Friday, January 29, 2010

Tools, Keeping Them Organized

My work bench. Someone dumped it on a job site one night! Thanks!

Some assorted bicycle tools chain,tire,valve,spoke,crank,free-wheel etc.

Box/Open-End Wrenches metric and sae also some allen wrenches

Some of my many screw-drivers, You can never have to many!

Hello and Welcome.
You know if there is one thing that drives me Nuts! It`s not being able to find a tool when I need it. When I was a kid my brothers and myself would leave my Dads tools scattered all over the place.I remember how this really drove my Dad crazy. So as soon as my son was old enough to turn a wrench,I bought him his own little set. And from time to time I would pick up other tools for him. There was only one condition to my gift giving and that was, Just keep your hands off mine! And now he is 24 and I gotta tell you, It has worked out GREAT.And even though I never preached to him about taking care of his tools. He keeps his tools organized and clean. I think that`s what my grandfather called "leading by example". So at the end of the day when I am finished I put my tools away. And if I`m to tired, I will put them away first thing the next morning before I start. I`m not saying I have never misplaced a tool, I have from time to time. But this keeps that down to a tolerable minimum.
Yes I love my tools! I love talking about tools! I even have my favorite tools. For example my Bosch Hammer-Drill (for my other job)If you have a Bosch hammer-drill you know what I am talking about. When I was a young apprentice we used to do some masonry re-mod work. Sometimes this involved toothing-out a block or brick wall. We did this with hammers and chisels! And Damn it was slow and easy to screw -up. The first time I did one with a hammer-drill, I could not believe how much quicker and easier it was! It was what I like to call a "Thank You God" moment. Another favorite tool is the Cut-off saw. They were first used to cut people out of cars.I know this to be true because I saw one at a fire-station open-house(about 45 years ago) and they put on a little display. The only draw-back was sparks, the cut-off saw was soon replaced by the jaws-of life. In the old days a mason would stand-up a clay chimney-flue on the ground, then fill it up with packed sand. Then the mason would make a pencil mark around the flue where it was to be cut.Then came the tricky part. Next the mason would softly chisel his way around the flue.This usually took several passes. And I said softly because one hard hit would crack the flue.This took a "good touch" and a "sharp eye". Not to mention a whole bunch of patience. So you can only imagine how much easier it was to do this with a cut-off saw equipped with a diamond blade. Talk about your "Thank you God" moment! So that`s why I love tools. And anything that makes your life that much easier deserves to be taken care of. Well I`m about 4 hours late for lunch, So I`m gonna call this THE END
Ride Safe and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Race Across America "Bicycle Dreams"

Hello and Welcome,
Stephen Auerbach was kind enough to send me a copy of his movie "Bicycle Dreams." I`m
thrifty by nature(cheap).So naturally I jumped at the chance to see a movie for free.
What I did not realize is just what a wonderful gift it would be. The movie is about The Race Across America. This race is 3000 miles from San Diego to Atlantic City in just 10 days.The extreme athletes endure conditions that I can`t even begin to describe. This has to be the most grueling cycling event of any kind anywhere. Mr Auerbach and his crew do a masterful job of bringing the viewer into the world of the extreme cyclist/road-racer.I really don`t want to give anything away. But I will say it is a captivating story of the human experience and what drives these cyclists to the brink over and over. It was literally an emotional roller-coaster ride for me. At times heart-breaking and at times Joyful and uplifting.I would easily put this movie on the same level as "The Flying Scotsman" or "American Flyers." Hey it was 1985, and everyone loved "American Flyers". Seriously though, Do yourself a favor and see this Movie. Find out more at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wooden Bicycle

Hello and Welcome,
I found this article this a.m. & thought I would share it with my blog friends

Marco Facciola, a 16-year-old high school student, constructed this wooden bicycle to fulfill a class requirement.

