Friday, May 28, 2010

The very English, Raleigh "Sprite"

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Above: This is what was known in the 1960`s as an "English Racer" here in the USA. And yes I am aware that the name makes no sense.I was amused to see the words Raleigh-Racer on the side-walls. The original owner was asking 250.00 for this bike (un-restored)I offered 180.00 and did not hear back. So I assumed I had missed my chance to own this very well preserved English classic.

Above: When I saw the close-ups of the original decals, I fell in love. I have cleaned the paint and polished all the chrome. But it is all original (no touch-ups) paint and decals.

Shown Above: The down-tube decal, It just keeps getting better and better :)The fenders have no dents and even the pin-stripes still look fresh. Not bad for 33 years old!

Above: I polished the crank and arms.The pedals got a good scrubbing/polishing and lube. There were no visible signs of wear on the pedals.

Above: I will say this, The free-wheel was very dirty with an oil and dirt mix. But the White-Lightning "Clean-Streak" made quick work of that. I used it on the chain and derailleur as well. The pie-plate is engraved with the Sturmey-Archer name.(How cool is that?)

Above: Just a tiny spec of the rear fender decal is missing. None of the fender struts are bent. As for what I "did do" to the bike. I replaced the tires and tubes.
It now has new Kenda < 27 x 1&1/4 > K35 90 psi Gum-Walls. I also replaced the brake-shoes. While they still looked new,(shoes) they had hardened and were squeaky.So they were replaced with new Jag-Wire shoes. I wanted this bike to be reliable as well as beautiful. So I did also replace all the cables and covers. (1 shift 2 brake) I did however save all the original parts. I usually don`t bother with that. But I thought maybe one day I could find the exact matching replacement parts. Or maybe a future owner might want to do the same. I do still plan on restoring the 1964 Raleigh Sports 3 speed. I keep telling my self, I won`t buy any more project bikes till I finish the ones I already have. That just never seems to work out. Hey it`s a disease! "what can I say'
BELOW: A photograph of the Sprite as it was when I first brought it home.

Well that`s all I have for you today. Have a Great Holiday weekend and RIDE SAFE and Please remember to always RESCUE-RESTORE&RECYCLE!
Cheers,Hugh Below: To see this Rusty Raleigh Sprite Restored go to:
ATTENTION AMAZON SHOPPERS!! You can help Support This Blog by simply logging onto Amazon dot com using the Amazon Search Box located at the Top Right Corner of This Page. It will not effect your cost and I will receive a small commission. Thanks for your support, Hugh

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pacer, S.E. 15 Speed Canadian

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Above: The Pacer Special Edition 15 Speed "just off the truck". I found it at a Thrift Store. I have never heard of the Pacer Brand before. I do know Concord built a model called the Pacer. But this is a whole different bird.This is a Canadian bicycle. It`s Not that unusual to see Canadian things around here. As Canada is just across the river. I wonder if Pacer is actually a Store. Could this bike be a re-badge sold under the stores name? Could it actually be a Fuji or C.C.M.? If anyone recognizes this brand name,Please let me know (via comment)at the bottom of this post.

Above: The Pacer finished. I took this photo yesterday at the park here in Highland
twp. while riding on the newly improved hike & bike trail.I brought along some tools to make some adjustments. Lucky me! it performed flawlessly. I`m sure had I not brought the tools, something would have needed attention.

Last year I did a story on my blog May 30th 2009 titled "The Bike Trail to Nowhere". It was about the back part of the hike & bike trail being under water. I am happy to announce that The trail has been re-done. It is now a higher elevation, where it needs to be. And there is a culvert to allow the water to go where it needs to go. So Thank You to whom ever is responsible for the repairs.

This trail is a short ride, about a mile(I think) If you take the long way around. And it is mostly flat,a great place for a beginner. Or in my case a great place to test ride and tweak bikes.

