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Archive for the ‘classic ten speed bikes’ Category

back to nearly original

back to nearly original

The time has come to part with my 1984 Road King which was one of my first hard rubbish salvages featured early in the life of this blog.

Though I now have many more bikes to choose from, I’ve revived, experimented on, and travelled many fun miles on this Woolworths Ltd. ten speeder. Lack of storage space had me disassemble it a while back and really, an old bike needs to be used and appreciated at least occasionally …

it just needs bar tape & maybe cables ..

it just needs bar tape & maybe cables ..

The new owner and his brother had each owned one in their youth, and would like to indulge in a little nostalgia, so I’ve converted this red one back to as close as I could to original, with a couple of changes – mainly a better cluster and a square taper ( but still period ) crank set.

Hopefully he will have many similar fun miles pootle-ing along all over again on this now 32 year old blast from the past.

P.S. As the new owners are also looking for a ‘brother’ bike in silver finish with the blue trim I would invite any reader, preferably local to Newcastle/Maitland /Central Coast areas, who has a silver ‘gents’ model Road King for sale to post a reply here so I can pass it on.
The main requirement is that the frame and fork themselves be in reasonable to excellent condition, and with the original silver paintwork and decals intact.

Thanks in Advance – and Happy Re-Cycling !

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This is my ‘go-to’ bike, for when I am in a hurry to get somewhere, and it’s also one of the bikes I actually paid good money for ( ! ), due to it having an ideal personal frame size, the paintwork’s excellent condition for age, and its curious mix of components.

a previous incarnation

a very slightly previous incarnation

After spending some time on a bike, I like to think of ways to improve and / or personalise it, and so it was with this one, as follows :

600ex arabesque

600ex arabesque chainset & fd

I swapped the crank set from the lone Shimano 105 Golden Arrow 52/42 ‘Bio-pace to Shimano 600EX ‘Arabesque’ ( early 80s ). This required a change of bottom bracket from 119mm to 116mm for chain line, and so I fitted a new Shimano cartridge BB.

The Golden Arrow and Arabesque designs are two wonderfully decorative Shimano series. The Arabesque chain wheel retains it’s original “W-cut” 52T big ring but I had to replace the worn inner with a T.A. 39T.
I retained the Arabesque front derailleur and also the RX100 rear derailleur. I thought of fitting an Arabesque rear derailleur as well, but so far have retained the RX100 7-spd., and even though it isn’t as good a visual match, it works effectively. RX100 sat between the 500 Exage and 105 series from the late 1980s – for those who care about such things !

rx100rd

rx100rd

The down-tube shifters were changed to Dura-Ace 9 speed as I don’t have any indexed 7-speed ones. This may be temporary as the indexing is not correct in the larger cogs, though I can use them as friction shifters, if necessary, for hills.

is red faster ?

is red faster ?

I’ve tried a couple of sets of wheels as the original Mavic MA40s seemed a bit heavy so I tried Ambrosio Extra 19 Elites ( which were definitely lighter ), then finally ( ? ) the pair of greenish bronze 32H Arayas from the Shogun. The front is re-laced to a new Shimano 105 – 5700 hub while the rear is a Shimano RX100 – because it is the correct width ( 126mm ) and takes a 7-speed cassette which is the theoretical max. for 126mm dropouts. I fitted a 12-28T cassette to replace the 13-23T on the old 6-speed threaded hub. I prefer the look of silvery rims to the black/grey Mavics on this bike too.

The single pivot 1990s Campagnolo Veloce brakes were swapped with the RX100 dual pivots from the Shogun, and there’s no comparison – the RX100s are great stoppers with better modulation.

The older EX Arabesque levers with round drillings also feel better in the hand than the original ‘newer’ 600 slotted models, and are more reasonably comfortable without their gel hoods. This bike is easy for me to ride and brake in the ‘drops’.

swoopy b15

swoopy b15

The saddle is a beautiful Brooks B15 Swallow ‘select’ which is the ‘sportiest’ and least restrictive Brooks, yet it still has a decent amount of ‘give’ in the leather.

brooks & cinelli

brooks & cinelli

I replaced the Cinelli XA 80mm stem and ‘Criterium’ bars with the more comfortable ‘Giro d’Italia” bars and a Nitto 100mm stem for a better personal fit. The new red Jagwire cables are a spot on colour match ( i.m.h.o. ! ).

giro d' etc..

giro d’ etc..

