Above: Bracket,Bearings and Cup Above: Bearings and Cup Ready for Grease Above: Bracket Assembled (with grease) Above: Chain-Rings,Arms and Cable Guide Brushed & Polished
Hello and Welcome, Tonight I was able to get to work on the Vista Mixte. The Bracket-shell,bearings/cups& bracket were cleaned-up when I took it apart. So tonight was about a quick touch-up,grease and assembly.Progress was a little slow, because like any "True Northerner" I was also watching the final Gold-Medal Hockey game between the USA and Canada.It was a great game that could have went either way. Unfortunately it was Canada who won the Gold.But everyone played great and should be proud of the high level of competition. So back to the Bracket assembly. The only thing that gave me any trouble was when I realized I was putting the long end of the bracket on the wrong side. Fortunately I noticed it as soon as I test fitted the chain-ring and arm. It was obvious that the chain-ring was too far away from the frame. What I do quite often when I take something apart that has two sides is this. I will place all the parts for the left side on the left side of the bike and all the right side stuff on the right.Where I screwed up was I forgot that I had turned the frame around on the stand. Obviously the fault of being distracted by the Hockey game..lol. Hey, I`m not one to hide my mistakes. I am quite imperfect and I`m ok with that. So if you are the type who gets-off on pointing the finger and ranting about how stupid everyone but You is. Hey have a freak`n field day! I could not care less. Just remember what Confucius said " A man who points a finger at another, points three at himself" Well back to business. After I got that all straightened out I removed the small chain-ring and gave both chain-rings a good "brass" brushing along with the arms and screws and the cable-guide. (removed when cleaning-up the bracket outer-shell)This was followed by a good polishing with Turtle-Wax Chrome-Cleaner/Polish. So tomorrow (if it does not snow again)I will assemble the crank. Then rebuild the head-set and also get to work on the back wheel. I`m hoping to have 2 of the basics done tomorrow "drive" (crank chain rear wheel)and steering (head-set/fork and stem. So till next time, Ride Safe and remember to RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE. And don`t be afraid to make a few mistakes. Cheers,Hugh
Hello and Welcome, Last night I was able to finish the 53 cm Sprint. All went well, no surprises. I did however have to switch the brake cables, as I had the rear on the left and the front on the right. Fortunately I noticed before I taped over the brake cables. But everything else went smoothly. The front derailleur did not need any adjusting at all.(a first) Like they say "Better to be Lucky than Smart." I had my doubts about how the colors would come together. But seeing it finished, I am relieved. It looks better than I imagined it would. So late last night I started to dismantle my next project. I got it all apart, except the cotter-pinned crank. But as far as cotter-pin cranks go, I think it is better to let the penetrating oil works it`s magic. I absolutely hate cotter-pin cranks. Seriously I think they are the worst design that anyone could have come up with. And if I am ever stupid enough to buy another one for restoring, you have my permission to slap me upside the head. This does NOT include any that may already be in the garage. I`m pretty sure there are a couple. Quick TIP: If your ever think about buying a bicycle with a cotter-pin crank, DON`T DO IT! OK, You have been warned, So don`t blame me...lol. So here it is in all it`s cotter-pined crank glory! Above: A Vista Mixte. Not a woman`s bike, but a unisex bike.A French design I think. They never really caught on.
