Loopy in the Heat :

loop frame - as found

The last day of the spring heatwave and I’m out early, spinning on the Shogun, before the worst of the furnace.

It’s still chuck out season here, but there’s slim pickings so far. Yet something made me double back, and in the last dead end of the last street, with council pickup trucks circling ominously, I spotted this bike.

graceful curves

a graceful curve – if one ignores the lever

Always a sucker for an old loop frame I did the time trial thing back to the van and, dripping with perspiration, returned to the scene.

no-name centrepull

no-name steel centrepull brake

It was still there !

original bayliss-wiley hub with oil port

original bayliss-wiley hub with oil port

Sadly, it has been repainted and covered with cheap looking “Belmont” decals, so I may never know what it was. It is a typical old Aussie bike with 28″ ( that’s the 642mm version } 700A wheels.

While the front wheel is 32H the rear is a 36H, rather than the typical 40H, and sports a Shimano coaster brake. The rims and other chrome have been silver over-painted.

mid 70s shimano coaster

mid 70s shimano coaster

The frame looks pre-1950s to me and I wondered if the wheels were updated later, yet the front hub sports an oil port, and the locking flanges match the fork perfectly.

this is an obvious addition - as there's no hole in the bridge !

this is an obvious addition – as there’s no hole in the bridge !

I’m certain that both the hand brakes are late additions, and of course the plastic saddle and  the chromed fenders are too.

In fact, I’m beginning to think that the old bike was refurbished around the mid 1970s and given a new back wheel.

The front hub is a Bayliss-Wiley – probably original – and there is paint on the rim underneath the silver that is not present on the rear.

never seen one of these - in aluminium !

never seen one of these before – in aluminium too ! i’ve no idea if it’s original ..

looks like a williams but with no markings ...

looks like a williams, but with no markings …

Other interesting features include a patterned cut away aluminium ( ! ) chain guard, the unusual horizontal rear drop outs, the elegantly curved handlebars with their dainty short cut-off and stubby green Italian plastic grips. The seat stays are bolted to the drop-outs but fixed to the seat tube. I have seen similar drop-outs on 1930s bikes and I’m now thinking that this frame may be the oldest one in my collection.


old style loose ball brampton headset

As a project it will be a lot of hard work, but could make a great looking ride once I lose that horrid blue house-paint colour !

Already I’ve had to drill out the frozen cotter pins and the fixed bottom bracket cup ain’t goin’ nowhere either… but it does look to be in good shape at least.

vintage drop outs, these - and i assume that's pet hair on the chain !

vintage drop outs, these – and i assume that’s pet hair on the chain !

Thinking, thinking …

See Ya !

A-Rubba-Hubba Momma :

( As the late, great, Elvis used to say once upon a time… )

no, it's not mine - but i wish it was !

no, it’s not mine – but i wish it was !

And this Recyclist has certainly been a-rubbing a lot of hubs lately, perhaps in the forlorn hope that the Hard Rubbish Genie will grant him his wishes for an unloved De Rosa, Tommasini or similar to be cast aside, unloved, on the footpaths of his home town …

Anyhow, enough dreaming, it’s luck, observation, haste, and a trained bikey-nose that bring home the bacon on hard rubbish days.

I like the idea of having a mini-warehouse of preserved, restored, and useful parts, hopefully well organised and ready to hand at a moment’s notice. Not only that, but storing things as parts mean that one can do a proper and complete bike rebuild without having to scavenge through a whole yard full of rusty bikes. To be honest though, one has to be a bit selective as to which parts are : (a) most desirable, and / or (b) most likely to be useful in a future restoration considering the limited time one has available to pre-overhaul them.

recycled hub for apollo capri

recycled 95mm hub for apollo capri 27″

In the case of old hubs, it’s a good idea to get inside and check the bearings and cones, but you can usually feel any roughness at first by slowly turning the axle around with the thumb and index finger much like a “safe-cracker” feeling for the ‘combination’. If the bearings drag then either the hub is too tight or the bearings are shot, ( often both ! ) and usually the cones are pitted as well. A firm wiggle of the rim or axle will indicate any looseness or play. Any hard rubbish bike will likely need it’s hubs overhauled as the grease is inevitably dry ( and should be checked regardless ).

small flange steel 'chair' and generic high flange 95mm o.Ld.