The bar tape is thicker Cinelli Gel Cork in Natural finish – it’s easier on both the eye and on the wrists than the previous white tape.

moon comet rear

moon comet rear

With the little Brooks saddle bag fitted, I had trouble finding somewhere to fit the rear light so I went for a Moon ‘Comet” rear light that comes with a saddle rail bracket. It’s very discreet when off and very bright when on, and it has a nice permanently integrated appearance on this bike, albeit being a bit difficult to access.

I also had a brainwave to use the Soma bar end flashers for an extra bit of bling-y-ness ( pretend read : safety ! ).

Tufo ‘tubular clincher” tyres complete the build, and if you haven’t heard of these, they are a tubular style integrated tube / tyre that fit a normal clincher rim and therefore don’t require tub tape, or glue, or even rim tape !

c-hi tubular clincher

c-hi tubular clincher

when is a tub not a tub ?

when is a tub not a tub ?

I decided to try these because I was so impressed with the S33 24mm tubulars on my Shogun. Though maybe not quite as ‘floaty’ as the pure tubulars they are very supple for a 23mm tyre and, in common with other Tufos I have now tried, they change direction effortlessly and quickly, and are very fast rolling and confidence inspiring tyres. The ‘C Hi-Composite’ version has a higher casing thread count than the S33 which means it should be relatively more supple.

underneath

underneath

The restrictions being the recommended rim sizes ( these ‘C-Hi’ also come in 26mm for wider rims too ) and that you need ‘thumbs of steel’ to initially fit them. The only way to repair a puncture is with sealant so they may not be for everyone but I do recommend trying them. I’m running these at 90 psi rather than the recommended 115+ and they seem fine at this pressure…

Also with these tyres there is a rubber lip that sits atop the rim walls and this needs to be kept clear of brake pads.

As it stands now, the Vectre is my best ‘long distance’ steel road bike, along with the smaller, slightly lighter Shogun Samurai and it’s quicker than my larger and heavier ( but comfortable ) ProTour. I just wish I knew more of its previous history…

See Ya !

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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 :

not too crappy though - an apollo III waiting in line

not too crappy though – an apollo III waiting in line

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.

nice lines .. a classique 3 speedwell

nice lines .. a classique 3 speedwell

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 :

apollo geneva

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 shimano positron r.d.

the shimano positron r.d.

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.

uniglide freehub

uniglide freehub

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.

this one is an earlier 5-speed shimano 600

this one is an earlier 5-speed shimano 600

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.

classique 3

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.

a roamin' ruin ?

a roamin’ ruin ? – nice graphics ..

bennett super sports - not much of value here

bennett super sports – not much of value here

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.

i now have a matching centre pull pair !

i now have a matching dia-compe centre pull pair !

close to it, but not yet dead

close to it, but not yet dead rear cable hanger

dia-compe alloy stem is too fretted on the bar-clamp to be safe

dia-compe alloy stem is too fretted on the bar-clamp to be safe

The Derailleurs are Shimano Thunderbird II front and Eagle II rear, also cosmetically poor.

i was very pleased with these wing-nuts

i was very pleased with these sugino wing-nuts

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.

c.1975 oxford has appeal

c.1975 oxford has appeal

See Ya !

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Life is short, as we know – but the re-cycle-athon goes on forever …

Welcome to ‘Re-Cyclocross’, a fun outdoor event for amateur re-cyclists. Here is a typical re-cyclocross bike :

oxford international

oxford international

This event traditionally begins at “Chuck-Out Time”, the twice yearly hard waste council pick-up event that’s coming to a suburb near you …. ( OK, so some councils have sadly done away with this tradition but it’s still going strong around these parts ).

This is basically how it goes :

A provincial sport based around finding as many classic ten-speed bikes as possible in a given time, hoisting them over one’s shoulder and carrying said ten-speeds to a waiting ute or van, to then be whisked off to the re-cyclist’s grotto for assessment and / or repair.

I would note here that unlike regular cyclocross where the bike is shouldered to surmount steep hills or obstacles, in re-cyclocross this is usually done because the found bike has no wheels… and I’ve noticed this de-wheeling happening a lot lately. In some ways this is good because the average tyre-kicking citizen is less likely to pick up and keep an incomplete bike.

protour crx100 62cm

protour crx100 62cm – a decent frame

One begins by parking at an appropriate location considering carefully the age demographic of the chosen suburb. For example, new estates are generally a waste of time as the residents tend to only chuck out outgrown kids’ bikes.

no-one wanted this - not even me !

no-one wanted this cheap hybrid – not even me !

