Saturday, July 31, 2010

Refurbishing Dia-Compe 500 Caliper Brakes

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Above: This is a Dia Compe 500 Caliper Brake off the Nishiki Sebring I have been restoring. Other than being "dingy looking" it appears to be well worth refurbishing. You always want to check for cracked or bent parts before refurbishing brakes.
Above: The first thing I like to do is release the spring. I do this by grabbing the end of the spring and moving it over or past the stopper. This takes the tension of the brake. And will help prevent injury or parts being lost. This is particularly important with center pull caliper brakes as they are tightly sprung. NOTE: This method does not work with (double sprung) center-pull brakes. So use EXTREME CAUTION when taking double sprung calipers apart.
This might be the most important thing for a first timer. Only take one caliper apart for cleaning/polishing. This way you can use the still assembled brake as a reference. There are lots of washers and spacers and plastic bushings and it is very easy to forget what went where. If you only have one caliper "fixed gear bike" you might want to take some detail photographs to use as a reference.
Above: The brake caliper (right) shown re assembled with new Jag Wire x Caliper brake Shoes. For me it`s automatic to replace the shoes. Most of the bikes I rebuild or restore have been in storage 10 to 30 years. And even good brake shoes are inexpensive "in bulk" So it`s better to just replace them if you can. I feel the same way about brake and derailleur cables. Good quality cables are also inexpensive in when purchased in bulk. Shown are some of the products I use most often. Note: The detailing brush has fine brass bristles (not steel). Brass is much easier on the metal,chrome, etc. Also you can see the White Lightning Clean Streak used for parts cleaning. And for chrome I use Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover. And the Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish that I use for Aluminum and Alloy parts polishing. I also use Mother's to clean-out bearing cups. It breaks down the hardened grease rings you often find in bearing cups. I also use Mother's on chain-rings to removed caked-on grease and dirt from the sprockets. As always You want to read the "CAUTIONS" on the products carefully. And use any protective equipment recommended.
Above: I am also restoring the rear wheel off a Miyata and the Rim, Free Wheel, Pie plate and Hub as well. While I feel very strongly about replacing components that should be replaced. I feel just as strongly about refurbishing components that are still very usable. This 6 speed free wheel unit was a mess due to neglect. But after a good cleaning and lube it has many trouble free miles ahead. The free wheel & pie-plate were removed cleaned / polished. The hub and rim were both polished. The spokes were cleaned with a fine brass detail brush and with some light cleaner/de greaser. The axle and bearings were removed de greased and reassembled with fresh grease. And the wheel was trued on the wheel truing stand. As you can see it looks pretty fresh. I`ll never understand why everyone is always so quick to throw stuff away. I guess it is just easier to buy new.
Below: A not so current progress pic of the Nishiki, I will have more soon.
Well that`s it for now (7-31-10) I will be doing some more posts about the Nishiki Sebring real soon. I did repaint the road fork and it came out real good. the bike is pretty much finished. I am waiting for delivery on the "used" correct Sun-Tour ARX front derailleur. And there is some more paint touch up to do as well. And I will be making another attempt at taping the handlebars in the modern correct way. Funny thing, on the instructional video I have been watching about "taping the handle-bars". I just noticed, the finish tape on the already taped side of the bars is unraveling. And I`m talking about the other side of the bars that was just taped before they shot the video. That is by the way a "non issue" when you do it the old way. Not that the new way is not better. I`m just saying...
Till Next Time, Ride safe and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE
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

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nishiki Sebring Bracket and Crank-Set