36H small flange steel ‘chair’ and generic high flange 95mm o.Ld. hubs, 5/16″ axles.

Sometimes I find a ‘jackpot’ hub like this steel Japanese “Chair” brand from a Graecross Pro Ten that is in beautiful running order. Smooth races, shiny ball bearings and pit free cone tracks.

A thorough clean in solvent, the application of fresh grease, and re-assembly / re-adjustment … job done.

These hubs are really useful for restoring the more basic ‘ten-speeders’ as they have the 95mm locknut width and skinny 5/16″ axles to fit many low end to mid range 50s thru to 80s bikes as so often their axle is bent ( roll it on a flat surface ) or the cones are shot. Being a common 36 hole hub it will fit many classic (or even some more modern ) rims.

I make it a policy to save whatever straight and unworn parts I can off these front hubs – axles, shells, nuts, cones, etc. Yes I know that steel forks can be forced wider, but I prefer not to do that if I can avoid it. These skinny ‘roadster and sports-bike’ hubs will need careful adjustment and more frequent overhauls if they are to last.

I can never say enough times that if you want to be a serious recyclist you should be able to overhaul hubs, dismantle, clean and rebuild wheels. I’m so glad that I’ve learned the basics, for the sake of convenience – and my wallet. You will be too.

To clean hubs I use old toothbrushes, kerosene, rags, ( fine steel wool and rust converter for steel shells ), then to polish the shells it’s fine steel wool again, autosol, rags, and also calico cloth buffers on both a dremel tool and an electric drill.

ofmega road hubs

ofmega road hubs – classy looking, but fragile

A pair of Italian Ofmega road hubs look very much like classic Campagnolos in appearance with their steel oil hole cover clips. They are 100mm & 126mm over the locknuts and suitable for a 5 or 6 speed thread-on freewheel. Ofmega hubs are said to have more fragile cones and races than Shimano or Campagnolo. This is probably true, in my limited experience, but they do look great, with their elegant curves and milky alloy finish.

ofmega thread-on rear

ofmega thread-on rear

and the front ..,

and the front ..,

early shimano 600 pair

pretty & pretty bulletproof – early shimano 600 pair  w/uniglide rear

A pair of Shimano 600, the rear with an early Uniglide 5-speed freehub that takes a cassette where the smallest cog is the ‘locknut’ . I have a close ratio corncob 13-17T and 14-28T cassettes to match. Later Hyperglide cogs will fit these only if the wide positioning key / lug is filed down but you still need that final locking cog at the small end. 1980s Shimano 600 hubs are very well made, pretty, and long lasting too if routinely serviced.

thread-on sunshine rear hub - year unknown -1980s ?

thread-on sunshine rear hub – year unknown -1980s ?

Sunshine ( a.k.a Sansin ? ) is a brand I haven’t had much experience with, but this seems to be a decent mid-range rear. This hub was found to be in good internal condition and cleaned up nicely.

this suzue needs a better skewer

this suzue needs a better skewer

apert from that, it polished up ok

apart from that, it polished up ok

1975 normandy pair - cones and bearings required ..

1975 normandy pair – cones and bearings required ..

The high flange Suzue front and the 1975 Normandy pair needed new cones and bearings, though that’s not to say they all will. High flange hubs look great but as they use shorter spokes than low flange ones their wheels may be less compliant than equivalent small flangers. Although not the only factor for ride quality It’s worth considering your riding preferences and tyres with any particular frame-set you’re considering fitting them to.

shimano O-type coaster c.1984

shimano O-type coaster c.1984

This Shimano O-Type coaster has been more recently copied by other manufacturers such as Hi-Speed and Falcon, however this one seems lighter than the newer copies. As with any old coaster a front handbrake could be a good idea in modern traffic or if the coaster fails to brake well after rebuilding – and you won’t really know until it’s up and running. This one dates from around 1984 and is a good stopper.

the same coaster after overhaul

the same coaster after overhaul

Hopefully, the next few posts will feature a few bikes that are now wearing some of these hubs.

these hubs go on forever - almost

a sturmey archer, spotted out and about : these hubs go on forever – almost

Happy Re-Cycling !

