Archive for the ‘Bike spotting (street photos)’ Category

I find that as time goes on I am becoming fussier about the workings of my bicycles. Whereas I used to be happy recycling existing bits unless they were really trashed, I can now much more appreciate the smooth workings of new modern components, in particular hubs, bottom brackets and sometimes steering headsets.

I am going to try consolidate and improve some of my existing bikes to this end, but keep the aged appearances where I can.

Take for example this Miche Primato 32H front track hub that I ordered for the 28″ Speedwell wheel. It spins like butter – so why then lace it to an ancient steel rim ?

smoooth !

silky smoooth !

Well, nostalgia for one thing – I was going to strip the old paint off to respray this wheel black, as I’m thinking of fitting it to my “heritage” Grandfather’s Speedwell, along with the matchng rear. There’s nothing wrong with these rims apart from the extra weight over aluminium ones and a limited 642mm tyre choice – but for a “slow bike” like the Speedwell, this won’t really matter.

white lines appeared

the white lines appeared

However, as the worn but original pin lining magically appeared under the wet and dry rubbing I didn’t have the heart to proceed further. I’m a sucker for hand lining, you see.

So, I put a little paint inside the rim once the rust was removed, fish-oil sprayed into the little rim ‘breather’ holes, and sprayed clear coat over the outside rim.

A few days later, in a couple of hours of quiet therapy, the wheel was re-laced as a 2-cross with 32 x 299mm spokes, and trued.

tell me truly ...

tell me, truly

The large flange hub was used to shorten the required spoke length, as was the 2-cross pattern.

I used spokecalc as the calculator and it worked very well and was easy to use – recommended ! Spokes aren’t cheap, and I already had these new 299mm ones. The originals were 3-cross and 312mm on a small flange “Durex” brand German hub.

in the jig

in the jig

For a front wheel without hub brakes even radial spoking would have been OK.

Also recommended is Lennard Zinn’s book “The Art of Road Bike Maintenance” for its step-by-step wheel lacing guide. This is only my third wheel re-build to date following the recent two Road Chief wheels.

The one minor issue is that this rim’s spoke offets were apparently mis-drilled in manufacture and I had to sacrifice the spoke symmetry around the valve to correctly offset the spokes each side by shifting them all by one hole around from ideal placement – ( Thanks again, Mr Zinn ).

I know it seems a little like putting tractor tyres on a Ferrari, but here is the free rolling result :

round like a gerbera !

round and red, like a gerbera !

I probably don’t need to say this again, but if you are re-wheeling an old bike, pay attention to the dropout widths. I can use this modern 100mm hub only because it’s going into a newish 100mm fork, but many old forks are 95mm or less, which will put stress on – and maybe bend – the new spindle, if a 100mm axle is forced in and tightened.

Bikespotting :

oh, wow - i like this one !

oh, wow – i really like this one !

Have a look at this “To die for” Saracen that I saw in Kotara today.

Reynolds frame, modern brake hoods and shifters, canti brakes, triple ring front mech ( though a compact double would do for me ).

The only thing that spoils the looks a bit is the rearward slope of the rack, but I would love this bike in a slightly larger size !

ho ho ho

ho ho ho

And in Blacksmiths you can now hire a beach cruiser Xmas tandem – cool !

Happy Cycling !


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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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decisions, decisions ...

decisions, decisions …

This rather anonymous looking grab shot of hard rubbish shows some remnants of a once loved Apollo 3-speed ladies bike (model Geneva?) that I came across on a recent ride. It was one of those solidly made steel frames with the attractive enamelled metal  Apollo head badge. I was able to save the wheels and guards but they were all I could safely carry in one go.  That’s the downside of finding such things while riding your bike. The upside, of course, is that you can cover a lot of ground this way without wasting petrol.


Sadly, when I returned not too long after, the garbage crushing pickup truck had only just beaten me to the frame, making me then wonder if I had made the right choice.  Well, you can’t argue with a council garbage engineer, so there was really no point further asking !

Hard rubbish days here really are a matter of luck and persistence, what with the amount of scrap metal trucks circulating well before the official pick-up, and I don’t often have free time for this kind of fun nowadays either. A bike with cargo trailer would be ideal for this activity, even if a little slower in the ‘search’ mode.


The frame was minus forks but the classy looking cotterless steel crank set had been neatly wrapped in plastic for storage and was rust free. Anyway, the rims are an interesting 27x 1 & 3/8″ size that will also take 1 &  1/4″ tyres.


Made me think that those wider 27 inch tyres could have been nice riders, were they still available, like the 26″ x and 28″ x 1 & 3/8″ still are. The rear hub is a good Shimano 3s that may yet come in handy, though the shift apparatus and selector rod are missing. The shiny steel guards will also be usefully recycled…


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darby street evening

This was a good opportunity to view some of Newcastle’s more interesting bikes and riders:

chained to a post …

they were a kona, a something and a repco

There were plenty of steel framed ten-speeds :

apollo ten speed

a basket … and an alley view

another apollo

a malvern star “triathlete”

a rusty apollo step-through

and again

some likely lads

a more modern jamis

an old ricardo mtb

twilight in darby street

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black swan dahon

Finding this bike was one of those unexpected events – It’s so handy I keep it in the car for other unexpected events …

swansea bike shop cruisers

Harleys with pedals ?

i did a double take here …

I thought this passenger above looked a bit creepy at first, but that’s just me …

red reidcycles step thru

This seems a simple low cost bike, but bright red is hard to ignore, especially with those panniers.

Happy Cycling !



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Spotted in Waratah the other day :

“two-wheelers” chatting

Happy Cycling !


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i liked this shot – in winter sun

and a clever use of the brace bar

smile !


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