Hmmm, then again, the humble kids bike need not always be overlooked as they can be a useful supply of 110mm coaster brakes and 95mm front hubs, often only lightly used. These can be  laced into classic 27″ rims if 36 hole. However I don’t always pick these up as it’s a shame when the bike is complete, as these 16-20 inchers usually are.

hi-stop 110mm coaster from child's bike

hi-stop 110mm coaster from child’s bike

Nevertheless, it’s the classic ten speeds that are the main appeal, like this just found beauty, an Apollo ‘Capri’ ladies 27″ —- cool bananas !

bike find of the week - rusty but straight, paint is reasonable

Often to be found in the older areas where they have had plenty of time to age and rust quietly unused in the garage for a few decades while their owners are otherwise occupied with life. I say ten speeds because one is lucky to ever find a three speed anymore, they are quite rare.

apollo capri

apollo capri – classic !

Anyway, after parking the van the sporting method is to mount one’s bicycle and set off on a block by block time trial around the suburb, carefully balancing the need for speed with the subtle skill of picking out a handlebar or other clue whilst whizzing past countless piles of the once loved leftovers from our culture of materialism.

aha-there's one -- and no, i left it there

aha-there’s one — and no, i left it there

20km/h is plenty fast enough for this section, unless one is being pursued by scrappies or the council truck…this time though, I see less scrap merchants around. Falling iron ore prices, perhaps ?

At least one need not be concerned about other cyclists, they are generally in a different race, busy minding their own business or strava-ing away.

roadmaster gx10 k-mart -  too heavy !

roadmaster gx10 (k-mart) sports – too heavy !

The usual opposition are those scrappies and tyre-kickers driving around in their trucks, utes, 4WDs etc. They will think nothing of snaffling one’s ‘new pride and joy’ while one is engaged in a sprint back to one’s van … ( whew, that was lucky ! ).

Being able to judge bike quality quickly is a skill I’m still working on, because I prefer to swoop quickly and then examine the spoils afterward, at leisure.

speed star single speed - interesting, but poor quality

speed star single speed – interesting, but poor quality frame

Sometimes one sees a lot, sometimes little. Even a single wheel can be useful if it’s the right kind. People don’t generally throw out perfectly useful bikes though, there is always something wrong, however minor.

My best find was a nice silver Shogun Samurai a while back.

a nice find if i do say so ... shogun trail breaker

a nice find if i do say so … shogun trail breaker

This time the best find was probably this Shogun Trail Breaker MTB with Shimano Exage 400 LX components. Many parts will need to be improvised though.

yay, replaceable chain rings and a quality frame !

yay, replaceable chain rings and a quality frame !

All in all I guess the event is a combination of orienteering, time trialling, sprinting, cyclocross, and ‘couch potato in the auto’. ( The truly dedicated would probably use a bike trailer or bakfiets to do the pick-up, adding to the difficulty and immediacy ).

And remember, if that neglected Tommasini or DeRosa has been gazzumped when one returns, it’s only a game … and one should have carried something that good away on the bike immediately … sigh.

off track

But wait – don’t relax yet, the event isn’t over !

The final stage of re-cyclocross is the ‘dismantle-athon’. There are a couple of reasons for this, one being the need to store the useful bits away in as little of one’s limited space as possible. The second reason is the ‘partner factor’ i.e. ” Where did that come from ? You have enough bikes already !!!! Grrr !
Needless to say, the speed of the dismantle is paramount, adding haste to the re-cyclists spanner-work skills !

In this way one can chuck out one’s unwanted bits at one’s very own chuck-out a few weeks later, while appearing as a non-hoarder by actually getting rid of stuff and re-cycling useful scrap metal. Ahh, such subterfuge – I love it !

Happy Re-Cyclocrossing ! ( and don’t forget to smell the flowers when it’s over ).

serenity

serenity

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the vectre

the vectre

The young woman from my local antique shop tapped on the van window as I was parked nearby – “I think the boss wants to show you a bike” … “Uh oh”, I say to myself , ” Not another bike, I’m flat out re-cycling as it is. ”

“OK, I’ll have a look then, thanks”. It was nice they remembered me at least, though I have purchased a few bikes there previously, including the Malvern Star LA84 and Speedwell Classique 3.