Above: This pic shows pretty much everything that I did or changed on the Pacer. First I replaced the standard type (brand x) brake-levers with Tek-Tro Aero levers. If you look closely, you can see I could have made the rear cable/cover a little longer. Although after riding it, there was no problem. I half expected some brake-rub in the turns. But there was none that I could see, hear or feel. I think the cable just needed to stretch or seat-itself a little. I replaced the Viscount Saddle with a New Velo Pronto Z1. And swapped the pedals for some black Dimension multi-sport pedals with black traps and straps. And also replaced the tires
with Pana-Racer 27 X 1&1/8. This is the first time I have used the Pana-Racer tires.
And I am very pleased with the fit, looks and ride and the 105 psi pressure. These babies roll nice. And I did all the usual stuff as well.Installed all new Jag-Wire cables and covers (both derailleur and brake cables).Also polished up the side-pull calipers (also Brand X) and installed new Jag-Wire brake shoes. I re-built the head-set and crank. Removing the bracket was a breeze with my new bracket wrench and spline. Also I polished and trued the wheels and lubed the axle bearings.I removed the free-wheel for cleaning and also to cleaned-up the pie-plate. I replaced the missing front reflector and added a rear reflector to the seat-post.I chose not to replace the chain as the original looks like new. The derailleurs were removed, cleaned and lubed and re-installed. I also re-used the down-tube mounted (Shimano) shifters. I did not replace the seat-post. The original is in perfect condition. And a new post would have put me over budget. I don`t mind breaking even. But I sure don`t want to loose money on this bike either. I chose Cinelli brand cork tape for the handle bars. Before wrapping the bars I taped the cables into place at 4 points on each side with "commercial grade" electrical tape. I went around the bar at least twice on each wrap.The cork tape alone will not hold the airy style cable routing in place for long. Not to mention trying to cork-tape over the cables while trying to hold them in place would be a nightmare. I also changed the seat-post clamp to an easy-adjust lever. I did this basicially because I had one laying around. But it is handy if someone else wants to take it for a test ride.(or steal the saddle)
I think that catches me up on the Pacer. I do still plan on posting the Raleigh Sprite soon. Also I have recently picked up a Centurion Accordo RS (I`m guessing here) Anyway it`s a small 50cm frame. But a real beauty, Bright Red and Bright White with a classic light weight lugged frame. So till next time. Please Ride Safe (seriously) and Remember to Always RESCUE-RESTORE & RECYCLE

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ride of Silence AnnArbor Mi 2010

Cyclists crossing the Broadway bridges during the Ride of Silence

I hate to have to admit this but, I was not able to attend the 2010 Ride of Silence in AnnArbor Mi this past Wednesday evening. Had I been able to get an early start it might have worked out ok. But unfortunately there was a Haz-Mat situation on one of the major expressways between here and AnnArbor. Which caused our east-west highway (M59) to jam on the west side. When I realized that there was no-way I was going to get there in time for the start. I turned the truck around and headed back home.
I promise I will try to make it next year. And I will make it a point to allow extra time. Just in case some situation pops up.
So here is what I have been able to find out about the ride. First: About 50 riders participated in the ride. Second: The ride was a 6.6 mile loop. Not the 10 miles I thought it would be. Third: The ride was escorted my three AnnArbor bicycle officers Not a police car.This is a good thing because. I have heard that it is nearly impossible to drive a patrol car at 12 miles per hour.(I couldn`t do it)
Fourth: Some riders wore black arm bands In honor of friends or family killed in car- bike collisions. Others wore red arm bands signifying that they had been injured in a car-bike collision. Fifth: Kathleen Donahoe (one of the organizers)Instructed cyclists to be cautious while riding and to signal motorists. Also She spoke about a cyclist who was killed earlier in the day in Grand-Rapids Mi. The fatal collision involved a city dump truck. Sixth: The purpose of the Ride of Silence is to remind motorists to be aware of cyclists on the road. And hopefully respect their right to use public roads.(We are traffic too!)
That is pretty much all I know about the ride. When I read that only 50 riders participated I was surprised. AnnArbor is a very bicycle friendly town. There
are bike racks everywhere. And being a college town with lots of young people. Well, I just pictured a larger turn-out. But who the hell am I to criticize. I did not make it to the ride myself. So a few less people didn`t get the message? I don`t even like to think about the possible consequence of that.
So I make this pledge to myself, I will make it to the event next year "No Matter What". And I will talk about it on my blog and in my life in the weeks leading up to the ride. And I will proudly wear my Ride of Silence Tee-Shirt and explain what it is to anyone who asks.
Till next time, Ride Safe and remember to always Rescue-Restore&Recycle.

PS: Here are a few pics of the Le-Tour with the new saddle choice.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blue 1980 Schwinn Continental

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Above: The Schwinn Continental right off the truck. I was pleased to see the condition of this vintage Continental. I did however strip it down to the frame and rebuild the head set and crank. It all went really well due to the fact that this bike had been well maintained at some point in the not to distant past. I especially like the up-graded (and relocated) Sun Tour down tube shifters.

