Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kalkhoff Restoration / Brakes, HeadSet & Crank

Hello and Welcome, For the past month or so the weather here has been pretty brutal. I have been doing some of my bike work in the basement. However, do to fumes and dust etc. etc. some of the work has to be done in the shop. Because of the harsh weather, not much "shop work" has been getting done around here lately.
But there is good news! Today we are supposed to be back in the mid to upper 40's Fahrenheit. When the temp gets up around 40+ degrees F the heaters can get it up well over 50 degrees in the shop. The shop/garage is not insulated and has thin metal overhead doors. So basically when it is in the mid to low 20's F it is impossible to get it anything close to comfortable in there.
Above: The Kalkhoff looking pretty much the same as did did the day I found it (I guess) about 3 years ago . I remember thinking, Where in the hell am I going to find a stem that long? I was not aware until recently that tall stem quills are actually fairly common, and not all that hard to find. So that is what happens when I "go negative". I just set the little bike aside, not wanting to deal with "what turned out to be no real issue at all". There is a message in there somewhere.
Above: Once I had stripped the bike down to the frame I moved the frame inside and cleaned it up in comfort using Armor All Cleaning Wipes. My plan was to do the dirty work in the shop, then bring the components inside as they are finished. This all seemed like a really good plan. And it was, at least until the temp dropped way down below freezing.

Above: I decided to start with cleaning up the brake calipers. This would give me a chance to try out the new Kendal 160 Watts Ultrasonic Cleaner.
Above: Here I have placed the parts into the basket and put the basket into the tank. Then filled the tank with warm water (this saves heat up time) and added about 10% Simple Green Biodegradable All-Purpose Cleaner . Then I ran it through 3 or 4 full cycles. Note: I have not placed any plastic parts into the cleaner. And I will put the top on the cleaner before running it through the cycle(s).
Above: Here the caliper brake is re-assembled. Notice the barrel adjuster and some of the smaller bits look a little dull. It is also pretty obvious that the caliper will still need to be polished with Mother's. The caliper on the left is untouched and is shown only for comparison.
Above: Although polished, I will still need to clean up the barrel adjusters using the fine brass wheel brush on the high speed drill. I might add that pre cleaning the caliper parts made it much easier (and quicker) to polish up the caliper brakes. And I used much less Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish than I normally would.
Above: Both calipers finished, including polishing and cleaning up the barrel adjusters and smaller bits using the fine brass wheel brush on the DeWalt keyless chuck high speed drill . A low speed drill will also work fine. It was cold in the shop and I wanted to get the wheel-brushing done as quickly as possible. On the right is the front brake caliper with the barrel adjuster mounted up top. This is because the Jagwire Basics Galvanized Brake Cable is routed to the caliper from above. The rear brake caliper (on the left) is reversed because with the step through frame the cable is routed so that it comes to the caliper from below. I deliberately showed this process in steps to illustrate just how important each step is. I have also installed new Jag Wire brake shoes. Once the levers are polished and the new Jag wire cables and housings are installed, the brakes should look (and work) like brand new when finished.
Above: Here I have mounted the rear bicycle brake caliper on the bike. It makes sense (to me anyway) to mount the caliper before the mudguard (fender). I can adjust the position of the fender, I can not adjust the location of the brake caliper. The two holes above the caliper are for attaching the rack. I hope the scratches I can see there will be hidden when the rack is installed.
Above: I have decided to do rebuild the Head Set next reusing the headset bearings and cups (A&B). Fortunately there was still some grease on the bearings and the cups are not scored. Now I can see if the Ultrasonic Cleaner can do what I really wanted it for. And that is to degrease and clean some old cartridge bearings. I will clean the Head Set bearing cups in place. Since they are fairly clean and undamaged, I see no real upside to removing them.
Above: Here are the Headset (H) and Bicycle Bottom Bracket Bearing (C) all cleaned up. Also the hardware for the left side crank (LC), And the top threaded race, spacer and cap nut (HRC) for the Headset. On these the Kendal Ultrasonic Cleaner worked Great! This cleaner should pay for itself "if it holds up". The White Lightning Clean Streak I usually use for this is really wonderful stuff. But it's not cheap and does get expensive after a while.
Above: The Threaded Headset is typical except for a few little odd things. First, after the cap nut is installed there is about an inch or so of threaded Steerer tube exposed at the top. Second there is a clamp that fits over the exposed Steerer tube (as seen above). Also the Steerer tube is slotted so the clamp actually constricts or clamps the Steerer tube to the stem.
Above: The stem is also secured to the inner steer tube by way of a wedge nut. Although this one has more the "cork shaped" type nut. On this type stem the bottom of the stem is also slotted. So as the cork shaped nut is pulled up into the stem (by tightening the stem bolt located at the top of the stem) it expands the bottom of the stem securing it to the inside of the Steerer tube. And there is still one more rather odd thing about this stem.
Above: The Stem bolt (Red Arrow) also acts as a clamp bolt for the handlebars. This would explain the extra clamp on the top of the exposed threaded Steerer tube. Otherwise if you wanted to adjust the angle of the handlebars you would have to loosen up the stem as well. Normally I am amazed by German Engineering. In this case I am baffled and confused..ltms
Above: Due to some severe rust that was beyond "simply removing & polishing" I had to replace the stem. The new stem has a typical wedge nut and a separate bolt for the handlebar clamp. I like this set up much better. However, I do understand that with the longer than usual stem attached to a shorter than usual headset the extra clamp on top of the the Steerer tube "might" be a good idea.
Above: This part is for the newer folks :) Not all stems are the same diameter (or height) so take your measurements carefully. Then measure them again.
Above: The original handlebars were also rusted too badly to be saved. I replaced them with these Wald Handlebars which are very affordable.
Above: Another quirky or interesting thing about the little Kalkhoff is this 2 piece crank. The left side crank arm is a typical cotter type. While the drive side arm, chain-ring and bracket spline are all one unit. I do nor recall running across one of these before. This unit cleaned up fairly easily using the fine brass wheel brush and a brass detail brush for rust removal. Then I polished it all up using Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover.
Above: This pic shows how the outer race and cap are incorporated into one unit with the bracket spindle and the crank and drive side arm. Much easier to install than a one piece crank, that's for sure. For what it is, I think this 2 piece crank is really cool.
Above: Here I have cleaned up the inner races (which are in really fine shape) and repacked and installed the crank or bracket bearings. Looking at this bearing cartridge in place I was thinking "THIS does not look right at all". I was wrong, it went back together just fine.
Above: This looks a little "smudged up" from my greasy fingers. The crank is actually very bright and shiny!
Above: Yours Truly On vacation "Up North" a few years ago. Next time I will pick up this restoration with the mudguards, wheels, rim strips, tires etc. etc. Until Next Time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always......RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE!.......................................... Cheers, Hugh
Thanks again to those of you who have been checking out "Hugh's Online Bike Shop". Recently I added some smaller bikes like this 2013 Diamondback Cobra 24inch Mountain Bike. I have also added some even smaller tyke and kids bikes as well. If you see something that is not in the store let me know (via comment) and I will do my best to get it in there. The Link to "Hugh's Online Bike Shop" is in the upper right column just below the Members/Followers. Cheers, Hugh


