Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Passage Refit Part IX Shakedown Part Duex

I had a few things to take care of before loading up the Passage for the second Shake Down cruise.  Namely I needed to install the new step down ferrule I picked up Sunday and while I was at it I put on a longer rear derailleur cable housing.

With that taken care of it was off to Alki to see how it would all work.

This time instead of going 150 yards I was able to go nearly 15km.  And I have plenty of observations but no real complaints.  It is early days with only a short distance but it will do for a start.  Some observations:
  • I like the sneaker pedals - nice and roomy
  • I like the wider 27x1 3/8 tires 
  • I like the sprung leather saddle although its going to take a bit more breaking in
  • The shifting performs great although the operator could use some work
  • And unless I set the speedo wrong I am faster on the Passage than on the Handsome Devil
I also climbed a very slight incline, not so much to try the low end gears, which worked fine, but more to see the brakes worked under speed going down hill - which they did.

I did make a stop to enjoy the sunshine, and to have a nice espresso shake.  And get some shots of the bike.

With the shakedown complete I could wrap the bars, and this being the Passage project there had to be a hitch.  With the wider bars the Deda cork wrap I was using didn't wrap all the way with one strip but since I had a second box I used both cork strips to wrap one side of the bars.

When I opened the second box, however, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting.

Same brand, box, color but different styles, I did find the perforated style could be stretched far enough to cover a side with just one strip.

This morning I undid the cork side and evened things out.  I am only meh with the results as I couldn't wrap as tightly as I would like in order to cover but it will do for now. I still have the front rack to receive and mount and I may mount the Velo Orange fenders that used to be on the Handsome devil but that's for later.

This project has come a ways from a bike that was rideable but not really refubished.

Down to a frame

And built up again

With a few upgrades along the way (yellow new, blue mix of old and new):

1986 Schwinn Passage
Part Original current
Frame Columbus Tenax Chrome-moly double butted main tubes, forged dropouts same
Fork Tange Hi -Tensle steel, forged dropouts same
Headset Tange SE-II sealed same
Crankset Sakae SR CXC-T 310 170 mm forged alloy 30/46/50 Same crank arms new 26/36/46 chain rings
Front Derialleur Suntour XC Sport same
Rear Derailler Huret Duo Par the bike had a shimano light action on it which I replaced with a Shimano Deore LX MD 581
Pedals SR -SP-250semi plaform MKS Sneaker
Freewheel Mallard Atom 5 speed 14-16-19-23-28 IRD Defiant 6 speed 14-17-20-24-28-32
Brakes Dia-Compe 960 Alloy Canti Original up front, Tektro CR720 in the rear
Brake lever Anatomic hooded alloy drilled  It came with some Shimano SLR areo levers which I replaced with Origin 8 drilled areo levers
Handlebar  SR Custom Alloy 42 cm  VO Grand Cru Chris's Rando Handlebar 48cm
Stem SR Custom alloy 80mm Nitto Technomic Stem, Tall, 26.0 Clamp 100mm
Hubs/Rim Mallard hubs 36/40, Weinmann alloy Sta-Tru alloy hubs and rims 36/36 
Tires Schwinn Passage dual hard 27x 1 1/4 skinwall Came with Specialized Tri Sport 27x1 1/4 blackwall I replaced with Kenda K40 27x 1 3/8 tan walls
Saddle San Marco Touring Anatomic VO Saddle, Model 5, Sprung Touring -brown leather
Seat Post SR Laprade Alloy Micro adjusting 26.6mm same

And so with that  I declare today, April 25th 2017 to be NEW BIKE DAY! Ok so its a 30 year-old frame but I think there has been enough work and new parts to be close enough for me.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Passage Refit Part VIII stumbling toward the finish

I mentioned at the beginning of the last post that I had done a shakedown ride of the Passage and it had been rather short, more on that in a bit but first to continue the thread of refitting the bike.  On Thursday I had resolved to do the drive -train and brake cabling and since I felt like I needed a refresher I went over a very good article on cabling by Saint Sheldon the Brown.  Thus informed I cabled up the brakes as you can see above.

Before running the shift cables I wanted to set up the chain, and little did I know this would turn into a Goldilocks experience.  I had purchased a Wipperman nickel chain a while back with what I assumed was a standard master link but instead I got the link pictured above.  And despite reading the directions and fiddling with it I could not get it "just snap on" so after bagging the Wipperman chain up for later use I grabbed another chain in box -too weird.

After removing the second chain from its packaging I realized it was a chain pin connector type, hmm I had moved away from this kind of connector years ago and didn't know I had any left but well lets give it a try.  After about 10 minutes of frustration I clearly remembered that I HATE these effing pin connectors!!!! So I tossed it in the recycling and took a deep breath or two - too aggravating!

And finally I reached for the SRAM 8 speed chain with a normal quick link master link.  It was on the bike in minutes - Just right!  Next time I will just start with the SRAM.  With the chain taken care of I ran the cables for the down tube shifters and got them snugged up.

