This Apollo “Nouveau Cross” is another one of my rescues from the scrap heap. It’s a steel framed 700C ex-flat bar hybrid, finished mainly in 2-tone white and dark metallic grey with black trim. The bike is fitted with narrow Belgian made alloy rims that were quite straight when it was found, unloved and in a very rusted overall condition. It had obviously not been used for some time as the chain was rusted solid and the gears and brakes were also seized up from rain. It is amazing what you can recycle though, provided it is structurally sound, as surface rust often looks worse than it is in reality. That rusty old bike outside the garage still has a chance – but who has time for that ?
The main problem with this one was the index shifter for the rear derailleur as I still haven’t worked out how to dismantle it without causing damage. I resorted to flooding it with kerosene and vigorous clicking, followed by silicone lube after it dried, but it’s not entirely satisfactory as it sometimes changes up a gear by itself despite all attempts to adjust the cable.
Though it typically has too many gears, the 18 speeds at least give it a useful “granny gear” for steep hills and I think that it will become the “trailer bike” when I convert the old child’s trailer that I have into a goods trailer.
I would estimate that it is mid to late 1980s era as I used to have a very similar styled Apollo 26″ MTB around that vintage. Guess the word “Nouveau” gives it away doesn’t it ?
I fitted a spare broad sprung saddle and – after almost going over the flat bars on a bump – I put upright bars on it. However, because the bike is small and the quill stem is so short these bars are still only about level with the saddle!
The frame size is therefore a little too small for me as the seat post is at max height. The alloy wheels and 35mm x 700 Cheng Shin tyres give it a slightly harsh ride but it has very precise steering, good road grip, and is easy to place. It’s fitted with cantilever style brakes that work very well with new Jagwire brand pads. The Serfas polycarbonate mudguards are aftermarket add-ons and are a little rattly though very light in weight. Everything else is original apart from the cable inner wires and Jetblack hand grips – the old ones were perished.
All the bearings were cleaned and re-greased and the paint finish touched up – as I do with all my “rescues”. I use alloy paste polish to bring up faded paint work and this worked really well on the met. grey in particular.