Friday, August 26, 2011

"Free Spirit" Brittany 12 Speed Ladies Bicycle Sold by Sears and Roebuck 1986

Hello and Welcome,
This bike has made two appearances on the blog already. I thought some of you might want to see what became of it. I will not go into detail about the rust removal since we already covered that part. Left Click on Pics to Enlarge. Click on Back(<)Button to Return.


Above: A before pic of the Brittany. It is amazing how kind the camera is to a bicycle. The surface rust is barely visible in this photograph. While the rust was not very bad, it was pretty much everywhere.
Judging by the "lack of wear" on these original tires, I would guess this bike saw very little action. There are other indicators that you will see as we move on.
Above: As usual I start with the Bottom-Bracket and Crank. If you blow this pic up you can see a little bicycle engraved into the bracket along with the number 10. Also there is an arrow pointing towards the drive side. I have never seen this before. I imagine this was done for the assembly workers. It should be a 12, as this is a 12 speed and not a 10 speed. But a good idea just the same.
Above: I realize that 99% of you probably already know this. This is for the other 1%. The reason they call it "packing the bearings" is You don`t just smear grease on the bearings, You pack the area surrounding the bearings with grease.(as seen in the above pic)
Above: The drive-side bearing is in place with the exposed bearing surfaces facing out ward. Since the drive-side cup is already in place I will add a little extra grease to the outer surface before inserting it into the bracket shell. Notice I have coated the entire bracket with grease to protect it from corrosion.
The excess grease will be wiped-off before mounting the crank/arm.
Above: As some of you have (that I have heard from)I am making using the Teflon on the cup threads part of my routine. Why wait until it creaks? It makes sense to me too!
Above: Being this crank is chrome plated steel I used the Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover and a little brass brushing as well. I removed the ring guard and small chain-ring for cleaning and polishing. I could have gotten away without doing that on this one. But it is always better to take it apart if you can.
Above: I did not take any pics of the Headset re-build. However if you are interested in seeing that. I did take some pics of that on the Men`s Brittany.
I will make it a point to cover that when I post the men`s Brittany.
At this point we are ready for some tires, pedals and a chain.
Above: This is important! The first set of numbers indicate the tires size, in this case 26 inch x 1 & 3/8 inch. But the second set of numbers is just as important. They are the I.S.O. numbers. In this case 37-590. The second set of numbers have to do with the inside diameter of the tire. If you have a tire that blows off the rim (modern) when inflated chances are the I.S.O. number might be incorrect. I have noticed this has to be watched carefully especially with 26 inch road tires.(37-590 vs 37-597) And also with some of the cheaper 27 x 1&1/4 inch tires. In particular cheaper tires sold at hardware and department stores. So watch the ISO numbers carefully and you will save yourself a lot of grief.
Above: I have centered the valve stem to the the inflation info on the sidewall.
Normally if there is a tag on the tire`s sidewall, I will center the valve stem to the tag. And make sure the tags both face the drive-side of the bike. It just looks more professional. But if there is no tag I center the valve to the inflation info. I actually picked this up from a reader. Never too old to learn something new.
Above: I decided to go with the classic style Greenfield kick-stand. A huge improvement over the department store kick-stand that was on the bike when I found it. As for the Wicker Basket it is a Schwinn detachable basket. I like these because the bracket keeps the basket out in front of the handlebars leaving ample room to route the brake cables. The stem-mounted shifters presented another problem. The lower adjustable brace that zip-ties to the head-tube spread-out the shift cables a little too much. To remedy this I disconnected the cables and re-routed them through the brace. And to clear the stem-mounted shifters I had to pitch the basket a little. I would have preferred it to be level.
Above: I wanted to get rid of this little paint chip on the down-tube. Not a horrible chip, just in a really bad spot. So instead of trying to match the paint, I decided to modify the pin-stripe piping a little.
Above: I cut an appropriate length piece of 3M Plastic Trim and Repair Tape. Then place it on a non adhesive surface, like this cover of the Blue Book of Bicycle Repair. (The usefulness of this book knows no bounds!) Then using a straight edge and a razor knife I cut a new pin-stripe. Then I used the knew piece to modify the piping to hide the paint-chip.

Above: Not bad :) Then to maintain a balanced look, I added a stripe to the opposite end. I had to stop working for the day after that. Seems I pulled a muscle patting myself on the back.

Above: I had plenty of extra Jag-Wire white cable housing left-over from the Parliament. So I decided to "Girl it up" a little more. Also I found the blue lever covers on a Schwinn Continental (go figure) and thought they might Girl it up even a more.
A view of the rear. There was a small but stubborn dent on the back fender, right where an English classic would have a reflector. So now it does, end of problem.
Sometimes it is better to eliminate a problem that a repair might make even more noticeable. Of course this only works if the dent is in the correct spot. This is the second time I have done the reflector thing to hide a defect or damage. And anything that makes the bike more visible at night (and looks correct) can only be a good thing.

