Sunday, May 12, 2019

Closing in on the Clunker challenge

I finally got in a ride that wasn't just a short errand on the Trek 520 today.  After being a good son and calling my Mom to wish her a happy day I hit the road.   I have been wanting to ride the Alki loop for a while but between illness and not loving the saddle on the Trek it hadn't happened.

Well today I finally did it, with the help of cycling shorts, including the climb up Avalon which wasn't too bad except that road construction forced me onto the side walk which is not as smooth and consistent as the road but I slogged my way to the top.  I actually felt pretty smooth and had a good spin going today - must have been a tailwind lol.  After today's ride I am at 80 km, so pretty close to the end.  And then I can dry dock the 520 and give it some love.

Ride. Smile.Repeat.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

State of the Fleet address II

1990 Bianchi Ibex

I received the  FW pullers I ordered, the 4 prong to work on the Ibex and the 2 prong to replace the one I banged up trying it on the Ibex in the first place.

I got the puller all set up on the FW with the skewer to hold it in place, but it didn't want move... until I brought Archimedes to the party and then it came off just fine.

I liberally doused the back of the FW with WD-40, spun it and then let it dry for a day.  I then dribbled 3 in 1 oil in the seams around the center both front and back and then did some more spinning to distribute the lubricant,  Back on the bike I had no more ghost pedaling so mission accomplished.

I did a quick test ride this morning and the Ibex shifts and stops fine with just a bit of brake pad squeal.  Its up on CL and I did actually get an inquiry but I wasn't really interested in coming down from the priced to sell amount I started at so no joy yet.  I found a pair of Celeste bar grips and if it doesn't sell this weekend I may order them as I think it will give the bike a fresher look and they are only $10.

1987 Schwinn LeTour

The LeTour was briefly in the work  stand but its going to be more work than I expected.  First I thought I only had to do the brake cables but the shift cables need replacing too and I noticed the rear wheel has a wobble and needs some time in the truing stand so I took it down for now to do shorter projects.

1984 Novara Randonee

Its a bit ironic the bars got wrapped after I did Tour de Lopez but sometimes you don't have time for everything.  Anyway I got the bars wrapped Sunday night with the Cinelli natural cork tape.

After transporting the bike in the car to the TdL I decided to forego the disassembly and reassembly process, the fenders make it bit more tricky, and just mount my trunk rack for transport.

And now the Randonee is in a secure cage hanging out with the other bikes at work.  I didn't  get a chance to go for a spin last week but I hope to this week, I did scope out the bike trail access and its very close to the exit to my parking garage so I'll know where to go when I do ride.

1987 Trek 520 Cirrus.

I continue to ride the 520 for the challenge, pictured above at a local bar and grill with the bike share crowd.  I am hoping to do a ride tomorrow that will bump me up to me to about 80 km total of the needed 100 km.  The pedals and Nitto Noodle bars I ordered for the bike post challenge arrived and the Nitto Technomic stem shouldn't be too far behind.  I also have the barely used Panaracer Paselas and a fresh set of Dia Compe brake pads that will also go on the bike post challenge.  Once I get it refreshed I will have to do a back to back ride with the Cresta for comparison.

1984 Trek 420

I didn't mention the 420 last time -its still the trainer bike and far down the rehab list.  As I mentioned when I acquired it the wheels are mis-matched and of different sizes.  I do have a set of 27" wheels in the parts bin I thought of using but realized if I got just one wheel to match either the front or back I could save that spare set for something else.  I ran across a black alloy 700c Araya on CL for $20 that matches the rear and although I have been a proponent of  sticking with 27" wheels rather than converting I thought I would give it a try.  I also ordered some maroon cloth bar tape that I think will match the Trek decals on the bike and give it some color when I do the rehab.

1987 Cresta GT

Twice before I have purchased Carradice bike bags and then had to sell them to raise funds having never mounted or used them.  I found an opened-but-not-mounted one on Ebay for about 75% of retail and decided to try one more time.

