Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gray Fisher "Mt Jam" Overhaul / Detail

Hello and Welcome,
My P.C. and I are awaiting the arrival of some new card of some sort. I think it is the wireless or internet card. I mistakenly referred to it as a "video card" but have since been corrected. I am not what you would call "computer savvy".
So today I am updating from my lap-top for the very first time.
Above: Here is the Boys or Girls Gary Fisher "Mt Jam". I say boys or girls because it has 24in wheels. I am very pleased with this purchase, having paid a mere 7 dollars and 9 cents US. I looked it up and I believe it sold for about 329.00 US originally. It has been banged up a bit during transport or storage but shows very little if any wear at all . That seems to be typical around here anymore. I guess it is just a "Sign of the Times" (If you now have that song in you head, your either English or Old or both) LTMS More fun to surf the net than ride the dirt I guess.
Above: I won`t call this a restoration as the bike is mostly just dirty and scratched up. I guess an overhaul and detail-job should be an accurate enough description. By the way, "as I sometimes do in the winter" I have cleaned the entire frame and wheels and hubs and spokes etc. etc. with Armor-All Cleaning wipes. It`s a little cold for the bucket of soapy water bit right now. However I am using Clean-Streak on the free-wheel and both derailleurs. And will use it on other parts as well.
Above: The Armor-All cleaning wipes did a bang-up job on the inner and outer hub, spokes, rim and pie-plate. I did go over it twice to get it looking really clean and shiny.
Above: The Free-Wheel cleaned up wonderfully with a little spray of Clean-Streak and a little brushing. I touched up the axle nuts and outer spacers with a brass detail brush. Keep in mind, This bike was not filthy like many of the ones I have done in the past. However it is in need of some clean-up and tuning, especially if I expect to get a good price for it.
Above: Although it was already within an acceptable range, I went ahead and trued the wheel. I like to use the truing stand for cleaning up the wheels as well. I had to remove the tire from the rim anyway. As the tire had over rotated on the rim just enough to make the stem crooked. Usually I can let the air out of the tire, then brake the seal and slide the tire by hand till the stem is straight. In this case that was not happening.
Above: There it is with the stem nice and straight. I have gone-over the side walls with the Armor-All cleaning wipes as well. These are "better quality" tires in excellent condition, showing no wear. There is no way I am going replace these tires, they are fantastic! I may try some Armor-All Tire Cleaning Wipes on the side-walls to bring out the black a little more. I think that might be worth the extra effort.
Above: The Shimano SIS rear derailleur received the usual basket cleaning with Clean-Streak. This time I wedged the derailleur open using the post part of my little chain tool. This allowed me to be able to spray the hard to reach areas of the derailleur. I also used a typical parts cleaning brush on the derailleur. I use much less Clean-Streak when I combine it with a good brushing while the part is still wet. I regret I did not get a picture of the wedge, but I`m sure you can figure that one out on your own. But I will try to get a pic next time.
Above: I have not removed the front derailleur for cleaning yet. I did give it a quick wipe-off. But as you can see, it needs to be removed for a proper cleaning.
I just wanted to show this, so you can compare the difference after it is cleaned properly. That is where I will pick up this overhaul on the next post.
Above: Here is the original chain. I could probably soak it and dry it off and lube it up. But I think for the cost I will just replace it. It`s not like I will be spending much on parts for this bike anyway.
Above: Here I have put one coat of enamel paint on a very bad scrape on the left seat stay. As you can see the scrape is still showing through. I will let this dry for a day or two (longer than usual because it is cold here now) And then I will add another coat. I know the color is a good match, so I just need to be patient. After the second coat I might have to lightly wet sand and then apply a third coat. But if I take my time and stick to the program, I know it will come out fine.

