Apr 21, 2008

You Sexy Thing

Last summer I came into a very lightly used 1995 50cm Waterford 1200 road frame. It was in nearly new condition, and looked like it had been assembled but never ridden. The problem was that it was painted a purple-pink color with a silver fade on the rear triangle. I snapped up the frame because it was a bargain and I knew I would never let myself get a new Waterford, so my compromise was "get an ugly one for cheap".

It took about 3 months for me to regret that.

I reasoned (rationalized) that if I am going to own a Waterford frame, I should like how it looks, too, (dammit)! So I contemplated getting it painted. For weeks. I finally talked myself into getting it done at the Waterford factory, because I thought it would help the frame hold its value, and it was not all the far out of the way from my parent's house. Plus, it's a chance to see the the Waterford operation up close and personal. So come Thanksgiving last year, I threw the frame (gently) into my truck and headed for Waterford, WI. At the factory I met Richard Schwinn, and talked to several of the folks at the factory, two of whom actually remembered the frame when I brought it in (that is the advantage of a wicked ugly paint job). We landed on a metallic orange color (gold under orange) with new style Wateford graphics.

The results were fantastic!! I finally got around to having Jim Thill and his staff at Hiawatha assemble the thing while I was in Anchorage last week. He called today and told me it was ready, so without further adieu, here it is:

It is a terrible photo. I need to wait for a sunny day and get the damn camera on the correct setting (this one is too shaky) but at least it gives you a feel for the build. It's a combination of Shimano 105 and Ultegra parts for the most part, with a pair of Velocity Aeroheads (off center rear) laced to Ultegra hubs). I gave Jim artistic control of the specifics for components because I trust them and it works great! He stuck on some Tektro brakes that have more power than the Ultegra's on my LeMond. I rode it tonight and got it mostly dialed-in, but I am sure there will be more tinkering to come. I'll shoot some better photos in the next couple of days and re-post them to give you a better feel for the bike.

This just in...

Jim sent over a photo he shot today, so here's a picture that is actually IN FOCUS! Thanks HC for the build and the photo! (Ignore the ugly little troll behind the bike - he is just holding it up and certainly nobody you need to pay attention to).

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