Above: The Continental finished. I did not make many changes to the set-up. However the rear bicycle rack had to go. I got a thing about racks mounted noticeably "out of level". Also I do not care for the foam handlebar wrap. (actually I really hate the stuff) The real bummer about the foam was that, someone had wraped the upper part of the handlebars with duct tape. I am guessing this was done to make the foam fit snugly to the bars. Removing the duct tape adhesive residue was a real pain. I used the last my of liquid Goo Gone. I do have some of the new Goo Gone spray-on jell. But honestly it did not seem to work as good as the liquid on the tape adhesive. Although it did work well on the spokes and hubs (sprayed onto a rag) then wiped down.

Above: I re taped the drop handlebars with cork infused tape. The gum brake lever hoods cleaned up nicely using the Simple Green bio degreaser. The center pull brake calipers were taken apart and cleaned/polished with Mothers.Then new Jag Wire X Caliper Brake Shoes were installed along with new cables and covers. (also Jag-Wire) *Quick Tip* You can also use Mothers to clean-up the Straddle Cables. It`s all in the details :)

Above: The Velo Saddle looks sporty and is very comfortable. I took this saddle off the Le-Tour and replaced it with a new Brown synthetic leather saddle.It was a good swap, The saddle looks great on the Le-Tour with the natural cork handlebar tape and the classic Kenda 27 x 1 1/4 gum wall tires. Which by the way are the same tires I used on this Continental.

Above: The Crank cleaned-up beautifully using Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover. I do need to remove the water bottle cage and trim down the rubber strips a little. It looks a little sloppy, I was rushing to finish this bike today for the ride tomorrow. The front derailleur was cleaned up using "White Lightning Clean Streak" and polished using Turtle Wax then re installed with a new Jag Wire Basics derailleur cable. The Pedals and vintage Christophe Traps were removed and polished. The leather straps were removed and cleaned with Saddle-Soap. I also installed a brand new Schwinn multi speed chain.

Above: I removed the 5 speed Free Wheel for cleaning using White Lightning Clean Streak and my Park brush and scraper and a rag of course. The spokes were cleaned with the Goo-Gone jell. The Hub I did with the jell then hit it with some Mothers. The rims on this one were easy. Just some Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover and just a wee bit of brass brushing. Always brass never steel, brass is much easier on the chrome.
Above: Tomorrow is the Ride of Silence. I am hoping to ride in it, But may have to settle for taking some pictures. My left leg has been bothering me for a couple days. We will see how it goes. I will make an effort to finish the ride. It`s only 10 miles at 12 miles per hour. I should be able to handle that, even with a sore leg. Hey, I did jump ahead here. I will be posting the Raleigh Sprite and the Canadian Pacer real soon. Also I will post a pic of the Le Tour Schwinn road bike with the new brown saddle. It`s amazing how one little change can really change the whole look. I think you will be surprised at the difference. Till next time, Ride Safe and remember to always, RESCUE RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers, Hugh A Special THANK YOU to those of you have been checking out Hugh's Online Bike Shop. You probably noticed that I am now adding word links to components, tools and supplies ect ect that I mention in my blog posts. Like the Store these links are powered by . I am doing this to make it more convenient to purchase things that interest you on the blog. Also if you are new to bicycle work, and you are not sure what I am talking about? You can click on the word link just to see some examples of what I am referring to. I look at this as a positive change and I hope you do too. To visit Hugh's Online Bike Shop the link is in the right column on this page near the top just under the members/followers. Thanks, Hugh

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Schwinn "Le Tour" finished

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The Le-Tour is finished. I was waiting for the micro-adjust seat-post. In the mean time I did some more paint touch-up. Then added the Schwinn clamp-on water-bottle cage.

The left side decals are near perfect.Wish I could say the same for the right side.
Those pedals are off the Pacer,They polished-up nice. And the traps were just laying around the shop. I cleaned them up and purchased new straps.

The Velo saddle was very reasonable. I like the way the Cinelli cork tape goes with the classic looking Kenda gum-walls. The "Schwinn Approved" Dia-Compe calipers cleaned up nicely.

