Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ross Adeventurer Finished

Hello today I was able to finish the Ross restoration. The 27 inches x 1-1/4 tires and the 27 x 1 inch inner tubes. and also the cork handlebar tape all arrived Monday. But after working on demolishing and toothing-out block for a large bay door, I was in no condition to finish the bike. Tuesday was even worse and Wednesday was also a tough (and at times a dangerous) day. So with that little project out of the way, today I was able to return to the work I love. First I took the front wheel off and checked it for true. It was fine. I guess I got it right the first time. Now (after installing front tire and wheel) I remove the back wheel. I knew it was still rough. I was pretty much exhausted last time I worked on the wheel. I remembered that I had found an outward dent on the rim. So I put the wheel on the wheel truing stand and found the dent and marked it with a Sharpie. I then laid the rim on it`s side with a piece of wood under the rim opposite the dent. Then one strike (not too hard) with the Ball Pein hammer and then back in the truing stand to check, and the dent is gone! Now a little more truing of the wheel, and we are "good to go". Now I can mount the new tire with the new tube on the wheel. Then I put the rear wheel back on the bike. It is now time to tape the handlebars. I like to be in front of the bike wrapping the tape towards myself. First I remove the suicide lever that is in the way. I was taught to overlap the tape at the start and keep it taut. So I don`t use any electrical or clear tape when I start. I know it is not the way other people do it but it was how I was taught as a boy. Before I wrap the bars I place a small piece of handlebar tape on the outside part of the lever housing to hide the clamp. I personally don`t place extra tape on the inside "especially if there are suicide levers". I don`t think there is enough clearance to allow the suicide lever to return smoothly. After the bars are done I add some black and white 3m vinyl trim tape. This will dress up the frame a little, while covering up some flaws at the same time. Then I put my sticker on the cross bar where the Adventurer decals were before I removed them. They were messed up. So I warmed them up with a torch and peeled them off. I don`t recommend using a torch. You might want to use a gun shaped hair dryer. Or a heat-Gun would be even better if you have one. My wife hates it when I borrow her dryer, so I just use the torch. The only thing left to do is install the wheel reflectors and wipe of the bike with a damp rag. I really like using gum-walls on the old ten speeds. Especially if they have lugged frames. I have found a simple and effective way of getting my greasy fingerprints off the gum-walls. I use Permatex hand cleaner. The type mechanics use to clean up greasy hands. A little dab of the cleaner on a clean rag works really good. Now the only thing left to do is take it for a test ride. It has been raining all day so tomorrow will be soon enough. And No I am not afraid of riding in the rain, but I live on a dirt rode. And I do not want to carry the bike to the main road. Maybe I am a
Ride Safe and Always Remember to .... "Rescue, Restore & ReCycle"

Friday, April 24, 2009

TREK Sub-Species B.M.X.

Before I talk about the TREK Sub-Species. I have decided not to take on any more kids bikes of the "department store" variety. I would rather sell a bike that I know will perform well and will last. I may on occasion pick up a pristine bike of somewhat lesser quality. But it will have to be something exceptional.
Now back to the TREK Sub-Species. I found this bike at one of my favorite thrift stores. I could see it needed bmx tires and TekTro BMX Brake Shoes and that it was filthy. But there were a couple of unexpected surprises. First was the tubular tires, not sewn together but evidently glued shut with the tubes inside. The tires were badly worn, but I knew I had a "near new" set back in the shop. After trying to pry the tires off the wheels, with no success. I remembered that I also had tubes with that spare set of tires. So I reached for my new Stanley Combo knife and my side cutters and made quick work of removing the tires. When I removed the bicycle front axle and bearings
I found it was chewed-up pretty badly inside. So now I`m looking at new cups and bearings (front hub) and axle assembly and a couple of spokes and truing the wheel. Well I was going to stop -by "Cycle-Therapy" in Waterford anyway. Might as well take this mess with me and see if it is worth saving or maybe (if the price is right) just picking up a new front wheel. I had already called them the day before to inquire about a set of skins for the BMX`er.and I knew they would have the correct brake shoes.
Well James at Cycle Therapy hooked me up with a new wheel for a fair price and the set of skins (pads) and the brake shoes for the TekTro cantilever brake. Well back to the shop. I should mention the rear axle was ok. I degrease'd the axle and bearings and removed the single sprocket free-wheel and cleaned and lubed it up. Then polished up the alloy rim with some Mothers aluminum cleaner polish. It looked almost as good as the new front wheel. I had to brush (brass) and polish the handle-bars and clean-up the frame and forks. I replaced the nasty looking duct-taped saddle with a good used Raleigh saddle I had left over from a restoration. I also polished the seat post (mothers). And removed some paint from the front forks. There also had been some on the handle-bars. So I got the thing put together with the new skins ,tires, saddle and new front wheel. And I notice while cleaning the chain that the crank has a bad wobble. Straightening the chain-ring was a lot easier than I thought it would be. You gotta get lucky once in a while!
All in All I think it came out pretty good. It rolls nice (no drag). The aggressive Mongoose tires look good and dig-in real good. The wheels match and look good. And The Raleigh Sport Touring Saddle is small but comfortable. And I think the BMX Stem, Top-Tube & Handlebar Brace Pads look pretty good too. I have no problem mixing or changing brands. As long as it does what I want it to do and looks good doing it. I could care less who`s name is printed on it. Oh and the brake works great. And even though it has a cable the handle bar can rotate 1 full 360 no problem.
I guess if I learned anything while working on this bike it is. Before purchasing a bike for restoration or refurbishing. Look it over very carefully then look over it again!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

