Saturday, June 25, 2011

Raleigh SC 200 gets New Tires / Parliament Custom Built Made in England Update

Hello and Welcome,
I have been keeping busy while waiting for the last of the parts needed to finish the Parliament Custom-Built with some other bike work.
A Buddy of mine Jerry from the "Coffee Shop Crowd" needed a change of tires on his Raleigh SC 200. Last summer I installed this used set I had laying around the shop for a cheap fix. It seemed like a good idea at the time. SEE BELOW
The problem with the replacement tires (above) was they rode a little rough on pavement. Jerry had been running smooth rollers like the Kenda Kross Plus Slick XC Tires. While He liked the idea of more tread, I do not think He (nor I) realized how much rougher the knobby tires would feel on the pavement. So off with the knobbies (see below) and on with a new set of Kenda Kross Plus Slicks
BELOW: Jerry asked me to clean-up the drive train a bit while I have it on the stand. So I started with the free-wheel. First I brushed it off then sprayed it with White-Lightning Clean-Streak. The lube will come later. I always use a small plastic tub with some dirty paper towels in the bottom to catch the drippings.
BELOW: The front derailleur got the same treatment. The only difference being, I like to wipe-off the "shiny parts" right away and repeat if necessary. Notice there are no paper towels in the tub. Opps! And I am still wearing my Road ID from my morning ride. You know your getting old when you have to update the medical info on your Road-Id. (:
BELOW: I did the same with the rear derailleur. When you spray the rear derailleur you will want to get around and spray it from the far (or left side) as well. I like to wipe-off the rear derailleur right away. Make sure you wipe-off the jockey wheels as well. You will need to back pedal to get the jockey wheels cleaned-up all the way around.
BELOW: Cleaning the chain using a "White-Lightning Bicycle Chain Cleaner". These are amazingly affordable (if you shop around) and do a wonderful job cleaning your chain. The instructions are easy to follow and come with the unit. These are made in Italy and I think I paid less than 20.00 for the unit. It comes with two small bottles of cleaner, enough for four cleanings.
BELOW: After wiping off the chain I applied some chain lube and wiped-off the excess. A friend of mine told me many years ago, "If your chain looks oily, you have too much lube on it". (dust sticks to anything that is wet) I am using White-Lightning but any bicycle chain oil will work. I just figured, the cleaner being White-Lightning, the White-Lightning lube would be compatible. I am sure it really does not matter though.
Below: Lubing the derailleurs. The reason I do this last is, I like to spray the Tri Flo outdoors. I really hate the smell of this stuff. Just a light coat and wipe off the excess. You want to make sure whatever lube you use is silicone based if you are spraying it on plastic parts. And remember to shake-up the can before spraying if your using Tri-Flo. I like to keep the wind at my back when spraying this stuff. Read All Cautions on the can before using. (anything)
Below: On Road-bikes I like to center the valve stem with the tag or label on the sidewall of the tire. And I keep the tags on the "drive side" of the bike. It just makes it look neater. But On a Mountain Bike or "any bike tire" that does not have tags (colored labels) It makes sense to center the valve stem to where the proper inflation is printed on the sidewall of the tire.Sorry for the lousy pic (so much for auto-focus)
Below: Jerry`s "Raleigh SC 200" all cleaned up and ready for delivery.
BELOW: The parts for the "Parliament Custom Built" have been arriving this week. I will be back to work on it in the next few days. Here is a pic of the Parliament with the new fenders installed.
I heard from one of my readers via e-mail. He had some questions about "Department Store Bikes." I shared my thoughts on restoring D.S.B.s or Cheaper Bikes in general. As fate would have it, I am cleaning-up some bikes this week that fall into the D.S.B. category. I will try to sneak in a post about how to assess a D.S.B. before I post the Parliament Restoration finish.
