Those small changes to customise your bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB - Rider with fixie bike

©Barry Sandland/TIMB – The steady art of creating your own bike.

“I did not buy it like this. I bought it with brakes and everything. But over time I have changed pieces and transformed it into something more personal. (read more in the blog…)“It is a fixed gear now and I like it for its simplicity. To brake with a hand and brake with your legs. It is simpler. More logical. Two wheels, a chain, pedals. And when I am on a bike, it is something magical.”

Photographer’s notes: There are small steps and bigger steps that are part of customising a bike. I have spent an extra hundred or more on a brand new bike, asking for a different collection of gears, adding clip-on pedals, changing the tires into something slick and faster. When I was racing, it was far more expensive. Looking for a lighter chain set, adding a Cinelli buffalo hide saddle, getting a new wheel set. These were the expensive alterations that would happen once a bike. But the changes you choose to make are what makes the bike yours.

Today, in many ways it is easier. I buy bare frames and then add the components. They might come from the last bike (I break frames, on occasion), or a batch lot of second hand equipment from a racer depleting his garage stock.

What is certain is, whether you have one bike or seven (my current tally), each bike is “yours”, and each has its own personality.

When you get to this level, you know you have a problem.

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