General Bicycle Co

This is one of those obscure bikes you run across once in a while. This is a Men's 10 speed
General. When I spotted this bike at the thrift shop I could not help but notice that it was in pristine condition,(underneath a thick layer of oily dust anyway). The other thing that caught my eye was the brand "General". I had never seen a General bicycle or even heard of the manufacturer for that matter. That in itself made it a must buy. The tires were dried out and hard the bicycle brake shoes needed to be replaced only because they had hardened too. The components were all very cheap but functioning as well as cheap components do. Well I replaced the tires with some inexpensive Cheng Shin gum-walls. And did the same with the brake shoes. I cut off the foam handlebar grips (I hate that stuff) and replaced it with some cork handlebar tape. I thought this will make an ok bike for someone who does not have a lot to spend. And ridden gently, who knows? it might last longer than I expect. So after giving the bike some long overdue lubrication I put it up for sale for about 25 cents more than I had invested. Ok it might have been a little more. When I sell a bike that falls into that" department store bike" category. I let the buyer know what it is they are buying and not to expect too much. And when it is something exceptional I let them know that too! (which was definitely not the case with this bike)
Sometimes the only thing exceptional about a bike is how obscure or just plain weird it is.
Sort of like a puppy that is so ugly it is cute. One day I will post my B.C.A. "Small Mixtie" bike,
talk about obscure. I`m still trying to get myself to restore the thing. One of these days I will.
I am still waiting for tires and tubes for the "Ross from Hell" I will definitely post a pic of the finished bike. Today I worked on the BMX Bike that was interesting but I will save that for another day Remember, Rescue ,Restore & ReCycle! Ride Safe
Cheers, Hugh

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A tough day in the shop

Today was going to be an easy day. I have been rebuilding a Ross Adventurer and it was going ok. All I needed to do today was install the brake and derailleur cables with new covers. Pump up the tires and put on the wheel reflectors. Then check everything for torque and tape the bars. Oh yeah, and clean-up and mount the kick-stand.Well I noticed that one of the brake shoes was not flush with the rim when the brake was applied on the front wheel. So I scavenged around the shop and found another brake that I could steal the one arm off. It was a perfect match. Only difference I could find is one arm of the brake is from Japan and the other is from Germany. So I polished the replacement piece and reassembled the caliper and now I was good to go. If you are wondering why I did not just use the other brake instead of just taking the one arm off it. I would have done just that but it was missing the adjuster and the little cable clamp bolt. And the holes were to small to use the ones off the other brake. So now with all the brake shoes properly installed it is time to pump up the tires. I did not pump them up all the way to 90 psi, so I pumped them up to 70psi. Well as I was test riding it out in the drive I heard something rubbing on the front. It turned out to be a bulge on the front tire. It was coming off the rim. So I let out the air before it blew off completely and took it back into the shop. Well I decide I must not have had the tire seated properly on the rim. So I carefully re-seat it and add just a little air and re-check it. It looks good so I pump it up to 70psi. I check the rear rim for bulges or separation and it looks good so I pump it up to 70psi.
As I am starting to mount the reflectors, the back tire blows. The tire blew right off the rim in one area. So now I take the rear wheel off the bike remove the tire install another tube replace the tire and pump it up to 60psi. Mean time I check the rims they are marked 27X1&1/4 as are the tires and tubes. And they are not Schwinn wheels that require a Schwinn tire. And everything is marked 27x1&1/4 (nothing says 27 x 1.25). So I figure it has to be the crapy tires.
They are not the brand or type I usually use. I only used them because they looked like new and
I did not want to waste them. Well needless to say I never could get them to seat properly. So now I`m gonna order (2) 27 x 1&1/4in Gum Walls and (2) 27 X 1 in. inner tubes. I like to use a narrow tube when I can, to avoid the tire getting blown off the rim.
So tomorrow I will work on a BMX bike I picked up this morn. (while I wait for tires) It is a Trek with a chro-mo frame and a single speed (free-wheel) rear hub. Pretty cool bike looks like it will clean-up nice. I have a beautiful set of BMX tires I have been saving for just such a bike. And I think I can scrounge up a nice saddle for it. Only has one brake cable (got that covered).
So I think all I`ll need to purchase is new brake shoes and maybe a new set of skins to dress it up. Should make for a trouble free day, just like today was gonna be..LOL
Cheers, Hugh

