Archive for the ‘protour bicycle’ Category

it looks good from a couple of metres

it looks good from a couple of metres away – the paint is a little rough from previous neglect

I’ve mostly enjoyed the time spent riding this bike and have taken some time to make a few needed improvements to it. The general idea is for something that can be easily ridden at a steady 25 km/h or so, all day, in decent comfort as it’s not going to be a very light bike – no matter what lightweight accessories are fitted to it.

as discovered last year

as discovered last year

It has a strong frame with no noticeable flex and a very comfortable ride, but with responsive steering for such a large frame – its 61cm seat tube is technically ( but not practically ) too large for me, but this allows a traditional low seat relative to the bars resulting in a very comfortable ‘distance’ riding position.

Have a look at some distance racing bikes from decades ago – such as long distance record holder Beryl Burton’s – the saddles are only around an inch higher than the bar tops … and in my case the drops can become the default position with the hoods and tops giving an ‘almost upright’ position that’s great for traffic or scenery watching.

This Protour also takes most bumpy asphalt – even in corners – in its sedate, unwavering stride.

What I felt really needed changing were the tyres, the shifters and, now since I’d found a decent triple chainset that suited, then I would try that too.

I finally located a second 27″ Continental Gatorskin tyre to replace the previous sluggish Kenda ’27 inchers’ — hooray ! These tyres are hard to find now in this size, but at 85 psi they roll further, grip better, don’t squirm when cornering and are comfortable at 32-630 ETRTO – or 27 x 1 & 1/4″ size.

The Shimano Ultegra 8 speed bar end shifters were just the ticket because down tube shifters can be a pain to reach on large frames like this. Surprisingly the indexing seems to work nicely on the 7 speed cluster – I did think I’d be using it in friction mode ! These shifters aren’t cheap but they do come with all cables and fittings, and are pretty good value as such.

As there are no braze-ons for down tube shifters I used old style 10 speed clamp-on cable stops instead of the supplied down tube adjusters.

The front derailleur doesn’t really need the adjuster ( friction ) and the rear can still be adjusted at the derailleur end, as well as at the cable clamp itself. The only real difference is having to stop to adjust the indexing – if ever needed.

So far the indexing hasn’t missed a gear which is more than I can say about the front friction shifting, at least while I’m acclimatising to the changes on the triple !


Speaking of which, the previous derailleurs were replaced with the Shimano Exage 400 long-cage from the Shogun MTB chuck-out I found last year. The chain rings have been replaced with T.A. 48/38/30 and the cassette is a 13-28T which should cover any hill in my area. The 110 mm PCD Exage 400 crank set would have allowed a ( 74mm PCD ) 27 or 28T inner if I had wanted to go that low..

As the bottom bracket from the donor Shogun was shot, I had to invest in a 122.5mm Shimano cartridge to suit.

Lightweight mud guards would be nice on this, but I cant seem to find any that clear the Tektro R539 brakes.

The bike rides like new – as it should when nearly all the bearings and components have been replaced or serviced. In this case it was worth it for such a competent frame to be given a second life.

Other things that have happened recently –

1) the Wheels on Wheeler event was a fun day, though I thought it would have been really brilliant if it were on the same day as Olive Tree markets at least as far as numbers go. Ah, well…

2) I’ve discovered Lycra (!) and it’s comfortable – but I still don’t ride in it everywhere, and I’m pretty fussy about not trying to look too much like a road-geek !
Well, I can always put my baggy shorts over the top of my Funkier gel ones when I get off the bike. Along with my budget Aldi jersey and $10 Salvos Fila shoes I’m well ahead in the comfort and dollar stakes, though I am looking at better Morvelo & Maloja gear online as well. Nothing ‘team’ for me though, readers !

Oh, and rear jersey pockets are great for wallets ( compulsory I.D. in N.S.W. — groan ! ) but where on earth is one supposed to put a decent camera ?

Happy Re-Cycling !


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some great street art ...

some great street art …

This bike was briefly featured in my recent ‘chuck-out-a-thon’ post having been unceremoniously cast out minus the wheels, all oily-gritty and rusty.

protour crx100 62cm

protour crx100 62cm – as found

I was intrigued, as it has an “Australian Made Frame” decal on the seat stays. It is a large framed hybrid, ( 62cm seat tube C-C, 60cm top tube C-C ), and I haven’t found much on the web about ProTour except that they seem to have been made late 80s to early 90s by Southcotts in Adelaide.

Protour is one of those names that turn up a lot of unrelated rubbish when googled, as you can imagine ! Most of the information came from the cycling forums, with someone suggesting there was a tie in with Ricardo somewhere. South Australia seems to have had a lot of bicycle history happening in the 80s and 90s !