The Organic Re-Cyclist :

Given the amount of crappy or otherwise ten speeders dumped out there it’s impossible for me to recycle them all as complete bikes, even if I wanted to :

not too crappy though - an apollo III waiting in line

not too crappy though – an apollo III waiting in line

The beauty of an ‘organic’ approach is that out of the many old sports bikes ( or even ladies’ roadsters ) the good bits that are left over from the ‘dismantle-a-thons’ will add up to a smaller number of improved quality bikes.

I may have to add a few brand new consumables here and there, but that’s mostly it, except for bikes that are special ‘keepers’.

This approach assumes that the bikes are worthwhile restoring but not collectable enough to justify keeping them all original. Everyone will have their own idea about what qualifies or doesn’t however, and as I’ve said many times before, as long as you know what the original componentry was, it’s always possible to reverse any changes as long as the frame and original paint stay intact.

Out of half a dozen rusty steel rims or gravelly hubs there may hide, for example, the makings of a ‘new/old’ 27 inch wheel that is in respectable condition.

nice lines .. a classique 3 speedwell

nice lines .. a classique 3 speedwell

The many surplus rusty or broken metal parts can be re-cycled as scrap steel, continuing the process originally intended for the complete bikes by the previous owners.

Here are three recent examples, one of which will be re-built as a working bike :

apollo geneva

The first is a ladies’ Apollo Geneva c.1986 6-speed – fitted with a Shimano Positron FH rear derailleur and a single front ring. This one has a straight frame with minimal rust and with the original slightly damaged fenders  and a chain guard.

the shimano positron r.d.

the shimano positron r.d.

The Positron FH was an early index system that had the click stops in the derailleur rather than the shifter, a solid push-pull shift cable and an unusual proprietary shifter. Neither of these latter two are present on this bike unfortunately, so it will need an alternative shift set-up and derailleur.

uniglide freehub

uniglide freehub

Also fitted is a Shimano Uniglide rear freehub, quite unusual for this type of bike in my experience. The Uniglide pre-dates Shimano Hyper-glide and instead of a lock ring the small cog threads on to the freehub end holding the splined cassette in place. Unlike Hyperglide, the splines are all equal width – and two chain whips are needed to remove the small cog and free the cassette. Because the bearings are outboard in the freehub the resulting wheel should be stronger than with the usual thread-on cluster.

this one is an earlier 5-speed shimano 600

this one is an earlier 5-speed shimano 600

Next is a Speedwell Classique 3 – c.1988 – which has been butchered by conversion into a ten-speed resulting in a bent rear frame. Sadly, really, because it has attractive lettering on the decals which are quite different to my earlier Classique 3.

classique 3

classique 3

It’s not a very good idea to try and fit a 126mm rear axle into a 110mm dropout meant for an older 3-speed internal hub gear !
The bike was originally a bright pink and the frame and painted guards have faded at different rates. The original colour of a ‘yard’ bike is best judged from the paint on the steerer tube.

It has been stored in the weather, and I took the finding of a large redback spider in the kickstand ( as well as the bent frame ) as an omen not to revive it. Nevertheless, useful parts include a Suntour Spirt front mech., a very clean set of tourist handle bars, a good Araya steel rear rim, a nice narrow steel rear rack and alloy brake levers. The pinkish guards will match the Apollo Geneva quite well and they have a vaguely opulent little nose trim on the front one that can be restored. The fork is straight and will be kept for parts.

a roamin' ruin ?

a roamin’ ruin ? – nice graphics ..

bennett super sports - not much of value here

bennett super sports – not much of value here

The last one was dumped on the footpath along side the Speedwell. It’s a Bennett Super Sports and is in very rusty shape but does have a couple of useful parts on it, particularly the Dia-Compe centre pull brakes and their associated cable hangers and stirrups, and a nice pair of Sugino wing nuts on the front wheel’s 5/16″ axle.

