A 1974 Carlton Criterium :

In which the Re-Cyclist posts updates on the work undertaken to revive this neglected old classic English red, white, chrome and blue machine ( on a budget ).

as usual .. sad but free !

The components as acquired were :

Raleigh 3-arm cottered steel crankset 40 / 49 T rings.

it weighs a ton.. sigh.

Brampton BB cups ( standard English threading ) & Phillips spindle.

Suntour 14-24T ‘Perfect’ freewheel 5-speed.

Simplex Prestige rear derailleur  ( plastic / steel ) with bolt-on hanger.

Non original Shimano tourney front derailleur.

Generic steel seat post 26.4mm.

GB Neta alloy stem.

frozen stem … damn !

Alloy drop bars unmarked  36cm wide

Brooks (?) saddle ( missing )

Sturmey-Archer high flange nutted hubs, steel body with alloy flanges 36H. – O.L.D. as measured, front = 96mm – 5/16” axle , rear = 122mm – 3/8” axle.

oh no .. more rust ( but none on the spokes ? ).

Carlton “C” decorative insert in wheel nuts.

Weinmann 730 callipers, Weinmann levers with Carlton hoods.

only one shorty mud guard ..

27” steel rims – MKS quill pedals ( non-original ) – Unbranded head set.

Dimensions – 55cm seat tube – 57cm top tube centre-centre.

There are a lot of steel bits, making the complete bike heavy, but when stripped down, the frame is a reasonable weight. I have a feeling it will ride comfortably as it seems well designed, though the medium weight tubing is not exotic. ( Possibly Tru-wel  high tensile steel ). 

Luckily the fork thread and BB cup threads are standard 24tpi ( not Raleigh 26tpi ) threading, which makes it easier to change these parts if needed. Carlton was taken over by Raleigh around 1960. 

The fork and head tube plus head lugs are chrome plated, and this continues along some of the adjacent tubing. 

The first thing I check on with such a rusty bike is whether or not the seat post or stem is seized, and sure enough, the alloy GB stem was really stuck. You hear all sorts of methods for this ( caustic soda, diesel, heat and so on ) and you may be lucky, ( or you may just make a hopeless mess ). 

My preferred way is to cut the stem off and use a step drill of about 20mm total width. It needs to have a hex shank to fit an extension rod to be used so the drill can go right down into  the steerer. I find that the step drill bit tends to centre itself, avoiding damage to the steerer.

some useful tools and a dead stem..

At some point the heat and pressure of the bit should loosen the remaining stem and release it.

Believe me, I tried to get this one out without damaging the stem, as I like the GB components, but there was no way it would release.

It’s best to avoid normal drill bits or wedges, as it’s so easy to bulge or cut the steerer. I also used a hacksaw to make some internal cuts in the stem to weaken it for the drill. It pays to put an old top cap on the fork threads for protection, while working away.

This job took quite a bit of time and much cursing.

To be continued…

A 1962 Speedwell Special Sports :

I didn’t really have to do much on this one, as it had already been well looked after and was in very roadworthy shape. Nevertheless, I’ve changed the bars from a riser type to the swept back version, which I find more comfortable. Not so much because they give a more upright riding position, more that they are more like drop bars with their parallel wrist and hand positioning.  

The curve in some of these handle bars does make the brake lever fitting more difficult, as there isn’t enough room forward of the grips for the clamps to be on a straight section of bar. They are more suited to coaster brakes in that respect, but will work here anyway.

For the time being, I’ve put on a re-built set of wheels with aluminium rims ( 27” ). They are 36/40H in place of the 32/40H steel ones that would be standard. Meanwhile, I will give the old hub an overhaul.

Some time in the early 60s, the Special Sports decals were changed from the longer lasting down tube paint stencils to a more vulnerable decal. Thankfully this green example has some of the best of this type of decal I have seen.

The main motif on these is an ‘eagle’ design, the old Australian and UK flags on the front forks have disappeared, replaced with a stylised “S” design. ( The black eagle’s head on front end of the down tube and top tube decal is small, and hard to see from a distance ). This bike is number V93029, so the eagle motif pre-dated the change to a ‘W’ prefix serial number.

