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Archive for October, 2013

I’m happy to say that cycling seems alive and well in the capital, and whilst upright hybrid bikes with suspension forks are in the majority, that’s probably a good thing.

They might not be very interesting to bicycle afficionados but they are, after all, the modern equivalent of the old roadster bicycle i.e. solid and dependable daily transport for the non-bicycle obsessed public.

There is also a rental service for sightseeing around Lake Burley Griffin and beyond, along with plenty of cycle paths and bike racks.

Worth considering if you like the idea of cycling, art, and architecture as a combined cultural experience.

lekker bike

lekker bike

In a city with so many bicycles there were bound to be some classics, but I’m sorry to say I wasn’t in a frame of mind or quick enough to get many grab shots.  I was more intent on chasing flowers at Floriade 2013, which was into its last weekend. The few isolated bike photos here are deceptive because the city centre was actually crowded with dozens of parked bikes this last weekend.

an electra at bungendore

an electra at bungendore

Even though many of Floriade’s blooms were past their prime they had the same kind of effect on me as a patina’d old classic bike. Even the spent flowers had their own kind of beauty :

spent blooms

new and old blooms

last days

last days

There’s no need to restore an old flower though – just compost it and grow a new one !

Anyway, before I get too far off track – here’s a Haro MTB that I spotted, with similar lines to my BMX project frame. It seemed to be living at the historic pub in Bungendore.

Happy Cycling !

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haro fusion group 1 si

haro fusion group 1 si

Ever noticed the neighbourhood kid on a BMX who takes all the rough shortcuts while the ‘serious’ cyclists are still pulling on the lycra, clumping around in their cleats and gingerly lifting their high tech wheels over the kerbs before setting off ? Meanwhile, the kid is at the shops already…

Adds a lot to your average cycling times if you consider preparation, doesn’t it ?

Here’s a neat little parallel project then, though it’s not one for me to be riding seriously :

with some rust removed

with some surface rust removed

It would appear that this bike was thrown away due to a non-engaging freewheel after having the top tube multiple-dented, perhaps out of frustration by the (  probably juvenile? ) owner. No structural damage seems to have been done, however.

index marks on dropouts

alignment marks on dropouts

One thing I like about decent BMX brands is the pride of ownership they project into their products, resulting in neat little logos in all sorts of unexpected places.  Also, the weatherproofing of wheel and steering bearings seems better than that of many other bikes, meaning less likelihood of having to find replacements.

BMX bikes are often thrown out much earlier than other bikes, maybe because they are mainly kids bikes and are grown out of more quickly, as well as being less cared for than adult bikes, left outside, crashed, etc.

Though the components are often heavy and oversized they need to be, to cop the treatment dished out by the average young owner !

This frame is Chro-moly 4130 with a chrome finish and a fair amount of cosmetic rust. Only having one rear single-cable Tektro  V-brake means the overhaul should be easier than on my Mongoose Menace with the spinner assembly ( which I haven’t had time to properly finish yet ! )

your typical threadless Aheadset

the threadless Aheadset

The pedals, saddle, tyres, chain, handgrips and brake cable inner and pads need renewing, and these alone can add up the dollars if purchased new. That’s much more than on the rustier Mongoose I salvaged some time back ( unfinished! ), due to this bike being less neglected yet more abused.

The pedal outer bearing races are dry and ruined, and so far the rear wheel needs a cone and bearings renewed but the rest is OK.

Once again, I’m not concerned about the finish being immaculate and I’m not willing to source shiny NOS components as some perfectionist restorers do. However, it’s important that everything works smoothly and safely and the best way of achieving this is via a complete strip-down.

large cups - typical one piece crank set-up

large cups – typical one piece crank set-up

Except for the steering cups and lower fixed cone, and the large bottom bracket cups for the one-piece crank that is …

I believe that if they aren’t worn, then leaving them as fitted in the factory will keep them running truer than removing and refitting them and they can be cleaned quite well in situ.

There was a lot of rusty crud in the bottom bracket shell and steering head tube that needed clearing out, but the bearings are OK – I wouldn’t have left it any longer though …

like the rising sun

like the rising sun

The one-piece crank is heavy steel, but with a nice looking ‘old school’ 44T alloy chain wheel attached. And here’s what your typical BMX steering system looks like, in pieces :

steering bits

the steering bits

Not sure if the brand is “Fusion” or “Haro” as a number of the parts are stamped “Fusion”.

The age ?  Well, the levers are stamped ’97, in which case it’s older than I’d guessed.

To be continued …

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