The steel hi-flange front hub is cosmetically too poor to rebuild – even though it was quite OK internally.

The frame is your typical heavy Hi-Tensile job, not worth the effort in this case, because of the rust which is starting to approach structural in places.

i now have a matching centre pull pair !

i now have a matching dia-compe centre pull pair !

close to it, but not yet dead

close to it, but not yet dead rear cable hanger

dia-compe alloy stem is too fretted on the bar-clamp to be safe

dia-compe alloy stem is too fretted on the bar-clamp to be safe

The Derailleurs are Shimano Thunderbird II front and Eagle II rear, also cosmetically poor.

i was very pleased with these wing-nuts

i was very pleased with these sugino wing-nuts

Although some of these parts do look a little tragic in the photos they should clean up respectably later on. I’m going to use some on my Oxford International project that is coming along slowly from the last chuck-out season.

c.1975 oxford has appeal

c.1975 oxford has appeal

See Ya !

Re-enter the Samurai :

Sorry, it’s been a while – and it’s been a while too since I’ve ridden the Shogun Samurai. The discipline of recycling gives me more and more ideas as I go along, and I’m always striving to make a bike fit some niche that none of my others quite will.

re-worked ..

re-worked ..

The thought behind this one is for a bike that helps me out on the Fernleigh Track, i.e. that is fairly small, light and moderately low geared for the mix of steady uphills and mild downhills. Of course it’s only a game for me really, as a steel framed bike is never going to be as light as a modern carbon wonder, but you already know that I don’t want to go there.

been lyin' around a while

been lyin’ around a while

The inspiration to re-do this bike came from two sets of wheels that I acquired a while back, consisting of four alloy tubular rims and including a pair of Campagnolo Nuovo Tipo hubs. These hubs are not considered as desirable as the Record models – but who cares ? They are a very well made hub and the internals proved to have been in good shape despite being unused for many years. The hubs were dated as being made in 1980, from the tiny ’80’ stamped into the locknuts.

english threads - yay

english threads – yay

well made hubs ..

they are well made hubs ..

one of the old tubs with dried glue ..

one of the old tubs with dried glue ..

As you can see, a bit of work was needed to get them looking good, but I think it was worth It. Unfortunately while there were four rims only two of them were good enough to use – a Mavic Monthelerey Route and a Fiamme red label… they all had dried red tub glue that took a long time to carefully scrape off with an old table knife. The wheels were de-spoked, cleaned and re-built in my spare moments.

the rear mavic

the rear mavic

This is my first try with tubulars – those tyres where the tube is factory sewn inside the tyre and then the whole thing is glued to the rim by the user. I bought a pair of Schwalbe 28mm and a pair of Tufo 24mm. Sadly this project did not have the clearance for the 28mm ! The Tufos are designed to be used with their proprietary gluing tape rather than actual glue. This taping system has some critics but with my age and riding style I don’t think I’m going to stress the tyres enough to roll them off the rim !

tufo s33 tub

tufo s33 tub

The plus side is that they were very easy to fit – once the tyres had been pre-stretched by fitting them over the two rims i had spare and keeping them inflated a few months while I worked out how and where to use them. The tyres can be aligned on the rim before removing the protective strip between the sticky rim tape and the tyre’s base tape — bingo !

A five minute gentle ride and they’re ready to go.

mixed colour chain rings !

50/38T – and mixed colour chain rings !

The early 90s Shogun now has a lot of retro 1980s gear on it, including 600 Arabesque front and rear mechs. A new headset was needed and the Sakae SX chainset from the discarded Pace was fitted with T.A. 50/38T rings.

The Sakae cranks have a 110mm pcd for compact rings, but with limited small cogs on the rear I can’t go too tiny. A 34 or 36 ring would have been too small here and the Fernleigh Track doesn’t need super low gears anyway, as it was a railway line once.