These decals were changed again somewhat later toward the mid 60s, with a complex ‘boomerang’ style motif.

The bike has the usual Monitor Ventura brakes, Williams chain set, Phillips Apollo pedals and colour matched mud guards ( or fenders, if you like ). 

Some may consider the Special Sports a heavy ‘school boy’s’ bike, but remember that this type of sturdy and reliable bike developed from an era where basic transport cycling was at least as important as the leisure cycling of today, roads were generally rougher, and not everyone owned a motor car. Although fairly heavy, that was largely due to the all steel components. These bikes are not racers, but they are not made of so-called ‘gas pipe’ either.

They are a pleasure to ride.

Following are some pics of another sports, late 50s, with the older ‘wing’ motif design. I’ve featured this one before, but it now has the correct brakes. The Bell saddle has been put aside for preservation while this bike is being used for riding, but otherwise it is visually close to an original, except that the ‘flag’ decals below the fork crown have worn away. This model’s classic decal design is my personal favourite of the special sports bikes. The design before this one ( mid 50s) has a more angular down tube “S”, but is otherwise similar.

above is the older mid 50s down tube script, on ‘wing’ stencil.
early 60s fork decal (L), mid 60s “boomerang” (R)
the blue bike late 50s ( worn BP decal is not original ! ) (L), mid 50s chromed and painted fork (R) – note that the steering head bearing cups have also changed from semi-fixed seats (R) to removable cups (L)

Happy Re-Cycling !

A 1985 Peugeot PX10 :

It’s surprising what can be found on a ride through the suburbs with the bike radar on. This Peugeot (minus wheels) had a “free” sign on it, and the gentleman who had put it out was happy that it was going to be re-cycled ( I went in and asked about it ). I had to come back later with the van to collect it.

ooh ! nice.. as it is now.

Condition notwithstanding, it’s probably the highest quality bike I have ever picked up this way, and is made of Reynolds 531 Professional tubing. Apparently, 531 Pro is a version of the lightweight 531SL ( Pro = SL main triangle with 753 stays ). This would also be one of the last versions of the long running PX-10 series racing bike. 

as it was found, with Look clip in pedals – note the quill seat post

The bike was originally sold by Boudin’s Cycles in the Channel Islands, so it has come quite a long way since then. The ‘85 build date can be ascertained from the serial number under the bottom bracket shell.

as found..

It needed urgent care, as corrosion had begun to set in. My main attention was on the Rubis model 983, 26.4mm seat post ( I still have nightmares about that Gitane Victoire ! ), which is a quill arrangement, and works much like an older style ( split ) quill handle bar stem. The split type probably spreads the loading more than a  45 degree wedge type – that type might possibly dent the thin walled 531 tubing. Still, it’s probably best not to over tighten one of these either..

PX10, size 58cm – this isn’t the serial number though.

I managed to free the partially seized clamp bolts intact, with some difficulty. The bike is useless without this seat post, as there is no pinch bolt on the seat tube, so cleaning all the threads and applying anti-seize to the threads and post when re-assembling was a must. 

Shimano 6207/8 group, except shifters.

At least the stem itself wasn’t frozen in the seat tube. I can also imagine replacements in good condition being somewhat rare, and therefore fairly expensive. 

surface corrosion needs attention..

The chrome on the forks was rusted on the leading edges, so I could only do my best to remove the rust and tidy them up, along with the (similar condition) chrome stays. The price was right, so I’m not complaining ! Some closely matching nail polish was used to touch up the paint after neutralising the rust.

lovely phillipe tdf bars

The group set is all Shimano 6207 with a 6208 SIS indexing RD and 7 speed non-600 shifters. Spacing is 100/126mm for 6 or 7 speed and rear drop-outs are by Simplex. 

The quill head stem is a traditional Atax, with very nice looking Phillipe ‘Tour de France’ D357 handle bars. At 39cm wide they are slightly narrow for me, but they look too nice not to keep there. 