The engraving on the SAKAE Road Champion handle-bars is awesome. I opted to not remove them (handle-bars) from the stem. Not wanting to risk scratching the engraving. I went with a set of vintage Dia-Compe levers. Not nearly as bulky as the gargantuan set of Dia-Compe levers and suicide levers it came with. Looks cleaner and lighter too.

The Sugino Super-Maxy crank looks sweet, The Shimano Altus derailleur ain`t to shabby either. No wonder Le-Tours get snatched up so fast. I can`t believe I have found two this year. The other is a Mixte Le-Tour (future project)

My God! that "Atom compact77" free-wheel was dirty. I think I used about 1/2 a can of clean-streak on it. I really like Clean-Streak, almost as much as I like "Mothers
Mag and Aluminum cleaner/polish" The Shimano 400 FF goes well with the free-wheel. The jockey wheels were seized-up with dirt and grime. That's where the other half of that can of Clean-Streak went. I have finished two other projects (the Raleigh and the Pacer) and will be posting them soon. I will try to squeeze in a post about the Continental project. I think it may have been restored once before. It`s a beautiful bike. The same color as my Sting-Ray :) Well that`s about it for the Le-Tour, I hope you like it.
I know I sure do. The "Silent Ride" is coming up real soon. So check for a ride in your area. Till next time, Ride Safe and always remember to RESCUE RESTORE RECYCLE

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Schwinn LeTour Restoration

Hello and Welcome, I have finished the Raleigh "Sprite" and the Pacer "Special Edition" And will be posting them latter on this week. But right now I am in the process of restoring this very dingy LeTour.
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Above: The LeTour right off the truck. It doesn`t look so Looks can be deceiving.This thing (judging by the fur) has been in someones barn for a long time.

Above: The Brakes, Kick-Stand and Derailleurs. I had planed on installing Airy Levers
But I would not be able to use the Center-Pull Brakes(front one anyway) The cable routing for the front center-pull brake would be a problem. So if I`m gonna go with the center-pull brakes I will need to use the original levers or go with something similar. I will probably just clean-up the originals and use them.

Above:The Shimano Altus shifters cleaned-up nicely. As did the Stem. I have found it better to leave the handlebars attached to the stem during restoration. Unless of course they have to be removed do to damage, cleaning or polishing issues. The fancy
engraving can be easily scratched on the Road-Champion or Olympiade Handlebars. So if you can get away without removing them from the stem, I suggest you do so.But as always it is only a suggestion.

Above: The Bracket and Bearings were removed,cleaned and re-greased. All went smoothly thanks to my new bracket wrench and spanner.I took the chain-rings apart for a good cleaning and polishing.(24 parts counting bushings)There is just no-way
your gonna get this sucker cleaned up properly with out taking it apart.And I refurbished the pedals off the Pacer and added toe clips. Straps are on order along with a micro-adjust post and a few other goodies.

Above: The free-wheel was really a mess. I used lots of "Clean-Streak" and my Park scraper and brush. And I had to service the axle with the free-wheel in place. The Free-Wheel is an "Atom Compact 77" And of course I don`t have that particular removal tool. But I did order one tonight. Cleaning the back-side of the pie-plate was a bugger too.I used Q-Tips and Mothers (very fitting this being Mothers Day)

Above: The Rims,Spokes and Hubs were awful. First I wiped them down with some green bio-degradable de-greaser. The "green stuff" in the pump-spray bottle. Then did the rims and hubs with "Mothers" (mag and aluminum cleaner/polish)I went around the rims three times before they looked good.The spokes only needed the de-greaser.This is why the L.B.S. tells you you need new stuff. Because it would cost you more in labor
than it would to purchase a new "entry-level" Wheel-Set. So if you can`t do this yourself, you might just want to replace wheels this bad. Remembering they need to be greased (axle & bearings) and trued as well.But if you have the time and patience "Go For It" Worst case, you end up replacing them anyway.

Above: This is what it looks like so far.I think some "natural cork" handlebar tape will look good with the Classic Kenda Gum-Walls. Tomorrow I will clean-up the derailleurs and install a new chain. And also run the shifter cables. If all goes well maybe get at least one brake hooked-up, and take it for a short test ride. Also I will try to take some photographs of the finished Pacer and the Sprite. Till next time Ride-Safe and remember to always RESCUE-RESTORE&RECYCLE

P.S. The "Ride of Silence" is coming up on May 19th. It will be held at several locations around the world. See the P.S.A. (above right) on the "Video of the Week" Also thee is a link on the "bicycle related links" list.
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