So I've now fully assembled The Postmaster and have taken it out for its first proper ride. I finished stitching together the rack and fitted the lighting system, so it's good to go for commuting. I never really noticed it as much, but compared to other bikes I've ridden this bike has quite strange geometry. The front centre is quite long (that's the distance from the bottom bracket to the front axle) which makes the wheelbase long and the head/seat angles are quite relaxed which means that the weight distribution is more towards the rear. This gives the overall posture of a rear weight bias with a long front end sticking out, presumably with a whole bunch of mail on it!
The bike really handles quite differently with this handlebar setup, with a lot more weight over the front wheel, however I think I will have to change the setup. As the rack is fixed to the frame, the handlebars sweep over it when you are turning, so in the current setup they have the potential to hit whatever is in the rack blocking the steering. I didn't really foresee this funnily enough, and I think it could potentially be dangerous if the front load shifts around during riding and I can't turn when I want to...
You can see in the shots above that there is only an inch or so above the back limit of the rack and the bottom of the handlebars, not good! I spent a lot of time wrapping those bars, although honestly I think they came out too dark because I used premixed shellac which was a lot darker than I'm used to, it tended to completely dull out the contrast between the red and yellow tapes.
I managed to tighten up the BB cups and the movement went away... phew! The movement I was feeling before was purely the BB moving around in the shell, not a bad bearing which would have been a hindrance.
Still a few more things to sort out so stay tuned.