Being a hybrid it had flat bars, a riser stem, and I would assume once wore 27″ wheels, from the brake pad locations. The Suntour Accushift 6sp. thumb shifters are rather plasticky and won’t be re-used. Some band-on Suntour down tube shifters are shown below. Crankset was a fairly heavy steel ringed, alloy cranked ( and worn out ) Sugino “Proto” c.52/40T.

some of the yucky bits from the dismantle-a-thon

some of the yucky bits from the dismantle-a-thon ( and the ‘new’ shifters ).

Front Derailleur is a nondescript Suntour, the rear a medium / long cage Suntour XCM ( MTB ). Brake callipers are recessed ProStars in black. Seat pin is 26.4mm dia. and an italian Vetta saddle was fitted. None of this is of much consequence, as it’s the frame I’m most interested in, for it has the ‘feel’ of decent quality about it.

The tubing decal is missing from the seat tube, but I’m guessing from forum comments it may be Tange 5 plain gauge cr-mo or a higher grade Tange chromo steel. Some forums say Protour used Mangalloy steel, similar make-up to Reynolds 531, (?) I am only guessing here …

The frame would definitely benefit from better components. I see it as a comfortable longer distance ride, and will also set it up with some hill climbing ability in mind. The large frame on a bike like this means ( for me ) a comfortable riding position with higher bars due to a low relative saddle height. ‘Experts’ might tell me it’s too big, but from my experience with the refurbished Giant Boulder 550, I think it will be just fine even with the flat-footed stand-over residual height at zero.

Frame angles look on the steepish side so it should be responsive and yet it will have no toe overlap ( I checked ! ). Large frames like these don’t always make the most graceful looking bikes though.

ready and rolling !

ready and rolling !

Typically for a chuck-out it has 126mm rear dropouts (5/6/7 speed) and a 95mm front dropout width (damn that 5mm). At least they are forged/cast dropouts. The fork had the word ‘Falter’ stamped faintly on the stem. The serial number on the BB shell begins with ’90’ so I assume that’s its year of birth.

super vivid scene...

super vivid scene…

I fitted a new VP head set, re-tapped the BB threads and put in a Shimano UN-55 113mm cartridge BB. Cranks are now recycled Shimano – early105, ( FC-1050 ) 170mm. Chain rings are new, T.A. 49T + 38T, from Wiggle UK.

These are marked 9/10 speed and I wasn’t sure how they would go with a 7sp. Cluster and an 8sp. chain … luckily it’s friction shifting ! I had to fit thin spacers between the spider and the inner ring to stop the wider chain scraping on the outer ring. They now work well, but I won’t try this trick with index shifters !

34T on the back - that's mega alright !

34T on the back – that’s mega alright !

The freewheel cluster is a 14-34T Shimano 7sp. ‘Megarange’ but I can’t use the 14T at the moment, because it won’t let the chain clear the chainstay. To prevent this happening I adjusted the ‘H’ stop screw on the rear derailleur to end its travel at 16T, but this needs further investigation.

The 38T is about the smallest front ring that will fit a standard Shimano road 130mm BCD spider and combined with the 34T megarange rear gives a pretty low bottom gear ( at least for a double chain wheel ), albeit with the next lowest rear cog being 10T smaller at 24T. Shifters are Suntour band-on down tube, and sit on the little ‘heart’ where the cable stops once were.

49×16 is not a high top gear for a road bike, but they are 27″ wheels at least, so i’ll wait for a test ride to see whether it will spin out too easily down hills, etc.

I fitted some new Jagwire cables and borrowed the Genetic bar/stem from the Shogun Samurai with the Cane Creek levers – as that bike is due for a re-assessment. The two-tone paintwork had a lot of rust spots which I neutralised, and I did a bit of touch up spraying.

I confess, it’s a bit rough in places !

head tube & protour logo

head tube & protour logo

Instead of recycling and fitting the black Pro Star original callipers, I used some Tektro R539 dual pivot recessed that I happened to have – for a bit of shine ( and better stopping ). Wheels are the Araya 27″ anodised front one from the L.A. 84 and a Suzue sealed tech 126mm on the same type of Araya rim rear.

It’s getting harder to find decent 27″ tyres and at the moment these are reasonable Kendas, but I would prefer something like a 27″ Gatorskin pair ( I only have one of these right now ). If this bike goes really well then a lighter pair of wheels/tyres may be in order ! Lastly, I fitted some Metallic Blue fizik bar tape, before taking it for a spin …

yee-ha !

yee-ha !

I think it rides more smoothly than the Giant 550, and it’s very comfortable. Reckon I could ride this one all day with the B-17 under my bum !

Happy Retro Re-Cycling !

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