Archive for the ‘bicycle pedals’ Category

after some masking, lining, retouching

The BSA team had won the Tour of Britain in 1952, and to commemorate this, the “Tour of Britain” model was released.  It wasn’t a high-end bike even then, but it seems at least the main tubes were Reynolds 531 and it had reasonable BSA and GB components and a Brooks saddle. Raleigh took over BSA in 1957 as the ‘golden age of bicycles’ was drawing to a close. Fast forward to 1978, and this model has become a pretty basic heavy steel ‘sports bike’ .

heavy metal ? – strewth !

Yet it’s still a classic of sorts, even if a heavy steel double chain set and chromed steel rims do not a racer make. The main brake and ‘suicide’ levers and the Weinmann centre pull callipers were the only alloy components to be found.   It certainly isn’t worth spending a fortune on,  yet it has appeal, I suppose, because of the BSA legend – and is fairly rare, at least here in Oz.  If it had been a genuine pre-Raleigh era BSA I would want to keep it more original, however, as it is, I think some lightening is needed. The original parts can be stored away together, just in case. I know there’s only so much one can do with a relatively heavy frame but the weight of it as standard is a bit ridiculous !

The bike was purchased complete, and mostly original, with a straight frame, some surface rust and tatty paint. It’s a 55cm seat tube and 57cm top tube.

Sorry Anglophiles, but it’s going to be wearing some lighter period Japanese clothing soon. Most of the original gear train was made by Huret ( France ) anyway, and the derailleurs are in rough shape.  The band-on down tube steel Huret/Raleigh shifters are unbelievably heavy too.

sturmey archer high flange steelies overhauled – wing nuts weren’t standard

The hubs are also heavy, but do look pretty – and being Sturmey-Archers, they are well worth keeping, while the Rigida rims are a bit out of shape – and alloys would be nicer. All the cones were pitted and the 5/16 ” front axle was slightly bent, so replacements were needed for these. The main things to deal with here were the greater width of the new cones and the different sized dust seals. This is where having a box of salvaged seals and lock-washers of differing width comes in handy. The front bearings are loose 3/16″ with a 5/16″ axle and the rear 1/4″ bearings on a 3/8″ nutted axle – fairly standard stuff for lower end bikes. Spacing for the hubs is 95mm front and 120mm rear ( 5-speed ).

pedals overhauled

When you hand test an old pedal it isn’t always a good sign that it spins for a long time – this usually means that the grease has dried up or washed away. After overhaul you can feel that the grease viscosity has slowed the spin, but they also feel much smoother. These are Raleigh 717 steel rat-traps.

raleigh type fixed cup and park HCW-11. the bolt & washers are a necessity

This model’s  bottom bracket cups were Raleigh 26t.p.i. – the type that has a very low profile 16mm spanner flat, and they proved stubborn – so I bought a Park Tool HCW-11 spanner. Though this looks thin, it is quite strong in the direction of rotation, and works very well as long as it’s held in place with a large bolt and washers, and thick gloves are used, to prevent sore hands from the spanner edge. This type of cup is also used on some lower end 1980s bikes that have the standard English 24t.p.i. threading, so this spanner will definitely get more than one use.

The steering head has loose 5/32″ ball bearings and removable cups – also with the same 26t.p.i. threading on the adjustable top race.

I was pleased to be able to research all this on the Sheldon Brown web site – god bless that man !

bring out the big guns – the lifeline bb tap & face kit

I looked at the options on the site and after some fiddling with combinations of cups, bearings and spindles concluded that 26t.p.i. was not for me. So out with the BB tap and face set, and it’s now going to have a 24t.p.i. square taper cartridge bb.  This is the most drastic ( and the most versatile ) way of solving the problem but I’m determined not to use the clunky cottered Raleigh chain set. 

 The BB is a Raleigh 71mm, not the standard English 68mm. I did remove a small amount of metal to face it, and the cartridge mount fits flush on the non-drive side – that’s O.K., thanks to it not needing a lock ring. It would take an awful lot of elbow grease to get it down to 68mm to take a standard cup and lock ring !

The steering cups will remain as is – note : as the fork threads are, of course, 26t.p.i. as well, a new fork would be required should the adjustable cup be changed to a standard 24t.p.i.  Interestingly, the fork crown lugs have a similar shape to some 1980s Tange lugs.

This bike will take some time to complete because of the attention needed by the paintwork and the BSA logos.