As a 16-year-old high school student in the International Baccalaureate program, I am required to complete a 'personal project' on a non-academic topic that is of interest to me. I have always enjoyed woodworking and design, so I decided to build a functional wooden bicycle. There was to be no metal used in its construction, only wood and glue. I wanted a project that would be a challenge.
This project came to mind as I was reflecting on the many stories my opa, Case Vandersluis, told me about his Wooden bicycle adventures in Holland during World War II. Opa was roughly the age I am now when he had to build wooden wheels for his bicycle, as rubber was scarce during the war.I wasn't sure my wooden bicycle would actually work. I quickly realized the first pieces of the puzzle I needed to figure out were the chain and the sprockets (gears), since the design of all the other components depended on these.
You can read this article in full at

Friday, January 22, 2010

Schwinn Continental Finished

Hello and Welcome.
Today I finished the Schwinn Continental project. The remainder of the parts arrived late yesterday. And as these things will happen, a problem popped up totally unexpected right at the finish. The rear wheel somehow got all "out of wack". I have no idea what happened to it, somehow it got knocked horribly out of true. I know I trued it and polished it and re-moved cleaned and repacked the axle bearings etc. Anyway it was hopeless to try to repair it. So I searched the shop/garage for a suitable replacement. I was fortunate I found a fairly straight, almost clean wheel with a 6 speed free wheel. So after a quick polish and clean-up and minimal time on the wheel truing stand, I was back in business.

Oh yeah, there was another problem. As I got ready to mount the new saddle, I could not locate the seat post clamp anywhere. Now, I have a bunch of those in a box. But not the tiny one that they used on this and some other old Schwinn bikes with small diameter seat posts. I finally located one that had none of the toothed adjusters with it. But I managed to piece together a complete seat post clamp. I`m sure the original will turn up now that the bike is

So now I just have to do a little tweaking and a little touch-up. But for the most part it is finished. I am quite pleased with the way the yellow and black came together. My son calls it "The Bumble Bee Bike" But He likes it too! (I think) That`s about it for tonight. Please Ride Safely, and Always Remember to RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
P.S. SEE More Pictures of the Bumble Bee Bike below.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Continental, Brake Levers, Polishing

Hello and Welcome,
I just received an e-mail from "The Supplier" telling me that my parts order is on the way! That`s always good news. In the meantime I would like to talk about road brake levers. You know I have seen many refurbished bikes that looked "pretty good" even though the brake levers were never really touched. But if you really want it to POP. You gotta polish up those levers! And that really applies to all the little alloy and chrome plated parts.
Above : Brake Lever partially broke-down for polishing with Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish

Above: Left Click on the picture to really see the difference a little polishing can make.

Above: "The Works" All polished & back on the bike with new Jag Wire Basics Brake Cables. And Jag Wire shift cables as well. The more time you spend on the details, the better your project is going to look when finished. And I know from experience, once you break a bike down to the bare frame and rebuild it one part at a time. You will have a better understanding of how everything works. I am constantly amazed at how much there is to learn about the mechanical workings of a bicycle. And I only work on the older stuff! The newer carbon-fiber bikes are unbelievable in their engineering. Aluminum is about as high-tech as I get! At least for the time being anyway. One of my brothers has a Carbon Fiber time-trials bike that weighs about the same as a good pair of work boots. (slight exaggeration) And cost about 12 times more than my first motorcycle. No exaggeration, It is an engineering masterpiece. Well I think "as usual" I have wandered off topic lol. Maybe I am suffering from cabin fever? Well I really need to get some work done today. So I will say Good Bye for now. And until next time, Please RIDE SAFELY. And Always Remember to RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Continental Cables, Tips and Chain

Hello and Welcome.
Yesterday I drove to the local Store to pick up a new Schwinn multi speed bicycle chain. It was $6.99 (on sale).

After by big purchase :) I head back to the shop/garage where I started installing the new cables. QUICK TIP: If you use a "universal" Jag Wire basics brake cable, you will notice they have one end for a road bike lever and the other for a mountain or commuter bike lever. When you are doing a Front Brake the universal cable is usually twice the length you need. (You will want to check first to make sure) So if you cut the cable and housing in the center. You will end up with an extra front brake cable and housing. You will need to use a cutting wheel to cut through both cable and housing together. This does NOT apply to Rear Bakes as they are a longer run of cable. Although, If you are working on a very petite bicycle I guess it might be possible.

Another QUICK TIP When you cut-off the excess cable after hooking up the brake. If the end of the cable starts to unwind, DON`T PANIC. You can usually rewind the end of the cable by twisting it between your finger and thumb. It may take a little practice but it will become second nature after a few times. Once you have gotten the cable re-wound, crimp-on a cable tip right away. Also when ever you are installing a new cable or cable and housing, always put a drop or two of clear oil< in the cable housing. Then insert the cable. This will keep the cable working smoothly. I like to use snowmobile cable and clutch lube because it is made to work in cold wet conditions. You can find it any any good snowmobile dealer parts counter. Hey I need to get to work. I`m gonna do some fine tuning on the brakes and derailleurs today. And I have a couple of adjustments to do today. P.S. Those are the original pedals shown on the bike. All it took was a lot of brass brushing and a few drops of oil. Looks like I`m gonna have an extra set of touring pedals. Until next time,Please Ride Safely. And always remember to... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Continental / Stem Handlebars and Levers etc.....

