Saturday, September 24, 2011

GT Avalanche Restoration Finished / Saddle, Brakes, Pedals & Kick-Stand

Hello and Welcome,
First I would like to mention that there is now a Face-Book page for this blog. It is called, strangely enough "Hugh's Bicycle Blog". I think it will be good for you to have a place to post your bicycle projects. Also if you have a question, a close-up picture might make it easier for myself or other readers to give you a correct answer or accurate instructions. And you can also use it to show-off your finished projects or new bikes. And I am hoping it will be a place where we can share our ideas and knowledge. There is a logo "Hughs Bicycle Blog on FaceBook" in the right column just click on it and your there.
ABOVE: I went with the "Tempo z1 Saddle" It is both comfortable and affordable. I also recommend the "WTB Speed V Comp" Saddle and the "Charge Spoon" Saddle. And I
just (today) installed my first Ze'Fal Saddle. (I will talk more about that latter)
Above: I re-used the Shimano SLR controls. I say controls because they are shifter and brake lever units. The shifters are the two-lever click-up & click down type. I like these a lot, but they do take up a lot of space on the bars. So when making the switch from flat-bar to risers or touring bars you need to measure for that. I did not measure and ended-up having to use a salvaged set of handlebars off a parts bike. I`m ok with the fit and feel, but I would have preferred black.
Above: I replaced all the cables with new Jag-Wire. By the way, I did find out the bulk cables I purchase at my LBS from time to time are also Jag-Wire. As For the grips I was going to use the gray and black Avenir ergo grips that I have been using a lot lately. However I would have had to chop them off a little. I did not want to do that with the ergo design. It would have been noticeable. So I installed the "Trumpet shaped" grips that I salvaged off the Schwinn Hurricane.

Above: As for the front brake, I replaced the shoes with a low mileage used set I had laying around. (for now). I cleaned-up the straddle cable with Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. I removed the little coin shaped splitter piece and cleaned it up with the power wheel-brush (fine brass). And as I mentioned I also replaced the main brake cable with a new J-W Cable.
Above: The rear brake is a Shimano U II. It is incredible! It has no springs, (unless they are internal). And after assembling and mounting the brake on the bike it had all most no return pressure. Purely by luck,I managed to get them working correctly, here is how that happened. I thought the shoes I had installed were too fat. (which they were) So I replaced them with a narrower shoe. My thinking was maybe the brake was already opened up past the limit. So I switched the shoes. But while I was doing this I decided to snug-up the mounting post-bolts. While doing this I closed the right caliper arm by hand. It was like cocking a gun. Now I had plenty of return pressure. What I "think" this is, is a type of cam system (like a compound bow) And when I closed the arms it loaded or set the mechanism. If you are familiar with this system, Please share your knowledge via the comment section or on the FaceBook page. I would appreciate it very much.
UPDATE: Special Thanks to John Romeo Alpha for posting the Shimano U II Brake info on the FaceBook page.
Above: It turns out "although well hidden" the U-Brake does indeed have springs. Thanks John for clearing up the mystery.

Above: I installed a new set of Avenir dual-sport pedals with old style "traps and straps" (toe clips). Avenir I believe is Raleigh`s accessory company. If I`m wrong, I`m sure I`ll hear about it. I like the old style toe clips because that is what I am comfortable with. One of my brothers said, He would not buy toe-clips that required he purchase a matching shoe. It must run in the family.
Above: This bike was never intended to have a kick-stand. But being it is now set-up more like a hybrid, and almost no one around here has a freak`n bike rack.
Well you get the idea. The top plate interfered with the cable to the front derailleur so much so that the derailleur would not shift properly. So I tried to move the kick-stand back behind the brace. Well the top mounting plate is not wide enough for the stand to be stable. And if tightened down it might damage the chain stays, so that was out of the question. So I placed the top-plate in place and marked it where it made contact with the cable. Then I cut a channel "on an angle" as the cable runs through there on an angle. This way I did not weaken the plate by making the cut full depth all the way through the top-plate. So far it seems to be working fine. And the shifter cable is unobstructed and functioning fine. I also cut some rubber inner-tube and used Permatex to adhere it to the mounting plates to protect the chain stays. This is the same hardening Permatex I have used to adhere the cork grips to handlebars on past restorations.

Above: Here it is pretty much finished except for a few bolt heads that need to be cleaned-up. And I accidentally messed up a little of the touch-up on the top-tube by placing it back in the work stand too soon. And I have a little polishing and paint cleaningto do. But that's all normal finish stuff.
Above: A front left view of the bike. The white paint on the Rock Shox fork is different than the white paint on the frame. I credit my wife for picking out an exact match, not only for the frame white but the suspension fork white as well.

Above: View from the right side rear of the bike. Opps! I meant Starboard side.
Well that`s all there is for now. My next post will be about, How to spruce up your old mountain bike the Ze'Fal way! Without breaking the bank. And an update on the GIANT Attraction. Until Next Time Please RIDE SAFE & Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE


  1. Looks like someone is going to get a sweet ride-nice job Hugh. Those bars look really good btw.

  2. Thanks Ryan,
    I`m thinking I am going to sell the Giant Attraction. Which I have been riding, and keep the GT for myself. It is an amazing bike! And after going through all the extra work, I think I should be the one to enjoy it. For a while anyway. Cheers

  3. Hey that is the bike restorers' prerogative, you should enjoy the fruit of your labor and hey its not like you can't sell it later if you change your mind. In Seattle we woke up to Autumn this morning - heavy rain- so a nice MT Bike sounds like a good choice for this time of year. My Next project is to build up an bike boom ten speed (Tiger) as a rain bike.

  4. Hey Ryan,
    It was pretty gloomy here today as well. It was a good day to straighten-up the shop. That GT was so beat-up, I`ll feel better putting some miles on it before I let it go. I just want to be sure there will not be any problems.


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