Posts Tagged ‘restoration’

a ratty ride

On further research I found that Jack Walsh was a well known champion Australian sprint cyclist before WWII, who owned a popular bike shop in Punchbowl, a suburb of Sydney. He passed away at age 89 in 2010 according to newspaper reports online, having run his business for over 60 years.

head tube decal

As with other Australian bicycle companies I can find things about the people involved online, but never much about the bicycle models themselves. I honestly don’t know how much of this bike is original yet I would guess that the front wheel, frame and forks and front brake are original but the coaster brake rear wheel has been added later. Why? – because the frame has brazed on cable stays for front and rear derailleurs ! The curious thing is that the chainwheel is a single ring. Perhaps the bike was offered with 5 speeds and/or 10 speeds as an option or retrofit. I am interested to find out more and see whether other models are out there – perhaps on ebay.

large decals on down and seat tubes

I find the decals rather heavy handed and “bloke-y” for a step through “ladies” bike though – I wonder what the women cyclists out there think ? I’m not fussed about the metallic gold finish either but that’s only my fashion thing. There are signs that the bike once had mudguards, now sadly gone. There is significant surface rust but nothing deadly so far… it probably would be a nice ride if properly refurbished.

some details and rustbuster…

The bike appears to have been well made, fitted with quality components – here is a list of details so far, for reference :

Steel frame – size 18.5″ or 47cm from centre of BB to top of seat tube.

Hi Tensile 1021 decal on seat tube.

Leisure Cycles ( South Australia )  frame sticker as shown : Ricardo bikes had these stickers too…

leisure cycles was an S.A. distributor

Fork – Tange 4-D Made in Japan.

S/No on BB is L4M7772

Front wheel – Shimano quick release high flange hub, Araya rim – 27×1 & 1/4″ Japan

Rear wheel – Suntour coaster hub 22T w/splined sprocket (large cog added later?) and Ukairim? rim 27″

Crank axle – cottered Itazaki 27 Japan

Cranks – steel Sugino A-2 Japan, 44T chain wheel.

Seat post stamped “MORY”

Dia-compe alloy front brake and lever, stamped 07 83 inside – possibly date of manufacture

sugino cranks before/after some de-rusting

rust on BB shell

and the crank axle

The rust on chain wheel and right crank was removed with a knife, wire brush and phosphoric acid rust converter. It’s important to remove  any loose chrome also, as the rust beneath needs to be removed as well as the obvious surface rust. The chrome finish is now compromised and will need metal protection of some sort or it will quickly begin to rust again.


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road king bike ...

Why waste time on this ? OK, it’s not exactly high end or even middle of the road, and I have now read heaps of insults on chat forums while researching the brand – not that I normally go there to listen to anonymous know-it-all avatars!

I suppose its “modern” equivalent would be the Huffy suspension MTBs  that Big W sell now… yet this seems much more interesting and unusual – thanks perhaps to the passing of time…

Clean paint and shiny pie-plate...

I’m guessing it’s late 70’s to early 80’s given the almost comical 70’s style “king’s head” decal. It’s in great condition for its age, with very little use, almost perfect paintwork, minor surface rust on the chrome (easily removed), the wheels are straight, tyres inflated (???!) and it should really only need relatively little of my time  (and hardly any money) to become a useful ride.

comical "playing card" style head decal

It’s probably one of those 10 speeders that gave 10 speeders a bad name, but I’m not bothered about that. I think it’s really a heavyweight roadster half pretending to be a racer, and looked at that way doesn’t seem quite so disappointing!

ooh, doesn't fool me !

I reckon it could be made into something tolerable, if correctly serviced, and I don’t want to play racer on it – also, most of my other bikes are at least as heavy. So what to do with it?

rat traps and cotter pins ...

The Good Points :

It was free.

Lots of shiny bits – hardly anything made now is chromed and I miss that.

27″  Taiwan steel rims – well, i like steel rims.

I don’t have to worry if I want to alter or improve things – it’s not a valuable classic.

Nice looking (if heavy) lugged frame and forks.

Or, useful for parts if things don’t work out.

old world lugs ...

The Bad Points :

I like to ride upright and this isn’t.

Nasty looking period vinyl saddle and bar tape – but easily changed if i want to.

Loose and cottered cranks – I’m not a fan of cotter pins.

No mudguards – a bike needs mudguards to be a proper bike, and they’re not cheap.

Pretty ordinary  side pull brakes.

Not sure how easy or reliable the stem mounted friction shifters will be to use…


…..so there are a few things to ponder on!

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