One thing about running the rear derailleur cable is that I can use the new step down ferrule that I just bought that goes from 5mm to 4mm and I thought would be useful on older bikes
I had first seen them on the Velo Orange site but they wanted to sell them one at a time which is an expensive way to go so I found them elsewhere by the bottle.  I had that bottle knocking around for weeks except now that I actually wanted to use one I could not for the life of me find it!!! really!?  So I said screw it and did the cabling with out the benefit of a ferrule on the chain stay braze on.

All this fussing with cables, chains and lost ferrules was giving me a literal crick in the neck and driving me to drink.  So I poured a glass of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, in addition to tasting good the brewery donates a portion of its proceeds to Jazz education, which as a former High School Band Geek I can appreciate.  After this libation time out, I got back to it with some accessories.

It is almost a crime not to use the frame pump peg on the Passage but the the Lezyne pump was less expensive then a frame pump and I have used one for years on the Handsome Devil and it works great.

And no old steel bike is complete for me without a bell so on goes a nice Crane brass one.

As a stop gap I am using this old Banjo Brothers Minnehaha Canvas Barrel Saddle bag that was on the Handsome Devil for a few years but has been on the shelf for a while.  I need to be able to haul tools and spare tubes etc. and for now and this bag fits the bill.  I do have a front rack on order that is identical to the one on the HD so that in theory I can just swap the Baggins trunk bag and its contents from bike to bike depending on which one I am riding.

And by days end on Thursday things were looking pretty complete.  I like to hold off on bar tape until the bike is dialed in so I don't get it all greasy or worse I have to undo it if the cabling ends up needing attention after a few rides.

And so Friday dawned and rather than take a ride around the block first I loaded up the Passage on the bike rack anxious and optimistic to take it on a longer ride on the Alki trail.

Shake down about to commence

I had not gone far when the back wheel started to slip as if I was riding over an oil slick, or ice or loose sand.  Hmm that shouldn't be happening, I dismount and walk the bike back to where the car is parked.  I stop and on impulse grasp the rear wheel near TDC and gently move it side to side.  It moves -much more than it should which explains the slipping but why!!?
re-enactment of the rear wheel test

As I am walking my mind is racing with reasons that rear wheel is slipping:
  • could it be the free wheel, some people have complained about the IRD Defiant free wheels
  • is the spacing from nut to nut on the axle different from what it was on the original 40 spoke rear wheel causing slop?
  • Could it be the bearings aren't tightened right - nah I just did them -right?
  • If a fix eludes me in the short term I could try the original rear wheel (not rebuilt yet) or use the spare wheel set I have for the HD with a not so fat set of tires for the ride on the 29th
  • Did I leave the porch light on...?  Wait what?  back to bikes slacker!
Well for today (Friday) I need to get a long ride in so I drive back home swap for the HD and get a 20km ride in.  I have other things to tend to on Friday and Saturday and frankly I need to take some time away from this project.  On Sunday morning I remove the rear wheel and start checking for slop.  I get the quick release and FW off and when I check the tension on the bearings I realize the Mook who serviced them a few days ago didn't tighten the bearings like he should have.  I reassemble everything and now the rear wheel does NOT move back and forth so I take the Passage down for a test ride in the alley.  In the short sample -no more slippage..hoorah! I do notice that the rear derailleur cable housing is not staying put due to its lack of ferrule which is adversely affecting shifting.

Since its Farmers Market day I make a stop at the LBS to see if they have a step down ferrule and while I am at it pick up some shift cable crimps, I have about a hundred brake cable crimps but none for the shift cables.  The bike shop wrench finds what I need but waves away my inquiry about payment, I say "how about a beer?" he declines saying he's more of a cider guy.

My next stop is the Beer junction so as I order my traditional Sunday sipping beer I ask the bar man for a cider recommendation.  After hanging out for a bit and enjoying my selection, a wee glass of Old Rasputin Imperial Stout,  I head back across the street to drop off the "payment" at the bike shop, after all no good deed should go unpunished.

Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
The plan now is to redo the rear derailleur cable with ferrule this evening or in the morning and then do Shake Down part Duex Monday and hope it goes better than round one.  Here's to Riding.Smiling and (fingers crossed) Repeating.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Training blocks for the big ride...

Today was the the day for the Passage shake down cruise...I barely got out of the harbor before turning back.   That is fodder for another post.

In addition to working on the Passage this week I have been riding my Handsome Devil, now the title of this post is with tongue firmly in cheek, by training I mean being able to go more than 5 blocks without having to dismount and bend over to gasp for breath.  And by big ride I mean the 10 mile short route I will be doing at the end of the month on Lopez Island.   The first step to doing rides longer than the 2km round trip farmers market run was to put my bike rack on the car.

When you are fat and out of shape you don't need to add hills into the mix to start things off, hence the bike rack to drive to the nice flat beach side Alki trail.  My goal for the week was to gradually increase my distance.


