So much wet winter weather since this June has left little chance for riding – it’s not the feel of getting wet itself as much as the unpleasant experience of riding with vision obscuring spectacles that keeps me at home.
how it was
well, it wasn’t really..
Nevertheless, there’s a chance to revive the Shogun freebie, except of course they never are freebies, always needing money and work to get them up to speed, but I’m excited to fix it up and take it for a spin. It’s funny how I’ve become interested in road bikes, if only older steel ones, I suppose it’s a natural combination of curiosity and the need to get places a little faster sometimes, though often what you gain in speed is what you lose in the time for contemplation.
It is certainly the era of the road bike, there are more new ones around here these days than MTBs ( can’t believe I am saying that ! ) and I’m wondering how long it will be before road bike spin-offs are seen in the department stores ( probably when the fad has changed again, it’s all 29ers, heavy hybrids and beach cruisers in the local BigW. at the moment ).
I’ve sacrificed (for now) the “spare parts” Repco Traveller to get this one going, as it promises to be a much more practical long distance commuter, and I have a desperate lack of bike storage space. Recycle the recycled – I probably could buy something fancy with what I spend to revive all these oldies, but then I wouldn’t have had half as much fun as I did getting them running again.
one fine day…
As usual the bike was stripped to the bare frame except for the steering races, not to paint, but to treat for rust and check everything for wear. The frame itself is fine, though the brazing has some overruns around the lugs from manufacture. The name “Shogun” is stamped into the seat stay ends but otherwise it’s all decals, no badges – a sign of the times . The pastel-like silvery purple colour shows its blemishes easily but as always, I have no intention of repainting an original bike such as this. I’m getting to appreciate character and history more and more.
at belmont 16s
Having 700C wheels means that any future replacements of tyres should be easy compared with some of my other 27″ ten speeders, and that’s got to be a bonus. However, the dropout spacing is the older 126mm, not 130mm, so replacing a rear wheel could be a challenge if ever needed. I haven’t yet managed to figure out its exact age, however, according to web sources the Biopace Chainrings were offered from ’83 to ’93 and the RX100 RD from 91-94.
Early 90s sounds close enough for me !
Seems I’ve had some recent bad luck with alloy crank removal, the non-drive side threads were ruined by the puller, despite the cautious attempt to remove it by carefully checking the threads fully engaged, etc. – curses ! I will have to decide what to do with the chainset but not ’til I’ve had a good play with the bike. Sheldon Brown, for one, was a fan of the ovoid Biopace rings while others don’t feel they are much different to round ones. I did notice a bike with very oval rings while watching a stage of the 2013 Tour de France, so some people clearly believe in them !
mks pedals and clips, zefal christophe straps
I’ve temporarily used a substitute Shimano Altus crank as the closest non-drive match I have handy in size and appearance to the RX100 “biopace” right hand side. Also the plain BB races, axle and bearings were pitted so a new sealed bearing Genetic 68 x 113 mm BB had to be be fitted. Luckily I already had the 20 tooth splined tool to fit and remove it, which has saved a little cost.
pitted crank axle , races & bearings needed replacement
a replacement sealed BB with splined tool
take care not to slip the tool when tightening/loosening
The Genetic ( the brand, I mean, not “generic” ) 80mm stem and drop bars from the Repco rebuild – with the Cane Creek SCR-5 road brake levers – all went straight on. These lever hoods are comfortable to grip and good looking, with a built in quick release button for brakes without those, I would recommend them highly for upgrades to older road bikes. The old MTB style welded stem, riser bars and revoshifters / brake levers really spoiled the appearance – so … off to the spares bin – and good riddance !
love these cane creek levers
Due to the high price of “brand name” thin leather bar tape, I have experimented with making my own with some leftover “vintage” white leather that I inherited many years back. This was fixed on with double sided ( thin & clear ) adhesive tape. It works rather well and is thicker than brand name tape and therefore more comfortable if a little less professional looking. Practice will make perfect so I will be trying more of this … shellacked wine cork and twine plugs are used on the bar ends. I was also thinking “moustache bars” for a while, but will probably stick with the road drops.
the B17 “select”
I’ve used a B17 “Select” saddle, these are made of selected organic leather for high mileage use and come boxed with a jar of Proofide, a tensioning spanner, polishing cloth and cover, I think it’s well worth the premium over the standard B17. Black steel rails with hammered copper rivets give it a distinctive appearance, and the leather has a subtle and natural looking light coloured finish to it. Give me comfort anytime !
The select B17 is much stiffer leather than standard B17 leather and is going to take longer to break in. I find normal B17s comfortable from the get-go. No pain, no gain, as the old cliche goes.
I am not normally attracted to things given such names as “Gatorskins” but the Continental 700C x 25 tyres have a good reputation, so I’m told. Grip seemed excellent on a short test ride, which was confirmed on longer rides – they are very confidence inspiring.
A new SRAM 8-speed chain completes the overhaul, and I must say that the RX100 derailleur systems are slick and quiet in their shifts, even with friction shifters. I put that down to the “hyperglide” rear cassette cog design.
surely seven is enough ?
They are easily smoother than the older 600 Arabesque set-up with plain cogs on my Cecil Walker. Speaking of which, these Dia-compe (new) downtube shifters have a friction forward / fine ratchet back arrangement that works very well – though they are not parallel to the tube when at rest, one gets used to them quite quickly.
dia-compe downtube shifters sans cables( viewed from front )
Gearing is 52/42T front and 13-23T, 7-speed rear, which should be adequate for most local hills thanks to the relatively light weight ( by the standards of most of my bikes anyway ! ).
So, it wasn’t cheap in the end, but it is a good sized frame for me and should be a well used ride in dry weather.
pre-dawn at the ferry wharf
On my first long commute, I was impressed by how fast it feels, and it’s a great bike for the Fernleigh Track, able to keep up with the majority of other road bike riders and more stable than I expected from its shortish wheelbase. Uphill is where the light weight is really helpful, and the biopace chain wheels do seem to smooth out the rotation in a subtle way.
i’m keeping up with the lycra-claddies
I now await more fine weather ….
a window on sunset
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