Archive for January, 2014

Post Christmas and New Year and I’m getting ready for the inevitable 2014 hard-rubbish chuck-outs, at the beginning of a brand new year of freebie-bike recycling !

Avoiding MTBs and BMXs, concentrating on the various ten-speed orphans ( K.I.S.S. ) and  I’m still waiting to find an old Tommasini or De Rosa on the footpath ( haha ) .

graecross pro-ten

graecross pro-ten

In this climate challenged country with long summer days, the midday period is ideal for finding a shady tree in the yard and working on an old bike in the prevailing sea-breeze.

Which is a kind of “working Siesta” for me  …

nice curves !

nice curves ! shame about the paint ..

This one has a 54cm  frame with “Tange High Quality Tubing” stickers, but too heavy to be anything exotic. Fitted with the basic “pressed steel everything”, it’s your typical underwhelming 10-speed sports bike. Redeeming features are – nicely curved lowers on the Tange steel fork, a Tange-Seiki head set in good working condition, and a neat “Win” alloy stem.

the only alloy bit !

the only alloy bit, bar the suicides !

It appears to have been in use up until recently, which is handy, because the rim brake tracks are relatively rust-free and so the steel wheels are re-useable, perhaps even on another bike.

Suicide brake levers are pretty much a dead give-away that it’s an 80s “wannabe” sporty.  Dia-Compe must have had the patent on these things as the normal levers are steel but the suicides are alloy.

 # don't try suicide ...

# don’t try suicide … they’re useless !

I think it would make a nice mid-weight ten speed cruiser with wider and shallower bars fitted.

Not beginning with a first class frame will always hold back a recycled bike’s desirability, but some benefit can be had by fitting more appropriate and lighter components. These old ten-speeders always seem to have their bars much too narrow for me, and their saddles are too plasticky, cheap and hard, as well as being far too heavy to be genuinely “sporty”.

My 90s Shogun Samurai has spoiled me in this regard, I’m sad to say !

my finest find so far ...

my finest find so far … ( plus many extras )

Graecross is a Victorian brand ( the state, not the era ! ) but there’s not much info on the web and you don’t see that many this far north of the border either. Probably it dates to the mid-80s, and it is fitted with Ukair steel rims, Tagaki 48-40T steel chain-set,  Shimano “Skylark” rear mech. ( same as the Malvern Sportstar ).

Typical are the c.95mm fork dropouts and the 126mm rear ones, 25.8mm steel seat post, the friction stem shifters, and the 1″ threaded headset. Hubs are “Chair” brand – the logo is actually a wooden chair  – made in Japan. The solid rat-trap pedals are also Chair brand.

a ridiculously heavy chain set ...

a ridiculously heavy chain set …

If you have to replace the headset on one of these, it’s best to remember that there are two main fork crown race inner diameters – ISO 26.4 mm and JIS 27.2 mm. Most bikes in Oz are the latter, but a lot of online-selling head sets are ISO, and that 0.8 mm is actually quite a lot of careful filing down – or it means getting another crown race altogether – if you buy the wrong size ! I’m keeping the Tange on this one, BTW.

yes, JIS 27.2 mm

yes, JIS 27.2 mm

During the usual process of dismantling it down to a frameset, I will also be pondering its future….

much better & smoother

overhauled – much better & smoother

While disassembled I found the remainder of a touch-up paint can that I used for the Road King bike a while back – it’s a near perfect match on this one ! Here is the frame-set reassembled with overhauled steering and bottom bracket bearings, and after touch-up paint application.

Thinking, thinking …

touch-up job

the touch-up job

gotta fly now !

gotta fly now !

See Ya !


Read Full Post »