The gum brake hoods were very dry, but not sticky, so with care I may get some life from them. They look so good that I will keep them on for as long as I can !

My days of accepting 52/42 chain sets are just about over, so I have gone to a 38T on the small ring, at first with a 14-28T on the freewheel. I’ve since changed to a 14-32T wider range 6-speed. I also have a very good condition MF-6208 freewheel in my collection, if only it weren’t a 13-18T !  There are a lot of hills where I live.. and this gives a reasonable low gear ( of 38 x 32T ) while still keeping the original 600 series 130BCD crank arms.

forks not so shiny from the front..

I started with using some tubular Mavic and Fiamme rims with Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo hubs that are a few years older than the bike. Tyres were Tufo s33 tubulars. I’ve since changed to Ambrosio Extra clinchers with Tufo ‘tubular clincher’ 24mm tyres.  

the first version, with the tubular wheels
the current version has ambrosio clinchers and 14-32T freewheel.

It’s a quick handler, and rides comfortably, at least for this type of bike anyway, even with a zero padded SMP ‘composit’ saddle !

I have seemingly overcome some problems I have had uploading photos to the blog, so hopefully i can start posting again.. fingers crossed.

Happy Re-cycling !

Loopy !

I’ve had this 1930’s step through in the back of my mind since I found it around 2015. Because it didn’t have the original paint work, I have absolutely no idea what it is. The serial number #165 is the only marking on it.

a lovely loopy !

The ‘lobster claw’ rear fork ends and keyhole front fork ends helped to indicate the era, as does the square-ish head tube flanges ( usually a pre-war feature ). Fittings were mostly Brampton, with a low flange Bayliss Wiley front hub. The rear coaster hub was not the original.

how it was rescued – loopy featured in a couple of older posts here.

While re-assembling, I realised that the fork threads are finer than the standard 24 t.p.i., so it’s lucky that the adjustable race, steerer, and top cap threads were still in good condition, as I then had no other real choice..  

I don’t have a lot of 1930s parts, so planned to use a mix of old and modern components, as there’s no point trying to be precise, when so little is known about it. 

Cranks are “Three Arrows” brand, made by Takagi, a Japanese company that started around 1897 and was later taken over by Shimano. These are not original, and I have no idea how old they are.

I used the 28” rims and guards from the previously abandoned 1943 Malvern Star, with a modern 2-speed SturmeyArcher S2C coaster hub, since that rear rim is a newer Japanese 36 hole. The rims are not in great condition cosmetically, however they will do for the time being.

One possible issue with using the S2C is the freewheeling noise in high gear, as these old bikes seem more pleasant with quiet coaster hubs fitted. I will have a backup coaster wheel for it, just in case it drives me bonkers, but so far it’s been fine.

sturmey archer s2c – and a well built frame in its day.

Normal gearing is 44 x 22T, which gives a high gear roughly equivalent to 44 x 16T. Basically, it’s headwind & tailwind gearing.

I’ve done a little simple floral hand-painting on it, which I enjoyed doing, but it can be difficult to achieve a successful result. As you may have noticed, it takes me a long time to get into a bike-painting frame of mind. Loopy has been an occasional project for me over a few months of the lock down, giving the paint a chance to dry before continuing on.

la la la loopy !

The overall theme is traditional black, with gold lug lines, but I’ve added some floral elements to cheer it up a bit.. 

To make the S2C hub properly fit the channel in the vintage rear fork ends I had to add a smaller 13/32” thread locknut from an old S-A hub to the large brake arm nut on the left side and dish the rim accordingly, to centre it. 

I chose the larger flange front hub to allow shorter spokes ( 299mm – 2 cross ) as the 305-312mm range 28” originals are hard to come by these days.

The geometry is a bit sporty for this kind of bicycle, i.e. there is less fork rake, and steeper head and seat tube angles than is usual for a classic step-through. It has the typical lateral flex of a step-through, but it’s a pleasant enough ride once accustomed to, so long as the hills are only moderate.

I call them “dainty” handle bars..

I’ve cut down and shellacked some cork grips to fit the dainty handle bar ends and shellacked a twined kick stand for it.

