Anyone remember the Road Chief ten speed from several posts back ?
I’m not surprised ! Not a very desirable bike …
But here is the surprise – the frame feels quite light compared with some of my other salvaged frames, and I think it would make a sound base for a semi-sporty single speed even though it isn’t made of anything exotic …
And for some time I’ve been wishing for a wheel truing jig so that I can swap and / or rebuild some hubs and rims for various projects.
I also want to reuse some of the many parts that are building up in the recyclist’s shed, meaning using as few new bits as possible and keeping the cost down..
One of my little jobs a while back was to repaint the frame in rattle can “Hunter Green”, while masking off the nicely cracked road chief decals to keep some history there.
The head tube decal was damaged, so I made a new metal one from some scrap copper, masking it off with clear coat and dipping in sodium polysulphide (sepia toner for photos) to blacken around the “R”, then I clear coated over it again and pop-riveted it to the frame. The back of the rivets needed filing down to clear the fork steerer. The bike is fitted with a new Dia-Compe headset as the old one was shot. Not sure about the gold now though !
I was going to have a go at building a wheel jig, but never seemed to get around to it – ( as you don’t ! ). So I’ve taken the easy way out, being well over trying to true wheels in the frame…and bought this basic Ulix – it came with no instructions but the operation is straightforward and I have some repair books that include wheel building etc.
Upon having a quick play, it is obviously going to be much better than truing in a frame or fork…
“Project Road Chief” will be a ‘poor person’s take’ on the Pashley Guv’nor – use the search term “path racer” to get an idea, but don’t worry about the pedantic and opinionated forum arguments about the definition – I just loosely read it as ” all-rounder, single speed, moderately lightweight, cream ‘semi-balloon’ tyres, retro look, relaxed frame angles with inverted ‘tourist bars’ — hmmm.
Perhaps “cycle-path racer” or “cafe racer” would be better terms for such vintage style sports-roadsters …
I plan a caliper brake front and a coaster brake rear, 700c alloy wheels and cream 35c tyres, modern alloy chainset and a leather saddle. I’ve salvaged the alloy rims from my Apollo Nouveau Cross and removed the hubs as they run too roughly. This will be my first attempt to build up a new-recycled wheelset, and that brings me to the very basic but compact Falcon CF-E10 coaster hub, of which I have a couple of salvaged spares. I’m hoping that it is robust enough to perform well as it doesn’t look as finely made as the older coasters.
One of these is on a small wheeled Schwinn ( a salvaged kids bike ) with 28 spokes, unsuitable of course, as the intended rims are 36 hole. The other hub is a 36 hole 20″ wheel but the axle is too short for the spacers needed for 126mm dropouts ( coaster hubs are around 110mm wide ) … so what to do ?
Easy ! Swap the internals with the long axle to the 36 hole hub – well, it sounds easy … but we shall see. Extra spacers should cope with the dropout width as I am fitting small into larger. The issue here will be maintaining a straight chain line for efficiency, which will mean reducing the crank axle width and/or using an offset rear cog. Luckily this hub takes the 3-lug and spring clip Nexus/Alfine style cogs of which I have many examples to choose from ( thanks, Shimano ).
Another problem with updating the many old ten-speeders I am finding is that the front fork dropouts are designed for wheels having only 95mm locknut width and with skinny 5/16 inch axles. An easy way around the locknut width may be to fit thinner locknuts to a modern 100mm front track nutted wheel – not always possible. Filing the dropouts out for a larger axle could affect safety, so I can’t recommend it – or else one can fit a wider 100mm fork, but that’s less appealing if it’s an ugly modern non-lugged unicrown type.
In this case I am going to try fitting the 80s 700c Alesa brand 317 alloy rim to an old but overhauled high flange steel hub. Many of the old chromed steel rims I find are too rusted to give pleasant rim braking and they are often dented as well, from having being ridden over bumps with low tyre pressure. For recyclists like myself, this often means having less good wheels than good frames on hand, which is another reason why I want to try some wheel rebuilding.
Speaking of wheels, here’s a trick for removing an old BMX 4-prong 40mm ‘Dicta’ brand freewheel without the proper tool – I used some old unidentified pawls from my scrap box and put them in a vice 40 mm apart as shown – put the freewheel on the “tool” – (with the wheel axle, bearings etc. removed first) – face down and turn the whole wheel anticlockwise – it beats a trip to the bike shop to be told “come back later we’re busy” – so there, LBS !
This freewheel is part of top secret “Project Haro” – but that’s another story !