I was building this bike up to use as a grocery bike, but it didn’t fit me (and I ended up with no road bikes anyway, due to pain in my hands). However, it should end up as a perfect fit for The Beloved, so we still have it, nearly finished, in the garage.
Here’s a current photo:
So, uh, the Shogun. Yes. It’s a story, in and of itself. After I bought my 3-speed, it seemed to me that a road bike might be fun. Or maybe my Beloved would like a bike with more pizzaz than his crappy 90’s mountain bike-thing. The Shogun was on Craigslist, that endless den of temptation, and it was pretty, lugged steel. Look at that head tube! Cream and blue! So I bought it.
Is it my size? Dunno. Does it work? Perhaps. Did it need work? Oh yes.
The Shogun is now in pieces in my living room. A lovely fellow from Bike Forums, Abarth (his pseudonym) came by to help me disassemble it. Now I am slowly cleaning it in order to reassemble it. I have learned many, many things in the process.
Number 1: Dirt hides rust, and rust is the enemy
Number 2: Vinegar is your friend and will kill rust, but the resulting bare metal is, well, ugly.
Number 3: Cleaning all these parts is a big pain in the butt and takes a long, long time
Number 4: But it’s fun, in a time-consuming sense
Okay, so the Shogun is nearly ready to be reassembled. The paint was in very bad condition, so I went at it tooth-and-nails with vinegar and the tip of a metal nail file. As the above photos demonstrate, the results were… spotty, literally. Truthfully, the Raleigh Sports’ paint is in equally bad condition, but I didn’t take it upon myself to rid the that bike of Every Bit of Rust in an Epic Quest for Rustlessness. Did I mention my obsessive need to complete projects once I embark on them? Anyway, I coated the bare metal on the Shogun’s frame with clear nail polish. Boy, from a distance, it looks smashing…
Just don’t get too close. The components are shining up rather well, and once it’s finished, it will look okay, I think. I have another white Turbo saddle to pop on it, and it will get a nice pale grey bar tape. I bought stainless cables, instead of the crazy bright blue it came with, and pretty MKS Sylvan Touring pedals to attach. New gumwall Panasonic Pasella tires will complete the look. I will eventually add inexpensive fenders and a rack, assuming the bike fits and I like it.
I think it will make an excellent run-around the neighborhood, grocery-fetching, rain-riding, don’t-worry-about-it-being-stollen sort of bike. The Panasonic is too pretty for that sort of riding, and doesn’t have braze-ons for a rack anyway.
The problem is… if I fix up my Sports to be the Greatest Winter Bike Ever, it may also have all of the above qualities. In that case, the Shogun may go to live in our 36′ RV, for runs into town and rides with the kids. I just don’t know. It’s not the bike I thought it was, but who knows what I’ll think of it once it’s reassembled? I hope to finish it up by the end of February, at the latest. Updates then…