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Posts Tagged ‘tange moustache bars’

Or is that star-rust ?

the old sportstar

the old sportstar

Well, there’s not much left of the original Malvern Sportstar now, only the frame, the unique bottom bracket ( with new square taper axle ) and the original Cherry brake callipers.

the front end

the front end

And yet – from the ashes – a new Sportstar-cruiser is taking shape.

Semi-upright and more comfortable than a road bike, but not too heavy, and geared down a little.

I’m spending a bit of time on this one because at around 58cm frame size it’s an ideal fit for me as a cruiser-bike.

frame & fork

frame & fork

And it was solid and straight too, despite the rust.

Firstly the frame was re-painted as there was only the cheap looking head decal remaining, and that wasn’t worth keeping. It now sports a Rustoleum Cobalt Blue paint job, with some hand painted stars – echoes of the old star decal.

stack 'em up

stack ’em up

I fitted a new chromed fork, nothing fancy, it’s the same type that I used on Grandfather’s Speedwell. The fork needed hacksaw shortening, but I also added some extra spacers to the VP head-set, to add a little height as compensation for the short rise of the 100mm Genetic stem used.

luv those mo's !

luv those mo’s !

Bars are Tange Moustache with Dia-compe DC188 reverse levers, just as fitted to the pink mixte, because I was so pleased with their laid back comfort on that bike. Instead of bar tape though, I’ve used the matching Dia-compe grips. These have simple cable guides built in to make it easy.

Spur of the moment, I will use the clip-on Suntour 888 shifters shown in the previous post, as I like their looks, and there are no braze-ons on this frame for levers.

ok, i know it's overkill !

ok ok, i know it’s overkill ! – but so smoooth

I bought some new budget 27″ Q.R. alloy wheels online, but I don’t like the nasty Joytech hubs, especially the front one. In sheer overkill fashion, I have re-laced the front rim onto a much better hub, using the same spokes. I’ll keep the rear hub –  but – although it has a cluster thread, it’s too wide at 130mm over the locknuts. I’ll detail the width reduction  to around 126mm in a future post…

ugh - what have i done  ? - but it'll do for now...

ugh – what have i done ? – but it’ll do for now…

It’s easier to fit the gear and brake setups before the wheels and chainwheel go on, so I’ve done that too.

d-c cable clamps - in blue !

d-c cable clamps – in blue !

getting there...

getting there…

Next jobs will be sorting the rear wheel and fitting the drive train.

relax...

relax… and see ya

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Nah, that’s too much of a mouthful for me, thanks…and there’s others doing politics better than I could anyway. How about :

nikon j1 shot

nikon j1 shot

Pink Mixte Revisited :

It’s been a while, so what do I like about this refurbished and modified ex-ten-speed mixte ?

i use the small ring with derailleur remowed

i use the small ring with derailleur removed

165mm cranks : These originals are rather good for basic swaged alloy cranks plus steel chain rings, and I was reading a while ago how shorter cranks can be more comfortable on a road bike ( i.e. leaning forward ) as your legs are not pushing on your chest  ( or chin ! ) at the top of the stroke.

I think it’s true – motorcycle and car engines designed to rev freely tend to have a shorter stroke too. Any loss of leverage from the shorter crank can be offset with lower gearing. While this isn’t a fast bike it has made me think about using shorter cranks more often.

3s

3s

Hub Gears : The old Shimano “3s” is a good hub in my opinion. Note – this is not quite the same hub as the old “333” model. The Shimano freewheel click doesn’t sound as nice as the Sturmey Archer AW, but it is a lot less clunky in operation and is easier to change gears without back pedalling. My tip for 3-speed gearing is to use an approximately 2:1 drive ratio, e.g. – 40T or 42T x 20T, as this gives a decent low gear while top is still high enough for this cruisey style of bike. Second is on the low side of neutral and handy for small inclines and headwinds. Some might prefer the original derailleurs, but the internal gears make for a more relaxed ride.

union bottle

union bottle

& bright

& bright

Dynamo Lighting : The Union bottle set works well, except that the low position of the headlight above the guard means that the beam is angled too high to be really useful. I prefer a dynohub, but these work fine, if a little noisier.

curvy mo'

curvy mo’

Moustache Bars : These are great, particularly with the reverse levers. You can sit up with your hands right back on the bars for cruising, or lean further forward and still reach the brakes  with your little fingers. You can use the “hooks” for a further lean forward and slide hands back to brake. Very comfortable ! The originals were narrow steel randonneur style bars.

b17 flyer & alloy post

b17 flyer & alloy post

Micro-adjust alloy seat post :  I much prefer these to the seat pin and clip style, but the range of diameters on old bikes is enormous, from 25.4 to 27.2 and beyond with 0.2mm steps, so the one you want is not always readily available. This one is 25.8, and 25.6 is common also. You need the exact diameter for these ( unless you want to try a frustrating shimming exercise – highly-not-recommended ! )

Sprung Saddle : Hi-tensile ( 1020 & 1021 ) steel frames like this one have a reputation for harshness in the ride. Better quality steels like Reynolds, Columbus, Tange etc. tend to have a “springiness” that gives a lively yet comfortable ride.  A sprung saddle is a good antidote for hi-tensile, and the Brooks Flyer on this bike is a good match for the range of “moderate” ride position here –  i.e. not too upright and not too much forward lean either.

