Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dutch Inspired City Bike, and Bike Flipping

So it's been a while since I last updated. I hadn't done much riding or wrenching so I didn't have much to say. But in the past few weeks since I got home from a trip to Newfoundland, I've got a few things to talk about.

Well I've since moved my brown Brooks B17 that was on my Colnago Sport over to the Raleigh Condor. It really suits the bike well. Since I don't have a saddle on the Colnago right now it's been hung in the shed for a while and I've taken the Raleigh on a few joy rides around. It has also been serving as the bike I use when I ride to a sales call, usually to Dalhousie University which is about 4 km away. However, it's got killer high gearing with a 53/42 tooth combo on the crank, and only a 24 tooth maximum cog in the back. That's only a 1.68 minimum gear ratio! Much different than the Surly's 0.82. Not to mention when I ride to Dal I'm in dress pants, shoes, and a Nikon dress shirt or Polo with an undershirt. In 25 C weather with the sun beating down and a high humidex, I'm not too pretty when I get home.

So I decided it was time to do something with this.

It doesn't look like much and could easily be mistaken for a lower end bike, but it does have Shimano Exage 300LX drivetrain and brakes. The frame isn't the best or seat/seat tube, but I picked it up in March for $35 and it's been sitting in the shed. With the nice triple 48/38/28 crank rings it has a good low range, perfect for getting around the city. I decided to turn it into a dutch inspired city bike, and here is what I came up with.

I got the bars/stem (which are one piece) from the folks down at Halifax Cycle Gallery for a good price. They were on some Viva bikes and the cockpit was a little too cramped so they replaced them with something else and just had these lying around. They were also kind enough to give me this mildly damaged old Jim Blackburn rack they were going to huck in the garbage! A Blackburn rack in the garbage?! Blasphemy. So I swapped out the freewheel for a new (clean) one, and used the old one in a repair job, new chain, bottle cage, bell, cables and housings and a lot of elbow and Phil Wood grease. With the paint job left in it's less than desirable condition, and the bolt on wheels, the bike definitely deters theft, so I don't have to worry about leaving it locked up for long periods. I still plan to put some fat slick tires on it, possibly white walls, chrome fenders, and I need a cable hanger on the headset to setup the front brakes. Took it to the grocery store this evening with MEC panniers for a few items. It's a nice upright ride.

I only have 2 unfinished bike projects now! I have the Bianchi Brava I bought a few weeks back stripped of parts waiting to be cleaned up. The frame will most likely get a paint job this winter, Roger at the Halifax Cycle Gallery has someone who does a frame and fork powder coat for $125 including prep work. Not bad! I think I'm going for Bianchi classic Celeste color. Google it! I also have the orange winter bike. Due to negligence from me upon putting it away from it's last ride, there was a lot of parts corrosion. So to make it more simple, it will be converted to single speed.

But those are just my bikes... now I have 6 more!
Okay before you call me a bike addict let me just say the purpose of these bikes is strictly to fix up in spare time, and sell to try to make a few bucks for fun.

The story is, on my way home I passed by a house in my neighborhood which I pass all the time. However one of the old garage doors was open and out of the corner of my eye I think I see a bike frame amongst the hoarder levels of junk. So out of curiosity I swing the car around for a closer look, and see a few dozen bikes among lots and lots of junk in piles in the garage. I see the owner outside painting and tell him I just happened to notice he has some bikes and if any of them would be for sale, he tells me to come back later. I do and after lots of digging through crappy walmart level bikes this is what I find.

A 1989 Schwinn Traveler with Shimano Exage groupset, but no wheels, and a 1992 Trek 850 Antelope. The Schwinn is around a 21" frame, and might fit Alanna. On her next visit I'm going to put some wheels on it for her to try. If it fits, rather than selling it I will build it up this winter for a proper road bike for her for next year.