I would like to take this bike for a good long day ride some where, to show that it can be done without too much fuss..

Happy Re-Cycling ! 

Two Kats :

Two Kats :

the 57cm version

It’s unusual to see two identical models from the same ‘chuck-out’, but here are a couple of Shogun Katanas, both are the Shimano Exage 300 versions, which isn’t that much to brag about, being one of Shimano’s more basic road groups of the time ( mid 1990s ).

the 50cm version, closer to standard.

The derailleurs were Exage 300, with matching 7-speed index shifters, but also with heavy Tracer brand cranks, and cheapish looking Polygon nutted brakes, so they were obviously built to a price. 

Frame and fork are made of Templite ( ? ) Chro-moly, but this version is a very heavy ( plain gauge ? ) steel, rather than the butted Tange Infinity of many late 80s Shoguns. There is also an “Ultra” version of this tubing, but no information on it that I can find. Based on the steel forks salvaged from a later Ninja, the Ultra version is much lighter and thinner.  Incidentally, that particular Ninja was Aluminium framed and was stress cracked around the head tube, so I metal re-cycled it, while the steel frames will likely last forever, if kept reasonably rust free.

From what I can gather, the Katana at the time was next up from the base model road Shogun ( Selectra ?), then came the Samurai, then the Ninja. The most desirable would have been the Team Issue, likely made in Tange Prestige high grade lightweight tubing.

The heavy top tube on these Katanas is the same diameter as the down tube, and the frame probably has Hi-ten stays too, though being a bit heavy doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t ride well.

think pink…

As mentioned in a previous post, I was unable to remove the non drive side crank from the larger frame, because it lacked any threads from new … but I can be persistent when I start something.

Finally, after some butchery with a hacksaw and drill, I managed to save the sealed BB at least, if not the crank. These latest bikes all came from a town surrounded on three sides by salt water, and it shows, especially anywhere steel and aluminium touch, with rusting, fretting, and a ferocious chemical welding.

the smaller frame, post re-build – now sold.

The larger frame ( 57 x 56 ) came more or less complete, apart from a flat bar conversion and mis-matched wheels, but the smaller frame ( 50 x 54 ) didn’t have much on it. The plan was to fit the surviving original parts to the small one for sale and to keep the larger one, using different parts.

The first jobs after dismantling were to chase all the frame threads, neutralise rust and apply touch-up paint.

Drop-out wheel adjusters are often bent, but if you can save the little springs and end caps, then M3 x 0.5mm threaded hardware store bolts will work. I had to cut them a bit shorter with the rotary tool’s thin cutting wheel. 

Dia-Compe 500G brakes and silver shifters (57cm)

Although metallic candy paint suffers badly when left standing in the Australian sunlight, at least there is a good variety of cheap nail polishes in the pink through purple colours. I found a bottle that was an almost perfect match for this red-purple at $3-00 to touch-up paint chips on both frames !

The rear spacing is 130mm ( 8-speed plus ) but the shifters are 7-speed. I had a spare 130mm hub for the 50cm frame, with an 8sp. cassette that fitted, and with an adjustment to the derailleur H-stop screw it could be used either as 7-speed indexed ( sacrificing the small sprocket ), or 8-speed friction ( as the shifters can be switched between index and friction ). Given the 52/42 chain set, I personally wouldn’t bother, as the gearing is plenty high enough on the 2nd smallest cog.

On the larger frame, I used a compact chain-set and long cage R.D. which makes it much more hill friendly for me. The good old days maybe weren’t so good, as far as over-geared drive trains go…

the new drive train – 57cm

The mostly re-cycled components now fitted to the larger frame are :

Sakae SA 110mm BCD double crank with T.A. rings 46/36T & sealed BB, UN-55

SRAM 7speed 12-32T cassette

Genetic 44cm bars and 80mm stem

Cane Creek SCR-5 aero brake levers

‘Silver’ Dia-Compe down tube ratcheted friction shifters

Shimano Z-series F.D. and an early Deore RD-MT-62 long cage R.D.

