Sunday, March 18, 2018

Campus bike Project (1978 Schwinn Traveler III)

I could have called this J*nk bike II, but based on the way it ended last time, I didn't want to jinx things.

You may have noted a few days ago in my shots of the great porch clean up that one bike and one wheel-set remained.  The 1978 Schwinn Traveler III was close to joining the trip to the scrap yard, but I thought that I had enough parts to make a working bicycle and that I could achieve multiple goals in one project; reduce my clutter, make a usable bike without spending any money, and put some $$ in my pocket.  This bike piqued my interest last May and I thought I would give it a shot.

The Traveler in now in the work-stand and the first thing I noticed is that the seat post, even though is has a LeTour mark, didn't seem to fit quite right, close but not really a great fit.

So I tried the sprung saddle with seat post from the 1974 Nishiki Professional and it fit like a charm.

My philosophy for this project boils down to three things; ugly, functional and cheap.  I think ugly will take care of itself especially if I resist the urge to clean and wax the frame, ugly is a theft deterrent, which is key for a campus bike. 

For the functional part I knew I was going to need to check the bearings, when I was working on the Mirage hubs I also checked the hubs on the spare wheel-set, and I made sure they weren't dried out, I did add some additional grease but they should be fine.  The headset though, is gonna need some work, as you can see from the photos above.

This frame has rear brake cable guides and half a rear derailleur guide on the chain stay but no shift cable guides on the down tube.  Parts bin to the rescue!  it yielded Huret and Shimano bolt on cable guides to solve that problem.

I have the wheels and rubber taken care of, its a mishmash but it should be functional, one tire is specialized and one is Boontrager, the front wheel is Shimano and I'm not sure about the rear one but they should get the job done.  Since I am using "previously owned" tubes I have pumped them up to be sure they hold air before I mount them.

The cockpit shapes up like the photo above.  I already talked about the saddle and seat post, the handlebars and grips were part of the 1980 Raleigh Rapide mixte purchase from bike works.  If I hadn't sold the three sets of SunTour stem shifters in the parts bin on ebay last month, I would have set this up for stem shifters but I had a bunch of plastic thumb shifters in the parts bin so that is what I am going to use.  I should admit that when I went to buy a MTB brake cable to finish the Mixte project I bought two additional cables with this project in mind so I have actually spent $4 so far, not sure where the city levers came from.

For the drive train the crank, rat trap pedals, and the SunTour U, RD all came from the 1983 Raleigh Record of Junk Bike fame.  The 110mm bb is a modern sealed bearing unit that was in the parts bin as were the second RD, FD and plastic pedals.  I hope to get a working drive train this collection.

The Side pull brakes also came from the junk bike.  With a bit of clean up and sanding the Kool Stop brake pads should be usable but the barrel adjuster are very rusty so  I am planning to use them to test oxalic acid for dealing with rust.

For extras I have a Pletscher rack and a clamp on water bottle cage which both came from the 1980 Raleigh Rapide Mixte.

I didn't use the rack on the Mixte project in part because I had misplaced both a key bracket and the nuts and bolts.  I have since stumbled across the bracket which I taped to the rack so I wouldn't lose it again.  I was also able to come up with enough hardware (lower left bottom picture above) that I should be able to mount this rack.  I like to think that both my father, and grandfather, a carpenter, would be glad I had a collection of  random nuts, bolts and washers, however they might be wondering how a guy in his fifties only has two small tins worth.

The plan is to assemble all these parts into a ugly but functional bike, sell it for $50 on Craiglist and hope it ends up cruising someplace like the University of Washington -pictured above.

Until next time; Ride, Recycle, Smile, Repeat.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

No Illusion, its Finished! (1973 Motobecane Mirage)

I learned recently that the Hindu god Ganesha is the remover of obstacles.  He could have been my mascot for this build.  The first obstacle was me, after doing a lot of work on the Mirage during the July 2017 bike blitz I couldn't find the motivation to tackle the wheel hubs.  I had done the; tear down, frame clean up & wax, bottom bracket, headset, brake pads and brake mounting but I let the wheels derail me.