Above: It`s a good idea to file the sharp edge off after trimming the kick-stand to proper length.
Until Next Time..Please Ride Safe and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
Cheers,Hugh

20 comments:

  1. I am always amazed at how much a wicker basket ramps up the "ooo and ahhh" factor on a step through. That Schwinn basket seems a good deal and I notice Target carries it. I will have to keep that in mind for a Raleigh Marathon Mixte I have in the queue. Very nice Brittany Hugh I especially like that mirror finish you got on the crank, and I am going to remember those "disguise rather than fix" minor blemish solutions. Informative post as always.

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  2. Some modern tires also demand hook bead rims which are uncommon on old bikes.

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  3. Thanks Ryan,
    Your right on the money. I recently put a basket on a vintage step - through Schwinn I built for one of my sisters. And she has been getting a lot of positive feed-back from folks around her town. I think real cork grips compliment that look as well. And a genuine Pletscher rack does too. I really enjoy looking at the vintage "Tweed Ride" style bikes. Men`s and Ladies as well.
    And thank you for the positive remarks. I am sure you will put these suggestions to good use. The real trick to hiding an imperfection is, not making it look like you did.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  4. Thanks Steve,
    Good point. Also I was going to mention that many old Schwinn rims require a specific type of tire. And it is usually listed on the side wall "something like" fits Schwinn wheel s-5 or s-6. Like I always say, When in doubt call the supplier to confirm what you are ordering will fit what you have. That`s why they cal it "Customer Service". I have never met a supplier yet who was not more than happy to answer any questions. Thanks Again
    Cheers

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  5. bravo ragaxxo
    mad max

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  6. Anonymous: If you mean Bravo Ragazzo (Yeah! Boy)
    then. Thanks
    Cheers

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  7. Nice work, Hugh. I believe you have a bit of magician in you. TJ

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  8. Thanks Tim Joe,
    A fine restoration is 20% debt and 80% sweat. No magic there :)
    Cheers

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  9. How much is a bike like that worth. I own one of those bikes. Unrestored.
    Robin

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    Replies
    1. Hey Robin,
      I would typically pay 20 to 30 dollars for this bike in un-restored condition. But prices vary from place to place. So check your local Craig`s - list for something similar.
      Cheers, Hugh

      Delete
  10. This bike is beautiful!! What a lovely job you've done to it! I've been looking on Craigslist for one similar to commute around actually, but I'm on a low budget. How much would you say it could go for restored?

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    Replies
    1. Hey Anonymous,
      With the Basket I would have asked for 200.00 and sold it for 175.00 US. Without the basket I would have asked about 175.00 and sold it for 150.00
      Cheers

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  11. Hugh,

    Great restore! I actually just picked up the same model on Craigslist for 25 bucks and am in the middle of fixing it up for the wife, hence finding your site. Unfortunately, the chrome wheels seem to be in pretty awful condition as the chrome has started to bubble up in places and actually flake off. I'm looking at ordering a set of whitewall Schwalbe Delta Cruisers (HS392) in 26 and 1 3/8 from Amazon. I didn't really want to shell out any more cash on a set of wheels, but I think I probably should at this point. Do you have any recommendations on the cheap? Really appreciate any help.

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  12. Hey Gerald,
    First thank you for the kind words. If your looking for a good deal I would suggest trying niagaracycle.com They will probably have the largest selection. Or you could search for a parts bike. Good Luck with your project.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  13. I've got one almost just like that one I'm trying to repair the only difference is it's a ten speed my question is what size are those tires cause mine are the same but i can't find a size on them. If you could respond it would be appreciated. Thank you very much.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Abbie Paul,
      Scroll up to the picture of the Kenda tag
      and the info is right there printed on the tag. It is also written in the paragraph just below the pic. This by no means guarantees yours tires are the same size.
      Cheers

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  14. Hello !I loved the detailed descriptions of each repair step.I will be back!
    Please tell me where to buy the :
    "Turtle-Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover and a little brass brushing as well".Awsome site!
    THANK YOU,Dana

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  15. Hey Dana,
    First Thanks for the kind words. A good Auto Parts Store should have the Turtle Wax Chrome Polish and Rust Remover. And a good Hardware or builders supply should have the little brass brushes.
    Cheers, Hugh

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  16. HI Hugh! I bought this same set of bike on Craig list in a pretty good condition, I just need to buy them 2 inner tubes. Now the question is how I know what size of tubes should I buy? I don't found any 26 x 1 3/8 tubes, I only found tires. does any other 26 tube will do the work? Thanks and awesome blog!!

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    Replies
    1. It has been my experience that you can go a little smaller. Example: A 26 X 1&1/4 should work fine in a 26 X 1 & 3/8 tire. Going bigger could cause some kinking of the tube inside the tire when inflated. Always a good idea to pump tire up to about 20 lbs then release the air and refill to proper psi. This will also help prevent kinks and folds in the tubes. Cheers

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