Kogswell First Ride!

It lives! The guys at Topanga Creek Bicycles began assembling the Kogswell last week and I was able to pick it up on Saturday. Unfortunately, some of the items that I spec’d out didn’t end up working with the frame, so it’s not completely finished, but it’s ready for the streets now. I was able to take the first ride on it yesterday to work and back. I snapped a few pics of her.

The bike rides great. It’s a crazy thing knowing that I built the wheels that I’m rolling on. It was my first set, and since then I’ve done three more. The tires are really comfy, almost too comfy. They have a limit of 50psi so sometimes they feel like they are losing air, but it’s just the way they are.

So the things that didn’t work out are the front brake, front rack and shifters. I thought that the front brake would work, but it was too short for the 650b rims. The rack is made to work on the front brake, so you can see where this is going. So I had to change the front center-pull front brake for a side pull. Not a big deal. I also have to order a different front rack to mount the hold the Rando bag.

Also, I ended up back with friction shifters. For some reason the bike wasn’t shifting right with the bar ends, so we went with downtube shifters instead. I’m fine with that, as that was how I was imagining the bike when I was first thinking about the build. It does take a little getting used to, but it’s mostly the reach. It feels much farther reaching to the downtube than I thought it would. I think friction shifting is the new fixed gear, or at least that’s what I’m going with.

For my ride to work I threw on my rear bag from Carousel Design Works. It’s a surprisingly huge bag. I threw my change of clothes in there for the ride in. Then, I rode out to a mexican restaurant for lunch, and threw a whole burrito plate in there. Nice!

So there are still some things left to do. The lights can’t go on until the rack arrives. Then they still need to be wired up. The fenders are still to be ordered, but those should come around the same time as the rack. Also, the tires should be on their way soon. The tires that are mounted right now are just too slow for a brevet. They will be great for some mixed terrain rides though. I think this bike will fit in with the Rough Riders perfectly.

I plan to ride the Kogswell at least one more day this week, but then it’s time to prep for the 400k. Now I have to decide which bike I’ll ride for the 400k, as I was planning to ride the Kogswell. Tomorrow I’ll post the route, it’s crazy.

  • Nice set-up, Errin! It’s nice when a plan comes together. I looked at your bike (photo) before reading your post. Once I started reading you answered my questions about the front brake and the downtube shifters. Many thanks.

  • It looks great! Sorry things didn’t go as smoothly as you hoped, but it will be worth the wait. I don’t think I could stand downtube shifters … too inconvenient!

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing the finished bike, and reading more about how it rides!

  • Lovely bicycle. What’s her name?

  • Apropos the brakes, if you tried Mafac Racers and they didn’t have enough reach, look for Mafac Raids. They work perfectly on my G1 P/R, one of the very few made without canti posts, and the TA rack fits on them perfectly.

  • Errin – fantastic to see this built up. I hope you’re enjoying it. Good luck on the 400K! Family stuff keeps me home today. Some ss Berthoud fenders would really set that Kogger off!

    HOw do you like the S-A-S saddle? I’m thinking of getting one for my soon-to-be-built Velo Cult/Nobilette.


    • Hi Esteban,

      Sorry you couldn’t make the 400k. So far I’m really liking the “Kogger”. We have the same taste, as I already had the Berthoud fenders on order.

      The saddle is still being tested. I didn’t have a good time on it during the 400k, but I’ve played with the tension and it’s feeling better. I can’t wait to see you VC/Nobilette. When will it be on the road?


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