Till Next Time RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Parliament Road Bike Restoration Part 2

Hello and Welcome, I am feeling much better and have resumed work on the "Custom Built * Parliament * Made in England"
BELOW: I believe we left off with the front wheel cleaned-up. Shown here with a new rim-strip and Kenda K35 Gum-Wall 90 psi. I would not go with anything but gum-walls on this vintage bike. If you want Gum-Walls and you are ordering Kenda(s) make sure you are getting gum-walls and not skin-walls. There is a least one online supplier who is showing "gum wall" on the description and "black and tan" on the actual ordering part. "Gum-Wal" is a pretty clear description as is "Skin-Wall". But apparently "Black and Tan" could be either one. So buyer beware. And to confuse you even more, the pic they have only shows only the tread, not the side-wall. GEEEZE LOUISE! I absolutely hate that kind of rubbish.(not my first word choice)
BELOW: I have two English wheels (rear) that will fit this bike. Both have Sturmey Archer stamped on the "almost" identical pie-plates. The original wheel has a badly bent axle. So "for now" I am going with the other one.(the chrome is not quite as good) I will switch them later, if I am able to repair the other. At this point I am unable to break the free-wheel loose. So I will be taking it to a local bike shop for a repair estimate. Or maybe just have them remove the free-wheel and order me a new axle and bearings. BELOW: My extra wheel on the bike also with a new Kenda K35 gum-wall and rim-strip.
BELOW: The Sun-Tour Honor derailleur (type one 1969) all cleaned-up and ready to roll. After a light coat of Tri Flow that is. I still have a little more cleaning to do on the free-wheel though. I wanted to wait and see how the wheel trued-up first. Check - Out all those adjusters. I am counting 4 including the cable tension adjuster.
BELOW: The Sun-Tour "Spirt" derailleur cleaned -up nicely. I think it might have had some sort of graphite lubricant on it. I was able to remove it using the White-Lightning "Clean-Streak" and also some Turtle-Wax Chrome-Polish & Rust-Remover to get the residue off.
BELOW: Cleaning-up the Weinmann brake calipers, I did something different this time. After taking them apart and polishing each and every part with Mother`s. I then buffed up the parts with the Dremel like tool. I also used the fine brass wheel-brush on the acorn nuts and springs and other small chrome parts. I added the buffing because my "good eye" is still not 100% and I don`t trust my vision yet. I wanted to make sure they were cleaned and polished as good as I could get them.
BELOW: A close-up of the front Weinmann caliper after polishing and re-assembly. I think it looks pretty good. As always the calipers also got a set of new Jag-Wire shoes. Notice the red & white Weinmann labeled cap-nut washers. I have never run across any in quite this good of condition before. They look like new!
BELOW: A "really bad photograph" of the rear caliper after refurbishing and mounting back on the bike. It looks really good, I just did not get the light right for this photograph. I will slip-in a better one when I can.
BELOW: This is where I am at with the restoration as of today. The garage heated -up in the early afternoon and I had to stop. I am going to try to work on it some more tomorrow. It is great to be back to work :)
BELOW: These are the fenders (mud-guards)I am going to use. They are Toba fenders. This will be the first time I have used this brand. So I will be sure to let you know what my opinion is, in regards to "ease of installation" and "performance". I already like the way they look. I chose this pic because it shows the pin-stripe detail.
BELOW: Due to the use of non-adhesive handlebar tape the handlebar clean-up should be a breeze (easy) They are British and are very light weight for their time.
BELOW: The (GB) logo engraved on the bars. Can I assume this stands for "Great Brittan"? Next to the (GB) is engraved "British Made"
UPDATE: The following is from Steve in Texas and I quote "Actually, "GB" stands for "Gerry Burgess." Really! I have a GB stem on my Falcon".
(Hugh) Thanks Steve
BELOW: An upcoming project, a Huffy Le-Grande. I`m gonna have to do this one on the "cheap". Huffys do not bring a very good price. I`ll have to be careful to not over spend. Good news! It has newer tires not dried out or cracked and almost no tread wear. I hope to upgrade the calipers and levers with salvaged ones. That will save some money. It will need a new or newer saddle and better saddle clamp for sure. I`m hoping to only have to buy cables & housings, brake shoes and handlebar tape. The derailleurs are dirty but in working order, that`s a huge plus.(good thing). Let`s see how cheap we can get this thing back on the road "and upgraded". The Huffy Le-Grande should make a good campus-bike for a student on a tight budget.
