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.
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.
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 !
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.
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.
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.
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…
Happy Cycling !