Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Schwinn Continental front wheel

Hello & Welcome,
I hope everyone had a Great Holiday. Turns out Santa was really good to me again this year. I got the FUJI FINEPIX Camera I was hoping for with 10 m.p. and 12x optical zoom. Also got a custom made walking stick. It is made out of a willow branch and has lots of cool bicycle stuff burned into it. I will have to post it at some point. It was a gift from Bonnie at Footprints R Made. Thanks Bonnie, I will treasure it always.

Anyway it was cold here today with a wind-chill in the single digits. A good day to fire up the heaters and work in the shop/garage. I decided to start with the front wheel. Step one take-off the tire, tube and rim strip. Then make sure it is worth saving. First I put it on the wheel truing stand and found the bad spots and marked them with a felt tip marker. Then a little oil on the spoke nipple threads. And she`s ready for truing. It trued-up fine, with very little spoke tightening & loosening. So it is time to clean-up the rim.
I went over it real good with the brass detail brush. I will polish it latter on. I did the same with the hub and flanges and quick release skewer. Then after what seemed like endless brass-brushing, I cleaned up the spokes with some Simple Green biodegradable cleaner de greaser. Tomorrow I will remove the skewer,axle and bearings and soak them in the cleaner for an hour. Maybe I can post that. Although I do NOT recommend using the cleaner that I am using. I need to get the lead out and order an Ultrasonic Parts Cleaner. Well after that I watched some wheel related videos on the net. Interesting indeed but not much of a plot..ltms.

Well "all in all" I think the wheel cleaned up pretty good. And after some Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover on the chrome. And some Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish on the hub and flanges, I think it`s gonna look like a million dollars. Well maybe not that good. Ok that`s it for today. Except I might mention I purchased three bikes yesterday for about 47.00. They don`t need restoring just cleaning and some maintenance. If it is warm enough where you are ride your bike. But please Ride Safely. And Remember as Always to RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Schwinn Continental update

Hello & Welcome,
Below: The date code FR indicates that this Schwinn Continental was manufactured in June of 1980. And it would appear it was parked shortly after it was purchased. There are some clues that tell this story, I will talk about those latter.

Yesterday I cleaned up the frame, then de greased the threaded headset assembly and the Ashtabula One Piece Crank bearings .
Today I reassembled the headset with fresh grease. And after de greasing the crown race I remounted the fork back on the frame.

Below: The fork blades were very rusty but cleaned up better than I expected.

Below: I have been using my new heat gun to remove the cracked up gold decals and the Continental "star sticker" on the fork legs. (always fun to play with new toys!) First I used Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish/ Rust Remover on the fork blades then brushed them with a fine brass brush. Then hit them again lightly with the Turtle Wax C.C.&R.R.

Below: The Ashtabula crank and Chainring Guard were a lot tougher than I thought they would be. "All in all" it went slow today. I hope the end results will be worth the effort. The toughest thing has been the rust. While it does not look all that bad, it is well seated into the chrome and is not coming off easily.

The crank received the full treatment brass brushed & polished with Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover.

Above: Here the Ashtabula crank is all cleaned up and reinstalled on the frame. Ashtabula is the town in Ohio where virtually all American one piece cranks were manufactured back in the day

Above: Not too bad! I now have a functioning crank and headset. And the chrome fork ain't to shabby either. I will probably concentrate on the wheels and the derailleurs next. It is important to establish "the basic drive system" before getting deeply into all the other components. The wheels will be Polished and Trued then new rim-strips will be installed. New tires and tubes will come latter. At the beginning of this post I talked about this bike having had very little use before storage. The first indicator was the plastic end cap on the kick stand. Not only was it still there, it showed very little wear. A couple other things I look at closely are the tires and brake shoes. If the tires appear to to be original and are all dried out and cracked but all "or most" of the tread appears to be there. That is a very good indicator the bike was used for a short time then parked. The Schwinn brand on the tires is also something to look for. The same goes for the brake shoes. If they are rock hard and filthy, but show little if any wear. Then you can add them to the list of indicators as well. Another really good indicator is the condition of the cups, races and bearings. If after you have de greased the cups the inside surface looks perfect with no wear marks then you have probably found a very low mileage old Schwinn. I suspect these low mileage old bikes are more common here in the US. It may have to do with our love affair with automobiles. Or it could be because once you have ridden one of these behemoth* bikes, walking starts to look like a really good alternative. I know once I reached the age of 16 (legal driving age here) I was only interested in two modes of transportation "automobiles and motorcycles." But then again I did grow up in "Metro Detroit" where cars were everything :)

Above: Me with my first real bike in front of my family's home in 1963. Check out some of that classic American Steel parked in the background. That's all I have for now. Until next time, please RIDE SAFELY and Remember to Always...RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
*(be-he-moth: A huge or monstrous creature)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Finishing Touches-Sportex

Hello & Welcome.

I thought I would post a pic of the drilled bicycle brake levers" all cleaned up. And also a pic of the vintage style toe clips and straps. I think the levers are gonna look great. Especially with the gum hoods.