Well bicycle lovers that`s all I got for today. Thanks again for all the "well wishes". Until next time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cycling in Michigan`s Upper Peninsula

Hello and Welcome,
I had a wonderful time this past week vacationing in the Munising area of Michigan`s Upper peninsula. The cabin (rental) is located in the Hiawatha National Forest about 8 miles south of Shingleton Mi. Here is the view from the deck.
Thanks to my brother-in-law for swapping vehicles with my wife and I for the week. The Mercury mini-van has a Reese-hitch which was a perfect fit for my old bicycle rack. And plenty of room in the van for my wife and son and myself and all "the stuff" we brought with us.
That`s me heading out for my morning ride. Morning temps were typically in the low 40`s F. And that`s fine with me, as it keeps the bugs from being to active. The Mosquito(S) own the UP. This was not a surprise to me as I am a native Mich-i-gander and have visited the U.P. many times. But thankfully there were no black flies and the Mosquito population was not in full bloom yet. But if you go to the north woods of Michigan in the summer (or any other time of year) be prepared.
I found this sign is on the gravel road (Old 94) that leads to the paved road. I did not see any logging trucks on our road. But I did see "more than a few" on the main road (highway). When A truck loaded with fresh cut cedar would pass me on the main road, I must admit it did smell really good. I hope they are cutting responsibly and doing the necessary re-planting.
I did ride up this logging road to get a quick look at what logging does to the local environment. It appears that they leave the trees that are not yet thick enough to be harvested and re-plant saplings when finished. I hope they also re-plant on the temporary roads when finished with the harvest.
This waterfall is the only one we viewed that is on private property. It is at the end of a paved road in a sub-division. I thought that was rather odd. We did pay a few dollars to walk the well maintained path and view the falls. They did have a nice gift shop as well. Everybody has to make a living I guess. If you were to stay in Munising many of the falls and other sites would be within a reasonable (bicycle) riding distance. We drove to all our day trips.
*The following is copied from the Grand Island National Recreation Area site*
"Grand Island National Recreation Area Hiking & Mountain Biking Old woods, roads and trails run the perimeter of Grand Island offering many miles of hiking and biking to the most spectacular views one will find anywhere in the Upper Midwest. There are several rustic campsites on the island, and white sand beaches that will thrill the visitor."
UPDATE: I just checked and you can bring your bike on the ferry for an additional $5.00 I copied the following from their site "Prices are $15/adult $10/child 6-12 years; free for children under 6; and $5/bicycle".
We did not get a chance to visit the island. But we will definitely make it there next trip. Below: A lighthouse I photographed from the deck of the glass-bottom Ship-wreck tour boat. I thought the ship-wreck tour was great. my wife thought it was ok...... ?
Below: This picture of Castle Rock was taken from shore. Originally there were two turrets but one eventually crumbled and fell into the lake. We did take the Picture Rock Boat tour. We were roasting on the pier waiting to board and freezing on the bay. My advise "dress for everything" especially in the spring.
Below: I don`t recall seeing this type of Moth before. Left click on the pic to see it enlarged. After image searching "Green Moth" It would appear they are not at all rare. And there appears to be several variations.
Below: My batteries died the day we took the Picture Rocks Bout Tour. They are actually very beautiful. Unfortunately this is the only pic I have until my son forwards me some of the beautiful pics he took.I will update this with a better pic at some point.
We did not see any Bears in the wild, and I knew my wife would love to see some. And I absolutely refuse to view Bears at the dump (land-fill). So when I heard on the radio that Oswald Bear Ranch (near Newberry ) had cubs, I could not resist. We had some pics taken playing with one of the cubs. But due to privacy concerns I will not be posting them until after my son does some photo-shop work on them.
Below: Another of the "about a dozen" waterfalls we viewed on our trip. This was one of my favorites.
That`s me checking out one of the many rock formations in the area. Some of the tourists (or locals) have actually carved their names into the sand stone walls in this area. I did not see it at any of the other locations though.