I mounted rear rack on the Cresta again to help keep the bag off the brake cable but I am not wholly satisfied with how it looks and how the bag hangs, but it's mounted!!  Carradice makes a wire support that attaches to the saddle rails for this purpose and I may see if I can find a used one but I feel like the Cresta has enough $$ sunk in it for now.  Then again the bag and bag support could always move around to other bikes.  I just hope to use it to credit card tour someday, and to be fit enough to do so.

Garage sale day.

Today is the neighborhood garage sale day I have written about in the past.  I used to hunt bikes on this day but my last experience was that the bikes were all overpriced.  I was noodling around on the 520 to get some Clunker miles in though I did keep an eye out, just in case.

I actually rode past the street this bike was on but my brain registered bike! So I turned around and sure enough there was a bike.  I thought at first it was a Centurion Ironman Dave Scott, which is a very desirable bike. Instead it was a Raleigh Technium (Aluminum) Scott Tinley Tri-lite, their (short lived) answer to the Ironman.  I came to steel from Aluminum but I have thought if I found a Technium for a song I might give it a try before selling it on.  I can just hear some former tri-athlete telling his wife But Honey I tried to sell the bike!  knowing nobody would bite at $250.

This however was not that bike, it did have some nice Suntour cyclone components but I've  never spent north of $200 to purchase a vintage bike not even the Cresta when I bought it.  This bike was a touch too small and its has bonded Aluminum lugs, which although they have obviously held up gives me a bit of pause too, so it was easy to ride on in the knowledge I didn't miss any deals on Garage sale day.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Project Lazarus: Turns out he was only Mostly Dead

Pre Crash Sept 2018
As I mentioned earlier I found that the replacement fork from a 1986 Schwinn Passage had a longer steer tube than the Cresta fork and I didn't have enough threading on the fork to snug up the headset.  I had called a local frame builder to ask about adding threads and was told it was not often successful and when they did do it they charged $200.  I was disappointed but the bike forums community encouraged me to keep trying and a couple even offered their die cutting tools if I wanted to try it myself, and I got more shop and builder suggestions.

I tried 3 more recommended shops/builders and got the polite brush off each time except for the shop that didn't even respond.  The last one, however, made a suggestion I hadn't thought of, a shop that used to be local to me but had moved to a cheaper neighborhood, Aaron's Bike Shop.  The owner is a bit of character and not everyone's cup of tea, but say what you will he is a master mechanic.  I reached out and got a positive response that yes they could add threads and it would cost $25.  Sold!  I stopped by after work last week and was in and out in 5 minutes.  Amazing what you can do with the correct tools and know how.  You can see the slightly shinier new threads above.

I had to check and see if it worked of course, even though I had marked it carefully before taking it the shop, and viola the headset snugged right up.  I might need some spacers for the extra length but one problem at a time.

I had decided that I wanted to ride the bike with both forks back to back to really test how it felt.  To that end I dug deep in my parts bin and discovered some XT cantis I had from about 5 years ago when I parted out an early 90s MTB for a friend.  To speed the swapping fork process I mounted them to the Passage fork and tested that they would work.

The original re-bent fork went back in and I measured the threads that were showing after I threaded on the top race - 1 cm.

The Cresta was ready to go with the rescued fork and immediately it confirmed my original feeling -twitchy especially at low speeds.  In my 2.5 mile test ride I really felt the need to grip the handlebars securely,  It rode fine but just felt different, exactly what I had experienced when I first rode it after the fork was fixed.

With the passage fork I had 3 cm of threads showing for a 2 cm delta between forks.   The spacers I bought when I upgraded the Cresta headset are about to come in handy.

The spacers allowed me to get everything snugged up without showing any threads,  The rubber seal is a bit askew but its fine for test purposes.

All ready to go, having the extra brakes mounted helped but of course I still had to fiddle with them to get them dialed in.   And in the first few pedal strokes up the slight incline I could feel it... not twitchy!  I think this might work.  And I as I rode on over the same route it seemed like the bike adsorbed the bumps and ruts better, the increased fork rake or just my imagination?   Anyway I liked the replacement fork and was very glad I actually got to use it.