I can`t believe how deep and wide these traps are. I like them wide as I have wide feet. And like to wear regular athletic shoes when I ride. So the bigger traps work really well for me. I just did not expect them to be so deep. I would love to test ride the bike, but we got some more snow last night. And it`s about 27 degrees fahrenheit. So I`m gonna pass on the ride. Today I have been taking the 1980 Continental apart. I have the threaded headset and one piece crank bearings in the cleaner now. I am not feeling 100% today. So I thought I would take a little break. Today is the first day of winter and I am already looking forward to spring. Everything is off the frame and I`m gonna clean it up and see how it looks. Maybe tomorrow I can post some pics of the progress. Well I should to get back to work now, So I`ll sign-off for now. Ride Safe (and warm) And as always, please remember to RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Vintage Schwinn Continental

Hello & Welcome,
Due to the weather and lack of painting space, (and confidence) The Raleigh Sports project will be on hold for a while.

Here it is my next project. A Big ole black Schwinn Continental. I restored one almost identical to this one the summer before last (guessing). I`m not expecting any surprise`s. (we`ll see how that goes) This old tank of a bike still shifts through all the gears. Even though it has been off the road for "God only knows" how long.

No care whatsoever was taken to store it properly, and it shows. And this old son of a gun is TALL, 35 inch stand-over height. And that`s with 2 flat tires!

The first step will be to take this old American road bike apart and take stock of what is to be refurbished and what will be replaced. This bike will be sold or donated when finished as it is much too tall for me. I have not yet looked up the date code. I will do that as soon as I am finished here and include it in the next post. I am hoping that I will be updating the blog before Christmas. But if I do not, I hope you have a Wonderful Holiday.

I apologize for the crappy photographs lately. But it is winter here now and the weather has been uncooperative. I will however be taking some winter bicycle photographs soon.

Word on the street is, Santa`s bringing me a new digital Fuji FINEPIX Camera with 12 times optical zoom! I realized I wanted a new camera after trying to photograph a Red-Tail Hawk in the back yard with really pathetic results.

Well friends that is all I have for today. If the weather is nice where you are, get out there and ride. But Please Ride safely and Remember to Always.... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fuji "Dynamic 10" rear wheel replacement

Hello and welcome.
Before I continue I would like to wish You and Yours a Happy Holiday Season. And I hope the New Year brings us some relief from this economic recession.

Now about the Fuji. When I restored this bike I was not entirely pleased with the way the rear wheel trued. It still had a bit of a wobble in it. And it just would not adjust out. I decided to go ahead and use it, thinking it was within the bounds of what one would expect of a 30 year old wheel. So the night before last I made one more attempt at truing the wheel. Quick Tip: This one is for the beginner! Ok, you have the wheel mounted on the wheel truing stand. You have adjusted the pins in close to the sides of the rim. You have located the spot on the wheel where the pin rubs the rim. Mark the spot on center with a magic marker. Now check the area for loose spokes. Ok they all seem fine. So now you tighten the one or two spokes on the opposite side of where the pin rubs the rim. Only tighten them a little bit. If the wheel moves in the correct direction, you have no problems.

Now you can tighten or loosen these spokes till the gap is the same on each side of the rim. Again these should be small adjustments. But lets say the wheel does not react when you tighten the spokes on the opposite side of the rub. Check the rim for a dent (usually caused by curbs or pot holes. If there is no dent, try loosening the one or two spokes on the same side of the rub. If the wheel reacts you can now adjust till the gap (between the wheel and the pin) is the same or close on both sides.
Above: If you are going to be doing this kind of work you should have a decent set of spoke wrenches. If none of this works and the wheel is not dented. Take it to a pro for a second opinion. Chances are it may be beyond saving. Ok, back to my wheel/rim. After a second attempt at truing the wheel, I realized that I was either going to accept it, or replace it. Well acceptance is not one of my strong points. So I start rummaging through the salvaged 27inch road bike wheels. Just as I am about to give up, I found one. I gave it a quick spin and it appeared to be pretty true. Also it was the same size and the same chrome finish, although in need of some rust removal. But it had a grind. And when I loosened the cones most of the grind went away, but not all of it. So I removed the skewer, and the Free-Wheel. then the nuts, spacers, cones, & axle and bearings. I left the dust covers in place, as they are hard to find and easily damaged. And yes it does make cleaning out the hub a little tougher but worth the extra effort (in my opinion). Well after some White Lightning Clean Streak and lots of paper towels. The hub is clean and the cups or races are not chewed up. I soaked the axle and races, cups, cones, spacer, washers etc in the cleaner over night. And they came out looking like new. I did decide to replace the bearings though. I had to go to "Cycle Therapy" in Waterford Mi anyway for Jag Wire X Caliper Brake Shoes and cleaner. They had the bearings in stock. I always get a few extras just in case one falls on the floor and disappears. My Shop/Garage floor is like the Bermuda Triangle for ball bearings. Well I salvaged the original 6 Speed Free Wheel (off the original wheel) along with the pie-plate and spoke mount reflector. Also salvaged the original quick release skewer. I put it all together Tuesday afternoon. And Wow does it look original.

And now it is acceptable. And all is well. So it goes.
Until next time please RIDE SAFE and remember to always.... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brake levers for the Sportex 12

Hello and Welcome
These are the road brake levers that I should have cleaned up and used on the Sportex 12. So I`m going to clean them up and switch them.

I will likely have to replace the handlebar cork tape. But that is ok because it started to rip (on one side) when I inserted the plugs. I like the Phat Tape better anyway.

That is really all I have for now, I need to get busy, So I`ll sign-off. Until next time, Please Ride Safely and Remember to Always .......RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh
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