Peter's Bikes

What does Peter ride?


Peter Jon White

my PJW bike

This is one of three bikes I ride. In the 1990s I was building frames, and this was my first attempt at a mountain bike, in 1994. I copied the excellent geometry of a Fat Chance, but instead of welding I used lugs and silver solder. The lugs are from Henry James. I rode this frame for many years on singletrack here in New England, and on several trips to Moab, but with a different fork. Now I have a more modern bike for singletrack and this bike is my all weather bike for around town and most local riding on dirt roads, of which we have quite a few. In Hillsborough, the prettiest and hilliest roads are all dirt, so fat tires are a must. Many components have changed over the years, and I've recently added lights.

Regarding the tires, you're eyes aren't deceiving you. The front tire is a 2.3, the rear is a 2.15. It's the biggest I can fit between the chain stays and seat stays. Bigger tires didn't exist when I built this frame in 1994. But the new fork has more clearance, hence the 26x2.3 tire up front.


The gearing is Shimano XT 8 speed, with a TA Vega triple crankset (42-32-20) and Phil Wood bottom bracket. Cassette is a 12-28. The day I can't climb the hills on this bike is the day I take up macramé, and I don't even know what macramé is.



Brian Chapman is a frame builder in Providence RI. Last fall (2015) I asked him to add some eyelets for running light wiring, and to make a few modifications to the frame for running wider tires and fenders. He did a great job.


2.1 were the widest tires I knew of back in 1994, so I only left enough clearance for that size, and no space for fenders. I had brazed in a seat stay bridge that was too low for fender clearance, so Brian replaced it with a nice curved bridge which allows me the use of a 2.15 rear tire and leaves plenty of fender clearance.


I had Chris Igleheart make me a new fork a few years ago, but forgot to ask him for some eyelets on the right blade for wiring. So I asked Brian to add the eyelets along with the other mods to the frame. I used plastic drip tubing that gardeners use for irrigation held on with little plastic "P" clamps. Then the wire from the hub dynamo to the headlight runs through the plastic tubing. Three eyelets down the back of the fork blade does the trick.

For my purposes the added wiring protection is probably overkill. But if you're leaving your bike in a bike rack at the train station every day, or tossing it onto the bike rack on the train itself where it will be swinging around with the other bikes, or stacked amongst 50 other bikes on the ferry crossing the Bodensee, there's no such thing as too much protection for your taillight wiring. This is how to do it!


One of these days I'll replace the missing set screw in the tridangle. Although the bike has cantilever brakes, I'm not using a cantilever mount for the headlight. The Busch & Müller long extension mount, Part # B&M474DLPB positions the headlight further forward than the standard mount, and so there's plenty of space for the brake cable to pass within it, and still access the switch at the back of the headlight housing. More photos below.


The eyelet at the bottom of the fork blade and the fender strut. Schmidt SONdelux hub, Mavic skewers.

wire routing

Here's where the taillight wire crosses from the top tube to the rear rack. I used the same drip tubing to protect the taillight wire. I built the frame with True Temper tubing and silver soldered it using Henry James lugs. It was originally painted a maroon color with yellow "Peter Jon White" decals on the downtube. Brian suggested a grey metalic with black decals. Brian's paint job is superb, and I really like the new look.

Notice the bolts used for attaching the rack struts to the seat stays? I really hate it when a rear rack comes loose. Using a hex cap screw, you tighten it with an 8mm box end wrench. Now notice the button head screw holding the drip tubing to the top tube? It tightens with a 3mm allen wrench. You can put a whole lot more torque on the 8mm hex head screw. And since I really don't want my rear rack coming loose, I use blue Loctite on the threads. If I used either button head screws there, or even cap screws using a 4mm allen head, the small interface between the wrench and the bolt could easily result in my not being able to get the screw out when I do want to remove the rack. The Loctite could grip the threads too firmly and the bolt head could strip. For the drip tubing, the bolts don't need to be quite so secure in the eyelets, so I can get away with the nicer looking button head screws, since I only have oil on those bolt threads.


I have a Tubus Cargo rear rack on this bike. Mostly it's to carry an Arkel Tailrider bag on the top of the rack. Occasionally I'll carry a Carradice Shopper pannier on the right side.


The simplest routing for the taillight wire has it running under the left side rail of the rack. If I were using this bike for touring with two panniers, this would be a problem because the wire would interfere with the pannier clamps. But for my purpose it's fine. Zip ties hold the drip tubing to the Tubus rack.


Busch & Müller Toplight Line Brake Plus taillight. Frankly, for riding around these parts, the brake light function is overkill. People here in rural New Hampshire are incredibly polite, and never tailgate. But when I needed to complete this rebuild, I didn't have the less expensive model in stock!


Schmidt SONdelux dynamo hub, black anodized. I prefer to use anodized aluminum parts for riding in the winter. Road salt will cause polished aluminum to stain. This bike gets ridden all year long. But Peter, why is your bike so clean? We had almost no snow here during the winter, 2015-2016. And the paint and rebuild was done in October, 2015.


When connecting and disconnecting the wires at the hub, position the connectors away from the fork blade. Otherwise you're trying to squeeze your fingers between the fork blade and the spokes to make those connections. This means that when figuring out how long to make the wire to the headlight, you must factor in the loop at the bottom. An extra 3 to 4 inches is enough.


The headlight is the new, as of 2016, Busch & Müller IQ-X. The beam on this baby is fantastic; extremely wide and it illuminates the road surface evenly. The extra long headlight mount replaces the standard mount that ships with the IQ-X, which is not compatible with cantilever brakes. Normally, I'd use a cantilever style mount, which would wrap underneath the brake cable yoke. But this headlight has such good nearfield light the tire would cast a large shaddow ahead of the bike because the cantilever mount would position the headlight lower; closer to the tire. This mount raises the headlight up more than an inch, reducing the shadow from the tire.


Yeah, I really should do something about that set screw.


The brakes on this bike are some old Campagnolo Icarus cantilevers. They're beautiful, and work great. The fenders are SKS P65.


Here are the Icarus brake levers and my beloved Cane Creek Ergo II bar-ends.

I use Shimano SPD pedals on all of my bikes.

My other bikes are a Rivendell Rambouillet and my new (as of 2013) Independent Fabrications mountain bike. I'll have pictures and descriptions of these bikes up soon.

Rivendell Rambouillet
Peter's Rambouillet

I'll have lots of "blah blah" about this bike soon.



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This page updated: Friday, February 9, 2018

Peter White Cycles
24 Hall Rd.
Hillsborough, NH 03244
603 478 0900 Phone