So out the back of the shop I go.  He says ” I was going to keep this but don’t think I’ll ever get to ride it so I’m selling – asking $X for it. Thinks “Vectre, Vectre .. doesn’t ring a bell” so I googled it later, but with no result.

“The owner had it up on his wall, it’s from a deceased estate” . I was struck by how clear and clean the rich red paintwork was, surely this bike had hardly seen the Australian sun since the mid-80s when it was new. Well, unless it’s a repaint that is …

Also it’s a 59cm seat tube and 57cm top tube, a pretty good size for me ( meaning that I don’t have to stoop to the drops as with some smaller of my road bikes. So, I succumbed…

non-drive side

non-drive side

The Component List :

Frame and fork : Unidentified frame tubing, Columbus dropouts front and rear.

yumm

yumm

I haven’t fully dismantled the frame, so it’s hard to gauge it’s actual weight, but the quality of fittings and finish,  braze-ons and lugs suggest it’s pretty good tubing. No identifying stickers observed.

Head-set : Shimano – I can’t identify the model on Velobase, plastic covers in grey with no major lettering but definitely Shimano.

criterium 65 bars

criterium 65 bars

Stem and bars : Cinelli XA 80mm alloy quill, Cinelli “Criterium 65” – 42cm c-c alloy drop bars.
The Cinelli Criterium bars are still made, though the current milky anodised finish is slightly more matte looking than these.

criterium 65

criterium 65

Seat post : Unidentified with black fluting and clamp, c. 27.0mm , Zeus seat post clamp pin.

Saddle : Iscaselle Tornado dark brown mottled leather covered. Now replaced by B17 Imperial Narrow due to my personal riding preferences.

golden arrow

‘golden arrow’ logo, some fine scratching

Crank set : Shimano FC-S125 ( i.e. 105 ‘Golden Arrow’ ) This early 105 version gives a visual nod to the more decorative 600EX Arabesque group, but is not as obvious by having a simpler motif. Fitted to it are Biopace 52/42T elliptical chainrings. I very much like the look of the “Golden Arrow” group, later named  “105” ( which is still Shimano’s current third level down from Dura-Ace and Ultegra (formerly “600” or “Ultegra 600” in the 1980s ). I haven’t been aware of this early 105 group until now.

Hubs : Shimano HB6207 600 series Q.R. They’re running smoothly, though I’m sure a re-greasing will add to their longevity. ( Now done ! )

mavic ma40

mavic ma40

Rims : Mavic MA40 box section anodised grey, eyeletted, with the red diamond trademark ( pre 1988 ). Strong looking 700C clincher rims, and rather difficult to get tyres onto and off !

veloce callipers - a tight fit

veloce callipers – a tight fit

Brakes : Campagnolo Veloce side pull callipers, Shimano 600 levers — no Q.R. on either ( curses ! ). A nice looking ‘Campagnolo’ script graces these basic brakes. They have a respectable stopping ability on this bike, even with their original pads.

Front derailleur : Shimano 600EX Arabesque.

Rear derailleur & shifters : Shimano RX100 SIS with Z series freewheel cluster 13-23T – 6-speed SIS ( indexed ). SL-S434 indexed shifters.

The RX100 series is also roughly equivalent in level to Shimano’s 105 group which superseded it.

shimano 600 series pedals

swoopy – shimano 600 series pedals

Pedals : Shimano PD-6207 with toe clips.

Extras : Zefal fpX4 long frame pump ( presta valve ). Neat old school – Park Tool does a similar new version of this full frame pump.

And 2 x Duro IRC “triathlon” high pressure 27 x 1″ cotton gum wall ( ! ) tyres. New old stock. I’m wondering why not 700c ? Maybe the Mavic wheels are more recent ?

The tyres will come in handy for some other wheels I have.

This bike has very little in the way of patina, it looks so new. Cared for and ridden little. Dare I say that it’s lacking in visual character ? Red isn’t my fave colour either … ah, well.