The freewheel is a Suntour ‘Perfect’ 14-28T. Under the circumstances, I thought it might be more appropriate than the 13-18T and 13-17T racing blocks that came with the wheels !!

shimano 600 arabesque r.d.

shimano 600 arabesque r.d.

campag nuovo tipo hubs

campag nuovo tipo hubs

The Samurai is now my lightest working bike, especially because of the light wheels, which let it pick up step in a lively fashion, and while it would be even lighter with a plastic saddle, I’m prepared to make that sacrifice for comfort’s sake…

b17n - imperial

b17n – imperial

The Tange Infinity frame is of fairly steep ‘modern’ geometry and thus a quick steerer. The Shogun was a hard rubbish find that would have originally come with a full RX100 group set, except that the brake levers had been replaced to accommodate a flat bar ( horrors ! ), the gear levers were missing, and i couldn’t properly salvage the crank set either.

veloce is entry level campagnolo

veloce is entry level campagnolo

The bars and brake levers are borrowed from another bike, as I needed levers with quick releases for the Campag. brakes. The down tube levers are Dia-Compe friction shifters and have a smooth ratchet mechanism inside that gives them a lovely feel in use.

dia compe shifters

classy dia compe shifters

The 3T ‘Competizione’ bars aren’t my favourite shape – they are like the Cinelli Criterium 65s in that they have forward curving outer tops ( = room for sprinting on the drops ) and not much hand room there – ah well, we make do.

The Tufo tyres’ file tread rolls well, with a pleasant hum on smooth asphalt and they give a pretty decent ride for a nominally 24mm tyre as well as good grip, though I bet the Schwalbes would have ridden more comfortably, had they fitted. I also purchased some of Tufo’s sealant, as tubs are unable to be patched on the road. Hopefully I won’t need it ! There’s not much rim-room there for brake pads and the braking surface is slightly curved, so stopping is a bit ordinary. Hopefully the pads will bed in over time.

lovely curved q.r. levers

the lovely curved q.r. levers

cinelli clips and straps

cinelli clips and straps, mks sylvan quill pedals

Fernleigh Track, here I come again …

love this bike ...

love this bike …

Ahhh, late autumn and a young person’s fancy turns to tweed …

So it’s time to dust off the old bike and make ready for the annual Newcastle Vintage Tweed Ride on this Sunday 7th June ( the 3rd time, I think ). Which got me thinking about my 1956 Speedwell Popular, I mean what would it ride like with a more modern pair of wheels ?

I have temporarily fitted some 700C wheels with a Falcon coaster brake rear – not quite as classy as the BSA New Eadie original, but it definitely works better. The rims are Alesa alloys from Belgium, salvaged from an old Apollo hybrid, being about the most classic looking 700C alloy rims I have.

The front is radially spoked, which looks trendy but doesn’t have much vertical ‘give’ unfortunately ( short, stiff spokes ), a decision I made a while back for a different bike.

Fear not, classic bike purists, this is easily reversible back to the originals, unlike, for example, a respray of the frame ( no way ! ).

Anyway, what happens when you go from 700A – 28″ ( 37-642 tyres ) to 700C ?

Well, the bike sits lower, is much lighter, turns more quickly, and gives a rougher ride. Pros and Cons.

just the right amount of patina ?

just the right amount of patina ?

Although this change opens up a wider range of current tyres than the block patterned 28″ Vee Rubber oldies the problem is that most of them are too small. As the rims are now 20mm smaller diameter it helps to go for a bigger tyre, these being Continental SpeedRide 700 X 42C ( 42-622 ).

While there are still bigger gaps to your guards ( fenders ) than with 28″, these are larger than any commonly found 27″ wheel/tyre combo ( usually 32-630 ).

continental speedride

continental speedride

The Conti SpeedRide is very light and rolls well for a city tyre – it’s designed for hard surfaces mainly and the recommended pressure is up to 85psi, quite high for such a tyre.

