Archive for October, 2012

welcome to the machine …

Hmm, Is it Mink Pixty or Pink Mixte ? This one is another “Leisure Cycles” special with a brand name “Turbo”…. pttht, thank goodness, the lettering has almost worn off the frame ! This came from a second hand shop along with the Elswick, I couldn’t help myself …

hey, pink thing …

Nevertheless, it has “Road King” like commuter possibilities and reasonable Shimano running gear, a step up from the SunRace mechs. on the RK. The wheels are 27″ steel and it sports a neat German made “Union” brand generator light set that works really well, i.e. it’s bright and lightweight. The bike is quite rideable as is, but needs a clean, grease, adjustments and a general tidy up. The cranks are cotterless square tapered alloy ones, again an improvement on the ( trusty but slightly clunky ) Road King.

shimano alloy brake and union bottle dynamo

The steel rams-horn like drop bars are relatively comfortable, shallow and a narrow shape, and have a slight turn up from the stem giving them a bit more useful height

a businesslike old school headlamp , and pink has fairly ornate head lugs too

One interesting feature is the 120mm O.L.D. width rear axle and dropouts, the same as my Cecil Walker !!!  I knew that 2-prong Suntour freewheel remover would get more use, and it has !

mmm … friction stem shifters too

Seriously, these wheels are all steel and not exactly suited to that lightweight racer, Cecil, as he weighs about as much all up as just the two of these wheels – but it’s got me thinking, and that’s a worry …


Read Full Post »

as discovered – dusty & rusty but so handy, mandy …

I don’t know whether I’ve found this in time, as it’s extremely rusty, but “shoppers” are so rare around here that I have to have a try at least. I must also say that viewing the amazing range of shoppers on the “Little Bike Blog” from Melbourne has got me interested in these handy little workers.

the vinyl saddle looks like a white rhino’s hide


A 3-speed bike that was “hand-built” in England and fitted with front and rear racks, the Sturmey Archer hub dates it to around 1984.  The graphics have a borderline late 70s look too.

isabel busted ? – british bulldog bell !

The rust is beginning to go structural in places yet the bike still shows promise and has dismantled quickly and easily for such a rust bucket – and anyway, there is always some sense of achievement in getting a basket case like this going !

on guard, rust …

Tyres are an unusual 20″ x 1 & 3/8″  ( 37-451) so who knows whether they are still available, let alone in white ?

neat seat adjust lever- note “registered at a police station” sticker !

there’s a light bracket on the fork as well

i’ve seen better days


This may take a while …

Read Full Post »

woo-hoo !

The rebirth of Cecil is underway, and he’s now rolling free again, albeit as a single speed with freewheel. I have fitted some Halo brand white “Aerorage” track wheels and they both slotted neatly into the dropouts. Remember this is hopefully an intermediate stage in Cecil returning to a ten speed so don’t be too harsh in judgement of appearance – everything here can be easily reversed if there is a suitable 120mm over locknut dimension wheel that will take the original 5-speed cluster.


Also, I have found a cheap Suntour 2-prong tool on the “web” and successfully managed to remove the old freewheel today, though I am yet to check on the hub bearings.


rolls, baby, rolls …

Cecil’s new ‘permanent seat’ is a San Marco “Rolls” – these are padded suede leather over a nylon base and fairly similar to the original Concor saddle. The gold trim gives it a slight touch of “bling” though I prefer the look of this to the gold rivets on some other San Marco models.

rolls v concor

This saddle is totally non-slip, unlike the smoother leather on the Brooks saddles, and though I will refrain from calling it comfortable, perhaps it somehow is – for this type of narrow saddle at least. It’s no B66 , that’s for sure !

in profile


The Halo 18T freewheel lines up nicely with the 52T large chain wheel giving gearing which is high compared to my other bikes but not that high for faster road riding. It’s equivalent to around 6th gear out of 10 on the old close ratio chainset, and that’s pretty high for starts and hills, yet still too low in tailwinds on the flat or fast downhills (sigh). This freewheel is a 72-click model – it’s very responsive, and while freewheeling it has a quietly smooth and pleasantly busy sound.

click, click, drone …


The bike is quite light and twitchy, of course, compared to my roadsters and certainly is not upright as they are. I hope I can get used to it. The drops are too low for me except perhaps in emergency headwinds, but the tops are reasonably comfortable.