Dia-Compe 500G nutted QR brakes

Mavic Open 4CD 36H rims, Suzue front hub, Shimano rear hub 130mm 7sp.

Schwalbe Durano cream 25mm tyres

Velo Orange hammered guards

I find that 50/34T cranks don’t suit older drive trains as well as this 46/36T with a 12-32T or 13-34T 7-speed rear because, in my view, the most regularly used gears should have the straightest chain line, and a 34T ring needs the smaller rear cogs a lot more . 

The geometry only allows a 25mm or so tyre with the V.O. guards, and the Mavic rims are best suited to this size also.

A fairly heavy bicycle, as mentioned, but otherwise nice to ride.

The SMP saddles are now my saddle of choice for drop bar bikes. I am now free of any of the perineal pain or numbness I used to get on longer rides when in the drops.

See Ya !

1935 Malvern Star, 28” Roadster – Part 2 :

An old 28” wheeled roadster that has been sitting around since its house paint was stripped, I’ve had a general idea of what I wanted to do with it, but haven’t got to do it ’til now. Painting is time consuming, yet the end result can be worth it, ( but for me, only if the original finish is all gone ).

rust-o-mod ..

Strictly speaking, it isn’t a 2-star, as the ‘star’ series didn’t start officially until 1939, but it’s easy to get into the habit of calling it that..

a certain charm..

As I’ve said before, if the original finish isn’t salvageable, and the bike has little collector value, I don’t see the need to spend a fortune on it trying to replicate the exact factory finish and parts. Rather, there’s a chance to do something different, hopefully without making it look like some garish ‘fixie’ project !

This was a good quality machine in its day, with BSA fittings all round. Unfortunately, the chainwheel teeth were badly ‘shark-toothed’, so I had to use a Williams B100, perhaps until a good BSA turns up.

this particular bsa / eadie coaster was not from this bike, though it may have been what was once fitted.

The painting has taken a while because I wasn’t sure how much to leave bare, as I wanted the rustic ( rusty ! ) look, rather than an all shiny finish. I used Langridge Rust Base paint for the rusty bits and left the top tube and chain stays bare and satin clear coated. The Indian Red colour was used to match the painted guards ( that came from another bike ) to this frame. Stars on the steering head and fork crown are a highlight of these frames, so they have been emphasised in white and red. The textured rust paint uses an activator, which is applied after drying, to give the effect of heavy surface rust.

seat stay detail

The front hub is a Bayliss Wiley 32H and the rear is an Eadie Coaster 40H. Rims are from Vicki’s old 60s Speedwell, donated when she fitted a 3-speed 700c set. The original rims would likely have been Westwood style, but these at least have their original paint and patina.  

I think I prefer these forks..

I also had to swap the forks for ones from a younger bike because the fork threads were too worn, causing the head set to continually loosen. This can sometimes be solved by having a frame builder apply a thin layer of brazing to the steerer, then re-cutting the threads.

I had to change these forks to the painted ones above.

I used the Indian red colour, so I could mix parts salvaged from a later Malvern Star, e.g. the mudguards. These bikes changed very little over the decades, and the newer forks, guards, etc. are more or less identical to the older ones.

The upturned drop handle bars are typical of the ‘all purpose’ roadsters of the time – some were sold this way, others aligned so by their owners.

The Eadie coaster hub brakes only gently, but is generally adequate for the speeds at which this bike will be ridden. The 44 x 18T gearing is good for the flat, but not on steeper hills, especially given the large diameter wheels and the overall weight.

14 more years and the frame will be an antique..

The bike rides smoothly, turns slowly, and handles rough roads with stability, as would be expected from a roadster design. It’s very different from what I usually ride, and is all the more fun for being so.

Happy Re-cycling !    

Loop Frame Speedwell Popular – 1969 :

This bike had some rusty components, but was otherwise in good condition. I needed to find some replacement chromed steel rims and less corroded handle bars, but most other parts were recoverable. The bottom bracket was excellent and the steering head needed a new crown race and lower bearings only.

ex-hard rubbish, and worth saving.

