Artist Renz Baluyot commissioned Valleybikes to create a commuter/ touring bike for him. He wanted a bike rack, fender, plus gears. When we discussed the color of the bike, he wanted something bleak and grayish. I suggested that we can go raw finish, making the bike a unique commuter, not wanting to stand out, but will definitely be odd.
Valleybikes acquired a Japanese steel frame complete with decals from a hidden bike shop somewhere in the valley of Marikina. The rack was not easy to find for we had to fit a lot of different racks to actually complement the whole bike. We had to bend the rack a little in order to be cohesive with the over-all look. Once it was slapped into place, it made sense.
The next challenge for the build is to make the bike look raw. These are trade secrets but I asked my trusty painter to work it. He scraped off the paint and retained the reflectorized original sticker from Japan. The crew put in the decals designed by the owner and sprayed it with Anzahl Carshow clear and topcoat to give it some dazz.
We had to rebuild both wheels and slap on new spokes and nipples for the wheelset. Everything (from the bottom bracket, to the hubs, to the drivetrain) was cleaned and restored to its original form. New chain and cog set were put in to ensure a smooth worry free ride.
The frame had a horizontal dropout so it was a challenge to look for a rear derailleur for the project. But the bike gods blessed us for we stumbled upon a grip shift with matching RD that fits a horizontal dropout frame. Oh yeah!
Once the bike was built, Valleybikes rode it and looked for flaws in the bike. We originally put in a sleek racer type saddle to complement the swiftness of the bike. But alas, it was too painful for the butt. We decided to go with comfort so we installed the thickest, fattest saddle there is. Now the bike rode like a dream. It is such a wonder to ride it and one can sit on the bike the whole day without ever complaining of a sore butt. Pain in the butt= we put that “behind”.
Like with all of the builds from Valleybikes, the owner and builder rode off one Sunday afternoon and got to know the bike. Ride hard, Renz. Live life with balance.