Monday, October 1, 2007

Part VIII: 1999 GT ZR 4000

Picking up from yesterday's brief interruption...riding a motorcycle was a enjoyable, but it doesn't compare to the exhilaration of a draft line or the sense of satisfaction of covering a long distance on your own power.

While I had taken up running a couple years earlier, my kid brother Brendan had been nudging me to follow his lead in getting into triathlons. So as a primer, he permanently loaned me his 1999 GT ZR 4000 road bike. Thanks, Brendan!

Somebody once said, "This is my grandfather's axe. My father replaced the blade and I replaced the handle. It's my grandfather's axe." Is that philosophy or geometry? I think it tends toward philosophical circles, but I would bet somebody could use side-angle-side to prove that theorem is correct. Anyway, I'm not exactly sure about it, but that same principle was about to be set in motion on the GT.

At the time of acquisition, the GT was a commuter with green knobbies and a partial paint strip.

I finished stripping it with the help of Jasco Premium paint and epoxy remover. That's good stuff. Just make sure to wear gloves and apply in a well ventilated area.

Next, it was powder coated for $40 at R&R Powder Coating on 19th and Leavenworth. The shop owner Ray is like your favorite uncle who chain smokes cigarettes and drinks coal-black coffee while talking shop. He did an excellent job: the powder coat is bullet proof, looks great and you couldn't beat the price.

Then it was time to assess the components. I knew that the chain, chain rings & cassette were well-worn, but I wasn't ready to invest much more money in it because I was unsure if I'd enjoy cycling. So I opted to replace the cassette and put some new Bontrager yellow Race X Lites tires on it. The big bucks would have to come later.

I didn't ride much at first: commuting to work, during UP lunch rides and in the 2006 Corporate Cycling challenge. But this past summer, I finally caught the cycling bug during long group rides. It was never easy. Pain may better describe it. Maybe even preposterous. Somehow, this equates to good times. Cyclists are nuts.

All of the wear and tear over the years finally caught up with the bike. The day after it's final triathlon race, it went to crap. Bryan's idea of pissing into the seat post tube to restore what Brendan and I rode out of it was creative. Crude, but certainly creative.

Instead, I have decided to rebuild it properly, which could cost more on upgrades than the bike was worth brand new. That being said, I'm looking for parts: 105s or better. It needs shifters, dérailleurs, cassette, hubs, an axe blade...

Ol' Yeller has been restored.


  1. What I have available: 105 Shifters (for a double crankset only), 105 front/rear der. (front may not be correct size for your seat-tube), old cassette, wheelset, maybe a chain. All stuff is 9 speed.

    What you'd need to get: Double crankset and bottom bracket, brakes if you wish, but your current ones are probably fine if the pads aren't worn to the metal.

    Let me know if you're interested. As Matt knows, a few burritos will get you far in my book.

  2. I think you should just ask Peter if you could "borrow" one of his bikes. Just until he needs it again, of course.

  3. I'll be in contact about the parts, Mike.

    I have a proclivity to ghostride and repaint loaned bikes. How about the Lemond, Mr fredcube?