Early 90's Trek 700 Multitrack, which once I got it home found out it had a cracked off and seized seat post, which means the frame is probably scrap unfortunately. Also a late 90's GT Tequesta mountain bike (big frame) converted to single speed.

If this is correct I have a 1980 Raleigh Carlton Corsair which has Reynolds 531 tubing! But it's in rough shape... Also another Trek 700 Multitrack, also in not so great shape.

Got them all for $170, roughly $30 a bike. So I hope over the winter to put a bit of work into them, hopefully not too much time or money, and sell some of them next year. In working condition should be no trouble to get $100 a bike, at least, and more for some of the better ones.

Well that's enough reading for one sitting for you. What do you think of my Dutchie city bike? How about my weird flip bike encounter, and the bikes I ended up with? I'll probably ride the Dutchie for work next week and will let you know how it is on the longer 8 km ride.

Monday, June 20, 2011

'83 Raleigh Condor

Well I finally got the few things done I needed to get done to have this bike in one piece and ride ready. So here she is!

And here I am in my "cycling clothes" going to the Italian Market for some olive oil.

I rode it to the University for a work visit today. It's a very nice riding bike, and very fast feeling. The Mangaloy 2001 Tange tubing is much stiffer than the Chromoly that I'm used to. The seat definitely needs to be changed as it is very narrow. I think for now I may just put the old Vetta saddle that came off the Colnago on it.

It's a little wider, but not by much. As always I'd like to put a Brooks on there, but I'm going to hold off on pulling the trigger on a third one of those just yet.

I was able to get the rear hub fixed by visiting the son of the late Jack Nauss, Dave, at Jack Nauss cycles, the oldest cycle shop in Halifax. And when I went in, this is what I got to see the in the display cases...

Tons of really cool vintage bicycle components! Wait... what is that in the back?

Not even out of the packaging, Simplex SLJ Golden derailleurs and shifters....wtfffffffffffffffff.

Very cool collection.

Anyway, back to the Raleigh.
The rims and spokes still need to be cleaned up and the wheels need to be trued as the spoke tension is pretty loose. Looks like I may be buying a truing stand pretty soon.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

1983 Raleigh Condor (almost) Finished

So due to being busy with work and thesis writing, the Raleigh got put in the shed mid project. I ran into a bit of a hiccup when repacking the rear wheel hub and didn't have time to sort it out. Well tonight I decided to take a little me time. I went and saw Green Lantern in 3D (I'm an avid reader of several GL comics from DC). It was okay, not spectacular but it was fun, definitely could have been better. When I got home I wasn't sure what to do. It was 930, I was feeling a little sluggish and I do want to get up early in the morning to head to the farmers market.

I decided to do a little wrenching. The brake lever hoods I ordered from the Halifax Cycle Gallery had come in a while ago ($4.50), so I could at least clean up the levers, do the brake cables and tune the brakes. I also snipped the derailleur cables I had temporarily mounted, and threw on the new chain. Here is the Raleigh now.

Paint still has a few bad spots that I'd like to not be there, and as you can see in the bottom pic the outer part of the bottom headset cup is in rough shape, but the inner race is fine. The freewheel and dork disk cleaned up really nice though.

I've also ordered some brown Salsa bartape for this from I ordered my new 48t chain ring from there and to make it worth the shipping I ordered two rolls of bartape. This brown stuff for the Raleigh, and a surprise for the Bianchi (You'll see it down the road).

The only thing needing to be done on this bloody Raleigh now is the rear wheel hub. One of the cones has a pretty nasty mark on it, and the damage is bad enough that I can't get a good hub adjustment. It needs to be replaced. Only thing is I can't seem to find a cone that is the same thread as the axle. I don't know if the Sunshine brand hubs used a different threading than most others but it's a pain in the but. I'm going to drop into a shop I haven't been to yet here in Halifax tomorrow, Jack Nauss Bicycle Shop. Apparently if it's broke, he'll know how to fix it. Been in the business a long time. Worst case scenario, I just buy a set of 700c wheels for the bike used.

