Something about this frame I found at the local bike hoarder’s yard appealed to me — perhaps it was the rusty orange patina, chrome fork lowers, decent lugs and the traditional Apollo head badge, harking back to times when there was a little more prestige in bicycle making.
I think it’s of 1981 manufacture, but it does look older because of the horrendous condition. It isn’t anything exotic either, being your typical mid-range ten-speed ‘sports bike’, not particularly lightweight and having those trendy (at the time) useless little cut off mudguards with no stays.
Some times I question my own sanity, but I do like the perverse freedom of a hopeless bicycle repair challenge.
I inquired about the price – “Two dollars is OK, but it’s no good for anything but maybe parts … !”
Then – “Wait, just take it no charge, it’s been sitting in the yard for 15 years … ! ”
So I may make this an occasional project to illustrate some problems in getting an old ten-speed up and running, though not necessarily in it’s original form. As you can see, the stem, bars, brakes and gears are missing and the rear wheel is a very rusty non-original single speed coaster that has been bodgied into the rear dropouts.
Armed with a can of the excellent “PB blaster” penetrating spray, and a few well chosen tools, it looked like this after a short period :
The Sugino double chain set has heavy steel rings with forged 165mm alloy cranks. I still think it’s a lovely shape for such a basic model.
Removing taper square alloy cranks should be done with care, as it’s really easy to strip out the threads that the puller engages. First disassemble the puller and screw the big thread in by hand first, and then by spanner once you are sure the threads aren’t crossed. it needs to go in as far as it can before the centre pin is screwed in. Make sure you have taken the crank nuts off first (with a 14mm socket spanner generally). In this case both cranks came off very easily – that’s not always the case ! The well greased bottom bracket came apart easily with a c-spanner, a pin spanner – and my Cyclus BB tool for the drive side cup.
I need to think about which wheels to use, as one of the problems with these old ten speed frames is that the forks are designed for front wheels with spindly axles and being around 95mm width over the locknuts as well – whereas most new wheels are 100mm – you can widen the drop-outs by hand and force them in, sure, but it isn’t good practice to do that.
The “U.V. free” fork stem paint gives the best look at an original colour :
Also, the rear dropouts on this are around 120mm across, which is too wide for coaster hubs and too narrow for modern derailleur wheels (130mm) – without some modification.