Saturday, April 30, 2011

Classic English Road Bike Find

Hello and Welcome,
Earlier this week I ran across this "English Parliament Custom Built" road bike at one of my favorite "bike hunting" spots. I have not been able to find-out anything about it on the internet so far. I am hoping one of my readers here or "across the pond" might recognize the badge/builder and offer-up some information.
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Below: The wing-nut front axle nuts were the first thing that caught my eye. I haven`t seen these (except in photos on the internet) since approximately 1966. They were asking $44.95 US. This is about $20.00 more than this shop usually asks for an old ten-speed. So I negotiated them down to $35.00. I was quite pleased with myself as I wheeled it out to my little truck (lorry).
Below: If you click on this photo you can just make out the "Sturmey Archer" name as well as "England" stamped into the pie-plate.
Below: SunTour Spirt derailleur (not a misspelling). Not sure who the three piece cotter crank manufacturer is. I did not get a chance to check it for markings yet. The chrome-plating appears to be good quality. I think it will clean-up nicely. I just hope the cotter pins don`t give me too much trouble. I think I will give them a shot of WD40 a couple days in advance.
Below: The white fenders (mud guards)are BLUE MEL`S Light Weights (Made in England) They are in rough shape and will need to be replaced. I have not located white replacements yet. Maybe I will be doing the "painting plastic post" sooner than I thought.
Below: Here is the Milremo Stem. I have not found any markings on the bars yet. Maybe when I remove the tape I will find something.
Below: The brake-levers and calipers are Weinmann. I think the front wheel is stamped Norma-seal? (not very clear) The hub is stamped BRAM. The saddle is a Serfas "Tail-Bones". There is no way that is the original saddle. I`m guessing it had a Brooks Saddle of some sort.
Below: I wish it had a conventional men`s frame. It would have made a fine "personal ride" or bike for a bike restorer/enthusiast. But I am still very pleased to have run across something special from the land of my forefathers.
If anyone out there knows anything about this builder (Parliament) please leave a comment. I would greatly appreciate it. I also made some changes to the Physio fit/ Schwinn cruiser. I had to remove the detachable mud guard. I just could not get comfortable with the size. I have installed Bell mud-guards (fenders). They are very inexpensive, about $10.00 US. And they actually got pretty good reviews. I will be removing the rear one when the new rear rack and panniers arrives. I removed the Sun-Lite rack and used it on the bike I purchased it for, a 1975 Schwinn Traveler. I will be posting the Traveler real soon. Another road bike to commuter conversion.
Below: The Physiofit/Schwinn with the new mud-guards. For a bike I built just kind of "experimenting" it has worked-out real well. It is very comfortable and super smooth rider. Perfect bike for the short ride into town. And the Ze'Fal lights have worked out real well too. I like them so much I purchased another set for the Raleigh Technium 460.
Above: Since this pic was taken I have re-located the rear mud-guard from the seat-tube to the seat-post. I just wanted to see if it would fit attached to the tube. To get it back a little farther over the rear tire I decided to raise it up to the seat-post. The front guard did not clear the down tube until I trimmed it a little to get it in snug to the fork-brace/crown. I did this by marking it with a sharpie then shaving it down with a utility knife. I found the cutting smoother and easier after heating the blade with a propane torch. I just lit the torch and stood it up near-by on the table. So it was easy to keep the blade heated up for cutting.
Above: Coming soon The Schwinn Traveler conversion.

ALSO Check-Out the 2 New Video(s) Of The Week.
(1) This one`s for the girls (not bike related, but sports related)
(2) Wood Bike Speed Record Project (Sent in by Jay S) Thanks Jay

Until Next Time, Please Ride Safe
And Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh

Friday, April 22, 2011

Free-Spirit "PhysioFit" meets "Schwinn Cruiser"

Hello and Welcome, When last winter hit, there was not enough room in the shop/garage for all the un restored bikes. Unfortunately a few of the "lesser bikes" were left out in the back yard. One of these, a "Department Store" Schwinn "Cruiser" with a step-through frame. The other two were a Department Store BMX/Free-Style bike and a "Sears" Free-Spirit Physio-Fit. Last week I decided to see what I could make out of the the two adult size bikes.