  • Distance 10 km.
  • Weather; dry and overcast

  • Rest stop - midway point, just a mocha
    • Distance 15km
    • Weather, wet - rained the whole time and was the wettest ride I have done in probably 5 years

    • Rest stop - about 3/5ths of the way into ride.  I sat outside, under cover, so I wouldn't leave a puddle inside the shop.  Mocha and snicker doodle.

      • Distance 20km
      • Weather, Sun glorious Sun!

      • Rest stop - about 3/4ths of the way into the ride, Mocha with a side of donut for "refueling"

      • Extra credit - a Hill! this ride was long enough that I ran out of flats, and ok its not much of a hill; short and maybe a 3 or 4% grade but when you're used to riding the dead flat route it counts.
      (Postscript) I forgot to mention the best part of the Friday ride, besides the sun anyway, I got passed by a Grandma on a mid 70's Peugeot 10 speed, I am guessing it was a U-08, in a lovely blue.  As she passed I muttered "Go granny Go" between labored breaths.

      Speaking of Hills that is on the menu for next week along with maintaining some distance work now that I have exceeded the length of the ride I will be doing.  I am also hopeful that I will have the Passage ready to go for next weeks riding and the event.  I don't care about speed or even dismounting to walk hills I just want to be as fit as possible in the short time before the ride.

       And while I am doing the short route I am not doing the really short route (5 miles), who knows maybe this will be the spring board for more event rides this year.  It would be nice to get to a point where riding exceeds wrenching.   Riding, Smiling, Repeating.

      Wednesday, April 19, 2017

      Passage Refit part VII Don't go braking my heart..

      new wheels
      As you may recall from my last post the stock wheels were giving me grief and rather than try to spend more time making them work I took the Amazon route.  And in a couple days presto, new wheel-set.  I did my normal protocol of opening up the hubs to add more grease, then adjusting them and finally putting them in the truing stand.  With that taken care of I mounted the new free wheel that I had originally acquired for the Motobecane Grand Touring.  The standard FW is a 14-28 but this one is a 14-32 for a bit more low end which will pair nicely with the new crank set up.

      Then it was time for new rubber including some nice wide Kenda K40 27 x 1 3/8s (about 37c) tires.

      rear wheel mounted

      And the front

      As I mentioned in the last post I went ahead and bought a new brake set, Tektro CR720s,  so it was time to get them mounted.  My first challenge was that the new mounting bolts were too long, fortunately I had saved the old stuff so I went with the original bolts.  I'm sure I've said this before but save the original parts until the bike rebuild is complete because you never know, more on that later.

      The second challenge up front was that I had to apply some force to get the front brakes on the studs which should not be the case, they need to be able to rotate unimpeded, but despite my cleaning up rust the posts were still rough.

      A quick application of some fine grain sandpaper smoothed things out and after applying a thin layer of  3 in 1 oil the new brakes slid right on.
      Front brakes mounted with old bolts.

      And they look great without the new wheel mounted yet, queue the ominous music....

      The rears mounted up and ready for a wheel.

      And with the wheel mounted looks like a good fit.  So half way there right...right? Nope.

      Once I got the front wheel on I could see there was going to be issues as the brake shoes were hitting the tire rather than the rim and even with using only one of the thin curved washers (see above) on the rim side of the canti I could not get them to seat.

      I recalled that I had some thinner canti brake pads from the brief time the Handsome Devil had Canti-brakes.  I could get them to seat on the rim but they were so long that they got hung up on the fork blades.  It wasn't looking good for this solution and I seem to recall reading somewhere that the fork canti posts on older bikes were closer together than current ones and that could result in issues using newer brakes.  The obvious solution was to use the original brakes up front, I am sure the matchy police will cite me for different front and rear brakes but I will take that risk.

      I needed a break from brakes, so I decided to mount a couple items that had been ready for a while.  First I went with the saddle, I used a measurement from the Handsome devil to select the initial height which I hope will be close.

      Second I mounted the new cockpit and started with the stem up about as high as I can safely mount it - it has a nice clearly marked minimum insert line.  And for the first time in a while its starting to look..

      like a bike.  One of the good things about using the original brakes up front is that I get to use my Velo Orange Gran Compe Roller Straddle Cable Hanger. I have long admired this part but I don't usually run Canti brakes and it is kind of stupid expensive when compared to a normal cable hanger but I picked one up when I was ordering parts for this project last fall.

      Because I needed to run a straddle cable that has "pucks" on both ends I had to disassemble the roller.

      Which made it easy to thread the straddle cable ..

      ...and then put the roller back together.

      My intention was to have this bike done on Monday so I could start riding it but since I was just going to being by riding the flats I decided to take my time and start by riding the Handsome Devil - more on riding in a future post.

      I am hoping that running the cabling and chain and getting the shifting and braking dialed in doesn't throw me too many curves as I do want to be able to ride the bike enough be sure of fit and work out any bugs that might crop up and I will want to start riding hills with it too.

      No one ever said mounting new parts on an old bikes would be "plug and play". Until next time.. Ride. Smile. Repeat.