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Above: I remove the bracket from the left side. I rinse out the bracket-shell with Clean-Streak. You can see I have already threaded the drive side cup into place with a light coat of bearing grease in the cup. The drive side cup gets screwed in all the way. Any adjustment in tightness will be done on the left side.
Above: I try to keep the left and right side cups and bearings together. Also I put the nut on the end of the drive-side to remind me that end goes in first. Everything gets a good cleaning and re-greasing before reassembly. I grease the drive-side bearing making sure the jacket is full. Then I lightly grease the bottom bracket axle.
Now I remove the nut from the drive-side end and slide the bearing onto the axle with the exposed side of the bearings facing out or into the cup. Once I slide the axle back into place feeling the bearings spinning smoothly in the cup. Then I can slide the protective plastic sleeve into place. Then grease the left-side bearing and cup. I like to slide the bearing onto the axle (again with exposed side of the bearings facing out) and then thread the cup back into place. It`s always a good idea to start screwing everything in by hand to avoid cross-threading.
Above: Once I have the bracket in just right, not so tight it grinds or so loose there is play. Then I can screw on the retainer ring. But before I tighten it down
with the bracket wrench. I hold the cup in place with an adjustable wrench. This way the bracket stays in adjustment when I torque the ring down. Now it`s ready for the crank set :)
Above: NOTE *I HAVE NOW TURNED THE FRAME AROUND ON THE STAND* I like to put a very light coat of grease on the axle spline. Someday I just might want to take this apart. Same with the retainer nut, just a slight touch of grease. It is important to use the correct socket when tightening the retainer nuts down. Not only the right size but the same number of points inside the socket.
In other words, the inside of the socket should be shaped just like the six point nut. This will prevent rounding-off the edges of the nut, making it easier to take apart (for service) and easier to tighten.
Above; The left side. The only thing you want to remember on this side (other than all the stuff we already talked about). Is make sure the pedal arm is pointing in the opposite direction. If you put them both on pointing down your gonna feel really silly. Not to mention you`ll have "a hell of a time" trying to pedal the darn thing!
Above: The crank-set before cleaning/polishing. This was taken apart and cleaned polished with Mothers. After-wards the Allen-heads were cleaned out with Turtle-Wax Chrome Cleaner/Polish and Rust Remover. I do this with Q-Tips dipped in the Turtle-Wax. I find this easier to do after the crank is back on the bike.
That about does it for the bracket and crank-set.
Above; Next post will be about getting these brakes looking and working good again.
Till next time, RIDE SAFE and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Rampar Rapide Finished

Hello and Welcome, I`m not sure if I am ready to embrace this "new way" butt...
I did wrap the bars with Cinelli cork-tape in the modern way. I was not able to try the Crazy-Glue though. Seems the unopened tube was laying around here a little too long. I will have to try that (crazy glue) thing again at a later date.

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Above: The Rampar "Rapide". A Special Thanks to Alfred E Bike for getting the micro-adjust seat-post to me so promptly (as usual). Alfred E Bike is located in Kalamazoo, MI at 320 E Michigan Ave. Or "on the net" at
Above: I did end up changing the pedals. The others were fine. Just a little scraped up. I do think these pedals "take-offs from the Fuji S10-S" look great.
I`m sure I will find a use for the others at some point in the future.
Above: Full drive-side view of the Rampar. I may have to shorten the new seat-post a little. It was "a little bit of work" getting it inserted in the seat-tube this far. I like the way the rear brake caliper looks mounted Mixte Style (facing forward). I will give it a good test ride to make sure it holds up. So far
riding around the drive it feels fine.
Above: A Port side view of the Rapide. This has to be one of the most unmolested frames I have had to work with in a while. No need to do any touch-ups on this paint job. And judging by the straightness of the wheels and the tread on the (what appear to be) original tires. I doubt this bike was ever really ridden.
Above: Another drive-side view of the Rapide.
Below: The Rapide as it looked when it first arrived from 'Up North"
Well that`s about it for the Rampar Rapide. I would love to hear your thoughts
on the rear brake mount. And any thoughts you may have (pro or con) about the bike.
Till next time. RIDE SAFE and Please remember to RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE "whenever you can". Cheers,Hugh
Below: A preview of coming distractions (:

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rampar Rapide Progress

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Above: Rapide shown with the new TekTro Quartz brakes. I did have to re-drill front and rear mounting holes to accommodate flush mount brakes. The fork only required the rear hole to be re-drilled.