  1. The folder is looking good Hugh, hope to see the 2nd installment soon. Your sonic cleaner is really working well.

    1. Thanks Ryan,
      That post should be up by tomorrow am. Congrats on the new job!

  2. I have a Kalkhoff road bike and though it says "made in germany" I am almost 100% sure the frame was made by Motobacane. My Kalk has a swiss thread bb, Did the foldie have that?

    1. Hey Mark,
      Mine definitely has rims that were typical of MotoBecane of the same era. I think the frame very possibly could have been made by Motobecane. It sure is painted in a Motobecane color. I reused all the bottom bracket components, so I am not 100% positive. But I do not think the b.b. threading was Swiss.

  3. With a two piece crank, how are you suppose to change the front chainring when it wears out?

    1. Hey John,
      I am not sure. I have seen one piece cranks where the chain ring could be removed. But this 2 piece looks like you would have to replace the whole works. Good observation!

    2. ps
      Hey John,
      I have just finished adding a bottom bracket and crank set section to the store. I have yet to figure out how to install a search feature in the store. But I will figure it out eventually.
      Cheers, Hugh

  4. As I have often said; (by the way, it is good to know that you are still alive) as i am often known to say...hang on, lost my thread here...oh: what artistry you produce, Hugh! Simply stunning!

    Sell out and move to Florida! There is no real bike shop here where I live and as I type this I am sitting on the Blonde's patio, sipping the first beer of the day and wishing I could later, as the day wears on, pedal over to Hugh's Bike Shop and sprawl on the crusty couch and be a nuisance.

    It is noble and endearing that you choose to spend the twilight in a place that no one in their proper mind would dwell on purpose, and yet, why suffer? Here there is a need for a quality LBS and also, a Trailer Park Cyclist in need of some one to bother while they do their magic.

    sigh. It really is pretty nice here. When I read about your temperature travails it breaks my heart. As far as family goes, don't worry. Once you are established in Florida, every relative you ever had sooner or later finds their way to your threshold.

    Yours in cycling, Tim Joe Comstock, Trailer Park Cyclist and Sunshine Chamber of Commerce.

    1. Hey TJ
      You know we just might end up in Fla before it is all over. My wife is not sure yet when she will retire. I am hoping it will be in the next year or two. And you sir are 100% correct! You gott'ah have a few loose screws to spend as many years here as I have (: Anyone who spends their entire life here definitely does not have both of their oars in the water.
      And of course you would be welcome to stop by anytime.
      About the crusty couch ltms... You sure hit that nail on the head. I have known my wife about 32 years I guess. And she had that damn couch when I met her. We have dragged that bloody thing around for years. But "God As My Witness" That damn couch is not going to make the next move!
      In closing I would like to Thank You for your support. It is truly appreciated. Also I must admit, 8 months out of the
      year it is beautiful here. It's the other 4 months that can really wear you down.
      Hey! It hit 60 degrees Fahrenheit two days ago. And they just took the mayor of Detroit to prison. And the Tigers are playing ball in Lakeland? Fla. Things are definitely looking up :)

  5. Man,that turned out really sweet! Nice job,my friend :)

    (The DC)

    1. Thanks Steve,
      I am just waiting for the taller (micro adjust) seat post and the new Sturmey Archer shifter to arrive. But it is about 98% finished. I have really enjoyed this restoration. And Thanks for the positive feedback.
      Cheers, Hugh


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