Suddenly, the afternoons and evenings are much cooler. As the temperatures begin to drop and I find myself wrapping up a week so incredibly long that  I haven’t had even the slightest instant to pedal a single stroke, a shroud of anxiety falls over me. Each day is shorter than the next. My work area is illuminated as I scramble to shoehorn in a little time here and there on my 650b build. I should have ridden more this summer, I tell myself as Autumn further encroaches upon my dwindling daylight hours.

The Katakura Silk 650b build progresses. There’s a lot of finessing and fine tuning left to make, but I was very impressed with the quality of the short ride I made up and down our street yesterday evening. OK, so I suppose I did manage a couple of revolutions of the pedals after all – but no more than a couple hundred yards: Five minutes under cool night skies. Had I not been feeling such exhaustion at the time, it would have been more than perfect for a night ride.

My goal to mimic the ride quality of my Boulder – but in 650b – has moved one step closer to reality. The rough fit is surprisingly close to my Boulder Brevet and really cushy. I’m disappointed with the initial lack of “grabbiness” of the Tektro 559 calipers. I also am unhappy there’s barely enough reach in front…close enough that I’m concerned and will likely investigate center-pulls instead. (This, of course, I should have done in the first place.)



4 thoughts on “Progress

  1. Tim F says:

    Ah, so you ended up keeping the Katakura Silk! Looks like a fun 650b conversion. Looking forward to reading more about it.

    • I did. It was really almost just too tough I’ll call to sell it off. It’s also been a real eye-opener discovering it is such a good candidate for the 650b conversion. If it works out as well as I think it’s going to, in fact it will be the Velo Routier that winds up going on the selling block.

  2. The Katakura looks so right with the 650Bs. Amazing, considering there has been no optimizing of clearances or fender lines. I look forward to the completion.

  3. Jim, I was amazed myself. After tracking down some new (to me) information about Katakura Silk models built in the same era, I discovered they had designed a randonneuse with 650b x 38 tires – same as what I’m running here. I have absolutely nothing to go on aside from a wild ass guess, but I speculated about the possibility that the company designed all the similar models (sportive, randonneuse, PX, etc.) with the same clearances in order to maintain fewer standards. That would explain why the conversion was so painless. Just as likely are a hundred and one other possibilities. At the moment I’m simply happy it worked! Shakedown ride when I get finished painting tomorrow!

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