Above: The rear brake mounted backwards (mixte style). I did this for a couple reasons. First the shoes line-up better with the rim this way. Also it puts the adjusting barrel and anchor-bolt on the same side that the the cable braze-ons (frame) are on, making for a cleaner (more aerodynamic) cable routing. Actually with the smooth side of the caliper facing forward. I think "technically" that would make the rear brake more aerodynamic as well. Looking at a few of the mixte bikes in the shop. I saw nothing special or different about how the rear forward-facing brakes were mounted. So I figure "what can it hurt"? If it makes the brake fit better "Go for it"

Above: I did end-up re-using the three piece cotter crank. It IS in near perfect condition. I also cleaned up the front derailleur with Clean-Streak and a little brass brush. I did switch the adjusting screws from another Sun-tour "sprit" derailleur. The new adjusters are longer and have springs. I was not able to get the "high-gear" adjustment I wanted with the shorter adjust screws. I had a damaged "Sprit" derailleur with longer adjusting screws. So that worked out nicely. Thats why I hate to throw anything away (:

Above: The Sun-Tour rear derailleur needed nothing but a little cleaning and polishing. I did not even have to remove the jockey wheels for cleaning. It should always be this easy.
Above: I did go with the Tek-Tro Aero-Levers again. This time with the glossy black levers. I also switched the handlebars. These might be a little lighter
but they are definitely thicker. I don`t like the feel of a really thin handle bar.
I took great care to make sure the cables are very secure to the handlebars. Wrapping each side in 4 spots, going around the bar at least 3 times with black electrical tape. On the rear brake lever (right) I did not route the cable around the far side of the head tube. This is again because of the location of the braze-ons for the rear brake cable. They go down the lower right side of the top tube. This would make going around the far side of the head-tube a bad idea. As it would have required me to bring the cable back to the right side of the top tube after going around the far side of the head-tube. That would not have "worked well" and would have looked awful too.

Above: I replaced the Chrome-plated steel stem with this old Delta alloy stem. The original stem did not look like it belonged on a road-bike. So I polished this old stem up as good as I could and used it. This stem looks "right at home" on this old lugged frame bike. The Sun-Tour stem shifters cleaned-up real nice with just a little clean-streak and brass brushing. I looked around the shop for some down-tube shifters but did not find any. Most of the college kids seem to like the shifters up high anyway. Don`t ask me why that is though, I have no idea :)
Above: I think these pedals might have to go. I have another set I think will look better. I just think these look too cheap. They were on the Centurion when it came in. Maybe I`ll wait and see how they look when the bike is finished.
Well thats all for now. I am just waiting for the new post to arrive. And I need to run the derailleur cables. Also I have to decide if I want to use black or natural colored cork. The saddle will be black and the other set of pedals are alloy and black. So I`l leaning towards black at this point.
Till next time, RIDE SAFE! And remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rampar Rapide

This is the Rampar "Rapide". This is a first for me. I have only recently heard of the brand. And this is the first one I have ever actually seen. My Uncle found it at a garage sale. When He described it to me I could not resist. Not all beat-up, paint looks good, appears to be a very low miles, lugged frame bike. Just what the doctor ordered!

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First business is to take it apart and take stock of the components. The "Star" brakes and levers are kind of cheezy. So for-sure they will be replaced. I`m thinking I will use the Tek-Tro (side-pull caliper) brakes I bought for the Fuji. I will need to drill-out the holes a little to make them fit. I will replace the seat-post with a micro-adjust post.(one of my favorite up-grades) The saddle will be replaced with the black Charge Spoon Saddle I didn`t use on the Fuji. I will try to find a "used" lighter stem and handlebars in the shop. I have an extra set of Tek-Tro Aero-Levers (new) I can also use. The wheel-set, while being entry-level, they appear to be dead-on and very well preserved.( I`m on the fence right now as far as the wheel-set goes) I also have a set of 1980`s race pedals with clips and straps I can use. (originals from the Centurion)I would like to try to convert the crank to a cotter-less. I will see if I have a bracket that matches. This would also be a first for me.(I think) I`m only going to do this if I can use parts I already have laying around. The original came apart ok and is in very good (un-polished) condition. I`m just not a big fan of the cottered crank system. If memory serves me, The shifters and derailleurs are Sun-Tour so I will most likely re-use them. As for tires Kenda K35 Gum-walls for sure. Lugged frames and Gum-Walls just go together beautifully.
Above: The frame cleaned up nicely. And the paint looks great with just a few minor chips. Good News, The head-set was not dry, nor was the bracket. Both will get de-greased and re-greased and re-assembled. The inner-tubes look good, no patches,no bulges. So I cleaned them up, filled them up and hung them up on the back of the stand. I think they will both be re-used. I guess the first thing I will do is rebuild the head-set. Then clean-up the wheel-set and true them up. Then see about the crank. I really hope I have a cotter-less that fits.