Pretty impressive then … the bike still has stable geometry and is geared low – it’s probably best to keep it that way, with one rear coaster brake only I don’t want to be going too fast. You can tell this bike is a favourite as it sports my B17 special ‘titanium’ saddle …

It should be fun to play with for a while !

at swansea bridge

at swansea bridge

Will I take it to the tweed ride ? And what will you be riding, dear Newcastle reader ? Maybe it will make it into this blog …. 0900 hours, Islington Park , Sunday 7th June 2015.

See Ya there !


I guess I’m something of a slave to the square taper bottom bracket – they’re almost ubiquitous on the bikes I work with apart from the dreaded pre 1980s (or so) cottered ones. I know there’s stuff that is lighter, faster, more aero ( etc., etc. ), but it all seems to get outdated so quickly nowadays … ( read splined ‘Octalink’, and we won’t mention that ‘Isis’ one here …  hmmm, nasty name .. ). We’re now into ‘hollowtechs’, ‘mega-exos’ and various pressfits, but none of the hard rubbish bikes I find seem to have these fitted  — funny, that.

You can even recycle used tapered ones sometimes, if they’ve been reasonably cared for, though the attrition rate is very high on your typically neglected ‘chuck-out’ bikes. Of course usability depends on the chain line of your intended build, so it helps to have a variety to choose from.

The re-cyclist’s motto – “If in doubt, chuck it out” — I mean, even a freebie re-cyclist must have standards you know … and there’s not much that’s worse than pedalling away on a grinding, grumbling BB.

Here then is a sample of my rejected parts from a recent cull of dismantle-a-thon BB components :

scrap !

scrap !

( The 3rd law of re-cycling states that for every dismantle-a-thon there is an equal and opposite need for a de-grease, clean and sort-out-fest …. ).

And some of the saves :

with no ball bearings

various square tapers, with no ball bearings

and some useful bits ...

and some useful bits …

These days it’s more common to buy a sealed cartridge, the advantage of which, of course, is no maintenance, but if anything does go wrong there’s little one can do. While I generally don’t have a problem with the old style BBs they can be vulnerable to grit and water ingress, and not just the cheap ones either. Sometimes the bearings can be good on one side and shot on the other. It seems the drive side fixed cups suffer the worst, in my humble experience. Murphy’s law …

Usually the ball bearings and axle races are first to go, suffering tiny pits on the rolling surfaces, and gradually the pits grow larger and deeper until the harder cups are also affected. I find that loose ball arrangements generally last better than caged ball bearings and are much, much easier to clean and degrease too. I may be the only person alive that sometimes recycles those cages – with a toothbrush and kero yet !
It’s probably a good idea to replace the balls when servicing, but if everything is shiny bright and smooth I reckon it should be OK to simply clean and regrease.

i like these rubber seals ...

i like these rubber seals …

Although the inner plastic sleeved bearings should last longest, the contaminants can get in via the outer gap between axle and cup. Some cups, typically the better ones e.g. some Shimano came with rubber seals at this point ( above ) and all the cartridges seem to have these as well, for longevity – a necessity when they can’t be serviced.

some cartridges

some cartridges

Removing the dreaded neglected BB can be a total nightmare, even with the recyclist’s essential tools.

If you’ve ever had a truly stubborn one you’ll know that the moral of the story is to either grease all surfaces on re-assembly ( for steel to steel ), or preferably use copper anti-seize ( on steel to alloy interfaces ). You’ll thank yourself profusely ( or the new owner will ) when overhaul time comes !

My Essential BB Removers :

1) The Cyclus fixed cup remover – if you can find one ( or a large flat spanner if you can’t – good luck with this ! ). The problem with spanners is – they slip !

the magic cyclus fixed cup remover !!!

lower — the magic cyclus fixed cup remover !!! and a poor backup, top.

the tool's flats match the cup flats and the hex clamp holds it in place

the tool’s flats match the cup flats and the hex clamp then screws in to hold it all in place

2) The handy C-spanner for lock rings :

lhs adjustable cup and lockring tools

2) & 3) —left hand side adjustable cup and lockring tools …. and a rather heavy handed hammer !!