Other than that it should be together soon! I'd like to have one of these for it...

But it will have to wait.

Oh yes, and reassembled and looking very much like a touring bike.

However tomorrows 1 night tour is canceled due to weather. Oh well, another time. Just have to put the new chain ring on when I get it on Monday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One-Hundred and Forty

Was able to get all this for $140. On my way back from a work trip into New Brunswick, I saw this listed for sale in a small town close to Truro. It would be a 5 hour round trip from Halifax, but was just a dart out of the way on my way back home. I figured it would be an easy flip for me here in Halifax.

But it is a full 6spd indexed Shimano 105 Bianchi Brava in my size, and the shoes are SPD, brand new and in my size. Amazing find. I'm going to sell the rollers, hopefully for ~$100 and will make a good chunk of my money back. $40 for a full 105 Bianchi and brand new shimano shoes is not a bad deal at all. It came with lots of other bibs and bobs as well including aero bars, a seat bag, some repair kit stuff, and a chain tool.

Sad story however. I actually dealt with the lady's neighbour who sold it to me for her as she was at work (this was pre-arranged before hand). He told me this was her husbands bike stuff, and he had passed away (not sure how long ago). He was 41, in great health, and died unexpectedly from a brain aneurism. She knew what she had was worth more, I think she just wanted to get rid of it quickly. Makes you think about how short life is.

So now I have 2 very nice Italian road bikes. However due to working on my thesis a lot lately, and the queue of bikes I have to work on, I don't think this one will see the mechanics stand until this winter probably. I'm in no rush, I've got my Colnago, and the Surly is almost back together after being stripped for maintenance and cleaning.

I had to order a new 48t chain ring for the Surly, as the old one had 16 bad teeth! Not sure how that happened.

Going on a 1 night tour with Velo-Halifax this weekend (weather pending). I will try to take lots of pics and make a blog when I get back.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Out with the old, and in with the older...

So I sold the '84 Norco Avanti.

Paid - $40
Put in - $15 for a new Bottom Bracket + ~$10 for new derailleur cables
= $65

sold it for $175 making $110.

Not too shabby.

It was an okay bike, nothing to go crazy over but it had decent components and the frame was nice. I sold it because I found this guy for $50.

It's a 1983 Raleigh Condor.
Mangalloy double butted tubing, 27" Araya rims laced to Sunshine hubs, Sakae stem, bars, pedals, seat post, and in my size too. The awesome thing, as you can see in the pictures, is it comes with what is known as Shimano "Golden Arrow" components. Also known as 1st generation 105, and it's almost a full group set! Crank, brakes, levers, front derailleur, rear derailleur, downtube shifters, the freewheel is actually Shimano 600 so it's a step up, and the bottom bracket was shimano as well but it wasn't in the best shape so it's been replaced with a shimano cartridge BB for simplicity.

This shimano golden arrow stuff all has this calligraphy like arrow engraved on all the components, it only says 105 on the markings on the back of the parts. Some of it has some scratches and scuffs, but it's still real nice looking. The frame/paint isn't in the best of shape but it and the rest of the parts have cleaned up pretty good. All these pictures are from when I first got it, and I am in the process of cleaning it up now. Almost finished. Just waiting for some brake lever hoods, and I have to sort out an issue with the rear wheel...

The Surly LHT is currently a bare frame sitting in my mechanic stand. It's getting a total overhaul being cleaned and tuned. It was pretty messy.

In the past month I also helped my sisters friend Brittany, who lives here in Halifax get setup with this neat little number.

It's an old Eaton's department store mixte, but it had Suntour components and was kept in really good shape (Zero chain wear on the original chain!). I cleaned it up with some fresh grease where it needed it, new brake shoes as the others were dried up, and a porter bar instead of drops for a classic city bike feel. It still needs to have the old steel back wheel trued a little as it is a bit wonky, and then the back brake adjusted a little, but it's rideable!