With the right tools, cone wrenches, taking apart a hub is pretty straightforward, and then its all elbow grease and sonic cleaners to get the parts cleaned up.  For the rear hub I decided to leave one cone in place thinking it would be faster to put everything back together and get it adjusted.  Wrong.  During the disassembly the cone had actually moved so I had to remove it anyway to get the cones correctly centered on the axle but the keyed washer for that cone was stuck and required an overnight with some liquid wrench to come loose.  Then when trying to reassemble things, one cone had a hard time screwing onto the axle, after spending time cleaning the axle threads I realized there was a bur on the cone threads! I finally got everything where it needed to be but my short cut turned out to be a long cut.  I also had the all to common issue in adjusting both hubs in that everything was great until I tightened the lock nut and my no slop/no grind adjustment went to heck and the end product had too much play.  After doing this three times I changed my strategy and made the initial adjustment too tight (grind) and after I tighten the lock nut it was just right.  He can be taught.

Since I was working on the hubs that gave me a chance to clean up the filthy FW and spoke guard.  I could have probably just replaced the freewheeel but the teeth were in good shape and I was trying to do this rehab on the cheap.  It got a WD-40 bath, a wipe down between the cogs and 3 in 1 oil in the creases on the back.

When I was getting old wheels ready for scrap I made sure to save as much as I could, one old rear hub was a great template when I had to re-space the cones on the Mirage rear hub and when I discovered the front skewer was missing a spring I had a spare to use.  And finally, I had finished the set of wheels that had been holding things up for so long.

I also found a place for the rack off the Gitane Tour de France, I had tried it in other places but couldn't find a fit until the Mirage, which was good because I had misplaced some key pieces for the pletsher rack it came with.

I have had this bike for nearly three years and worked on it intensely last July, but it wasn't until last week I realized it had cool MB branded bar end plugs.  I kept the original bar tape because it still looks great and it saved me some time and $$.

Back in July I had the foresight to label the drive side cotter pin so I would remember where they should go back.  I could have replaced the cotter pins but again I was trying to this rebuild on the cheap and since I use a cotter press the pins mostly come out in good shape.

My next obstacle was the non drive cotter pin, something didn't feel right as it went in and then it was in tight enough that I couldn't just pull it out.  I though I would need to spring for a punch to remove it but thought to give an old drill bit a try and it popped right out.  As I write this I wonder why I didn't just use the cotter press to back it out....bleary thinking I guess.

You can see the cotter acquired a crease on the lower part of the ramp about dead center of the pin from going in slightly off kilter which is why it felt "wrong", some work with a file and then carefully aligning it got it back in and finished off the cranks.

aligning the rear brake cable guide

When dialing in the brakes I found my 3rd hand tool to be very valuable.  When I was tightening the seat post clamp the rear cable guide, which has the seat post bolt pass through it, got out of alignment with the rear brake.  I used a piece of wood and the mallet to "persuade" it back into the right line.

I'm screwed

After getting the new chain installed, I didn't totally cheap out!  I noticed a potential issue.  The rack screw was protruding, could be a problem...test....yes its a problem, interferes with the chain.  Some spacers on the outside of the rack solved the issue and I didn't even have to take off the rear wheel.....yet.

While testing the shifting I noticed the chain was getting bound up in the largest FW cog, not sure if somewhere the RD or FW was changed from the original but it was not going to work..sigh.

Fortunately I A) used a chain with a master link B) have Park Tool Master link pliers -MLP 1,2 and C) had a new in package SunRace RDM10  rear derailleur.  In theory you can take a master link chain apart without tools but I find that the pliers save a ton of aggravation.  You can see that the Simplex RD has a very short cage which I think was the main issue.