I have a system for removing cotter-pins. only problem is sometimes it doesn`t work. But I am going to try to improve my method this time around. We`ll see how it goes. If I was not so damn cheap I would have ordered the special designed tool for removing these damn things. I think I`m going to go experiment with my system. So till next time RIDE SAFE and remember to RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE. And for the love of God, Stay away from those cotter-pinned cranks! Cheers,Hugh
Here`s a sneak-peek at the new WTB Saddle and Cork Tape
Hello & Welcome, Things are really starting to come together as far as the little Sprint is concerned. It is actually farther along than the pics show now. I will try to take some new pics today. The rear wheel,pie-plate and free-wheel all cleaned-up amazingly well. As did the rear derailleur which I partially dis-assembled to get the jockey-wheels spinning freely. I think the silver and gold pedals look great. If you look closely you will see some gold decals/graphics on the bike. I have also installed a new chain (removed 4 links)which is traveling around the gears and jockey wheels smoothly. Not shown, but the brake calipers are rebuilt and polished and re-mounted with new jag-wire shoes. I have cleaned up and mounted the front derailleur as well also the stem-mounted shifters. I also ran the cables (jag-wire)to the derailleurs and tuned the derailleurs. The (down-tube mounted) clamp-on chrome cable-guide cleaned up great. That really was a pleasant surprise, as it was very rusty. Thanks to the high quality work by the Shimano chrome department. I really need to get back at it, I`m hoping to have it finished tomorrow and maybe a short road test before the snow returns. So till next time RIDE SAFE and remember to SHARE THE ROAD. And don`t throw it away! RESCUE - RESTORE & RECYCLE. Cheers,Hugh
Hello and Welcome,Monday night I started refurbishing the front wheel and hub. I had planned to work on the back wheel. But seeing that the front wheel seemed to have more rust. I thought it would be better to see if the front wheel was savable first. Because if not I would have to start looking for another wheel-set.As you can see by the first two pics, it was a little rough. I mounted it on the truing stand and went to work.As usual I used a brass brush and Turtle-Wax Chrome "Polish&Rust Remover". After working my way around the rim, I went to work on the hub. Basically the same process, just a little tougher to reach. I removed the wheel from the stand to finish the flanges. The spokes were nasty looking as well. Using automotive wet sanding paper(dry)I went over the spokes with a medium to light grit then finished with a fine grit. Then I applied a tiny bit of oil to each spoke nipple using a Q-Tip. That will pay-off latter when I go to true the wheel.Which by the way is already amazingly straight. So the front wheel is basically done. I just need to re-grease the bearings and true it up. Last night I started refurbishing the back wheel. So far the rim is clean and polished. I have removed the free-wheel and the axle and bearings.I brushed and polished up the Pie-Plate. It looks great. So I`m going to get back to work and try to finish the rear wheel this afternoon. Some of the new components have been arriving. So I should have a lot to report in the next few days. Till next time, Ride Safe and as always remember to RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE. Cheers,Hugh
Hello and Welcome, Yesterday after taking care of of my Valentines Day obligation. I was able to spend some time working on the Sprint.First I would like to talk about the order in which I do things, and why. Once I have chosen a bike, and decided that it is worth restoring. Where do I start? I like to start with the very basics. First the frame. Having been inspected at the time of purchase, I already know it is not bent, dented or has any serious rust issues. And of course the fork is not bent or dented. So once I have stripped the bike down to the frame and I have gotten a good look at the crank assembly, bracket and headset etc. etc. I like to do the Crank and Bracket first. Simply because it is the beginning of the drive train. After which I like to do the head-set/fork because it is the beginning of controlling the bike. To me the logical next step would be the back-wheel and chain. This will include the rear derailleur.(although it will not be hooked up at this point) The reason I like to complete the basic drive-train first is. It just makes sense to have all the basics done before installing a bunch of components. So.... continuing along that train of thought I like to do the front wheel next. Now I have a drive train, basic steering, and two wheels to roll on. Next I like to install the Stem and handlebars.(if I haven`t already installed the stem) Now we have the basic drive train,steering, and wheels to roll on. Now it is time to install the brake-calipers and levers. I will also install the shoes, just to make sure they are going to contact the rim properly.I don`t install the brake-cables at this point. I just squeeze the calipers shut by hand to adjust the shoes.Now I have started all the basic functions of the bike, motivation,control and stopping. My logic is this, Why get the shifters mounted and brake and shifter cables routed and hooked -up. And a saddle and post, bar-tape etc. etc. etc. Just to find-out you have a major problem with one of the basics. I am by no means saying I have never strayed from this order. Sometimes waiting for a part to arrive, I might "jump ahead" to keep the project moving. I try not to make a habit of it,because I know where it can lead. Someone once told me "It is much easier to learn from other peoples mistakes,than from your own." So having said that, I`m gonna go mount some mirrors and a cyclometer a headlight and a rear flasher. Just Kidding! I think it`s time to start working on the rear wheel,derailleur and chain. NOTE: These are just "MY OPINIONS" And you know my opinion and a buck and quarter might get you a small coffee at Speed-Way. Till next time, RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE &RECYCLE! Cheers,Hugh