It’s a fast bike in the right conditions and can accelerate quite quickly, though I am not really able to compare it to any modern bikes. I am still getting used to its lightness both when parked ( watching out for wind gusts ! ) and riding.

too much ?


Tyres are Dia-Compe “Gran Compe Ene Ciclo” in two tone brown, 700x28c. Rather good looking, I thought. The overall ride is rough but reasonable – it’s no Gazelle in that department !

Close up, the wheels seem to exaggerate the weathered appearance of the frame and some may not like this contrast – I’ll leave the viewer to decide but it’s growing on me – albeit slowly. The Halo hubs are said to have sealed bearings and they certainly spin like silk.

attempted street cred …


I don’t see myself trying fixed gear on this bike because of the toe overlap, among other things, but the rear hub is a reversible one in case I also do an existential flip-flop on this too…

More adds to follow…

spin me ’round

Happy Cycling !

Read Full Post »

the seat post freed

The imperfection and impermanence of older weathered bicycles has nostalgic appeal for me and so I like to keep some of the markings of use, but at the same time I like bikes to be well maintained and safe , and that can give me tiny dilemmas at times…

the non-adjustable cup — if it ain’t broke, don’t force it …

Having had a chance to look more closely at this bicycle, it’s obvious now that the big stumbling block is the rear wheel. Repair or replacement will be difficult for a few reasons. For a start, I don’t have the two prong “Suntour” freewheel remover and it’s probably not worth buying it for a hub that may be ruined inside anyway, as the axle is visibly slightly bent. I’ve been advised that the tool may break because of possible electrolytic corrosion between the steel cluster and alloy hub. Given the other bits that were “welded” together e.g. the seat post and tube and the headset nut and fork tube I don’t doubt this !

a little preserving clear coating

Also, the bike’s rear dropout spacing is an old 70’s width of 120mm and most recent bikes have 130mm dropouts. Most new road wheels are 130mm width and have wider gear cassettes (more speeds) as well. I’m not that keen on buying old wheels on the web either, sight unseen…

overhauled nice SR pedals, cleaned up straps

Perversely,120mm is the width of most rear track hubs and this bike has semi-horizontal dropouts, suggesting that single speed is an option, although I rather wanted to keep it as a ten speed. Also the downtube shifter bosses will not look good with the shifters removed, but I won’t be grinding them off in case I do find the correct rear wheel and cluster one day.

the story so far …

However, as long as the frame is kept original and I keep all the gear parts together, it wouldn’t be a drama for me to convert to single speed on a temporary basis and the shifter bosses could be neatened up a little with a couple of small bolts and washers.

er, yes boss …

Also, I have since found out that Sturmey Archer make the S2 Duomatic two-speed kickback non-coaster brake version hub in a 120mm O.L.D. ( over the locknut width ). With the right choice of sprocket this would be more flexible than single speed for where I live and also allow the original brakes to be used as designed.This hub could be fitted to a new “plain” 27 inch 36 hole rim, e.g. a Velocity “twin hollow” or even a trad. style 700c rim.

testing —— oh, crap — toe overlap

It’s a good idea to check for toe overlap when inspecting this kind of sporty bike, and sure enough it’s there – this is with a 27 x 1 & 1/4″ tyre (above), but it does the same thing with a 700c x 35 that I tried. It’s an annoying trait that can really catch you out at slow speeds, though becoming irrelevant as speed increases and the front wheel is stabilised.

show stoppers

Going 700c would mean a much better range of tyres and rims available and I know the existing brakes will reach. Incidentally, the Modolo brakes look very well made and have cleaned up nicely.

…and not too shabby

Hmmm – I’m still thinking about all this — should I simply remain in a patient wait for an old 5-speed wheel that may never appear ?

in another life, i could have been…

Read Full Post »

A couple of views from a recent ride – first outing for the Raleigh Caprice since its rebuild.

the raleigh with its new b66 saddle

gathering lilies on the speedwell

tuggerah lake view from wooden bridge

from the same spot

Suffice to say, this is a very easy and enjoyable path from The Entrance to Wyong, skirting the lake. If you live anywhere near here , check it out !





Read Full Post »