New RD installed and working like a champ with no binding.  I really like the SunRace RDM10 because it's cheap, 10 bucks, and it looks the vintage part, and it works.  In my post on Sunday I said I was close but not quite there.  After getting the shifting sorted I found the following; the brakes weren't dialed in to my liking because the wheels need more truing, both front and rear, the headset was loose and the rear rack wasn't quite level.  Since it was late Sunday I hung it up at that point.  I then had my first week in a new job and didn't get time to address those issues until Friday.  

I was using the cable and housing spares I had and since I had some Jagwire shift housing I used it to make the gold pin striping and lug lining pop a bit.  I didn't get the rear rack totally level and would have needed to remove it to accomplish that, its good enough.  Finally she is done and on CL.

Until next time.  Ride.Smile.Persevere.Repeat.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Almost, but not quite, there

The plan for today was to finish the 1973 Motobecane Mirage, but first I was going to ride to the farmers Market.  It was sunny and 60 degrees today so I was wanted to enjoy the weather.

There were tiny pies to be purchased and eaten later with the girl (Bumble berry).

pFreim Triple IPA

And tiny beers to be sampled at the Beer Junction, a great start to my Sunday.

After getting a start in July of last year, I have been working on the Mirage for much of the last three days and it is very close to being ready to list but I have a couple things left and I am calling it quits for the day.  Since it was so beautiful out I did take the opportunity to take a few pictures.  This isn't the most troublesome build ever but nor is it the easiest and I will have a tale to tell once it is truly finished.  I felt my break was well deserved.

Until next time; Ride.Smile. Repeat

Saturday, March 10, 2018

And then there were three

Ok that isn't actually true yet but it's the goal, get down to three bikes in the whole apartment;

Those three will keep me plenty busy as the last two both need the complete overhaul/spa treatment, and even the HD needs new bar tape and a few tweaks.

The pictures above are from June of 2017 and chronicle the height of the bike zaniness,  it can be tough to see it all but there are; two complete mountain bikes, two complete road bikes and five frames, as well as various wheel-sets occupying my humble balcony.

The pictures above reflect how things look today, just a bit of a change.  What happened to all the stuff you ask?

  • The 1978 Schwinn Traveler and one wheel set remain in the on deck circle- a project in waiting
  • The 1980 Raleigh Rapide is completed and listed on CL for sale
  • The Green 1973 Motobecane Mirage is in the work stand and is close (fingers crossed) to being done and will be sold on CL.
  • The Yellow Motobecane Mirage frameset was sold along with a few french parts and a wheel-set.
  • The 1960 something,Torpado Alpha Frameset and all its parts were sold as a project and I threw in a bunch of new consumables; tires, tubes, cotter pins, cables, etc.
  • The 1984 Nishiki Cascade was sold with new tires as a project.
  • The 1986 Miyata Trail runner was sold - the guy traveled 50 miles just to get the stock wheel-set.
  • The wheelset from the 1974 Nishiki Professional with the sanshin high flange hubs got moved inside and if I am dumb enough to buy a frame only project down the road they will be ready.

The last two residents of the balcony along with some wheels and rims and various metal bits went to the scrap yard (sad trombone).

I did harvest many parts from both of the bikes above some of which have been sold on and some of which may appear again soon in a future project.  For the Nishiki Professional as an example, I kept the wheel-set, and the seat post and saddle, while the stem, shifters, and derailleurs got sold. The Sugino bottom bracket and crankset I may also clean up and sell.  I should have never bought that bike but I think I at least broke even.

Some of these projects have been lingering for 5 years and it was cathartic to clear them out.  It also didn't hurt to put some $$ in my pocket.  I still have two projects I want to complete before tacking the Nishiki Cresta GT,  and after that I have the long overdue MotoGT to give a well deserved overhaul, so I am far from out of the woods.  After I get through all that I hope to take more of a one at a time approach to my rehab projects.  We'll see how that works out... lol. 

in the workstand

Until next time. Ride.Smile.Don't hoard.Repeat.