Well, it's been slow going on building up the Velo Orange Mixte for my girlfriend. I've been a bit busy with adjusting to being a business owner, for one thing. And while the bike shop season hasn't really "hit" yet, we've been teased with just enough spring-like weather to ramp up the demands on the service area, so I've been busy with that too.
But I did manage to get some work done the other evening. Specifically, I prepared the frame and fork for headset installation, then installed the headset and fork.
For those that may not know, the headset is the bearing assembly that allows the fork to turn smoothly. It's important that the head tube (the part of the frame the headset fits into) have nice, smooth, clean, round bores into which the headset is pressed. In addition, the top and bottom "faces" of the head tube need to be parallel to each other and have a nice flat surface to them. A bit of time and care with the proper tools, and all is good. Similar work generally has to be done to the fork to prepare it as well.
Once the frame and fork have been prepared, the headset simply gets pressed into place, using a special tool that applies a good amount of force while helping assure alignment as it presses the pieces in. It's entirely possible to do it using homemade solutions, but I have the benefit of a well equipped bike shop at my disposal!
The final step to the process is sliding the fork into the headtube, through the headset cups, then installing the adjustable cup and lock nut on top. Final adjustment will happen later when the bike is just about complete.
I chose a Velo Orange Grand Cru headset, which looks spiffy and has sealed, cartridge bearings, which hold up well and make for easy servicing down the road.
Meanwhile, the front wheel with Shimano Dynohub is ready to go, and the rear wheel with Shimano Nexus 8 speed internally geared hub is awaiting final tensioning and truing. Most of the rest of the parts have been gathered, and will be addressed as we proceed.
More photos are here:
Velo Orange Mixte 3-6-2011