Above: Update on the "Parliament Custom Built Made in England". This is the finished project. However, having never been satisfied with the touch-up paint on the fork blade. I have decided to store it for the winter. And in the late spring I will remove the fork and paint it white, possibly leaving the crown green. I had the idea after painting the fork white on the fixed gear bike. So this is the last you are going to see of the Parliament this year.
Until Next Time. Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ross Adventurer Finished with Many Up-Grades

Hello and Welcome. Below is the Ross Adventurer as I found it.
Check-Out the blogs NEW Face-Book page! And Please click on "Like" to show your support. To do so now just click on the LOGO ~~~~~~>

Above: Judging by the lack of wear to the original equipment, my best guess would be that this bike was ridden a few times and then parked. The pristine condition of the frame and paint made this bike a "near perfect" candidate for an American to Euro bottom bracket conversion. Although I would have preferred a better quality American ten-speed. However this bike did give me the opportunity to make several improvements because it IS such a low-level bike.
Above: This is about as cheap of a steel bicycle stem as you will find anywhere. It is a rolled steel, chrome plated stem. Typical original equipment on a cheap department store retro cruiser bicycle. The drop bars were also cheap and heavy steel chrome plated, also department store quality. The handlebars had foam covers instead of handlebar tape. Very popular in the 1980`s. (when I was riding motorcycles) I pretty much missed the whole foam handlebar wrap era. (lucky me) The original Shimano shift levers were plastic. And finally the brake levers were such cheaply made generics that the manufacturer did not bother putting their name on them. (probably a wise choice) So basically the original stem and everything attached to it was garbage. (even by "Department-Store Bike" standards)
Above: Here we have the reconditioned SR stem installed with Ross engraved lighter weight drop handlebars. (bars off a Ross Carrera) The Brake-levers are vintage "Schwinn Approved" with the quick release feature. The tape is white Avenir basic cork tape (nicely padded) The slightly over-sized stem-mount alloy shifters are vintage Shimano of a much higher level. I also replaced the front head-mount reflector bracket with a cable-guide bracket for the center-pull caliper brake.
Above: A Ross "plastic mount" (no rails) saddle. I have only seen these on other Ross bikes of the same era and also once on a TONKA Bicycle. Do I really need to say anything more, like what a POS I think this saddle is.
Above: The Origin 8 Aero Saddle is the cheapest white saddle I could find. And in my opinion, it is still a huge improvement. Because of what this bike is, I have to watch every penny. No matter how many changes and improvements I make, it is still a Ross Adventurer. And I`m only going to get so much for it when it is sold.
Above: I took the rear brake cable-guide off the upcoming Schwinn Varsity project bike. Apparently the Schwinn Varsity also received a brake caliper up-grade at some point along it`s journey. I`m hoping I have another rear brake-cable guide stashed-away somewhere. As you can see the caliper arms are just barely long enough for the shoes to clear the tire. I may still trim-off about 1/8th inch of rubber from the top corners edges of the X Caliper brake shoes.
Above: As it turned-out, the Ross Carrera came with the exact same Shimano derailleurs that are on the Ross Adventurer. Both front and rear derailleurs received a good cleaning, lube and adjustment.(Clean-Streak and Tri-Flo)
Above: The finished project. The Ross Adventurer now sports a reconditioned set of "Continental Style" pedals. And a new Schwinn chain as well. The paint touched-up "the wee bit that there was" has been completed at this point.
Above: The left side of the bike. I do have a better Alloy Kick Stand for the bike. Here it is shown with the original kick-stand. I regret the weather has not cooperated and I have not been able to take any pics out of doors.
Above: One last shot of the three piece crankset with the front derailleur all cleaned-up and mounted and with the new Schwinn chain in place. I only regret that I could not find a matching set of lighter wheels laying around the shop. But due to the value (or lack of value)of this bike, it was just not worth purchasing even a cheap new aluminum wheel-set. Had it been a "keeper" or a "build to order bike" then maybe I could have made the wheel change.

We have had our first taste of winter for this season. For those of you who live in warmer climates. When the rain turns to snow, the snow sticks to the trees. To see an entire forest painted white with snow in the morning light is a beautiful thing to behold. It did however knock-out the power which also knocked out the well and the boiler. Fortunately the power was not out as long as expected. And we got through it just fine.
Above: All I know about this bike, is that it once belonged to the Schwinn family. I just thought you might enjoy seeing it. Till next time, Please RIDE SAFE and remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE
Cheers, Hugh
Cycling Blog Directory