The bike has a shortish wheelbase and turns well, but there is toe overlap on the V.O. guards, partly due to the extended stay bolt right where the toe crosses the guard on slow turns – ah, well. The Velo Orange hammered alloy guards are light and look great, but will damage fairly easily if the bike is knocked over. It’s not the lightest bike around either – it has steel rims and stem – but is still only moderately heavy.

The original pink paint is thankfully kind of tatty and slightly dull – and so far I haven’t copped any flack for riding a pink bike – maybe it’s the night riding…

belmont by night

belmont by night

Happy Person-who-rides-a-bikeling !

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ride the bat-mo

ride the bat-mo

That’s what I’m thinking as I ride along on the purple Giant’s back … oh yes, I’ve changed my mind again about this machine and fitted the Tange moustache bars. The drop bars in the previous Giant post felt a little too narrow in the end … but it was fun trying them.

the final version ?

the final version ?

So, how does this setup work ? Well, as it has “v-brakes” – or, more correctly, “linear pull brakes”, you need the appropriate levers, as those for calipers have a different cable pull rate to those for v-brakes. As these bars are like drop bars bent through 90 degrees ( and vice versa ),  road v-brake levers  will still work in the horizontal plane, by having the lever curve following the curve of the bar. This is the only place these levers will work properly on these bars. The other alternatives would be normal MTB levers,  which could impede hand positioning – or perhaps reverse levers on the bar ends  ( designed for v-brakes in this case … if such levers exist  ).

not your average mtb

not your average mtb

Because of the wide range of hand positions on moustache bars it pays to think ahead about where you want to put your levers. In the position I have them here, they are close to hand when leaning forward on the front of the bar, which is generally when riding faster. Levers positioned at the end of the sweep back are easier to access when sitting more upright. The wide range of available hand (and therefore body) positions is one of the best things about these Tange bars – they do take up a fair bit of  space though.

The levers I have used are Tektro model RL520, which are rather nicer to hold and better looking than the equivalent Dia-Compes in this case, and better designed too, in my opinion – the Dia-Compes do however have a neat adjustable noodle for pad wear compensation. The Tektros have quick releases built in, though they are perhaps not entirely necessary on v-brakes, where you can do the “squeeze” and free the noodle by hand, but at least it’s a little easier.

the devil's in the detail -- RiBMo ! ( teehee )

the devil’s in the brilliant detail — RiBMo ! ( teehee )

The Panasonic RiBMo ( Get it ? —> Ride with Batman’s Mo’ … !!!   Groan ! , O.K. I’m sorry ! ) tyres are excellent. They are a folding Kevlar belt 26×1.75″ for urban / commuting use and have a kind of pointed shape in cross section. This seems to give a smaller road contact for lower straight line rolling resistance along with the ability to turn quickly without the drag of more rounded tyres – at any rate, that’s how they feel to me. They appear to be very puncture resistant and have a greatly improved speed and precision of handling – without losing any of the 1.75″ comfort over rough roads. Altogether great 26″ tyres for “Road MTBs” .

let's roll !

get yer happy shoes on and let’s roll !

Regular readers might notice that I don’t do many posts on MTBs – well, they aren’t quite my scene generally, but can of course be excellent all-terrain commuters as we all know. Only please, dear readers – don’t let the following Wardrobe Malfunction happen to you —- it’s what gives MTB riders a bad reputation in some circles ( heehee ! )

OMG --- lovely bicycle, it ain't

OMG — lovely bicycle – NOT !

There goes my last shred of cred …  Bye !

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Well, actually, not yet, ’cause I haven’t really ridden it properly, I just couldn’t resist the pun …

swoopy, huh ?

swoopy, huh ?

I probably could have / should have re-painted this one while I was at it, as it’s not really collectable, but then I would have used a different colour, wouldn’t I ? And spoil the overall pink effect, probably …

The bike has been overhauled as a 3-speed, using my well worn Shimano 3s hub and somewhat battered Araya rim, because Cecil stole the 5-speed for himself, so let’s see what we can make of the remains.

These are the other parts alterations :

half a "mo", guv

half a “mo”, guv

Tange moustache bars with reverse Dia Compe levers replace the original randonneur style drop bars. I used Berthoud leather bar tape with twined end supports ( more about that in another post ). Plenty of hand position options without the deeper drop, and I had already bought the levers and bars for a different bike restoration that didn’t work out. I’m really not a great fan of road drop bars, sorry to say.

hands free ...

hands free …

Velo Orange hammered alloy guards (fenders). These come with lots of fitting parts, and are reasonably easy to install.  Extra washer spacers were used to fit the 3-speed hub to this 125mm OLD frame.

the brooks "champion flyer" is simply a sprung b17

the brooks “champion flyer” is simply a sprung b17 saddle

Longer 25.8 mm alloy micro style seat post with Brooks sprung B17 “Flyer” saddle – I’m collecting quite a few Brooks now – they are surely the best saddles of all – in my humble opinion, at least.  The pedals from my Gazelle may be temporary ( I replaced them with MKS3000r a while back).

my diy head badge

my diy head badge

Everything has been dismantled cleaned and re-greased, the new chain is 1/8″ single speed, running on the smaller 42T front cog with a 20T rear cog. I’ll be keeping the large front cog just in case it doesn’t stay this way forever. And new cables too, I also had to shorten the hub gear inner cable to fit the frame design. The trigger and bell are on the quill stem to free up the handlebars.

pink flash

pink flash

OK, so who wants a ride then ?

it's too hot to ride now

but it’s too hot to ride now…

See Ya !

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