To Be Continued…


Read Full Post »

out testing

out testing

No, no, it’s not really about the fine art of component weight reduction via filling everything full of holes – or at least only vaguely …

full circles

full circles

I’ve been investigating flat pedals for a couple of my bikes and have found two pairs of metal platforms of interest. I assume these are designed for technical MTB-ing down hills but they also make good commuter pedals for urban use in traffic where my regular “long distance” toe clips are too ungainly.

kinda honeycomb ...

now sort of floral …

The first is the Speedplay “Drillium”, a really neat looking and grippy pedal with concave surfaces. They feel like suction cups on your feet and even though quite costly – they are the most expensive pedals I have bought to date – they are very well made and very “different” . Not exactly old school or classic looking for your old bike, they form endlessly fascinating honeycomb patterns at different viewing angles. Too cool for words !

road king & b144s

road king & b144s

The other set is the Wellgo B144 in red to match my Road King, these are well made and grippy, though not as much as the drilliums – at around half the price. Both these pedals are equipped with tiny metal studs to hold your shoes fast.

Will the simple rubber O-ring inner bearing seals on the B144s last the distance though ? – we shall see !

The Road King has gone full circle with its bars, as I have gone back to drop bars. The upright bars I had felt strange as I am becoming more used to road bars, which is odd because I used to dislike them …

Cane Creek SCR-5 are my fave road levers for old bikes too – they are really great to grip .

I found some new cotton bar tape that I have shellacked for the bars, and rather like the look and feel, at least with a cushiony double wrap on the drops anyway.

worth a try, anyway

CL7 – worth a try, i suppose

On the Fernleigh track the 2-speed Sturmey-Archer hub shows its limitations, as you would expect. However it wasn’t planned to be a world-beater, merely a suburban tourer and it does that well. Although I don’t have a computer on it, the gearing allows around 30 ( or so ) km/h in top at a comfortable fast cadence. That’s all most people really need isn’t it ?

It’s a matter of slowing down in first sometimes or grinding out in top when your requirements are somewhere in between the two speeds. If you insist on perfection in such a gear system then you could be disappointed, but it’s still much better for my riding style than single speed !
Some more thoughts on this hub :

When coasting down hill, I kick it back to the lower gear as the high gear freewheel sound is loud and graunchy as opposed to the typical sweet Sturmey low gear sound.

It is difficult to tell which gear you are in at traffic lights when you backpedal for the restart of motion, as the sound is the main clue. Another good reason to not gear it too high – bogging down !

In spite of this it’s a great hub, and you can’t beat the feeling of a fast back pedalling upchange when accelerating.

Big mistakes department — the Dunlop CL7 Narrow classic 50s saddle I tried on the Road King looks cool, but it left a big black rubber stain on my jeans after I tried to revitalise it — it’s back to the trusty B17, I guess !

it doesn't seem like nearly winter ...

it doesn’t seem like nearly winter …

Happy Re-cycling !

Read Full Post »

pink "turbo" mixte

pink “turbo” mixte

When I’m looking at buying an old bike to repair, I try to mentally add up the value of the components as to whether it’s worth it or not.  Not necessarily for that particular bike itself, but sometimes for other uses I have in mind for other bikes.

From another angle, just about any old half decent “chuck-out” bike has a least one good part that’s well worth recycling…

a "lesser" KKT rat-trap

a “lesser” KKT rat-trap

Sometimes a part itself can inspire a project, other times it can be a long awaited solution to a problem on an existing bike. Sometimes a part will sit for months or years before its true purpose becomes apparent to the recyclist…

one done

brass brushes & one done

And occasionally a salvaged part can simply be a pleasure to restore for its own sake.

pleasing shapes

pleasing cut-outs

Take for example these Kyokuto ( a.k.a. KKT ) pedals from the feral “S” bike of a couple of posts ago.


some lovely shapes here

At first I didn’t take much notice of them, as they were hidden by the rusty toe clips and mouldy straps, as well as having a fair coating of rust themselves. But a closer look reveals a beauty of shape in the curves and cutaways, and dismantling them shows a solid and well made pedal.

After some years recycling, I can still be surprised by well made basic components such as these, and can appreciate the quality that is felt by the feet, but not usually seen.

great internals ..

great internals ..

The shiny, almost wear-free races, bearings and cones, and the beautifully machined axles are all the more impressive considering the shabby external condition.

kyokuto ( kkt )

kyokuto ( kkt )

Sure they are all steel, and not “the ultimate” in pedals, but they aren’t that much heavier than similar alloy caged jobs. It’s just a shame about the damaged chrome, but they were still a pleasure to overhaul, and to feel them spinning smoothly in new grease, after all those years.

all done !

all done !

Now I can’t wait to find the old bike to put them on !

Now take that, throw-away world !

And Happy Re-cycling !

see ya !

see ya !

Read Full Post »