Well that`s about it for my vacation. To those who have sent their best wishes for my speedy recovery, I Thank You. My left eye is recovering nicely and I am almost finished with the steroids. I actually did a little bike hunting today. And I will be doing some work on the Parliament this week. Although I have promised my wife and doctors to take it easy for a while. I do have a "quick flip"
bike I might do this week. Mostly because it wont be too demanding. Today I purchased a "Huffy Le-Grande". Talk about two words that don`t go
Like "Yugo Continental" or "Escort GT" Anyway I think I`m going to see how cheap we can make the Huffy into something functional and hopefully decent looking.
Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and Remember to always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Raleigh Persuit Fender Change / Physio Phat

Hello and Welcome,
I am taking an unplanned break to deal with a bout of Optic Neuritis.. I have a great team of doctors helping me get back on track. It has been difficult to do any thing on the PC lately due to the vision problems that come along with it. I did however bring the Raleigh Pursuit back from AnnArbor Mi. to be fitted with some wider fenders,
Above: This shot shows just what little coverage the 35mm road racer fenders provide on the 27 X 1&1/4 inch Kenda K35 Gum-walls. Although the Pursuit was originally a road racer style bike with drop bars and no fenders. I should have paid more attention to the metric size specs than to the words road racer or road bike. I knew these 35mm were going t be a problem when I was installing them. But I figured with a little tweaking I could make them work.
Above: This was the worst problem area, where the rear fender clips onto the brace that is located behind the bracket shell and connects the two chain stays. But the whole thing was really tight all the way around so I did not bother making any modifications. I adjusted the fender height at the rear brake caliper connection. And adjusted the fender shape or curve by adjusting the length of the fender struts. And when I finished everything cleared, but just barely. I should have known that with a set-up this tight the first bump was going to knock the whole deal out of whack. And that`s pretty much what happened.
Above: The replacement 45mm fender cut with a hot knife. (it only looks rough on the inside) Trimming the fender after installing it allowed me to cut off just the
riht amount of plastic the get the fender to spread-out properly. And still get good coverage all the way to the connection.
Above: Use "Extreme Caution" when cutting with a hot knife. You might want to get some help with the first one. I would not recommend doing this if you don`t feel confident working with a torch and a hot knife. Having said that, I use this Stanly utility knife which has no plastic parts. I love this knife it is a combination jack-knife / utility Knife. It is designed with a quick-change blade feature. And only one of the two blades can be opened at once. I don`t know if this is still available. But I would recommend this all around knife to anyone. It is without a doubt one of the best (if not the best) knives I have owned. And this is coming from a guy who owns a 1968 Puma "White Hunter" (German made) in near mint condition.

Above: The two pieces of plastic that were cut off with the hot knife. The bike was picked-up right away (a day early)So I had no chance to get pics of the finished project. I did throw in a vintage Italian water-bottle cage and some adjustments. The young lady was kind enough to come pick-up the bike after learning about my temporary vision problem. So if I learned anything on this build it was "do your research" and "read the specs carefully" and do the conversions "metric to s.a.e." My Dad used to say "It`s ok to make a mistake, just make sure you learn from it."
BELOW: The ever evolving Physio Phat
ABOVE: Physio-Phat shown with new Kenda K-80 Red wall Cruiser tires and Multi -Sport pedals with "old style" straps and traps. (toe clips)
Below: I don`t think I ever showed the Avenir Rack. The first rack (Sun Lite)was borrowed from the Pursuit project. When I decided to go with panniers, I thought it best to not mix brands. So it was not a surprise that the Avenir panniers fit the Avenir rack perfectly.
Well I have not done enough work on the Parliament Custom-Built to rate an update.
Tomorrow I am going to take my doctors advice and spend a long week in the North Woods, mostly resting. I will take my lap-top and a digital camera. But I am not sure how that will pan-out.
I should be back online by June 12th if I am not able to post from the North Country. Thanks for your patience and well wishes. Till Next Time, RIDE SAFE and remember to Always... RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
See You Soon, Cheers,Hugh
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