I had the BB and headset installed on the Solitude today, so I finally got to see it as a bike.
There's no brakes yet, and the chain was on the freewheel side of the hub when I collected it from the bike shop, so I couldn't ride all the way home, but I rode the odd uphill section. Wow, the bike feels like it fits like a glove straight away. Normally, when I swap from my Inbred to my Kona or back it takes a while to get used to the new position, but this feels just right. I didn't even need to tweak the saddle height, after fitting it while the bike was still in two halves using the measurement from my Inbred.
I flipped the rear wheel to the fixed side when I got home. I had to lose another link from the chain to do it. I took the chain tugs off at first, but the rear wheel slipped just riding it across the garden, so they went back on.
Not being able to freewheel will take a bit of getting used to, but I've done a few trips around our street and up and down some kerbs with no problems. No brakes fitted yet, so I can't ride it anywhere I might need to stop in less than a couple of bike lengths.
I think 36:16 might be a tad too high a gear for round Hamsterley, but I've an 18t freewheel on the other side of the hub and 36:18 is just a bit higher than I run on the Kona. I'd probably be wanting the freewheel for the more technical stuff in the forest anyway. 36:16 feels like it'll be great for on the road and on the bridleways round here though.
I need to sort out a cable hanger for the front brake, and some cables. Then, once I've got the position of the bars and brake levers dialed in, I'll be able to tape up the bars and get in a proper ride on it.
I'll get some photos up once it's completed, but it looks pretty much like Alex's bike in the first and third photos on his recent blog post.
I'll be riding this bike at HamsterVI next month, if I get round to entering before it fills up.