3) The Adjustable 2-pin spanner for adjustable L.H. cups ( above ).

splined tools - these are for cartridges

splined tools – these are for cartridges

4) For Cartridges – either the freewheel spline tool ( e.g. for Miche brand ) or the ‘Shimano’ spline tool – preferably one that can be bolted onto the axle for safety.

There are a few fixed cups around that don’t have flats on them, which means the Cyclus won’t work … curses.

You’re on your own here, generally with a pin spanner ( or the hammer & punch ) – so good luck !

a couple of fixed cups - the left is more common

a couple of fixed cups – the left is more common

these tools are good for adjusting but not so for removal

these tools are good for adjusting but not so great for removal – refer to hammer and punch !

Applying a penetrating or releasing agent around the cups beforehand may help, but it’s often unable to reach the worst affected threads because of the cup’s depth and tightness.

Of course there are also a couple of related issues to getting the BB out, and they are – removing the pedals (optional), and removing the cranks ( semi ).

On a really stubborn cotter pin or square taper axle it is sometimes possible to remove the axle together with the crank and pedal as a last resort IF you can get the drive side crank and chain wheel off. This is done by loosening the lock ring, then using a hammer and thin nail punch sideways on the pin holes of the adjustable cup to turn it slowly anti-clockwise and off, along with the axle and L.H. bearing still stuck together. This works well if you aren’t planning to keep the bottom end anyway.

Doesn’t do much for your prized punches though, or indeed the cup and lock ring, but, if it works ….

Often it’s the non drive side that is really stuck, so this can be a useful thing to know.

cottered crank set from the oxford international

cottered crank set removed from the oxford international -using the above technique

Recently, I had to remove a seized cartridge BB from an Apollo Kosciusko MTB. As a last resort I used a socket spanner on the spline tool with a long length of 2″ pipe as a lever. I don’t exactly recommend this, but it worked !

I won’t mention that the air was kind of purple coloured with profanities, and probably the previous owner’s ears were burning as well, during this procedure …

And you thought i was a sensitive new age recyclist, dear reader …

the heavy handed approach ...

the heavy handed approach … grrrr !

no wonder !!!

rust … no wonder !!!   (N.B. washers de-centred after i loosened the bolt )

if you’re going to use this subtle technique, the tool must be fixed to the axle as shown with large washers or similar, using the axle end bolts, for safety. ( Those of you with eagle eyes may notice that the above shot shows the cartridge mistakenly posing on the incorrect side – lol )

Of course it always helps to remember that the drive side fixed cartridge or cup loosens clockwise … that can be tricky to figure out if the bike’s upside down — Uh-oh !

spotted while riding

spotted while out riding

Happy Re-cycling …

some great street art ...

some great street art …

This bike was briefly featured in my recent ‘chuck-out-a-thon’ post having been unceremoniously cast out minus the wheels, all oily-gritty and rusty.

protour crx100 62cm

protour crx100 62cm – as found

I was intrigued, as it has an “Australian Made Frame” decal on the seat stays. It is a large framed hybrid, ( 62cm seat tube C-C, 60cm top tube C-C ), and I haven’t found much on the web about ProTour except that they seem to have been made late 80s to early 90s by Southcotts in Adelaide.

Protour is one of those names that turn up a lot of unrelated rubbish when googled, as you can imagine ! Most of the information came from the cycling forums, with someone suggesting there was a tie in with Ricardo somewhere. South Australia seems to have had a lot of bicycle history happening in the 80s and 90s !

Being a hybrid it had flat bars, a riser stem, and I would assume once wore 27″ wheels, from the brake pad locations. The Suntour Accushift 6sp. thumb shifters are rather plasticky and won’t be re-used. Some band-on Suntour down tube shifters are shown below. Crankset was a fairly heavy steel ringed, alloy cranked ( and worn out ) Sugino “Proto” c.52/40T.

some of the yucky bits from the dismantle-a-thon

some of the yucky bits from the dismantle-a-thon ( and the ‘new’ shifters ).