Hello & Welcome,
Today I managed to spend a little quality time working on the Schwinn Continental. The drop handlebars were covered with adhesive left over from the old bar tape. First I tried removing the adhesive with GOO-GONE. It worked OK but not great. After getting most of the old adhesive off, I decided to try sanding the bars down. This worked much better. You will need to wear a good respirator/mask when sanding down Aluminum or Alloy. After sanding I went over the handlebars with a little Goo Gone on a paper-towel to remove the dust.

The road brake levers I took apart and cleaned up with Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish. QUICK TIP: When you take apart a brake lever for the first time, Leave the other lever assembled. This will give you a reference. It is easy to forget where all the little washers and spacers go. This is also a good idea to remember when breaking down brake calipers. I`m happy with the handlebars and the levers, I think they cleaned up pretty good. The stem has a little oxidation but not too bad. I might touch it up latter. The Top-Nut and the front brake cable hanger both polished up real nice. Those were done with Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover and a little brass brushing. The stem mount shifter assembly (stem mount) cleaned up pretty good. There is some minor pitting on the shifters. But I think they will still show pretty good. Today I remembered that I had left the seat-post clamp bolt and nut soaking in the cleaner.(since earlier this week) They were fine, Lucky for me it is an older pail of cleaner.

So I am thinking brake and derailleur cables will be next. And a new chain and new rim strips. Then I will be waiting for parts to arrive. So I`m hoping to get the cables and chain done tomorrow just in case the parts arrive Monday. This will also give me a chance to test and adjust the derailleurs and brakes. One more QUICK TIP: With digital cameras and camera phones it is real easy to photograph anything you might want to reference latter. So if there is only one, take a few pics before you take it apart. You won`t regret it. That`s all for today. Remember to Ride Safe and remember to Always... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Schwinn Continental Progresses

Hello and Welcome.
The temp shot up to a blazing 25 degrees F today. So it was time to get back to work on the Continental. Lately it has been so cold I have not been able to get any real heat going in the uninsulated garage/shop. But this afternoon I managed to get the shop up to 50 degrees F. And for a Michigander this time of year that`s like 75 degrees.

The Continental is coming along nicely but there is still much work to be done. I refurbished the derailleurs last week. Today it was all about taking the brakes apart (completely) and cleaning and polishing each and every part. And installing new Jag Wire X Caliper brake shoes.

The rear center pull caliper brake (Japan)polished and rebuilt. I chose not to put the huge reflectors back on. After all the work I did on these brakes I want to be able to see the #%*$ things.

The front brake (Switzerland) rebuilt and polished. I will never understand why Schwinn did some things so well while totally ignoring other things. These are really nice brakes for their time. But then I look at the crank and ask my self the age old question, what the hell were they thinking?

The rear derailleur refurbished is actually looking pretty good. But it would have looked a lot better if I had not shown here with the old (temporary) chain. Totally off topic for a sec. Yesterday I spotted a "Kool lemon" yellow Schwinn Heavy-Duty for sale. I mention this because that is one bike that Schwinn really got right. When I was a Detroit News "paper boy" the Schwinn Heavy Duty was definitely the paperboy's bike of choice. It was a real work horse. But what makes for a good work horse doesn't necessarily make for a good race horse.

The front derailleur all cleaned up with new (salvaged) limit screws and springs. This is why I try to save every possible re usable part. When cleaning up the front derailleur I could not help but notice how dingy the limit screws looked. So fortunately I had a few broken derailleurs laying around and scavenged these pristine limit screws and springs for this derailleur. QUICK TIP: If your rear derailleur will not shift up to the largest cog (first gear) before you mess with the limit screw, check the rear derailleur cable for slack. More often than not the problem is not the limit screw. Also clean and lube the derailleur. More often than not, these two steps will take of the problem.

Above: I guess there is no need to explain why I am replacing the saddle. The Tonka tyke bike came with a better saddle that this bloody God awful p. o. s.

