Bicycle on balcony overlooking cityscape

She’s ready

I had two orders of business today: cut the seatpost down to size and add lights and a bell.

Before cutting the seatpost I wanted to get a good idea what the minimum would be that I would need to remove. So I had a look at some photos of Ol’ Paint before the project began to see if I could get a good idea where the saddle used to be.

Ol' Paint before the work began
Ol’ Paint before the work began

It looks like the height of the seatpost was roughly equal to the distance from the top tube down to the silver sticker on the seat tube. The sticker is long gone, but it looks from that photo like it was in line with the brake mount. So using that as my guide, I figured I needed to cut about 10cm from the seatpost.

Cutting a seatpost with a hacksaw
Cut on the dotted line

By great coincidence, the seatpost already had a marking 10cm from the bottom: the line of minimum insertion. So the new line of minimum insertion will be 10cm from the new end of the seatpost.

I already had a hacksaw, so it was just a matter of perseverance. I’ve seen a number of bike assembly videos where they cut the steerer tube to length, and it always takes just about three strokes of the saw and then they cut to the finished product. I’m afraid it took me a bit more effort than that, particularly as I don’t have a proper vice. (And at one point I considered giving up and taking the seatpost into the workshop and using the vice there. But after a brief rest I continued sawing.)

Seatpost after cutting off end, with hacksaw
Cut down to size

There are a few scratches from the blade. The seatpost is aluminum, so I’m not too worried about those, or the raw end of the cut. I took a few minutes to file off the rough edges.

Cut end of seatpost and file

After that I greased up the post again and reinserted it into the frame. After pushing the seatpost down nearly as far as it will go, I mounted up (yes, on the balcony). It feels about right. I’m sure I’ll fine-tune it a bit once I’m riding her.

Bicycle on balcony overlooking cityscape
Seat post is good: She’s ready

(I need to clean up the baby powder I spilled when I installed the inner tubes.)

I found the old saddlebag from Kuroko (the one I used until I realized I needed more room for onigiri) and cleaned it up.

Bicycle on balcony showing newly installed saddlebag
Saddlebag contents: one spare inner tube

Lights and … Action!

The only light in my spares box is a seatpost mount, and with the saddlebag there’s no room for it. So a trip to the bike shop was in order. On the way out of the building I stopped in the basement to check what taillight I had on Kuroko: I wanted to have the same one for this bike. Luckily the shop had it, and then it just took a couple of minutes to pick out a headlight and a bell.

Bicycle handlbar showing headlight and bell
Headlight and bell

Bicycle showing saddle and saddlebag with taillight

And with that, she’s ready. Well, I have to charge up both lights. The forecast is for rain all day tomorrow and Saturday, so I’ll have another go at getting the derailleur working more reliably. And then with luck, Sunday will be her debut.

See Reassembly: Day 1 and Reassembly: Day 2

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