Hello and Welcome,I removed the bracket and bearings.Then got everything cleaned-up and re-packed with fresh grease. It came apart simply enough. And the bearings and bracket & chain-rings all appear to be in excellent condition.I noticed that the large chain-ring looked virtually unused. And that the smaller chain-ring only had a slight amount of grime on it.(from the chain)This reinforces my belief that this bike was ridden very little. When removing the bracket, I did not have a bracket wrench that fits the drive side. And none of my 3 large crescent wrenches would open wide enough. But I was able to remove everything easily from the left side. To get it nice and clean inside. I tilted the the frame (on the stand) so that the drive side was a little higher. Then I sprayed it out real good with White Lightning "Clean-Streak." After which I pushed a rolled up rag inside the shell and then twisted the rag to clean the shell and drive side bearing cup. I did this a couple times then checked (inside the bracket shell) with a flash-light,and it was spotless.After re-packing the bearings and greasing up the bracket itself real good. I then re-assembled the bracket from the left side of the bracket.Then spent some quality time polishing the crank arms and crank with "Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish." To touched up the bad spots I hit it with a brass brush. "You be the judge", but I think the crank cleaned -up pretty good. Sat 2-13-10 This morning I had to deliver a bike and make some adjustments for the new owner.Normally I road-test the road-racer type bikes and do any tweaking before delivery.Unfortunately due to ice and snow and salt this was not possible. So I took a well stocked tool-bag with me and did all the tweaking on the spot.(Bad Idea)In the future I will try to avoid this happening. Way to cold to be doing that outside. Anyway after making a few adjustments,I told the new owner go put some miles on it. then bring it by and I will make any necessary adjustments or changes for free.I also brought him a spare set of brake shoes and a partial can of White-Lightning Clean-Streak. So now I am very tired and will probably not do any more bike work today. Tomorrow I will clean-up the bearings and cups and re-install the fork on the Sprint. Then start refurbishing the wheel-set. I have spotted a set of alloy wheels on one of the girls bikes(step through frame). I may steal these for the Sprint project.But I have not decided yet. Seems kind of silly, as that bike is finished. But the step-through frame bikes are slow to move. I`ll get back to you about that one. In the mean time,RIDE SAFE and remember,RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE. Cheers,Hugh
Hello and Welcome, I`m going to try to post the entire build on the blog.It is difficult to shoot everything. Sometimes I`m to greasy to handle the camera.
UPDATE :The Schwinn Sprint is stripped down to the frame. Only the *bracket* is still in place.(was) I will remove it tomorrow, check the bearings and de-grease everything. And if everything is good,I will re-pack the bearings and re-assemble the crank-set. Then start refurbishing some of the other parts that I can re-use.I will also clean-up the frame and take a few pics. Oh Yeah, I ordered a Brown&Tan Woman`s WTB Saddle for it.Also ordered some Brown or (dark tan) Handlebar-Tape and a set of Kenda Gum-Walls.Also a set of silver and gold track pedals.And also some aerodynamic brake-levers.The smaller pedals should work-out fine, as this is a smaller bike that will be set up for a girl. That`s it for today. So RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE Cheers,Hugh
Left click image to see full-size Hello and Welcome, Here it is (as promised). My next project a mid 1980`s Schwinn Sprint, with a "GIANT-built" lugged frame.I am thinking about using retro brake levers.(with no suicide levers) Maybe with a Tan Saddle and Natural Cork Handlebar tape.As for the tires I`ll go with a set of classic looking Kenda Gum-walls. Originally I was thinking white handlebar tape and matching saddle. And some sort of sporty looking road tire. But after thinking about it, I decided that the color lends itself more to a classic look.The Derailleurs and shifters are Sun-Tour and the brakes are Chang-Star. While I do not want to re-use the levers, the side-pull calipers actually look pretty good. Much better than I would have expected from Chang Star. The wheel-set is rustier than the photographs show. So I may look for something else. Also the Free-Wheel is almost froze-up and the head-set is dry. The bike appears to be all original. It has Schwinn tires and Star brake-shoes.Also the tires appear to be old enough to be original. However there is very little tread-wear. I`m thinking that although dry, the bearings are probably OK.It would appear that I have a lot of work ahead of me.Yesterday was Super-Bowel Sunday! So my mind was on other things.But today it`s all about getting this thing started. So I`m going to sign-off for now.NOTE: Due to some harassment issues.All comments will be checked before publishing. Be assured I will be posting them daily. Ride Safe and "as always" remember to RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE. Cheers,Hugh
Hello and Welcome, I finally got the lead out of my A$$ and took some photographs of the finished project. It has exceeded all my expectations. A department store bike with very cheezy components transformed into a classic looking Road Bike."With some rather sweet looking vintage components I might add".