Remember Rescue, Restore & Recycle (even when it hurts)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Indian Springs Metro Park

Hello, This is one of my favorite places to ride, Indian Springs Metro Park in White-Lake Mi. I went last weekend. And to my surprise they have done some re-paving on the lower part of the path going into the woods. It is much soother now. If you start at the beginning of the trail it is about 8 miles round trip. And if you are new to cycling, there is a pretty good climb on the way back. So be ready for that. If you get there early you never know what you might see. I have seen several Deer, Wild Turkeys, Rabbits. And various other critters native to the area. On one ride I almost ran over a baby rattle snake that was side-winding it`s way across the trail. It did not appear to be happy to see me. And the Hawk population is doing great! So listen for that shreek and you might get to see one overhead.
Indian Springs is about 9 miles north-west of Pontiac mi. And you will need a park pass/sticker to get in (by car). Don`t quote me on this but, I think it is free if you enter by bicycle or walking. There are pedestrians on the trail as well as rollerbladers so let them know you are coming. A bell might be a good option. Almost without fail if I announce "Passing on your left" They (pedestrians) move left, directly into my path." Walking may be good for your health, but apparently it does not make you any smarter.... lol And bicycle helmets are required!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Magna quick fix and clean-up

This is a typical "Department Store " comfort bike. I run across these all the time when looking for old ten-speeds. There usually is really nothing wrong with them other than not being assembled properly. Typically one or both of the axles will be too tight or too loose. On this particular bike the crank set was assembled a little loose. Which might make the new owner think it is falling apart. In reality, it took longer to find the wrench than it took to fix it. Oh yes the threaded head set was also loose. I managed to tighten that up on the way to the check-out counter. And almost without fail one of the tires is flat. Many tires loose pressure over time. Before hauling it out to the curb.Try pumping it up first. If it still has enough air in it a week latter. It is not a flat tire. I usually have
to add a little air before a ride. It`s no big deal. Now lets talk about the Derailleurs. I hear this a lot. "It`s a piece of junk it won`t stay in gear! the chain slips!" Well if your derailleurs were out of adjustment your chain would slip too! This gets back to the assembly, and to be fair, the store is partly to blame too. It is common for a "real bike shop" to tell the customer, Go out and ride it for a week and then bring it back and we will make the adjustments free. I don`t think you will hear that much at "Wally World". Now lets get real for a minute. A 79.00 dollar bike is not going to be a technical masterpiece. They are most likely manufactured by little kids and old ladies in China. Who are overworked underpaid and underfed. And we support that every time we go to Wally World or May Kart to spend our money. So my advise is, either buy an old quality built bike and fix it up. Or buy an old quality bike (already re-built) from someone like me. Or save your money and go to a "Bicycle Shop" and buy a real bike.
Cheers, Hugh

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tall Schwinn Sprint finished

Hello, Finally put the finishing touches on the 62cm Sprint this morn. The Rebuild went well. I was intending on finishing it last night. But (there is always a but) three of my neighbors stopped by and we were all standing around looking at it and talking. So when all was "Said and Done" there was more "Said than Done". Took it for a ride (around the driveway) felt real good.I tried a Handlebar Tape I have never used before. It is called GECKO-GRIP and I really like it,
very grippy. Also installed my favorite (affordable) Saddle the "WTB Speed V". It is sporty and at the same time very comfortable. They list for about 40.00 but you can find them on sale from time to time. I am supposed to rake leaves this afternoon but I have already have another bike on the stand. Also an easy clean-up of a newer model. Might be nice to work on something simple. It is a beautiful spring day here in Michigan so I`m gonna go enjoy it. Even if it is just raking leaves. Ride Safe & Rescue-Restore Recycle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Schwinn Sprint 62 cm