Above: A close-up of the bottom bracket shell. It will get a good cleaning with
White-Lightning Clean Streak before I rebuild or replace the inner workings.
Above: The front wheel and the three piece cotter crank and also the bracket. Note the C-Clamp and the Lug-Nut, my tools for removing cotter pins. Also a little bit of Liquid Wrench (not shown) I always give the cotter pin a little penetrating oil before trying to remove the pins. It doesn`t hurt to do this (penetrating oil) the night before you plan to break the pins loose.
Well that about gets us caught up for now. I think I sold the Centurion today. Hopefully I did, the shop is getting crowded again. Till Next Time, Ride safe!
and remember to always RESCUE,RESTORE&RECYCLE and watch the "Tour de France"

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fuji s10s Restoration Complete

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Above: The Fuji s10s is finished at last. The micro adjust seat post showed up a couple days ago. And today the brown Charge Spoon Saddle showed up. I finally found a supplier who had these in stock, so I ordered two. And after speaking to the supplier about the saddle, I ordered two more. It took me a long time to find a saddle with the style and look I wanted.(at an affordable price) But when I tried to order one, They were always "on back order." So when I located someone who had just purchased "all they had" (50 units) I decided to stock-up. So now I have 3 more in brown and one in black.That should hold me for a while.

Above: The Fuji S10S shortly after it arrived. I scavenged the levers for another project. I had already decided that I was going to use aero brakelevers on this project. The idea was to take it from "classic commuter" to "classic road racer".

The brakes (mostly the front one) turned into a problem. I did not want to use the center-pull brakes with the aero-levers. I new the cable routing to the front brake would be a problem. So I ordered a new set of Tek Tro side pull caliper brakes. This would make for a nice clean installation with minimal exposed cable. In My Dreams Maybe! Of course the brakes did not fit. So no problem, I`ll just refurbish and re-use the center-pull brakes it came with. Only one problem, I had already installed the original levers on another bike, which I So I guess it is true "Necessity IS the Mother of Invention" So I came up with this slightly modified V Brake Noodle. The idea being, to get the cable to the front brake caliper with a minimum amount of exposed cable. Anyway it worked "Thank God"

Above: This fork had a scratch on both sides of the bike, probably from rubbing during transport. Normally I would touch it up with black nail-polish or just re-paint the road fork. I decided to try to use the unused tape with the Cinelli logo on it. This tape is supplied for doing the end of the handlebar tape. I`m "old school" I don`t use tape to secure either end of my cork tape. I know that is "How it is Done" these days. Well in my day, it was not done that way. We would sometimes use a small piece of "starter tape" which would be hidden. But there was "No way in Hell" we would have ever wrapped the end (or ends) with electrical tape. I`m talking about the mid 1960`s to the early 1970`s. I remember a few years ago when I got back into the bicycling world. I saw some bars taped with the ends secured with what looked like electrical tape at a high-end bike store. I asked the young man there "What the hell is this?" He explained that it holds the tape in place and that is how it is done. I told him "In my day they would have run you right out the door for doing tape like that". I will admit, I tried it a few times. But I thought it looked like crap! And I still think so. So "screw me" I guess lol The red stripe at the top and bottom of the Cinelli logo tape I cut from 3M Trim Tape with a razor knife and a metal rule. The wave of tropical muggy weather has finally passed. I hope to get busy on the bikes again. I have gotten in a few interesting old bikes this past week. I will be posting them soon. If I offended anyone about the handlebar cork tape thing. Sorry, I`m just telling it, like I see it. Till Next Time RIDE SAFE! and Remember to always RESCUE-RESTORE&RECYCLE
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
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