Whoops! (Introducing… Salmon Ella, a Sears Free Spirit mixte)

Whoops! (Introducing… Salmon Ella, a Sears Free Spirit mixte)

Salmon Ella! (Ella for short)
Oopsie. I bought a mixte.
It appears that I have a bicycle fetish, in addition to my shoe fetish.
(At least she was only $30.)
The photos really don’t do her paint colour justice.
Where it has been scraped you can see the red undercoat under the pearlized salmon-pink topcoat.
Headbadge decal.
Decal on bottom tube.
Assembled In Canada decal. I wonder what the numbers mean?
The frame serial number is stamped into the rear fork.
The drop bars are stamped SAKAE CUSTOM JAPAN and ROAD CHAMPION.
Sakae Ringyo (or SR) are a Japanese parts-maker according to Sheldon Brown,
and their parts may allow me to find a date for this bike based on this article from Vintage Trek.I added a huge, loud ding-dong bell (seen in the drop bar picture above)
while I was at EBC with my SIL replacing the brake pads:

Right now the bars are wrapped with cotton tape, which looks incredible
but I am not finding very comfortable, so I will need to test out alternatives then rewrap.
The rubber hoods over the hand brakes are still pretty supple despite the cracks visible here.
The bottom bracket, chainwheel and pedal parts are stamped SAKAE as well,
with CUSTOM-A stamped on the cranks (which are cotterless).
Shimano Altus derailleur
Rear cogs and rear derailleur also stamped Shimano.
CHANG-STAR U brakes.
Aluminum rear mudguard (the front one is missing).
Aren’t the rims pretty? The tires are marked
28-630 ( 27 x 1 1/8 )
Vinyl spring mattress saddle.

So, my first trip on Ella was awkward but fun. Having (barely) ridden my SIL’s very gorgeous Italion Fiori fancy & expensive road bike (another Kijiji find, we’re just lucky :P), I was prepared for the angle and difference in feel of the bike when compared with Daisy or other “normal” bikes…what I was NOT prepared for though was the difference with the frame vs hers. My frame feels slightly more forgiving than a rigid road bike, and I’m going to guess that’s probably not all in my head? After reading a few posts on Lovely Bicycle! about drop bars, racing bikes, etc, I’m totally enamoured with the different workout I get. On Saturday (a picnic party in a park!) I did roughly 5km (2 laps of Hawrelak park road which I’ve discovered is 2.4 km plus biking around and going over the bridge to the zoo) and definitely felt a new muscle “ache”. I say ache because it wasn’t really ache so much as a noticeable change in which muscles were used. It’s GREAT!!

Downside to Ella’s mixte frame (I’m reaching for these):

  •  Her angles are definitely different from what I’m used to, so when I tried to step through…lets say it was weird. It’s not impossible to doing a rolling dismount, it just will take practice.
  • Because of the double bars the width of the “top” bars is more than I was expecting, especially when having to hop off quickly because some idiot car cuts you off…you know? So I have a large (1″ by 6″) bruise on my inner thigh. It’ll heal, and it’s good for bragging rights 😛
  • The tires are high pressure which means they absorb nothing. Which is fine so long as you lift up when going down the bumpiest/potholiest roads EVER. Lesson learned!

All in all I’m IN LOVE. Seriously, the difference in muscles used and the awesome speed completely justify the total of $40 invested thus far.

Things I need to think about:

  • new wrap on the bars, have you any suggestions? I had a sore palm after my first “big” ride but I think that was more new positions. I do know I need to lower my seat a bit and fix the angle properly so I’m not using my arms and hands as much.
  • new seat. This is an “eventually” since her seat is actually pretty decent. In a perfect world I think I’d be getting a Brooks…but that might be a save up and take my time to get.
  • front fender. I might just do away with it for the time being, I’d like something matching IF I were to put a fender on, so maybe I’ll be looking to buy some pretty ones online…Ohhhh the possibilities!

I really think that’s it, unless I’m missing something drastically needing replacement? Yikes?

3 thoughts on “Whoops! (Introducing… Salmon Ella, a Sears Free Spirit mixte)

  1. I hope you are enjoying Ella! Help others have access to bicycles by simply eating chocolate!

    The Bicycle Factory is giving Canadians the opportunity to help send up to 5,000 bikes to Ghana – by eating chocolate! Participants also have a chance to win a trip to Ghana to help deliver the bikes. Details are online now at  http://thebicyclefactory.ca

  2. Aditi, thanks for sharing – COOL project! Angel and I both have children with peanut allergies, so no Cadbury chocolate for us – but we can (and do) eat their other products. Hadn’t seen anything about this yet so I really appreciate a commenter mentioning it. (Although I’m guessing you’re not just a commenter… =D)

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