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Above: I removed the wheels and derailleurs and small chain-ring from the Physio-Fit. I replaced them with the coaster-brake (single-speed) wheel-set off the Schwinn Cruiser. Which was equipped with white-wall balloon tires. The idea was to build a single-speed Rat-Bike. I also changed the handlebars and saddle to used road-race style. I wanted to build a bike that I could (next winter) try-out the "zip-tie" snow-tire thing. Below:(Google Image Search) A step-through Physio-Fit with the same equipment (minus the rack and bottle-cage)as mine before I stripped it.
Below: Unfortunately I was not able to get the coaster brake hub working properly. After taking it apart and cleaning and re-greasing, it would not function properly after re-assembly. After two or three attempts at getting this thing to work I found a video online. I took the lap-top out to the shop so I could check each step
with the video. Still no luck. It was time for a new plan.
Below: I decided to re-use the 5 speed rear wheel set-up that was originally on the Physio-Fit. I also tried to use a Sun-Tour derailleur with a index-shifter mounted on the flat next the the stem. I was unable to shorten the throw on the derailleur enough. So latter-on I changed the derailleur and shifter as well.
Below: This was going to be my front brake set-up when I was building a coaster-brake bike. This too will be changed.
Below: I decided to flip the handlebars and cut them off using a pipe-cutter. After the first cut I used the piece to mark the other side. I have never made a set of bull-horn bars before. What better time to try than now. As you can no doubt see, I never really had a fixed plan as to what this bike was going to be when finished.
Below: I think the handlebars turned-out cool. I have located the rear brake-lever on the left. With the Bull-Horn bars this cable routing worked-out better. At this point I had not yet changed the shifter type or position. I eventually will end-up with a vintage Allvit derailleur and a Simplex (modified) stem shifter.
Below: At this point I had changed the saddle to a new and cheap "Brooks Kock-off". I have also added a rack and have attempted to re-use the fenders. For obvious reasons I decided to pass on the fenders.
Below: I did eventually rebuild the crank and replace the chain. The Skulls and Dagmars are old license plate mount bolts. Dagmars got their name from a Hollywood starlet, for reasons I won`t get into here (:
Below: This picture shows the Ze'Fal lights and the over-sized SKS detachable mud-guard. Also the Simplex stem-mounted shifter. I cut the left side shifter post off and ground it down. The left side shifter is mounted on the right side as the original was broken. It was tricky to get the left side shifter to fit on the right side. There is a chrome cover or jacket that strengthens the plastic shift lever. I had to re-drill the hole in the jack so it could me mounted on the wrong side. That was probably more trouble than it was worth. But scraping the jacket or cover would have weakened the plastic lever. I do think the mud-guard is a bit too large, I might cut it down to a more manageable size.
Below: The bike finished (for now anyway). I rode it last night just before dark it is very comfortable and shifts smoothly. The Zefal lights were under 20.00 batteries included. The front light can be easily removed and used as a flash or signal light. Both front and rear lights have three settings. I am told on the flash setting the batteries will last a long time.
Below: Bike left side. The hoods are Cane-Creek. The brake levers are Dia Compe. All the cables and housings are Jag-wire. The new chain and pedals are Schwinn. And the brake-shoes are also jag-wire. The Rack is Sun-Lite (Under 25.00) And the temporary kick-stand is junk.
This build was lots of fun. I got to try some new things. Some worked well and some "not so well". But It Was a "learning experience". With the high-volume tires and the lugged frame, This thing has an incredibly smooth ride. And in the long run the 5 Speed set-up is better for me. I found myself down-shifting on the inclines quite a bit. And I was glad that I was able to do so.
Till next time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh

