Sunday, August 2, 2020

I guess there are still deals out there

loading up my prize
Having done a lot of looking lately to find a Mountain bike for my nephew it seemed to me that in this COVID market that the deals have, understandably,  dried up.  Today I was browsing Craigslist, like you do, and saw a bike for $40, it was a fair drive but not horribly far, it listed issues with the front derailleur and it was a vintage early 90s hybrid and looked to be about my size.  Too good to be true right?  and normally if I see a deal it evaporates but this had only been up about an hour so why not take a flier?  Long story short I ended up getting it.


I did notice while loading it up that in addition to the stated derailleur issues it was missing a rear spoke too, but for $40 I wasn't going to complain.  The lady selling it was the original owner who said the bike had been tuned up about 4 years ago but that she had bought a new flat bar road bike and so this Univega was now excess but it had obviously been garaged, used and well cared for.



Based on the Power Oval sticker and the Shimano 400 CX group I put this bike at 1993.



Its got a real corncob of a FreeWheel that I don't think was stock but if your were mostly riding trails it was probably fine.  The serial # appears to be KGO3372 but I haven't been able to decode it yet. EDIT I missed some letters before the K so its actually WEKGO3372



I guess my hankering for a Hybrid finally came to fruition when I least expected it.  For now, after dealing with other projects,  I am going to get the rear spoke dealt with and the front derailleur working or replaced and then I am going to ride it!  After that we will see, lots of options; I could sell it and make some $, I have friend who is interested in getting a bike if its not too dear,  and then I could also go the gravel bike route as I think this would be perfect for that.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Miyata 112 Rebuild: Front Wheel


My starting point was a musty dusty wheel with a dried out tire and I really had no idea when it had last been serviced but I would guess it had been years.


Although tearing into a hub can be a bit of a PIA I have never thought oh that was a waste of time its in perfect condition.  As  you can see above this hub was nasty, dried out grease, black with age, and it definitely needed of some love.


A bit of work with a Clorox wipe and a paper towel got rid of most of the dried out grease but I still had a ways to go.




Some work with the dremel and brass wire brush got the cup nice and clean.   I ran the axle bits through the sonic cleaner to get the cones cleaned up, not perfect but a thousand % better than it was.



Fresh grease and ball bearings got this hub back closer to where it was coming out of the factory 30 years ago.



The rim got a new rim strip as the old one was fairly brittle and I bought a gross of these some time ago and still have a bunch.


The wheel spent some time in the truing stand and I was able to verify that it was in good shape and I didn't end up touching any spokes.


And finally it got a new Sunlite 27" tire.  I would have liked to use a gum wall tire but I couldn't find one in the entry level price range I was looking for so I went with the black wall.  I think the COVID effect had resulted in gum walls  being either sold out or over priced.  It was interesting to mount this tire as compared to the Panaracer tires I have been using.  Heavier and not as supple but it will be much better than the dried out rubber it replaced.   Three bearings down and one more to go.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Miyata 112 Rebuild: Progress


I spent time this weekend get the frame waxed and back together since I had already worked on the rust.




Before waxing I did some touch up of the bare spots with some nail polish, not pretty but it will keep the rust at bay.


Since I had the frame waxed I got the headset and and bottom bracket pieces cleaned up so I could reunite the frame and fork and now half the bearings are done.




I took some time today to clean the derailleurs and shifters and then lubed the spring and pivots so I could get them back on the frame.




I am hoping that I can get a bit more done during the week this week so I can use the weekend to finish it off.


I didn't spend much to acquire this bike the parts weren't too expensive so I hope in this crazy market I can do a bit better than breaking even.  We'll see.


Speaking of crazy markets I finally found a mountain bike for my nephew after a couple months of looking, it wasn't the kind of deal I got 10 months ago (pre COVID) but it wasn't way out of line and the bike was only about 5 miles away so that worked out well.  I think by the time I get some new rubber, chain, cables and cassette he should have a nice errand runner, commuter etc for about $200 all in.  The bike nerd uncles time is thrown in for free.


Ride. Smile.Repeat.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Minor changes coming for the Allez



The fact that the index shifting is not working 100% bugs me, what a surprise.   As I mentioned the Suntour GPX drive train paired with a new SunRace 7 speed FW isn't a perfect marriage.   SunTour had specific spacing for its index shifting that the SunRace FW does not duplicate hence the lack of precision


One option would be to just get a Suntour vintage FW and swap that in.  If I wanted a racing ( corn cob) FW I could get one for around $30 shipped (or more) but the range is just not enough for this old dude.



Something with more appropriate range would run me $100 or more! and most of the ones available are more teeth than the GPX RD could handle so that is additional expense (wolf tooth) to make the RD work .




So I decided to try some Shimano 7 speed indexed pieces that in theory should work with my current SunRace FW.  I found these shifters on Bike Forums for $15 shipped.


