coming and sorry we missed you Brian.

This next night will be a lot of cleaning. We have many dirty parts that must be cleaned. Further, we won't have the first batch of bikes back from UV until after New Years. I have two partially built and one unbuilt bike to keep us occupied until then, but all require some parts cleaning. That will thankfully be done in a heated portion of our.....facility.

remember, to get the SECRET LOCATION you need to call in advance - 773-255-6347.

Cheers - Lee Diamond



Bikefreeek said:
This is a very cool thing and much along the lines of what came to be West Town Bikes.

I lived in a very cool building in the 90's until 2004. I had a great workshop space in the basement with ample bike storage throughout. It was the first respectable shop that I had built and it earned the name Tinker Town. I was building lots of projects and fixing folks bikes from the building and neighborhood. I started opening it up to friends and neighbors and eventually Tuesday night became the scheduled night for others to come and use the shop. It was the first regular Open Shop that I offered and it continues still as Tinker Town Tuesday - Open Shop at West Town Bikes.
A couple of items of note.

First, I changed the start time to 9:15.

Last time I struggled to get Jackson to bed, and over to the shop by 9:00 so this is just to allow for folks not to be waiting.



Also, the first round of bikes will not be in our hands until at least January 4, and possibly the 18th. There is still stuff to do in preparation of this, but it might not be the funnest, most awesome bike building experience of your life. Here is what needs doing:

Parts are all boxed and ready to go for each bike, or are on order for each bike. The grimey truth is that the used parts are for the most part, filthy or they can see filthy from where they are or something similar. Thus, there will be much cleaning and polishing of parts. And wheels. There are three bikes requiring completion, including a ground-up build of a rare Geminiani, that of course, requires its parts cleaned, but has original campy brakes, derailleurs,and a variety of nifty components, so we will have SOME fun, and of course I still supply the beer, the bikes and the freezing cold space. Fortunately, we will wash parts in the office, which is quite pleasantly heated.

Cheers. If you don't know where it is, call me at 773-255-6347.
Hi there.

For Monday December 21, here is the agenda.

We do not have the first four frames back from UV yet, however we do have lots of stuff to do, namely:

1 - Finish up Queen Bess - this is a single speed Raleigh cruiser built up from an old Raleigh Record racing frame. This is a curator bike and needs fenders and a CHILD SEAT! installed as well.

2 - Finish up Algren - this is a sweet late 90s Trek road racing bike with Shimano 600 components and Mavic wheels. It needs chain, housing, cable, seat and tuning.

3 - Build up Dwight - This is one of the nicest bikes in the Big Shoulders Recyclery, namely a very rare and large Geminiaini touring bike with original Campy Nuovo Record derailleurs, brakes and a variety of French components. All of the components need to be cleaned, polished and oiled, and the whole bike needs build-up.

4 - Cleaning/polishing - Brian Kennedy and I seperated into boxes all of the used parts that will go into each build. Since most of these parts are used, they need a thorough degreasing, cleaning, polishing and oiling to ready everything for the new builds

5 - Tune-up of the fleet. We have about 5 bikes that have NOT been ridden much in the last few months. Several need brake and derailleur adjustment. All need lubing, and a check over. One (Sandburg) needs rear derailleur repair or replacement, but hopefully repair as this is a nice pantographed Rear derailleur.

That should keep us all pretty occupied and we will also definitely have the usual beers, hanging out, etc.

Cheers! - Lee
Sorry I didn't make it tonight guys! I was having a swell time riding down Belmont when all of a sudden i was skidding down Belmont on my ass! WTF! As I am lying on the side of the road I look at my bike and wonder why the seat is no longer on it. At first I thought I lost the bolt that holds the seat to the seat post. Upon closer inspection(i.e the bus ride home) I realize I had the bolt. well part of it. It appeared to have been sheared off. Im just glad all I got were some bruises and a few minor dings on the bike.

Yowza! That is a bad break! (Pun intended....if not pathetic). Sorry that happened to you Jen and we will look forward to seeing you next time! If something like that ever happens again (I hope not!), and you can possibly make it the rest of the way, I have loads of parts to fix you up! See you next time.

jen said:
Sorry I didn't make it tonight guys! I was having a swell time riding down Belmont when all of a sudden i was skidding down Belmont on my ass! WTF! As I am lying on the side of the road I look at my bike and wonder why the seat is no longer on it. At first I thought I lost the bolt that holds the seat to the seat post. Upon closer inspection(i.e the bus ride home) I realize I had the bolt. well part of it. It appeared to have been sheared off. Im just glad all I got were some bruises and a few minor dings on the bike.

Thanks! upon closer inspection this morning my back wheel was totally F-ed up. it was a crooked oval! Now I'm no stranger to a truing wrench but I felt this was beyond my scope of skills. Just picked it up from boulevard bikes doug did an amazing job! its a little fragile but hopefully it will make it thorough the winter. Im a little mad cuz I just had that wheel built 2 months ago! oh well at least all I have are some sore bones!
Hi fellow bike builders.

Formally, we haven't met since our last February session, but I am restarting the bi-weekly Bike Building Mondays on April 5. It will be the first and third Monday's of each month. I will also begin listing it in the calendar from this point forward.

Also, will be posting some of the bikes we have built during our social build nights.

Cheers - Lee
Check out some of the Big Shoulders Recyclery bikes, many of which were built or tuned-up on Bike Building Mondays, right here:

http://www.thechainlink.org/photo/albums/big-shoulders-recyclery

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