This weeks project is a classic Schwinn Sprint. I took it apart last night and de greased the head-set bearings. Not much to show yet. I worked in the shop till 11:15 pm last night figuring out what components are going to be replaced and what will be refurbished. The rear wheel is bent beyond repair. So I`m going to borrow a new one off a parts bike and I am going to replace the front wheel with a (new) extra wheel I have laying around. This works out well, because the bike "as it sits" has no quick-release wheels. So this will be a huge improvement. Cables and shoes will all be replaced (as always). The saddle was still good, But I decided to replace it with a new WTB "Speed V" Saddle. Well I'm off to the shop, hopefully I will have some pics to add latter today. Hey! did I forget to mention the frog? He just stopped in for a visit one evening last summer. UPDATE: It is now evening and as you can see I made pretty good progress today. I hope to finish the bike 100% tomorrow.
Cheers Hugh

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Schwinn World is Finished!

The 1983 Schwinn World is Finished. Happy Easter! I will be back Monday
Cheers, Hugh

Day 3 Schwinn World

The restoration is going great. I should finish today if no unexpected problems pop up. Yesterday I had to drive 20 miles for cables.
Our Local ACO stopped carrying bike parts and accessories. I guess they need to make room for more toothbrushes or something. I would not want them to waste the space with actual Hardware! That would be stupid! LOL Hey, what ever floats their boat. I have decided to go with the red and black saddle and red handlebar tape. Which means more driving. Well, I need to "get at it" so Bye for now. Ride Safe and remember Rescue,Restore & Recycle Cheers,Hugh

Friday, April 10, 2009

1983 Schwinn "World"

This is the sticker (see pic) I referred to in the last post. "Shccwinn Approved - GIANT"The first day of the restoration I took the bike apart. I got a late start so that was pretty much all I did. Except I did manage to de-grease the head-set bearings and cups. Also managed to clean-up the crank about 75%. Also applied some penetrating oil to the seat post. Also I like to lay out the parts on the floor on a left-over piece of white Formica. Day two, cleaned up the frame also removed the cable guides for rust removal and polishing. I also re-packed the head set bearings and remounted the fork, stem, handlebars and shifters (after cleaning and polishing). Also I removed the tire and tube tube and cleaned -up the front wheel. First with a brass brush then with Chrome rust remover & polish. Then touch it up with the brass brush (also outer hub) then buff it with a terry towell. As far st the crank and chain go I was able to de-grease the chain "on the bike" as well as the rear derailleur. This is because this is such a low mileage bike. I chose to not remove the crank, it is very smooth and I could see it had been well greased. The handlebars required the same treatment as the wheel. I may replace the handlebars. I`m not totally pleased with the way they cleaned-up. Also managed to remove the seat-post (the oil worked) cleaned it up (including the bolt and nut) with brush and polish. Also put the cable guides back on the frame.
I think that about covers day one. I wanted to post more pics but it did not workout. Maybe I will do another (all pic) post today. Gotta get some coffee and get back to work.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Schwinn Sprint , Giant Connection?

This 1980 something Schwinn Sprint was one of
two I found at a moving sale. Shown here after a very easy restoration. While researching the bike I ran across a post on the net. It mentioned that in the 1980`s some of the ten speeds sold under the Schwinn name were actually built by Giant. I believed the story because, the quality of some of the lugged frames was excellent. But I was never 100% sure the story was true till this week. I purchased a Schwinn World (for restoration) It appears to have been ridden once or twice then stored. While going over the bike I spotted a little factory sticker on the drop-out. It simply said "Schwinn Approved" and just below that "Giant". I will attempt to photograph the sticker (on the bike) and show it on a latter post. So if you think you can`t afford a GIANT men's road racer, well maybe you can after all. I am restoring the Schwinn "World" this week and thinking about showing the restoration (in stages) on this blog. I`ll take some pics today. Remember to Always.. Rescue Restore & Recycle! Ride Safe. Cheers, Hugh