And this 105 rear derailleur for $35 on Ebay.  So for about $50 all in I should have some reliable indexing to ALL gears.  I am hoping that all I need to replace is the right shifter and RD - fingers crossed.  No real reason to replace the left shifter as the FD works fine and the Suntour GPX and Shimano 105 are both grey so I *think* it will work.

If this all works then maybe I may even try out a 28t 7 speed FW which Velobase says this 105 RD can handle which would give me even more range, but first we'll see if it works with the 25t FW currently in place.  I will be a happy camper if I can confidently shift to all 14 gears.    All the pieces won't be here until the second week in August so I am hopeful I can get the Miyata 112 finished before that.


Ride, Shift to all gears. Smile. Repeat.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Miyata 112 Rebuild: stuck on you



Letting the crank bolts sit with liquid wrench for a day was probably a good idea, both bolts came off with no issues.


The crank is going to need some clean up as there is a bit of rust on the inside of the small ring.


I had planned to remove the cable guide but the Phillips head screw didn't want move and I didn't want to strip it, so I am going to leave it in place.



The fixed cup on the bottom bracket also didn't want to come off and again I decided to just leave it in place rather than mess around trying to get it out.  It didn't move even when I remembered that this cup loosens clockwise.


One thing I did not want to leave in place was the free wheel, my first attempt to remove it did not work even with my big breaker bar Archimedes which had never failed me.


I recalled that I had a park axle vice that I bought from bikeman4u many moons ago and had never used.  And I had brief access to a vice in an empty garage so I thought I would give it a try.


Sorry for the fuzzy shot but the soft metal in the axle vice holds onto the axle and the vice holds the axle vice tight.  What I didn't recall was the the wheel still spins so I had the same issue I had when trying to use my breaker bar with a bare rim (no tire) I was using 50% of my energy trying keep the rim from moving while using the other 50% on moving the breaker bar.   This method failed too.



After letting the FW problem sit for a few days it occurred to me that putting a tire back in the rim would not only protect the rim but give the wheel traction so it wouldn't slip as much,  I also used the old trick of securing the free wheel tool with the skewer, not so tight the tool can't move but tight enough so it doesn't come loose while you are reefing on it.



I also recalled that having the wheel braced against a wall in the direction your are pushing (counter clockwise) helps and I used a chair on the other side to keep the wheel "locked" in place.   With this set up I only needed a light touch to keep the wheel in place and could use most of my effort on on pushing the breaker bar against the stubborn FW.



Bingo!  Archimedes once again came through when properly supported and the old FW is off.   Now that we are down to the frame, essentially, I can do the work of cleanup on the Miyata.

Ride. Smile. Repeat,

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Allez Fin



I finally got around to putting the bar tape on the Allez and I am going to call it done (for now).


It is my speed machine, at least it makes me feel like I am fast although I am sure the reality is I am not very fast at all, but a boy can dream after all.


The 5th and 6th cogs (the 21 and 23 tooth) are still be a bit iffy especially under load but it occurred to me that perhaps expecting perfection out of a Suntour GPX drive train paired with a new SunRace 7 speed FW isn't realistic.  Perfect being the enemy of good in this case, the bike goes fine between the 50/34 chain rings and shifts into most gears just fine including the all important big cog.


I am realizing that even with some additional weight loss this is not going to be a climbing machine in its current incarnation even with the the compact crank, due to the 25t "big" cog.   I could get lower gears but that would require a drive train overhaul as the GPX shifters won't play well with other rear derailleurs, from what I have read. so for now this will be the bike for blasting on the flats, something it does very well.

Ride. Allez! Smile. Repeat.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Miyata 112 Rebuild


I am still working on the finishing touches on the Allez, I need to dial in cogs 5 and 6 for shifting and then I can do the bar wrap and call it done.  That said, I did want to get the Miyata 112 in the workstand in advance of the weekend so I can get it rebuilt and sold this summer.



As you can see from the tires its been a while since this bike got some love so I am looking forward to cleaning and servicing it and then putting it in the hands of someone who can use it.  And maybe a little $$ in my pocket and some space in my apartment.



I went low cost with the new parts, I would have liked to go with tan sidewall tires but for the price point I was looking at I could only find black sidewalls, its an 87 so it won't look too odd with all black tires and they will be new and supple.  Brakes pads, cable and housing, chain FW and bar tape round out the consumables I am replacing. 


About 30 minutes of work got me to this point with the tear down.  I left the cranks in place for a reason.




I did not like the rust I was seeing on the crank bolts so I decided to give them a liquid wrench soak before I try removing them.


The state of the stem bolt also indicates to me this bike spent some of its life outside so I will do my best to treat the rust so the next owner doesn't have to deal with it.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.