I love the simplicity of the old Populars, with no cables to clutter the lines they are a comfortable and good looking upright ride, so long as there are no steep hills to be climbed.

the classic logo, used for many years

For most of their era they had 28 x 1 & 3/8” wheels, and as far as I know, there is only one currently ( 37-642 ) available all black tyre, made by Vee Rubber in Thailand. However, this one has 27” wheels, yet retains most features of the older populars.

36H + letter M ( Sachs code for 1969 ).

The cottered cranks are Austral brand, made in Japan, and the rear hub is a Sachs Komet Super 161. The front wheel was not original, having a later JoyTech hub, and has been replaced by an Araya with Sturmey Archer hub.

The code on the Sachs hub shell 36M indicates 36 spoke holes and the ‘M’ dates it to 1969. I re-laced it to a better rim and new spokes, following overhaul. The Sachs coaster can lock the wheel if stamped on, but is only a gentle stopper with normal use.

note the hook for a skirt guard, but there are no holes in the mud guards..

The serial number layout has changed since the mid ‘60s, so it’s hard to date from the frame number on the rear of the chain stay. On the fork, however, there is a faint E9 code that I’m guessing also confirms a 1969 build.

I satin clear-coated the decals as they will deteriorate badly otherwise.

I’ve rubbed back the chain guard which had been over painted by a previous owner, showing some original colour underneath. I like to leave some of the old paint in these cases as it adds to the history. 

note ‘speedwell’ on adjustable race.

Step through bikes don’t seem to be valued much from a collector’s viewpoint, which is a shame, as they are surely as valid as any other type of roadster, and the loop frame models do have a dignity all of their own.  

why not a classic ?

I’ve also been informed by a Malvern Star expert that this cycle would likely have been made in their factory by this time ( as Speedwell had been sold in 1965 to the owner of Malvern Star – General Accessories – from the 1958 sale of M.S. by Bruce Small ). If it was Australian made it must have been one of the last of the home built roadsters.

Weinmann 730 fits well – no front brake originally.

I’ve added a Weinmann 730 front brake and Weinmann lever for a bit more safety in modern traffic. The white saddle is not original, but suits the bike, I think. Better would be a Brooks B18, but this bike will likely be sold, so that’s one for the next owner.

decal details…

Happy Re-Cycling !  

After the Chuck-Out :

There comes a period of consolidation, to reduce clutter and work out what we have. Hard rubbish days can yield everything from wheels to complete bikes, and sometimes to get a bike going again it’s necessary to mix and match. This is not so much about perfect originality, more about just keeping an old banger functional and useful.

this one was recently built up from a discarded frame-set and mostly re-cycled parts.

If a wheel is complete and fairly straight, it can be enough to overhaul the hub and perhaps true it, but this is usually the exception. Mostly there are corroded rims, rusty spokes, old dry grease, and pitted cones to deal with. It can be a dirty job, but the price is right..

some of the usual mess…sigh.

Here are some recently acquired hubs following overhaul : Sansin,  Shimano, Suzue, JoyTech ( Jou Yu ) and a couple of SunTours, made by Sansin ( Sunshine ).

sansin, shimano 7sp, suzue, joytech, suntour pair ( sansin )

Interestingly, the ’84 JoyTech rear hub has sealed bearings, something I haven’t seen in this vintage before. It needed a good flush out, made difficult by the enclosed design, but seems to be in useable condition.

this cleaned up F & S Komet Super 161 coaster hub belongs to the gold speedwell popular in the previous post

Some of the hubs will need replacement cones – I use either new generic or second hand cones, but only the latter if they have absolutely no pitting.

Bear in mind that many original cones for basic hubs won’t be easily available now. In the pic below, I’ve turned any worn cones inside out on the axle, to remind me they need replacing, now that the hubs are cleaned.

left : velo 32H, joy tech 36H, speedwell 32H – right : velo fixed/free 40H, dhb hi-flange 32H

New ball bearings are also a must, unless everything inside is still shiny bright after cleaning. If the cone was pitted, then likely the bearings will be too. 