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Coolest Tyke Bike Ever

When I first saw this little bike I thought "wow that`s kind of cool". Then I started to look it over and realized just what I was looking at. This little Tonka "Mighty Bike" has a working full suspension system. And you will be surprised at how strong the suspension is. The Saddle mount is not all that great. (stock) It is plastic and slides over the post and is held in place by a bolt. However, the good news is.. When I contacted the manufacturer for a replacement saddle (the original was damaged) they sent me a new improved one. And all I had to pay was the shipping. And the new one has a typical collar clamp. The only other flaw I could find was, no reflectors. Except the reflectors on the pedals that is. Now maybe it had reflectors originally (I bought it at a thrift store) but I suspect it did not. Well at any hardware chain (thinking Ace) you can find a package of little reflectors. These come with peel-off double sticky tape on the back. They are not much bigger than a quarter. I put a white one on the fork crown, and a red one on the end of the horizontal tube. And they both look like original equipment. I believe the Mighty Bike (12 in wheel size) retails for 70.00 to 80.00 dollars. I should mention they do make it in a larger size. Having not seen the larger model(s) I offer no opinion . If I had a bike like this when I was a tyke, they would still be trying to find me. I have a project bike to finish today for a friend so I will say Good-Bye for now and Ride Safe. Cheers, Hugh

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Schwinn Continental ,Rebirth of a Classic

When I was a kid in the 1960`s growing up in Metro Detroit if you had a Schwinn Continental that was about as good as it got. A Varsity was cool. But owning a Continental with Weinmann center-pull brakes, Wow! And if you topped it off with a Brooks Leather Saddle, Well now you were the envy of every kid in the neighborhood. It may be hard to believe that a near 40 lbs road bike could have ever been considered a prize, but it was. I never had one as a kid. By the time I was tall enough to ride a full size road bike, light weight bikes were becoming popular. But I never forgot how much I wanted to own one of these babies. Fast-Forward about 40 years, I am cruising Craigslist looking for a project. And there it is! A 1976 Schwinn Continental with the chrome fork. I picked it up latter that day. And few days latter I purchased another with frame damage but some really nice components and a fresh set of gum-wall tires. Well there it is finished in all it`s glory. I rode it a few times and was reminded just how heavy a classic Schwinn really is. After the first 5 miles all I could say to myself was, "What the Hell was I thinking" I sold it a few weeks latter. Now if I can just get a date with Raquel Welch......
Cheers, Hugh

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Elegant Concord Freedom 12

When I started this blog post this morning I was going into all kinds of detail about this restoration. Then it hit me, that is not why you want to talk about this bike. Sure it was a great find. And I had a great time working on it. And I consider it one of my best finds. But the thing about this bike that I really loved was the way it looked, and how it rode. It had the elegant look of an old Raleigh or MotoBecane. And a ride that told me "this bike is tight". It made me feel like I was part of the equipment. And the thing I`m trying to describe is the feeling of becoming one with the bike. Every once in a while you find something that just fits. Something that you can not think of a single thing wrong with or anything you would change. Well this was that kind of bike for me. And I sold it anyway, because that is what I do. But I gotta tell you, when ever I run across a photo of this vintage men's road bike. I always ask myself the same question. What the #@!! were you thinking!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Huffy 626, Gargage Day Rescue

I found this bike at the curb on garbage day. It looked pretty rough, I almost passed on it. It took a lot of work (especially the rims) to get this thing looking good and working well. I ended up selling it at cost to a college kid. And some SOB actually stole this old Huffy 626. And had to cut through the railing to get to it. Who would have thought anyone would want an old Huffy that bad? I don`t know why, but I did not took a "before pic" of this bike. I should have.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ross Carrera, One of my first projects

Hello, Hugh here, this old Ross ten speed was one of my first restorations. I paid $20.00 dollars for it. I used red nail polish to touch up the small scratches.

I had a little trouble truing up the wheels as I did not have a truing stand at that time. But eventually I managed to get them fairly straight if not entirely round. The head-set was lots of fun too! I actually scavenged the saddle off a BMX bike I had laying around. I think it looks aggressive and is really quite comfortable. There are lots of great bicycle sites on the net. And most people are glad to give you advice. One of my favorites is And the Park Tool site has a great section on how to do bicycle repairs. Anyway I am new at this and hope I haven`t broke any rules. Bicycles are my passion. I hope one day they will be my full-time job as well. I love the old ten speeds and I am into recycling so I have combined the two.
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