Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kalkhoff Restoration / Fenders, Wheels & Tires

Hello and Welcome, The Kalkhoff folding bike restoration is coming along nicely. Now that the brake calipers are cleaned up and installed it is time to do see what can be done with the mudguards and struts.
Above: Initially I tried polishing the fenders with Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish. While the mudguards did look much better after polishing, there was still some discoloration. I`m not really sure if you would call it oxidation? But for lack of a better word, I`ll go with that. I decided to brush the fenders. I did this using a Fine Brass wheel-brush on my high speed DeWalt 3/8 keyless chuck drill.
Above: When it comes to protecting the freshly brushed aluminum I am going to try using "Eastwood Metal Protect" . From the reviews I have read this sounds like a good economical choice. Having the mudguards anodized clear would probably be too expensive. I also read somewhere you can use a "silicone based" lubricant like TriFlo spray lubricant. But I have not read any reviews yet about using that method.
Above: I also cleaned up the struts, again using the fine brass wheel brush (high speed drill) and a little fine automotive grade sand paper. To dress up the installation a little I added leather washers at the connection point (above). The struts will also need to be protected. to protect the struts I will use Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover. There was a slight bend in one of the rear struts. I was able to hammer it out using my Ball Pein Hammer on the anvil part of my bench vise.
Above: The front wheel was rusty, but it looked savable. First I brushed between the spokes using a brass detail brush. Then I polished it using Turtle Wax Chrome polish & Rust Remover. Afterwards I touched up around the spoke nipples using the brass detail brush. Then hand buffed the rim with with a clean rag. I brushed the side of the rim (braking surface) using the fine brass wheel brush. For the spokes I used Armor All cleaning Wipes, and fine automotive grade sand paper on the nasty looking spokes.
Above: I cleaned the flanges and outer hub using the brass detail brush and the wheel brush on the high speed drill. Fortunately the bearings still had some grease so the cups cleaned out fairly easily using Armor All Cleaning Wipes. on hand, I went ahead and replaced them anyway.
Above: Thanks to the Sturmey Archer internal 3 speed hub with the oil port, the rear wheel was in much better shape. The oil tends to splatter and coat / protect the rear wheel. (and anything else it gets on) I added a few drops of multi weight oil to the rear hub. There are different opinions as to which type oil to use in an older Sturmey Archer hub. Some claim a lighter clear oil is best. Others say a heavier oil is better, as it will stay in the hub and splatter less. I say any oil is better than none. I "think" my little oil bottle has some left over 20W 40 motorcycle oil in it. The rear wheel cleaned up the same way as the front, only much easier :) when I spin the rear wheel while holding the freewheel cog in place and manipulate the shift chain linkage by hand, I can hear the hub is functioning properly. Please! Do not do this with the chain in place (just in case). And be careful to keep your fingers out of the spokes! Consider yourself CAUTIONED.
Above: After the wheels were cleaned up it was time for some fresh rim strips. I found if I warm up these strips first they are a little bit easier to stretch. After installing the tape I had some spots where the tape had folded over or was off center. To fix this I carefully slid a small screwdriver under the tape spanning across the rim. As I slid the driver along under the tape I could work out the folds and manipulate the tape to one side or the other. When I was finished doing this the rim strips looked sweet. Now I am ready for new tubes and tires.
Above: When ordering inner-tubes I like to order the smallest tubes that will fit. Example: If I need tubes for a 27 x 1 1/4 inch tire. I will order a tube that fits a 1 & 1/8 to 1& 1/4 inch tire. But I Would Not order a tube that fits a 1 & 1/4 to a 1 & 3/8 inch wide tire. I have found that a larger tube will be more prone to getting pinched between the bead and the rim during mounting.
Above: Here I have inflated the inner tube just enough to hold it's shape. I insert the tube into the tire with the valve located directly under the inflation info on the sidewall. You can see this tube is not over sized and sits down in the tire nice and low away from the bead. This should be a simple tire mount. There are few other things you want to make sure are correct before purchasing new inner tubes. One make sure it is the same valve type. The most common ones are Schrader valves and Presta valves. If you have taller rims you will need to make sure the valve stem length is correct as well. You can also purchase puncture resistant and self sealing tubes as well. I have heard there is another type valve on the market now as well, called a Dunlop valve. Like it wasn't confusing enough already!
Photo (above) Courtesy of
Above: The three most common valve types. Keep in mind, if you change valve types you may need an adapter or need to re-drill the valve stem hole in your rim. When purchasing an air pump you will want to make sure the new pump will connect to the valves you use. My pump the "JoeBlow Sprint" will work with Schrader or Presta valves. UPDATE: I am still very pleased with my JoeBlow Sprint pump by Topeak .
Above: I like to start mounting the tire right at the valve so I can make sure the valve is straight and in the proper location. Then I flip the wheel over and start directly across from the valve stem and work the tire onto the rim by hand finishing at the stem. (as shown above) Note: Some tires are directional so check for the rotation arrows on the sidewall of the tire before you start.
Above: These tires arrived cold "like everything else around here this time of year". If your unmounted tires are cold warm them up a bit before you try to install them. This simple thing will make the job much easier. I might add.. If you are having trouble getting the tire on the rim try removing a little air from the tube. After mounting the tires I normally inflate the tires to about 20 lbs psi then let the air out and refill the tires. This should remove any kinks that you may have in the tube. Sometimes with high pressure tires I will only fill them about 65 to 75% and let them set a day or two before maxing out the pressure. Keep in mind... These are just suggestions, what works for me might might not work for you.
Above: The original rack all cleaned up. I have been amazed before by how well "what appears to be a cheaply made rack" with "less than stellar chrome work" will clean-up so nicely. Don`t be to quick to replace the old rack is the message here. A little brass brushing and Turtle Wax Chrome Polish & Rust Remover will go along way. And Please be sure to wear your safety glasses! Yesterday I literally had to remove a brass bristle from my left nostril. When that brass wheel brush is spinning at high rpm's those bristles are like little darts! I was thinking yesterday, If I had not been wearing my glasses and that little bugger had stuck in my good eye, I would have been in Deep $#!7
Above: The little chrome rack has really exceeded all my expectations. And with a little maintenance should give several more years of service . Until Next Time Please RIDE SAFELY 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 24 inch (wheel size)Diamnodback Cobra Mountain Bike. (shown above) 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. Oooh, I can't wait for the next/final post on this project. It's looking good. I didn't know there was a third valve on the market. My husband has a Presta valve in a Schrader drilled rim, using a rubber-type gasket to fill in the space. That may be a fourth option.

