Saturday, August 28, 2010

Coming along

Well, I've gone completely off the deep end with the Raleigh Competition GS.  I've spent the last few days removing layers of grease and cat hair from all over this bike.  Not really my neighbors fault - it has been in storage for about 20 years and collected a lot of spider webs and hair on an already greasy frame.  Anyway,  I've taken it all apart and fully degreased, cleaned and now waxed.  It has come back to life again!

So here is where I've gotten to.  The original tires were 700 x 28's, designed for road racing.  But I'm going for a bike that is somewhat like the Pashley Guvn'or.  These are 700 x 35 Schwalbe Delta Cruisers in cream (I have a thing for cream tires these days I guess). These tires barely fit between the chain stays in the back, and no need to worry about fenders... they will not fit.  At some point, I may move the Conti Gatorskins I have on my Surly over here and put the Deltas on that bike... make it a real cushy ride for commuting.

This bike has taken a fall at some point.  The frame is fine, but a couple of the components were in really tough shape.  First was the brake levers - extremely scratched up.  I ordered up a set of identical Dia Compe drilled levers from someone on eBay and they arrived almost the next day.  Good thing about these levers were that they came with the original cable and housing as well.  Saved a few bucks on this one.  The cable/housing is a little shorter than I'd like, but it keeps it looking very sleek over the bars.

So I have a few other things on the way...  The rear changer was badly damaged in the fall too.  It ground the top swivel nut into the body of the derailleur causing it to wobble in the hanger and not swivel.... not good.  So I have another changer being shipped in from, well, Hungary.  I know, I know.  Off the deep end.  I can't put it all together until the changer comes.  The chain is in a pot of lubricant working out the years of grime.  I can't wait till the new Campy Nuovo Gran Sport rear changer gets here and I can put the drivetrain back together.

I shopped some Campy pedals from that era... sorry, just too pricey.  I have a set of MKS Sylan Track pedals coming, with some stainless steel toe clips and leather straps.  All via eBay.

And to top it all off, you can see the Brooks B-17 Special saddle from the Faggin now mounted to the Campy seat post.  I have purchased two different sets of bar tape, and each time thought, it just wouldn't do to have plastic tape on this girl, so.... yes... a set of Brooks Honey leather bar tapes are coming.  The best deal I could find on eBay has them coming from Northern Ireland...

This will end up a truly international bike!


Monday, August 23, 2010

A busy weekend

Its been a busy summer and the blog has suffered.  Sorry.  I've really been enjoying myself though.  I tend not to ride much when the temperature gets in the upper 80s and 90s, so I do not have many war stories from the saddle.  But I've been working on bikes in the shop and have a number of stories to share from the bench...

This last weekend was a real winner in terms of finds.  My neighbors were all having garage sales.  We didn't get our act together to price up stuff to sell, so we ended up hauling a bunch of cr*p to the local thrift store.  Now I stop at the thrift store on a VERY regular basis looking for bikes and didn't notice this one the other day when I was there.  After dropping off stuff, I just happened to glance at the rack and noticed some bright yellow ramhorns.  "Just a second..." I said to my wife.  I wandered over and the first thing I noticed was the full grouppo of Shimano 600.  "We are buying this bike" I said.  Tires were flat, chain was dry. there are a bunch of scratches and a very minor dent in the top tube... BUT after all that is said, it is Reynolds 531cs with FULL Shimano 600 (hubs, cranks, brakes, changers).

It is a Trek 610 from 1983-1985, blue and yellow, it has a very "Swedish" look about it.  The tires and tubes are new.  The saddle is a throw away, but the pedals are vintage MKS.  A real nice find.  It is a 52cm frame with a 31" standover height.  (For my friend at Starbucks this morning, this is the bike I was telling you about... measure your standover height - floor to, ummm... sorry no other way to say it, pubic bone, if 31" or greater, this will work for you)  It needs some serious cleaning up and new bar wraps and gum hoods... it will be perfect for a shorter road rider.

When we got home, I drifted over to my neighbor's house to see what kind of scraps he had left from his garage sale.  My neighbor has been a roadie for years and currently has a carbon fiber something he rides. 

"How did you do on the sale" I asked.

"Not too bad, I had a couple mountain bikes that went for $40 a piece" he said.

I mentioned the bike I got at the Thrift Store.  He asked me to wait and brought out a very  (VERY) grimy bike.

"This was my first ride when I started getting into cycling back in the 70s.  I put it away years ago thinking my son might pick it up.  I was going to sell it today, but forgot to bring it out."

I stared at it.  Under the grime was a Raleigh Competition GS, full Reynolds 531, Campy Nuovo Gran Sport changers, cranks, BB and hubs.  The brakes are high end Dia-Compe alloy blocks with drilled levers...

"umm... what are you thinking of asking for it?"


"Are you sure about that?  This is a pretty nice bike."

"I'd be happy to see someone riding it that really appreciates it.  It's yours if you want it..."

This is the Raleigh, now fully dis-assembled and on the rack.  I've got the wheels off now.  I want to take them in and have the spokes tightened.  I'm putting on new tires, tubes and rim tape.  The bike went down in a crash at one point and damaged the rear changer.  I have a new one coming via eBay.  Ditto with the brake levers.  Although they worked, I figured a new set with no scratches would be worth it.  Since I'm only $25 into the bike, I figure I can put some bucks into it and really make it nice.

My biggest question will be how to treat some of the areas where the paint has been scratched off.  Underneath all the grime behind the crank/inner chainring, there is an area where the paint has been chipped off, probably due to some rough riding/dropped chain.  I don't want it to rust, but am leery of painting it and ruin the vintage look.  Since I plan on riding it for a bit (it's my size exactly - 59cm)

Campy changers front and back.  I've got the rings off to clean them.

Reynolds 531 throughout - forks and stays included.  There are a few decals where the edges are starting to peel a bit.  I'm looking into what kind of glue I should use to re-affix them.

So I have a LOT of work going on with these... fun fun fun.  I'm up to 21 bikes now between all the kids and my bikes...  I need to sell off a few.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Lull

The heat of summer (not to mention being way to busy at work) has kept me from the keyboard over the last few weeks...

Not to worry, there have been many updates to the bikes and I'm planning on updates soon.  Stay with me!


PS - a teaser... from Manzanita, OR.  Lovely!!