I also picked up a mountain bike with some older Shimano Exage components on it, and a biopace ring for $35 in a 22" frame. The old winter bike is corroding quite a bit as I didn't clean it off properly. So that needs to be stripped too to see what can be salvaged, and the aforementioned bike will probably become the new winter beater as it's a bit bigger, and has some nicer bits on it.

Trying to finish up my thesis before the end of June. Bike stuff is kind of coming secondary right now so blog updates won't be coming too readily.

If something interesting comes along I'll try to make a quick update!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Colnago Sport Project Finished!

I've been out of town for a week on business back home in Newfoundland, it was a nice visit home but very busy. When I got back home to Halifax my shifters for the Colnago were waiting for me in the mail! Monday I dropped down to the bike shop and Roger at the Halifax Cycle Gallery was kind enough to give me a deal on a short piece of derailleur housing and a few tips. I'll be doing a lot of business in the future with him I fear. Got the stuff home and...huh? The braze-on on the chainstay for the dearilleur cable was way to small to fit the housing tip! Turns out, on some of the old Italian frames you needed a special tapered housing tip (should have been more careful when I threw out all the old housing and cables...). Roger didn't have any but the gents at Cyclesmith did. So for $0.63 I was able to get the proper setup.

Well it's all installed and adjusted, and today was practically like a summer day here in Halifax (almost 17 degrees!), so I took the Colnago on a ride on my lunch break down to the Cycle Gallery and back, just to test it out, and show it off to Roger.

It rides beautifully. So fast feeling and it shifts perfectly and brakes on a dime.

So at last, the final pictures of this build.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Coco Shakedown

Yes I've named my '84 Norco Avanti SL "Coco." It was Alanna's idea.

I thought my freewheel might be toasted due to me soaking it in degreaser. This disolved all the grease inside the freewheel mechanism. I've been trying to keep this bike as thrifty as possible so I aimed to regrease the freewheel, but the damn thing just won't come apart. With some patience I was able to work a lot of triflow lube and eventually some Phil Wood grease in the small gap between the retaining ring and the cogs. Running a lot better now, but not perfect, which is ironic seeing as how it is a "Suntour Perfect" freewheel. Can always replace down the road if need be.

Velo-Orange came back with a shipping quote of $27! I told them to cancel the order, way too much. Fenders are expensive to ship due to their size, I was just hoping for a lucky deal. Luckily I found out that the Halifax Cycle Gallery is a VO dealer! So I went and talked to Roger and it looks like he can order them in for me for under $35, I just hope they fit on Coco.

After work today I decided to throw on the front wheel, try out my recovering freewheel, and take her for a shakedown ride.

Just went once or twice around the block, but it feels like it's going to be a nice ride! I still have to repack the front wheel as it is not feeling overly great (but not awful), and get the wheels trued, they are pretty out from what I can tell.

I've trimmed the budget more by opting to keep the original seatpost and saddle for now.
Another price saving measure is to keep the stock tires. The side walls are pretty dried out, but I'll replace them if they blow. I've also just used a regular short nut and bolt for the seatpost. I was able to save the cable housing as well as the break cables. I gave them a good rub with steel wool and greased them before putting them back through the housing, but they were in good shape! Near new from what I could tell. The brakes also cleaned up pretty nice. I roughed up the pads a bit, but I think they may need replacing as they felt a little dried out. We'll see how I feel about them after a few rides.

-Bike: $40
-Derailleur cables: $6
-BB: $17
-Fenders: $35

Total: $98

Not too shabby at all!

Still waiting on my shifters for Ernie the Colnago Sport... Canadapost/USPS fail. That bike is ready to go except for these shifters!!!

EDIT: Also go check out When it comes to these two '80s bikes the guys in the Classic and Vintage forum have been a great help. Lots of pretty pictures of old steel road bikes too. It's getting added to my links.