    1. Hey Annie,
      I have done the same thing " sort of " By sliding a washer (from an old style brake shoe) over the stem before inserting it into the rim. You just need to make sure the smooth side of the washer is facing the tube. With high pressure tires, it doesn't take much of a gap for the tube to blow out. Necessity truly is " the mother of invention " :)
      Cheers, Hugh

  2. Interesting contrast. I usually put the larger size tube in a tire on the theory it is less likely to split. Also, on my main commute bike, if I do that, the tubes will fit all tires I commonly run on the bike.

    1. Hey Steve,
      I think the difference might be that I buy cheaper inner tubes. If I order inner tubes on the larger end of the scale they often are too big. Then I have trouble fitting the tube in the tire without the tube kinking. I have noticed that when I purchase higher end tubes at my LBS I do not have that problem. Once I replaced an older tube that had split right on a crease. It had kinked because it was too big for the tire. But the tube did appear to have been in use for many years. And I have only seen this happen once. That was about the time I read somewhere that I should fill the tire to about 20 psi then deflate. Then refill the tire to the proper psi to avoid the kinking that can happen. A wise man once said "There are 360 ways to look at an Elephant"

  3. Nice rescue Hugh, glad this little German gem crossed your path. Looking forward to seeing the completed project. Right now I have too many projects in my queue but I am hoping to stumble across a Raleigh 20 or a Peugeot folder at some point to restore.


    1. Thanks Ryan,
      Peugeot is an awesome bike find. I would like to run across one of those myself. Although I have been trying to get all (or most) of my previous finds restored before doing anymore bicycle hunting. Peugeot is very popular with the hipsters. At least I think they are hipsters

  4. Wow, I really like the way that rear rack looks! That is a retro beauty. I wish I had read this a few week ago. I was re-working a early 80's Puch for one of my yard guys and when i got the old tires off they had these Schwinn branded tubes inside. They were real thick on the side that went next to the tire and real thin on the inside. They were big for the tire I thought but were labeled 27x1 1/4. I stuggled with those for a couple of hours mounting the new tire, pinch and puncture, patch my hole, remount. Repeat about four times before giving up and throwing those tubes away!

  5. Hey Jim,
    Wow, I guess I was a day late and a dollar short. I have really been dragging my @$$ this winter on getting posts and bikes finished. The weather has been "less than inspiring". We just got a fresh coat of snow last night. (happy happy joy joy) I hope you were able to locate some proper sized tubes and get it wrapped up.


Cycling Blog Directory