A stored bike that is nearly 30 years old is bound to have dry bearings, and so it was that the steering failed the “no hands” test miserably. A closer look revealed that there was no seal on the fork crown race and tacky dry looking grease in there. A closer inspection showed brinelling of the races. The crown race was ISO 26.4mm so I had to wait for a headset to be ordered.

the bb shell

the bb shell

While waiting for some better tyres and the headset I decided to have a look at the bottom bracket. The slotted shell isn’t something you see on cheap bikes, and requires a seal of some sort be fitted for the vulnerable bearings. The BB is in good shape, a traditional cup and loose bearing with a protective plastic sleeve to counter the open shell.

the bb

the bb

On any old bike it will pay to service all the main bearings ( steering, BB & hubs ) unless you can be sure they have already been very recently serviced, and, ( at least in my experience } that’s generally something only real enthusiasts will have done.

The new tyres are Challenge Strada Bianca ‘open tubulars’ and they roll beautifully and steer very well. They come packed as flat ribbons much like tubulars.

However, being 30mm tyres they push the very limits of this frame’s clearances. Sadly, I think I will have to change them for 28s or 25s on this bike.

flat ! -- strada biancas

flat ! — strada biancas

The Veloce brakes have no quick releases and neither do the 600 levers so most of the air needs to go before the wheels can be removed – or by removal and refit of one brake shoe !

I may have to reconsider them too.

The headset is a now a Dia Compe – not my first choice, but the best fitting I could find with its low stack height.

The components seem to come from slightly different eras, and I think the brake callipers are 1990s where the rest are 1980s.

pelican marina

pelican marina

This bike is a definite keeper, and worthy of considered component upgrades .

See Ya !

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the final version ?

the final version ?

the sturmey s2 hub

the sturmey s2 hub

A while back I converted my Road King ten-speed into a two-speed by using the Sturmey Archer S2 kickback hub. I really liked this hub, but disliked the “deep V” rim it came fitted with, firstly because I find aero rims ugly and secondly, the rim was very heavy, and the depth and short spokes made for very rough riding on the already non-compliant Road King frame.
So I dismantled it and found another reason for disliking deep-Vs , i.e. the spokes are a pain to work on…

s2 road king

s2 road king – one version

Having 32 spoke holes, upgrading the S2 hub required me to order some new rims and a new front hub. I settled on H Plus Son ‘Archetypes’ from Wiggle, in a bold black anodised finish with classy upper case white lettering, which really suited the frame I had chosen. The front hub is a Miche Primato 32H low-flange track model. These rims were a relative pleasure to fit to the chosen hubs  and they ran true without too much fiddling.

the mystery bike

the mystery bike

This frame is a mystery, and the previous owner could not throw any light on it. The cast rear dropouts are Gipiemme (suggesting 1970s at the earliest) , the original fixed BB cup was an older Brampton but the bike had been fitted up with a Shimano 600EX Arabesque group. I wanted this group for another project though, so I had to begin anew with this frameset.

tapping the bb

great care is needed – tapping the bb

No wheels were fitted as found. The BB is stamped “V26272”

The frame decals are “Speedwell” but have been added after some repainting – I don’t believe that Speedwell is the original brand as there are no indications of the Speedwell head badge having been fitted.

There are brazed on guides under the BB for front and rear derailleurs and for shifters on the down-tube. No eyelets or bottle cage threads fitted though.
I had to use a Tange fork from another frameset as the old ones had corroded dropouts. Coincidentally the tange fitted well, and is the right colour red also.

To up the gearing a little from the Road King’s 42 x 22T, I used a Token TK2051 crank with a 44T ring and the 22T rear cog. This gives a moderate 2:1  ( c.54 inch ) bottom gear and a good all round ‘urban’ top gear ( 1.4x – my guess is roughly 44x16T equivalent ).

I retained the original fluted SR Laprade seatpost and the 3T “Competizione” drop bars and fitted a new VP head-set and a Genetic 100mm road stem. Brakes are new Tektro R559 long throw with Dia-Compe Q.R. levers. I used Cinelli “Mike Giant” arty bar tape in black & white for some more character.

The trickiest part of this rebuild was the bottom bracket, as the threads would not allow me to fit a new sealed square tapered BB. I’ve had this problem before on old bikes, and I guess it’s because the sealed cartridges have a wider threaded area on the fixed cup than the old non-sealed ones which, over many years, allow grit and moisture to clog and corrode the inner shell threads preventing further inward travel.

heaps of swarf

wow – heaps of swarf

I decided to bite the bullet and buy a BB thread tap and shell refacing kit. The Park Tool kit was too expensive to justify for this hobbyist mechanic, so I went for a ‘Lifeline’ kit. This worked quite well but the instructions are poor – and one needs to be absolutely certain that the correct tools for each side are used ( as there are both left and right handed threads on an English threaded BB ). Luckily the Park Tool site has a useful ‘help and repair’ section and their kit functions in quite a similar way. The new sealed BB now threaded in smoothly and easily.

