When you’re planning to do a bicycle tour, a bike is the most important thing you need. When we took the decision take a bike instead of a plane, we just owned a racing bike and an old Dutch bike, we could not use for the tour, and a quite good but old bike from Noemi, which we were planned to upgrade by substituting a few parts.
Quite coincidentally Laura ran into the bike repairman Kim in a tiny bike shop in Berlin. We were very lucky to meet Kim who offered to help us. He ad once befor build a bike for a friend who was also planning to go on a big tour. He taught as tings about bikes and fixing bikes, he helpes us deciding which parts would be necessary to add or replace, he got a some parts second-hand, which was good as our budget is limited. Thanks again for all your support, help and patience!
Kim lives and works in Berlin but ownes his own bike ahop in Ratzeburg (Schleswig-Holstein). For two months, once a week we went with him to Ratzeburg to work together on our bikes. For the nights we just slept in the bike shop.
Here is a picture I took at Kim’s shop: all children get their bikes fixed for free.
We started building Lauras bike. As Kim didn’t have a second-hand bike frame in her size he got a new steel frame for her.
The first bike is almost ready.
Then we built Noemis bike. Originally we had planned to just add or replace a few parts of the old bike, but as Kim got a suiting steelframe by chance, we replaced old aluminium frame with it. Steel is heavier than aluminium, but more solid. We had to remove a few parts which wee had already added to the aluminium frame and attach them to the new frame.
After all, just the handlebar, saddle and parts of the brakes are left over from the old bike.
Special about the bikes are very strong chains, a gearshift with good transformation (Rohloff) and low-rider on the front-wheels to carry extra luggage.