Given the amount of crappy or otherwise ten speeders dumped out there it’s impossible for me to recycle them all as complete bikes, even if I wanted to :
The beauty of an ‘organic’ approach is that out of the many old sports bikes ( or even ladies’ roadsters ) the good bits that are left over from the ‘dismantle-a-thons’ will add up to a smaller number of improved quality bikes.
I may have to add a few brand new consumables here and there, but that’s mostly it, except for bikes that are special ‘keepers’.
This approach assumes that the bikes are worthwhile restoring but not collectable enough to justify keeping them all original. Everyone will have their own idea about what qualifies or doesn’t however, and as I’ve said many times before, as long as you know what the original componentry was, it’s always possible to reverse any changes as long as the frame and original paint stay intact.
Out of half a dozen rusty steel rims or gravelly hubs there may hide, for example, the makings of a ‘new/old’ 27 inch wheel that is in respectable condition.
The many surplus rusty or broken metal parts can be re-cycled as scrap steel, continuing the process originally intended for the complete bikes by the previous owners.
Here are three recent examples, one of which will be re-built as a working bike :
The first is a ladies’ Apollo Geneva c.1986 6-speed – fitted with a Shimano Positron FH rear derailleur and a single front ring. This one has a straight frame with minimal rust and with the original slightly damaged fenders and a chain guard.
The Positron FH was an early index system that had the click stops in the derailleur rather than the shifter, a solid push-pull shift cable and an unusual proprietary shifter. Neither of these latter two are present on this bike unfortunately, so it will need an alternative shift set-up and derailleur.
Also fitted is a Shimano Uniglide rear freehub, quite unusual for this type of bike in my experience. The Uniglide pre-dates Shimano Hyper-glide and instead of a lock ring the small cog threads on to the freehub end holding the splined cassette in place. Unlike Hyperglide, the splines are all equal width – and two chain whips are needed to remove the small cog and free the cassette. Because the bearings are outboard in the freehub the resulting wheel should be stronger than with the usual thread-on cluster.
Next is a Speedwell Classique 3 – c.1988 – which has been butchered by conversion into a ten-speed resulting in a bent rear frame. Sadly, really, because it has attractive lettering on the decals which are quite different to my earlier Classique 3.
It’s not a very good idea to try and fit a 126mm rear axle into a 110mm dropout meant for an older 3-speed internal hub gear !
The bike was originally a bright pink and the frame and painted guards have faded at different rates. The original colour of a ‘yard’ bike is best judged from the paint on the steerer tube.
It has been stored in the weather, and I took the finding of a large redback spider in the kickstand ( as well as the bent frame ) as an omen not to revive it. Nevertheless, useful parts include a Suntour Spirt front mech., a very clean set of tourist handle bars, a good Araya steel rear rim, a nice narrow steel rear rack and alloy brake levers. The pinkish guards will match the Apollo Geneva quite well and they have a vaguely opulent little nose trim on the front one that can be restored. The fork is straight and will be kept for parts.
The last one was dumped on the footpath along side the Speedwell. It’s a Bennett Super Sports and is in very rusty shape but does have a couple of useful parts on it, particularly the Dia-Compe centre pull brakes and their associated cable hangers and stirrups, and a nice pair of Sugino wing nuts on the front wheel’s 5/16″ axle.
The steel hi-flange front hub is cosmetically too poor to rebuild – even though it was quite OK internally.
The frame is your typical heavy Hi-Tensile job, not worth the effort in this case, because of the rust which is starting to approach structural in places.
The Derailleurs are Shimano Thunderbird II front and Eagle II rear, also cosmetically poor.
Although some of these parts do look a little tragic in the photos they should clean up respectably later on. I’m going to use some on my Oxford International project that is coming along slowly from the last chuck-out season.
See Ya !