A progression of shots in roughly the same place

Sept 2018 pre crash

May 2019 Post crash after forks were fixed

May 2019 The Crest-age

For one short ride I am happy with result and in my normal rush ahead fashion I am thinking of how I could paint the fork white when I am house sitting next weekend and also how I could get the steer tube trimmed by 1 cm, BUT, I want to ride it more and do more than 2.5 miles before I go down that path.  It looks a bit odd with the mismatched blue but its not hideous and it has, I think, got back its stately ride.

Ride. Don't accept the No's. Smile. Repeat.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

State of the fleet address

So many Bikes so little time, its my own fault really I need to stop acquiring them!!

Bianchi Ibex

I thought I was so close to being ready to post this to CL, that was my first mistake.  I noticed when I was shifting it in the work stand that it was ghost pedaling i.e. when I stopped turning the crank it kept on going.   I did a bit of research and what I read pointed to a gummed up FW. no worries I will just pull it and clean it up.

Well it turns out the FW is a Sun Tour four pronged unit and my two prong puller won't really work and in fact I scrapped it up trying.  So two FW pullers on order and hopefully I can get the existing FW cleaned up if not I can get a new 7 speed SunRace 7 speed 13-28 FW for about  $15 and then maybe I can get this bike up on CL.

1987 Schwinn Le Tour

Another bike I feel close on but is probably farther away than I think.  I know it needs; brake cables and housing, brake pads, rebuilt wheel hubs and a cleaned up the FW.  I have all I need but it remains  to be seen if anything unexpected will crop up.  Getting these two done would free up some space, not to mention put some $$ in my bank account.

1984 Novara Randonee

For the Randonee I am going to do what I intended all along and get it to work to be my ride after work bike.  It needs to have the bars wrapped, I am going with natural cork, and a few tweaks and if all goes well it will travel in with me on Monday.  Moving it to work will also free up space in the apartment.   And it will be nice to be able to do some new rides.

1987 Trek 520 Cirrus

I want to take advantage of this nice stretch of weather we are having and rack up some Kilometers so I can finish the clunker challenge.  I really would like to see what this bike feels like with a decent saddle, wider bars and decent pedals.  To that end I have; stem, bars and pedals on order and I think I can swap the Handsome devils seat post and saddle into the Trek, as I did for the Specialized Allez, in the short term.

I am liking the feel of the stock Shimano brake levers so I won't switch to Tektros just yet.  I want to ride with an upgraded cockpit/pedals for a bit before I do the full tear down.

A full post on the Lazarus project is forthcoming....

Ride.Smile.Thin the herd. Repeat.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Clunker Challenge update

I have been chipping away at the Clunker challenge.  I did a run to the hardware store last weekend on the Sunday after the Lopez ride.

From Tru Value it was just a short hop over to the farmers market and since I was there...

I stopped in at the beer junction for a Wee IPA - Pallet Jack IPA from Baker City Oregon.

We have had a string of good weather and last night I was going to take advantage and pile on some kilometers, however..

I piled on some calories instead and had a much shorter ride but the brie and garlic burger was excellent.

I mentioned in an earlier post that the stock Vetta saddle on the Trek and I are not getting along and that has made me hesitant to anything more that a handful of KM on a ride.  For tonight's ride, which I didn't get any photos of, I decided to wear cycling bib shorts under regular shorts and it helped quite a bit.

I mostly ride in normal clothes these days but there was a time I wouldn't have considered a ride without getting kitted up and I still have some Lycra  bibs from those days and it did make the 10 Kilometer ride today much more comfortable and I was even able to tackle the long Admiral avenue climb without any ill effects.   My total stands at 49.98 km as of May 1st so I am a whisker away from being half way done with the challenge with 2 months to go.

I was about halfway through today's ride when I realized that although I had; tire irons and a spare tube I had neglected to grab mini pump - oops!  When I got home I remembered I had a spare umbrella clamp on in the parts bin and I now I am set up to swap the vintage Zefal pump between the Randonee and the 520. 

Side note: Without going into detail for fear of jinxing things there may be some movement on the replacement fork for the Cresta GT.  Fingers crossed.

Previous shot but on the route I rode this evening
 Ride. Smile. Repeat