If the hub shell races are pitted, I don’t bother with the hub, but it can still be worth keeping the axle, seals, washers, and nuts.

Because the width of cones can vary a lot, different width locknuts can be used to tailor the “ over locknut dimension “ to better fit the fork or dropout width, when non-original cones are used. I always salvage any hub parts in good condition, and keep them organised, ready for use, in separate containers for 5/16” nutted fronts, 3/8” nutted rears, M9 Q.R. fronts, M10 Q.R. rears, 3-speeds, etc.. 

this is my ‘old bike’ 5/16″ nutted front hub ‘box-of-tricks’..

When the substitute cones are smaller in outside diameter than the originals, there can be a gap to the seal that may let in grit. Sometimes using a different seal can work, but they can vary in outside diameter too, and often won’t fit the hub. If there’s no alternative, I might use rubber o-rings around the outer cone, to help seal the gap.  

an absolutely brilliant bike part recycling tool !

This Ryobi cordless rotary tool (above) is great for hubs and skewers, when used with the tiny Dremel wire brushes ( and later the soft polishing wheels, with Autosol ). It will reach into most tight spots and is also useful when reviving brake callipers, down-tube shifters, derailleurs, headsets, etc., to selectively remove surface oxidation. 

The little cutting wheels are useful for shortening small replacement bolts, e.g. mudguard stay bolts, that are too long.

Happy Re-Cycling ! 

Some More Re-Cycling :

Ahh, chuck-out season again, and lots of little surprises – like the old flared head tube of a Malvern Star that’s been hacksawed badly to fit newer removable cups … a pity it wasn’t cut straight ! The top cup is seriously loose and as there is no dirt under the repainted guards, I’m thinking that the refurb. was a total failure and the bike unridden since. 

So long, 1943..

That’s a bit sad really, because the 3M prefix serial number dates it to Melbourne, 1943 …

Nevertheless, there is a good chrome ( later ) 28” front wheel here with 32 spokes, and some spare mud-guards at least .. it’s a shame about the bodged overhaul though, as I would have had the steering parts for the original headset style. The rear hub has a Perry brake arm on a Favourit hub, suggesting a change over from a 40H to 36H hub shell at the time of ‘renovation’. A lot of trouble, for naught…

Completely ruined …

A Shogun, a 26” Trail Breaker I think, where the previous owner has put adhesive tape over the decals, perhaps to prevent theft ? Now it is almost impossible to remove without damage – sheesh ! … 

No sticky stuff on bikes, please !

Another problem with a Shogun Katana Exage 300 model was the left Tracer brand crank having not a single thread to remove it with – and, it appears to have been fitted this way at the factory !!These early 90s Shogun ‘Templite’ 4130 frames are heavy, they don’t have the nice pantographed seat stay caps and, to this re-cyclist, they aren’t a patch on the older 80s Tange Infinity frames. 

Factory fitted crank, with no removal thread ?? Shame, Shogun, shame.

I’m contemplating whether getting a small automotive gear puller would be worthwhile to try and remove the crank. Possibly – but only if it were an Infinity frame. Never mind, I have a smaller brother frame that came with it, and that one may take the other parts.

This one shows promise…

On the positive side, an unrestored gold Speedwell Popular loop frame shows promise, but it needs a lot of rust removal and/or some better chrome replacement parts. I’m not normally that keen on the post mid 60s Speedwells, but something about this one really appeals, as it still has the box lining and the typical cut-aways in the head and fork lugs.

Not in too bad a shape

This model seems to mark the change from 37-642  (28”)  to  32-630 (27”) wheels, which allows for a better choice of rims and tyres, at this point in time.

What’s not to like ? Some rust attended to..

It came with a 36H Sachs Komet Super 161 coaster. I’m thinking around very late 60s or very early 70s. I will post some more of this one, as the work proceeds.

See Ya !

A 1987 Raleigh Granada 10 :

It’s always a bit disappointing to see a decent bike let down this much .. but the best side of it being unloved is the good value, as the frame and fork are intact and straight, and everything else can be either cleaned, repaired or replaced. The original guards and rack weren’t on it when acquired.

pretty tragic…note the brake levers !