Friday, April 15, 2011

Raleigh Persuit Restoration Part 2

Hello and Welcome,
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Continuing on with the Pursuit restoration. Above the front wheel all cleaned-up with Mother`s Mag and Aluminum polish. I use my very basic Minoura Truing Stand for cleaning up the wheel as well as for truing. These rims were so dirty I was not positive they were Aluminum alloy until I started to clean them up.
Above: A shot of the rear-wheel and free-wheel all cleaned-up with a new Kenda K35 Gum-Wall mounted on the wheel. At this point I have installed a new Jag-Wire
derailleur cable and housing. I have also installed the new Schwinn chain. Notice the cable has been neatly trimmed with a crimp-on tip placed on the cable end. Quick Tip. I normally only trim my cables (brake and derailleur) to about 4 inches until I am positive everything is correct. This will save you a lot of grief if you ever make a mistake. It is best to have a little extra cable to work with just in case you have to re-position something.
Above: The new "old-style" Dia-Compe brake levers look nifty with the new Jag-Wire
cables and housings. By the way, I did eventually realize that I needed to turn the grips around 180 degrees aprox. Opps! I was a little disappointed with the grips at first. I thought they were going to be cork not cork-infused. But once I got them on the bike I was pleased with the way they looked and felt.
Above: All the new cables are hooked-up. Both wheels and tires are on the bike and the derailleurs and brakes are functioning. However, some of this is going have to be removed (temporarily) for the next step. After all this is a commuter bike.
Below: This is how fenders are supposed to be packaged! Not crammed into a box with tires tied into a figure 8 and lots of other stuff with absolutely no protection. So they get all scuffed-up and look like crap before you even get them out of the bloody box. I`m not going to mention any names, But you know who you are! So knock it the #@&% off! I feel so much better now :)
Above: I did not get any pics of the fenders going on (my bag). But I will say this, If you are going to clip the end of the rear fender to the brace (behind the bottom bracket)install the clip first and already have the nut removed from the rear brake caliper mounting bolt. And keep that wrench handy (probably a 10mm) Also install the wrap-around mount bracket on the fender loosely (so you can still move it).The wrap-around bracket for the rear fender is very pliable metal. You should be able to wrap it around the fender by hand. You may want to crimp it on a little tighter latter with pliers. Now slide the fender into place. The clip should pop into place around the brace with a little help. Then just remove the brake caliper and slide the bracket into place and replace the brake-caliper. Now you know why I told you to keep the wrench handy. :) So if you did not loose the 10mm nut, your now in business. When you bolt the struts to the corresponding holes on the frame, keep them loose if you are also going to install a rack. The struts are adjustable and should come with an "Allen wrench" to do so. The front fender is much easier.If you made it through this ok you should have no problems with the front fender.
Above: The SKS fender sizing chart for adult bikes. If you are running 27 x 1&1/4 tires you may want to consider the 45mm fenders. The 35mm fenders don`t have much clearance and wont give you as much "tire spray" protection when riding in wet conditions.
Above: The rear rack installed. If the rack and fender struts have to share a common mounting hole or eyelet on the frame, I like the fender struts to go on first. Clearance was already at a minimum. So I did not want to spread-out the fender struts any wider than necessary. Also, the racks legs (supports) are thicker and stronger than the fender struts. Mounted outside the struts they will help protect the weaker struts. Make sure the rack you order comes with all the mounting hardware. If you need to drill-out the mounting bracket holes for your seat-tube collar bolt. Do this with the bracket removed and laying flat on a scrap piece of wood. Put a drop of oil on the tip of the drill bit before drilling and repeat this about every 5 to 7 seconds. And do not apply excessive downward force on the drill.
And BE CAREFUL the drill bit will probably bind-up at the end of the cut spinning the bracket.Do not max-out the torque setting on your drill. This will increase the chance of the drill spinning the part when it binds. Keeping the drill bit tip lightly oiled as described above will extend the life of the bit greatly. Not doing this may render the bit useless before the first hole is finished. And use a premium drill bit that lists metal on the card or package. Safety Glasses and Mechanics Gloves need to be used. They won`t be able to protect you sitting on the shelf.
Above: The kick stand was also cleaned-up with Mother`s. And the mounting bolt was cleaned up with a brass wheel brush on a low-speed (rechargeable) drill. Quick Tip
Be careful not to bind the derailleur cables when mounting the kick-stand. It is very easy to do do. Before you tighten the mounting bolt, check the cables.

Below: Some photographs of the finished Raleigh Pursuit commuter project.
I did not get any pics. But the pedals were also refurbished. I removed the pedal reflectors and "wheel and detail" brushed them. Then I polished them with the Mother`s Chrome Polish. After that I replaced the pedal reflectors with new "take-offs".
I have some cool stuff coming up. I am building another ladies commuter from a vintage Schwinn Traveler. But while I have been waiting for parts I have also been building a RAT-BIKE. It will be a single speed bare bones bike with bull-nose bars and a rear coaster and front caliper brake. Also some fat gangster white-walls. I think I will call it "Physio-fit" goes Physio-Phat.
Until next time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE,RESTORE & RECYCLE!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raleigh Persuit Restoration Part 1