The idea was to replace my Fuji Gran-Tourer SE. Until I can test ride it and make the final adjustments I don`t know if I have succeeded or not. But as far as how it looks I could not be happier. If it only had a "chrome-tipped" fork. (OK maybe I could be happier) I have a ladies Schwinn I want to restore next, But I have trouble getting rid of the step-through frame bikes. So I think it is going to be a different Schwinn instead. A classic 1980`s lugged frame Schwinn Sprint. Man I love those Giant Built Schwinn lugged frames! What a GREAT platform for a classic build. At a glance I can see it will need Tires and a Saddle upgrade. Also a Pedal upgrade, Cables, Brake-Shoes, Cork, Tubes Rim-Tape. And lots of rust removal and parts de greasing and polishing. I`m already getting excited just thinking about it! Tomorrow I have two quick "clean and tunes" to do. But "I will try" to get a few pics of the project bike. Anyway I need to make some space to work. So until next time Please RIDE SAFE and please remember to RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE. Cheers,Hugh BELOW My Beloved FUJI Gran-Tourer S.E.
Hello and Welcome, I finally got around to installing the drilled brake levers and natural cork handlebar tape for the Sportex 12, along with with the hoods. I was not real pleased with the way the first set cleaned up. And I was not to wild about the suicide levers either.I also thought the black cork-tape looked dull. After it was finished I realized it was not the "classic road bike look" I was after.
Once the drilled levers were cleaned up and looking good,it was obvious that I needed to make the change. A few friends had pointed it out as well. (Thanks Guys) The only regret I have was wasting the black cork tape. But I would have regretted not making the change even more.
Now that the drilled levers with the brown brake lever hoods are on the bike with the natural cork tape. I think it looks 100% better! I just wish it would warm -up a little. I would really like to take it for a test ride. And the Continental too! That is If I can reach the pedals.
Good News! I think I have found new homes for the 2 like new entry level mountain bikes. And they are both going to the same town. So that will save some gas and time.
Well I hope you like the changes as much as I do. Right now I`m trying to decide which bike will be my next project. I`ll post some "before pics" as soon as I decide. That's pretty much all I have for now. As soon as I figure out what my next project will be I will post some information about it. In the meantime please RIDE SAFE and always remember to RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE Cheers,Hugh
Welcome, My name is Hugh. I grew up in the Metro-Detroit area. My love for bicycles goes back to the mid 1960`s. I was not a bicycle tech by profession. I was a Mason Contractor. I am now retired. As a boy I was taught how to repair and maintain my bikes by my friend Mike Armstrong. I also learned a few things from the guys at Powers Schwinn Bicycle Shop. In 2003 I was told by my doctor that I would not be able to continue working as a mason. So I asked myself, What did I like to do before construction work? The only thing I could think of was bicycles. So one day I picked-up an old road bike to see if I could "fix er up". By the end of 2009 I had stoped doing masonry work altogether. This blog is about that journey. And about sharing some of the things I have picked-up over the years. I hope you find something useful here. I will try to respond to any comments you may have. Thanks, Hugh