The Raleigh Granada 10 was something of a throwback for a 1987 model, with ‘only’ ten speeds ( 2 x 5 ) and centre pull brakes, also, the Sachs-Huret ‘Rival’ derailleurs were hardly state of the art, even back then. However, a Reynolds 531 main frame and fork still make it a very worthwhile project. The rear dropout width is 125mm, and would have accepted a 6 or 7 speed freewheel, so I’m not sure why only 5 speeds were fitted, other than for cost reasons..

ugly plastic shifters, and some weather exposure all round..

The Granada was middle of the range of the touring models from the ‘lightweight’ department of Raleigh in Nottingham, a separate division from their main factory.

Here are the relevant details from their ’87 catalogue :

a good reference.
the royal and randonneur were the truer tourers..

The main issues with this particular example were mismatched and non-original parts – i.e. both the wheels, a missing front centre-pull caliper, non-original rear derailleur ( but that Suntour short cage Sprint R.D. was their second top road model ! ), slight damage to the seat tube top from fitting the incorrect seat post, and plenty of surface rust. For some unknown reason, the better quality steel tubes seem to rust like blazes when neglected.

The double chain set, bars, and stem were the original Sakae equipment, but I wanted to fit wider bars, and also a triple chain set to gear it lower than just 36 x 28T. I had a spare Weinmann-Raleigh 610 centre pull caliper that I used to match the rear one.  

There are some other non-standard parts added, to make it a nicer all-round rider. The wheels and rear derailleur were past swaps from a race-style bike so these were replaced, and the removed Suntour R.D. and hubs will be overhauled for future use. 

Originality wasn’t critical, as this bike will be a user, ( it’s a bit rough ), and I’ve salvaged some parts from elsewhere, while some others are new.

I did fit a newer lower headset assembly, with better sealing.

Some of these parts are :

-Suntour ( ratcheted friction ) power shifters to replace the ugly looking plastic Sachs-Huret ones  ( though those probably would have worked just as well, and were also ratcheted ).

-Weinmann Provence, 36H double wall eyeleted rims, salvaged from an Avanti hybrid ( to suit 28-38mm tyres ).

-Shimano FH/HB-1050, recycled 105 hubset, with Sunrace 7speed 13-28T ‘hyper glide copy’ freewheel. 

these shifters look much nicer to me..

-Suntour VxGT rear derailleur, brought back from the dead ( the previously fitted Sprint is only rated for a 24T cluster, the VxGT for 34T  ).

-Salvaged 3TTT Forma ergo bars and Syntace threadless stem with Deda 1” quill adapter. 

-Used Sugino VP130 triple chainset with 46/38/26T T.A. rings.

..the Sachs-Huret f.d. works very well on these 3 rings

-Shimano BB UN-55 cartridge bottom bracket ( new ).

-Dia-Compe non-aero Q.R. brake levers (new).

-New SRAM PC830 chain

-Re-used Fizik Superlight bar tape.

-Soma cable stay support ( for the damaged rear braze-on hanger ).

the cable hanger stop was split, so I used this Soma hanger with it, just in case.

-SMP Composit saddle.

-Continental GranSport Extra 32mm tyres ( new ). These ride well, and are affordable too. 

The existing Sachs-Huret front derailleur works quite well on a triple, even though it doesn’t have the deep inner cage of full-on triple changers. Probably the mild 20T range helps here.

The old 80s VxGT rear derailleur changes so smoothly, it is an excellent non-index derailleur.

The frame accepts 32mm tyres without much fuss, and it is a supple frame, rather than a stiff one.

a silky drivetrain..I need to find a step-down ferrule for the rear derailleur cable though.

This drivetrain is very smooth, and so is the overall ride, even with the un-padded SMP Composit saddle ! 

Taa-daa ! I’m very pleased with how it rides.

And, for those that disagree with the threadless  stem and ergo bars, well, I can change them back anytime – if I want to ..

Happy Re-Cycling !