Hello and Welcome,
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I originally purchased this Raleigh Pursuit at a church rummage sale in nearby Milford Mi for thirty dollars. I was looking for a wheel-set and derailleurs for my 1972 Moto-Becane build. Then latter on I took the three piece crank and a few other parts (stem,handlebars, flick-stand & seat-post collar-bolt) for the Raleigh Capri. At first I thought this bike had white paint splattered on it. So I had no plans for the step-through frame. I stuck the old wheel-set and tires from the MotoBecane on it just so I could move it around the shop. As you can see above, by this time it was in a sorry state.
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a young lady looking for a commuter bike. I told her I had nothing ready in her size. But if she wanted to choose one of the un restored bikes I have in stock for restoration, I could have it ready in two to three weeks. "Long Story Short" she chose the Raleigh Pursuit. First order of business was to clean-up the frame and see if this bike is worth the effort. As you can see (above) it cleaned-up pretty good. Fortunately I had another parts bike in waiting with Sun-Tour derailleurs and a Sugino three piece crank. Next I want to do a mock-up to see if everything is going to work/fit.
Above is the mock-up with the components untouched. The handlebars and stem are from my stock of salvaged parts. The saddle and grips are for the mock-up only. Next step is to make up a shopping list and get the new parts ordered. Once I have checked everything for fit and function. It is time to take the bike apart and start re-assembling with new and re-conditioned components.
One of the first things to arrive was the Saddle. A new but "Vintage Looking" affordable saddle.(Brooks knock-off) I cleaned and polished the original seat-post with a brass brush and Mother`s Chrome Polish. Yes! I finally found some "Mothers Chrome Polish" and I love the stuff. (Sorry Turtle Wax, I have left you for another)I also managed to clean-up the brake calipers and get those mounted on the frame.
Above: Two of my favorite things (there are many more) about a Raleigh Road Bike.
First the "Iconic" Raleigh head-badge. And second the English Scroll (lettering) on the front of the fork blades. Also a shot of the front brake caliper "Dia Compe 500" taken apart and all polished-up with "Mother`s Mag & Aluminum Polish" of course.
Above: The stem and handlebars re-mounted after polishing. Look at that chrome shine! I also have re-mounted the Sun-Tour stem-shifters after a good polishing. You would think "judging by the components" that the donor bike was also a Raleigh. Here`s a hint "It was not a Raleigh". It was a Schwinn World Sport or Tourist. It had a very badly scratched frame and was filthy. I have learned to "not walk away from a bike too quickly" when bike hunting. Quite often the value is there if you look for it.
Above: The original bottom bracket before cleaning. I de greased the bearings and cups and axle. Also Notice the plastic axle cover the channels at each end are empty. Before I slip this back into place I pack those channels (on the ends) with grease. It was not my idea, I saw it done that way on one I took apart a long time ago. It made sense to me, so I have been doing it that way ever since.
The Crank all polished-up and ready for action. The inset Allen heads got the Q-Tip
treatment. I guess I don`t need to tell you what polish I used :)
The Crank back on the bike also the Sun-Tour AR front derailleur cleaned-up, polished and mounted slightly out of position.
The Cork`y grips (not the same as cork) look good with the saddle and will also compliment the Kenda K35 Gum-walls. I chose these Dia Compe old style commuter levers because they remind me of an old Raleigh 3 Speed. I searched the E-Bay for vintage, but they were basically the same thing and more expensive.
Above: The Sun-Tour AR rear derailleur all cleaned up. I think this is pretty much what this bike had originally although the originals may have been Sun-Tour ARX. The ARX is basically a lighter version of the same derailleur. (or so I have been told anyway) So this being a commuter set-up, I guess a few extra ounces won`t hurt too much. That`s all I got for tonight. I will post "part 2" before the new week begins. Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & Recycle
Cheers, Hugh

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Raleigh Technium 460 Part 2

Hello and Welcome, The Raleigh Technium 460 is now finished. The restoration was delayed, oddly enough by another Raleigh restoration. Now that it is "out of the way" lets see where we left off.
Below: The front hub and wheel cleaned-up. The wheel required very little truing, I might have turned (adjusted) 4 or five spokes. None more than a 180 degree turn "tightened or loosened". The rim cleaned-up fairly easily with Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. The spokes still look a little dull and will probably get sanded (lightly) before I am through. The flanges required a little brushing with a brass detail brush. As did the outer cones and spacers/washers (axle). The axle bearings and cones were an easy re-grease. The grease wiped off easily, which is usually not the case.