It`s late so I gotta cut it short. Next I will clean-up the stem and the drop handlebars, brake-levers and the front cable guide. Also all the goodies are ordered which include a new saddle, tires, handlebar cork tape and new pedals! I already have the new inner-tubes tubes. Tomorrow I have to take a relative to the doctor for minor surgery. I hope to be home early enough to get started on cleaning up the stem and bars. Until next time Stay Warm and Ride Safe and PLEASE remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Inspiration for the Continental build

Hello and Welcome,
First Quick Update : As of 1-7-10 @ 11:15 pm est My Fuji Gran-Tourer is tied for first place for Sep 09 "Ten Speed Of The Month" at So go and vote! Let your voice be heard!

Lauren`s Univega courtesy of OLDTENSPEEDGALLERY.COM
Back to the Schwinn Continental build. It now has front and rear derailleurs! And hopefully will have brakes (if not levers) by tomorrow night. About the above photo. That is a Univega that was done by Lauren and was featured on . I don`t know Lauren. But I have seen Lauren`s bikes before, and have always admired the color choices. And I have decided to "take a shot" at this color scheme thing. So if it looks like crap when it`s done, It`s all Lauren`s fault....ltms Just kidding. Back on topic, Tonight while shopping for components for the Continental, I spotted this very yellow track saddle. That`s when I finally decided to go with Yellow for the saddle and yellow cork handlebar tape. Then while browsing through tires I spotted a set of very yellow 27 inch road tires. That`s when I remembered how impressed I had been viewing Lauern`s bikes at OTSG. So what the hell, lets give it a shot!I think that bright yellow looks great on a glossy black framed bike. One of my first builds was a black and white Huffy 12 speed "626" on which I used the yellow cork tape. And I almost did a black Schwinn World (Giant lugged frame) with yellow cork tape. But I already had a really cool black Schwinn road saddle with red trim. So I went ahead and did the red cork tape to match. And if I remember right some red vinyl trim on the frame. Hey here is a QUICK TIP. If you want to add a little color to the frame, 3M makes some very good quality "vinyl trim tape". It comes in all the primary colors. And you should be able to find it in the paint department at most of the better hardware stores. You may have noticed that I never referred to Lauren as a He or a She. That is because I don`t know if Lauren is a Lauren Green or a Lauren Bacall ? And it really does not matter. I`m just wondering if anyone "picked up on that" while reading this post. All I know is Lauren builds some fine looking road bikes and that`s all that matters. That is about all I got for tonight. So until next time Please Ride Safely. And Remember to always... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh

Friday, January 1, 2010

Schwinn Continental

HAPPY NEW YEAR! and Welcome,
The Continental is starting to take shape. The rear wheel is finished. The rear axle was a little tougher than I expected.

Photo of axle assembly courtesy of Sheldon Brown

Seems I don`t have the correct free wheel removal tool for removing this free-wheel. So I removed the axle and bearings with the free wheel in place. It was a little more work getting it cleaned up. And a little tricky replacing the bearings as well.I cleaned up the free-wheel with White Lightning Clean-Streak I used the Easy Clean Bicycle Chain and Parts Cleaning Brush Kit to loosen the crud. During reassembly the cold actually worked in my favor. The grease is a little thicker in the cooler garage/shop (about 50 degrees F) So the grease held the bearings in place while I installed the axle and cones. Don`t get me wrong, It would have held them in place anyway. Just not quite as well. I also used the Clean-Streak" on the axle and cones. No need to soak them in cleaner, as they are in very good condition.

Here is a GOOD TIP for cleaning the inner hub (where the axle goes). First I sprayed it with the Clean-Streak. Then I take a sheet of paper towel and twist it till it forms a rope like piece. I then slide it into the hub all the way through. While it is in there I un-twist it carefully. This expands the paper towel then I carefully work it back and forth a little then pull it out. Do this a few times and the inner hub will be spotless. ANOTHER TIP. If you push a paper-towel or rag through the hub with a long thin screw-driver. Use a Phillips-head driver as it is less likely to scratch the inner wall of the hub. ONE MORE TIP To clean between the gears on the free-wheel I use a rag folded once. And insert the folded edge of the rag between the gears (length-wise) and slide the length of the rag. Do this against the free-wheel, So when you slide the rag back the free-wheel will turn. This will allow you to work your way all the way around the free-wheel. Do this between each sprocket on the free-wheel. I do this with the wheel off the bike. This is done after you have sprayed it with Clean-Streak or the cleaner of your preference. Well I need to get back to work on the Continental road bike. So until next time please RIDE SAFE Always Remember to RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
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