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1984 apollo capri -hard rubbish rescue.

1984 apollo capri -hard rubbish rescue.

This one featured in the post ‘Apollo Capri Part 1′ a while back, and in the end I decided to make it a simple flatland city run-around with nice wide bars for easy low speed steering. I’m coming to the view that any basic bike with pressed rear drop-outs and no proper built-in derailleur hanger is probably better off as a single speed or hub geared conversion anyway.

The single 46T chainset was borrowed from another salvaged Apollo ladies’, and the 27″ wheelset swapped from “Grandfather’s Axe” ( another story ! ). The Hi-Stop coaster hub and alloy Weinmann branded rims were bought new a few years back.

One of the problems often encountered doing this sort of conversion is the 95mm fork width and 5/16th” axle sizing on the Apollo front drop-outs. The newer front wheel had 100mm spacing and a thicker axle.

While some might not consider these ‘sports-roadster’ style bikes to have much value, they happen to be what I mostly find as local throwaways and if I only accepted 100mm wide forks I’d be missing out on a lot of good rebuilding opportunities !

reconditioned front hub & new spokes.

reconditioned 95mm front hub & new spokes.

The favoured method I used here was to de-lace the front rim from its original Quando 100mm hub and re-lace it to a restored salvaged 95mm hub – more wheel therapy for me !

To deal with the 110mm rear coaster hub I merely put spacers between the cones and locknuts to widen it out to the approx. 126mm of the previous thread-on 5 speed hub, taking care to maintain chain line and centring. Luckily the axles were easily wide enough to cope with the extra spacers. This negated having to bend the frame and thus kept the drop-out alignment as it was.

110mm ---> 126mm with spacers

110mm —> 126mm with spacers

I’ve used a 22T sprocket for easy pedalling around town and the offset of these larger cogs gives a little adjustability for chain line by flipping it either way as required.

That’s about it for such a relatively simple conversion, and the fact that modern ‘retro’ versions look remarkably similar to this step-through is an indication of the practicality of such a straight forward design.

Perhaps the only disadvantage with this conversion was that derailleur bikes don’t usually come with chain-guards, as one of those would have been perfect for this single speed .

Now, I did have an ideal rear rack for this somewhere … or perhaps a basket ?

P.S. — Don’t forget ‘Wheels on Wheeler’ 4th March 2016 — see previous post for details.

See Ya There !

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as found

as found

This bike is an ideal candidate for refurbishment, showing clues to having been used little and parked carefully. The decals are in good condition and there is little paint scratching. It’s original and complete except for the missing seat post and saddle, and I’ve already dated it from the number ’84’ stamped onto the Sakae Custom-A crank set. Sadly by 1984 some nice Apollo details had been dropped, like the alloy head badge, which has been replaced by a metallic decal. The rims too are cheapish Kin Lins on Joytech hubs – Araya on Shimano would have been more likely a few years previous.

rims gone..

the rims & spokes are pretty well gone..

The main issue for the recyclist is the rust – which is to only be expected from the bike’s location. Swansea is low-lying and surrounded by salt water so the chromed steel rims have gone, the spokes and transmission are rusted up and the paintwork is affected by a few ugly rust spots – though they’re not terminal. The mudguard ( fender ) stays are very surface rust-y although the stainless guards themselves are almost unmarked. I don’t think the wheels had ever been removed, judging by the lack of burrs on the nuts.

crank extractor

the crank extractor

When dismantling a bike for overhaul I like to start with a releasing agent on all accessible threads before removing the pedals, followed by the taking off of vulnerable or clumsy parts like chain sets, rear derailleurs and guards. The guards are better removed after the wheels, and it’s also a good idea to slightly loosen the headset, bar clamp and head stem nuts before removing the wheels, to test that they’re not frozen up.

intersting shifter mount - suntour

interesting shifter mount – suntour friction

Often one of the worst trouble spots is the fixed bottom bracket cup, but that takes longer to get to and is probably best removed from a fairly bare frame to avoid damage to other components. Plastic crank axle bolt covers and steel pedal axles in alloy cranks are possible nightmares too. If the plastic cover breaks rather than unscrews, pick it out bit by bit with a small flat screwdriver. if a fixing has both a hex head and screw slots use the hex head if possible. Socket or ring spanners are preferable to open ended or shifting spanners for releasing tough bolts.

the suntour honor rear derailleur is heavy but reliable..

the suntour honor rear derailleur is heavy but reliable..

If you’re new to this, take photos as you go and keep related components together in separate containers. Replacing nuts and bolts back on removed assemblies can help identify where they go later. For paired components such as brake and shift levers. pedals, brake callipers etc. it’s a good idea to dismantle and overhaul one at a time so that there is always an assembled one on hand for cross reference. Concentric assemblies such as headsets can be kept together by threading onto thin wire and tying together in their order of assembly.
Even though i’ve done quite a few of these jobs it’s amazing how easy it is to lose things or to forget part sequences and more so if I am only working sporadically on a project which is why I like to keep organised.

When the chain is this rusty it’s perhaps easier to cut it off with bolt cutters and shout the poor steed a new one. The freewheel here is a classic Suntour 5-speed ‘Perfect’ 14-28T which has a lovely click to it when coasting. This one was frozen up, but it will free up with some oil. The surface rust is typical from lack of use and is relatively easily neutralised. More importantly, I check that the teeth are not chewed up by the chain. This freewheel is unworn on all cogs but a well used one with no rust could easily be worn out, typically on the middle or small cogs depending on the type of use it has had.

pie-plate and 2-prong suntour 'perfect' 5sp.

pie-plate and 2-prong suntour ‘perfect’ 5-spd.

Take the freewheel off before disassembling the back wheel – if you’re going that far that is ! The wheel rim is used as a lever with a 2-prong Suntour tool held in a bench vice and the wheel nut ( or Q.R. skewer ) tightened onto it. Like a steering wheel the rim is turned anti-clockwise until the threads just let go, then remove the nut ( or Q.R. ) and wind the tool and freewheel off by hand. I then disassembled these wheels by cutting the spokes with a bolt cutter for speed – though I usually remove good spokes carefully with a key for re-use if I am keeping the rims.

joytech hubs - the front is worth overhauling

joytech hubs – the front is worth overhauling

These are all the parts of these wheels that I will keep – the 95mm Joytech front hub, the freewheel and the 126mm rear Joytech hub.( I have better rear hubs so I may not be using this one ). The front will be overhauled and re-used as I have many needy sets of typically 95mm wide ‘ten-speed’ forks not to mention this bike’s !

crank axle complete & in good nick

crank axle assembly in reasonable nick

I was pleased to find a plastic shroud over the crank axle. How many old bikes don’t have these and then need a new BB because crud has fallen down the tubes and contaminated the bearings – OK, so no one services BBs, right ?

I’ve lost count … I mean, how much would it cost any maker to have fitted one of these sleeves ?

i'm still working...

i’m still working…now’s a good time to remove the BB.

P.S.  I’ve been enjoying the L.A. 84 single speed conversion lately – it’s so simple to ride !

yummm !

yummm !

To be continued …

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