The Postmaster Part 8: Mostly there

This may likely be the final instalment of my series documenting the build of my restored Royal mail bike, The Postmaster.  Since the previous post I have changed the stem and handlebar setup so now they don't clash with any cargo on the rack.  The design of the bike and its front rack more or less forces you to have swept back handlebars which are reasonably high up giving a fairly upright riding position.  

I've rewrapped the bars in a harlequin pattern with red cotton tape and used clear shellac this time, previously I used quite dark amber shellac which was premixed and I wasn't too happy with the results.  Previously I used alternating brown and yellow tape and this came out much too dark with the dark amber shellac.  This time around I used blonde shellac mixed from powder, it more or less dried clear and the vibrant colour of the red tape came right through with a nice smooth glossy finish.

I've now been commuting on this for a little while now and am pretty happy with the bike overall.  Despite some niggles with it, the front rack is super useful. I've given people rides on the front, and been amazed at how good the handling still is with a passenger's weight on the front.  Slow speed handling is still quite good despite the weight of a person on the rack.  Also feedback from passengers is that the leather rack webbing makes for quite a comfy seat.  The handling is a little more twitchy than I'm used to on normal bikes, however I think that is the tradeoff for the weight capacity.  Also the more upright riding position makes for a noticeably slower bike, although in London traffic I'm not too fussed.  Enjoy the photos!


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