Front Derailleur is a nondescript Suntour, the rear a medium / long cage Suntour XCM ( MTB ). Brake callipers are recessed ProStars in black. Seat pin is 26.4mm dia. and an italian Vetta saddle was fitted. None of this is of much consequence, as it’s the frame I’m most interested in, for it has the ‘feel’ of decent quality about it.

The tubing decal is missing from the seat tube, but I’m guessing from forum comments it may be Tange 5 plain gauge cr-mo or a higher grade Tange chromo steel. Some forums say Protour used Mangalloy steel, similar make-up to Reynolds 531, (?) I am only guessing here …

The frame would definitely benefit from better components. I see it as a comfortable longer distance ride, and will also set it up with some hill climbing ability in mind. The large frame on a bike like this means ( for me ) a comfortable riding position with higher bars due to a low relative saddle height. ‘Experts’ might tell me it’s too big, but from my experience with the refurbished Giant Boulder 550, I think it will be just fine even with the flat-footed stand-over residual height at zero.

Frame angles look on the steepish side so it should be responsive and yet it will have no toe overlap ( I checked ! ). Large frames like these don’t always make the most graceful looking bikes though.

ready and rolling !

ready and rolling !

Typically for a chuck-out it has 126mm rear dropouts (5/6/7 speed) and a 95mm front dropout width (damn that 5mm). At least they are forged/cast dropouts. The fork had the word ‘Falter’ stamped faintly on the stem. The serial number on the BB shell begins with ’90’ so I assume that’s its year of birth.

super vivid scene...

super vivid scene…

I fitted a new VP head set, re-tapped the BB threads and put in a Shimano UN-55 113mm cartridge BB. Cranks are now recycled Shimano – early105, ( FC-1050 ) 170mm. Chain rings are new, T.A. 49T + 38T, from Wiggle UK.

These are marked 9/10 speed and I wasn’t sure how they would go with a 7sp. Cluster and an 8sp. chain … luckily it’s friction shifting ! I had to fit thin spacers between the spider and the inner ring to stop the wider chain scraping on the outer ring. They now work well, but I won’t try this trick with index shifters !

34T on the back - that's mega alright !

34T on the back – that’s mega alright !

The freewheel cluster is a 14-34T Shimano 7sp. ‘Megarange’ but I can’t use the 14T at the moment, because it won’t let the chain clear the chainstay. To prevent this happening I adjusted the ‘H’ stop screw on the rear derailleur to end its travel at 16T, but this needs further investigation.

The 38T is about the smallest front ring that will fit a standard Shimano road 130mm BCD spider and combined with the 34T megarange rear gives a pretty low bottom gear ( at least for a double chain wheel ), albeit with the next lowest rear cog being 10T smaller at 24T. Shifters are Suntour band-on down tube, and sit on the little ‘heart’ where the cable stops once were.

49×16 is not a high top gear for a road bike, but they are 27″ wheels at least, so i’ll wait for a test ride to see whether it will spin out too easily down hills, etc.

I fitted some new Jagwire cables and borrowed the Genetic bar/stem from the Shogun Samurai with the Cane Creek levers – as that bike is due for a re-assessment. The two-tone paintwork had a lot of rust spots which I neutralised, and I did a bit of touch up spraying.

I confess, it’s a bit rough in places !

head tube & protour logo

head tube & protour logo

Instead of recycling and fitting the black Pro Star original callipers, I used some Tektro R539 dual pivot recessed that I happened to have – for a bit of shine ( and better stopping ). Wheels are the Araya 27″ anodised front one from the L.A. 84 and a Suzue sealed tech 126mm on the same type of Araya rim rear.

It’s getting harder to find decent 27″ tyres and at the moment these are reasonable Kendas, but I would prefer something like a 27″ Gatorskin pair ( I only have one of these right now ). If this bike goes really well then a lighter pair of wheels/tyres may be in order ! Lastly, I fitted some Metallic Blue fizik bar tape, before taking it for a spin …

yee-ha !

yee-ha !

I think it rides more smoothly than the Giant 550, and it’s very comfortable. Reckon I could ride this one all day with the B-17 under my bum !

Happy Retro Re-Cycling !


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