Bike Build Step #6

Cosmetics, Cockpit & Completion

Hey guess what!  My handlebars have arrived!  So, taking my single speed Frankenstein bike for a cruise, is a real possibility.  I am going to use this beautiful afternoon to apply a couple cosmetic fixes that have been bothering me and get my cockpit set up.

My vintage frame is equipped with a plethora of welded on cable guides that I have since been rendered useless with my rebuild.  It was also designed to carry rim brakes that will no longer be needed, so the welded on mounts for those can be removed as well.

I borrowed a Dremel tool affixed with a metal cutting blade and moved my maintenance rack outside.

I started with the smaller cable routing mounts, and then once I got the hang of it I moved onto the rim brake mounts.  Looking at the front fork, I decided to leave most of the mount and just remove the pegs.  I tried to just unscrew the pegs but for the life of me I couldn’t get them to go.

Exercising patients and a steady hand I methodically removed all of the mounts.  Already I feel the weight of nagging cosmetic nuances lifted from my shoulders.  Switching to a sandpaper attachment on the dremel I go over each location once more and smooth out the remnants.

A quick dusting and I am ready for touch up paint.  Just so happens that the paint job was done recently as you may recall, and I still have my spray cans at the ready.  Using some well placed cardboard and towels I blend the new paint to the old without overspraying any of my new parts.

I let it sit out in the sun to dry, while I get all the pieces to my cockpit together, feeling good about getting those nagging cosmetic issues taken care of.

Handlebars, Grips, Headset Star Nut & Cap

First and foremost, I have a 1” steerer tube that I adapted to a 1 ⅛”, so I needed a 1” starnut to secure the headset cap.  A star nut installation tool is a specialty tool that I don’t see myself using very often, but it’s cheap and I don’t know anyone that has one, so I bit the bullet and bought one.

The installation tool is easy to use and convenient, no guesswork needed.  I hammer the star nut into place.  I didn’t install the headset cap at this point because I may have to adjust the angle of the headset once I attach the handlebars.

I loosen the front of the headset enough to slide my new handlebars in.  I chose handlebars with a little bit of a rise to them for comfort reasons since I plan to use this as a commuter bike and not a trail bike for the most part.  I tighten the bolts down in a cross “X” pattern to keep the pressure even.  I orient the handlebars at zero degrees to start, and will adjust them after a few rides once I get a feel for where I want them.

Eyeing up the orientation with the front wheel, I determine where straight is, make sure all the bolts on the headset are tight, then install the headset cap into my newly installed star nut.

As you know, my simple, minimal design requires no cables or levers.  So the only thing left to install is the grips.

I got a pair of brown leather, ergonomic, lock on grips to match the saddle.  I slide them into place and roughly position them where I think they should be, tighten a couple Allen bolts and I’m done.

Stay tuned for recaps and reviews of my first rides!

Tools Used For This Step:

Dremel with a metal cutting bit and sandpaper bit (borrowed)

Spray Paint (left over)

Star Nut Installation Tool


Allen Wrenches

Total Cost For This Step – $121.39 (111.96 Euro):

1” Star Nut – $5.50 (5.07 Euro)

Star Nut Installation Tool – $22.95 (21.17 Euro)

Headset Cap – $16.98 (15.66)

Handlebars – $33.06 (30.49 Euro)

Grips – $42.90 (39.57 Euro)

**All parts are linked to the same or similar parts on Amazon**

Complete Cost of the Bike Build: $560.82 (515.39 Euro)

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