 

a shiny result !

a shiny result !

Tyres chosen were Schwalbe Delta Cruiser in cream, and these 35C jobs give a smooth ride and roll reasonably well at the recommended 65psi ( for such ‘semi-balloons’ at least ! )

I wanted the tyres to contrast with the black rims and I am rather pleased with the look. Tyre clearance is close at the rear and the nutted Tektro brakes work very well. They were the best I could find for the large drop and wide tyres.
With these tyres, the laid back seat tube, the longish wheelbase and thick bar tape, the bike gives a comfortable ride on the rough urban and suburban roads I often use.

isca-selle tornado

isca-selle tornado

The frame has a 56cm seat tube and 58cm top tube ( C-C ). These old style ‘over-square’ frames often give an unfashionably slow and yet lovely stable steering. To my mind it depends as much as anything on one’s riding ‘mood’ and environment as to which is preferable.

And there’s no toe overlap here, even with large toe clips.

"toy camera" effect

“toy camera” effect

I originally tried an Iscaselle “Tornado” classic saddle that I acquired with another bike, but while it looked great, it’s not as comfortable as any of my regular Brooks, so I am now trying my ‘Team Pro’ instead. Although the Italian ‘leather over foam and plastic’ saddies feel initially softer than Brooks I find that over a distance my bum somehow partially settles somewhere on the hard chassis, whereas the Brooks ‘hammock’ style keeps the pressure points more evenly supported.

now with "team pro" saddle

now with “team pro” saddle

I’ve learned a little technique after using this hub for some time, especially for the tricky down changes. The rattly freewheel sound while coasting in high can be quietened by back-pedalling very slightly, then, if necessary a small quick back kick from there will shift it to low. Still catches me out sometimes though …

I left the frame pretty much as it was, just a rough de-rust and paint touch-up.

hmmm ?

hmmm ?

I added the hand painting of the head tube inset – black with a white question mark – as being appropriate to this mystery frame and I kept the Speedwell decals as they’re part of its history now.   The lugs have been lined in white and — hey presto !

A new-old rough ‘city fun bike’.… and was it worth the trouble ? Well, I think the heavy and harder riding Road King now has to go anyway.

Happy Re-cycling !

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the L.A. 84

the L.A. 84

 

The Malvern Star L.A. 84 was released to commemorate those Olympics, but is a far cry from what the Olympians would have been riding. Still, it’s a step up from the Sportstar  that I was in the process of renovating and so has jumped the proverbial recyclist’s queue … the frame is nice and high, with a 59cm seat tube and a relatively short 56cm top tube.

cro-mo go slow...

cro-mo go slow…

The frame is indicated as being double butted Chrome-Moly steel, and I at least think the 3 main tubes are, as they have that high ‘ting’ sound when tapped. Other nice features are 27″ Araya alloy rims on decent Shimano hubs ( though the back axle was found to be mysteriously bent ), SR Laprade fluted alloy post 26.6mm, SR alloy stem and SR “Road Champion” alloy bars with Cinelli tape.

fluted SR post

fluted SR post

The brakes are Dia Compe ‘500’ side pull callipers. Shimano Z series gear components are reasonable too, with a mid length rear derailleur to cope with the 32T largest cog and 12 friction shifted gears via stem shifters. A Tange Seiki headset looks to be in decent condition. There is a single plastic star on the head tube in typical Malvern Star fashion.

steering detail

SR steering detail

The ordinary parts include an alloy crank / steel ring combination 52/40T Takagi chainset and a basic PVC covered plastic saddle. Also the rear dropouts are only pressed steel 126mm and the front are 95mm wide. Brake levers are those annoying Dia Compes with no gel hoods and suicide levers … ah well.

note the missing bolts !

note the missing bolts !

It’s a good starting point, and I would like to keep the old parts aside just in case I want to build it back as fully original.

rear mech

rear mech

I can’t understand how the axle got so bent when the derailleur appears straight – the dropout needed straightening too.

kkt alloy pedals

kkt alloy pedals

These KKT pedals are exceptionally light – one is tight and has some rust under the black end cap – hopefully it’s not terminal.

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