Below: The new tires are Kenda 27 x 1 1/8 90 psi gum wall . I replaced the inner-tubes with new ones with Presta valves. The original tubes were Schrader valve type. So now the hole in the rim is too big. What I do to make the Presta valves work is, I use a old style brake shoe washer. The washer has a smooth side and a sharper cut side. I always keep the smooth side on the tube and the sharp side against the inner rim. I just slip-on the washer before inserting the Presta valve through the rim. Then screw on the retainer ring and I`m all set. Now before you e-mail me about it. I am aware that they make a Schrader to Presta rim hole adapter adapter collar. I ordered them once and they did not fit. Re-drilling the rim or the inside of the adapter just seems really stupid to me. The adapter is supposed to simplify the problem not complicate it. Another plus to using a washer is, it is a much cleaner look and lighter too. I think the Presta valves give this "American Raleigh" a sleek Euro look. Also the original rim-tape was in excellent condition so it was not replaced.
Below: Here is a nice shot of the Shimano front derailleur all cleaned up and back on the bike with a new Schwinn chain. I was able to clean-up the pedals with Mother`s and the Christophe Clips with Turtle-Wax chrome cleaner/polish. To clean and soften up the Christophe leather straps I used ordinary Saddle Soap. It also works wonders on old leather bicycle saddles. The derailleurs also got hooked-up with new Jag-Wire cables nicely trimmed and caped with a crimp-on tip. The original chain is very good quality and will be re-used after a good cleaning.
Below: Here is a shot of the Shimano rear derailleur all hooked-up. I re-used the clear Shimano cable housings. I cleaned them up using the bio-degradable de greaser. The original housings are not cracked and the cables slide through smoothly. It is easy to tell when they are shot. Just look for any cracking and if the cable does not slide out easily, that indicates there is rust inside the housing. And if that is the case you should replace them for sure. As always I added a few drops of a light oil to the housings before inserting the replacement cables.
< br/> Below: The Stem, Drop Handlebars and Brake levers all cleaned-up very well with Mother`s. Fortunately the adhesive used on the original handlebar cork tape was very easy to remove from the bars, that`s gotta be "a first" for me. I went with the original two-way levers for a couple of reasons. First, people seem to like them. Second I really like the look of this bike and wanted to keep it as original as possible. And I was able to locate the original replacement hoods that have a hole for the suicide lever post. Also I like to be able to ride with my hands up on the flats and still have easy access to the brakes. The original stem is very nondescript. I wish I had another Classic GB stem to replace it with. However this one is in fine shape, so it will be adequate I guess
Below: The rear side pull caliper road brake all polished-up (Mother`s) and waiting for the new shoes to arrive. Notice the seat tube clamp. The collar bolt goes through the tops of the seat stays "interesting"...
Below: Here is a shot of the Shimano brake lever hoods. I wrapped the handlebars with Cinelli "light cork color" tape. Funny thing about the finishing logo tape. Sometimes it sticks and sometimes it does not. So keep the electrical tape close-by.
Below: Some shots of the finished project. Left Click on Image(s) to Enlarge, Left Click Back(<)Button to Return.

So that is the Raleigh USA Technium 460. The Technium bikes from the 1980`s have bonded frames. "Frames made from tubes glued together with epoxy resin" Which means that instead of the tubes being brazed together at the lugs, they are bonded or glued together. I think this is done to allow the frame builder to use mixed metals. I`m not sure if this is because of issues welding different metals together. Or because the epoxy prevents direct contact of two non compatible metals. I am hoping Steve will have something to say about that. And again sorry for the delay. I had a Raleigh "Pursuit" restoration to do for a young lady. Actually it was more like a build. It started with a dingy frame that I had stuck junk wheels and tires on just to be able to move it around. It is quite a transformation. And I can hardly wait to share it with you.
Till next time RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!
A Special THANK YOU to those of you have been checking out Hugh's Online Bike Shop. The link to Hugh's Online Bike Shop is located on this page in the right column near the top, just below the followers / members. 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.
Thanks, Hugh
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