Sunday, March 17, 2013

Oh the Humanity! or What did they do to you little Peugeot? (May 2012)

Last May,  I went to my usual old bike haunt, BikeWorks, looking for parts but of course couldn't help but go look at what they had in the warehouse for project bikes. As it turned out they had a big line of bikes all leaned together that they hadn't sorted yet.  I was looking through them somewhat distractedly " Road bike, Mountain bike, Mixte, Hybrid, Stingray, Road bike..wait..what the HELL!" and then I took another look at what I had thought was a old Schwinn Sting Ray and then did a double take worthy of a bugs bunny cartoon- some ingenious and blasphemous bastard had taken a 70′s Peugeot UO-8 road bike and equipped it with Ape Hanger handle bars and Banana seat effectively turning it into a Schwinn Sting Ray. I was stunned, impressed and horrified all at once. Is it a Peug-winn, a Schwin-geot or a UO-Ray8?

What the hell happened?

And then the bike spoke to me in heavily accented English; Pleeze Monsieur, HELP!, remove my shame, Merde! undo what zey did to moi, I want to be ze road bike again. Lets Allez!  How could I possibly walk awayWhen one of the other customers overheard me telling the wrench I was getting the bike solely to restore it to its natural state, he offered to take the ape hangers and banana seat off my hands for $10,  since the bike was only $25 I was able to take on another bike project I didn't need for a net of $15 bucks.

 Once I stopped shaking my head over the absurdity of what had been done to this former road bike,
I realized that except for the saddle,  handle bars and brake levers I had a pretty complete road bike and in fact it didn't take much digging around the garage to mock up a road bike once I had stripped the offending ape hangers and banana seat off.
And although it was "only" a lowly entry level UO-8 it still had its charms...
classic 70s head badge
Atax stem with made in France flourish and non plastic Simplex stem shifters

Once I got down to business cleaning it up, replacing all the standard pieces and cleaning and rebuilding the bearings it all came together pretty nicely.

Once I had it back to its 70′s entry level road bike glory, it sold in a day on Craigslist to a nice young lady who teaches science to kids.


Ryan's Rebuilds to the Rescue

One of my older brothers also lives in the greater Seattle metro area and most weeks we are able to get together before work at a downtown Seattle coffee shop.  Recently he revealed to me a pickle he found himself in.  In cleaning out his garage he had decided to put an old bike into a garage sale, it was an Nishiki Hybrid bike that he had used in a sprint triathlon but it was functional and nothing special .  Anyway not long after the garage sale his wife asked him what had happened to her bike.....seems she considered the Nishiki her bike and my brother, at first speechless, had to confess that he sold it not realizing it was her bike.  Doh!  So knowing his little brother is a bike geek and that his wife's birthday was approaching at the end of April, he came to me with a request that I find a bike to replace the one he had sold.

His criteria was that it would  be a step through (women's bike), which the Nishiki was not, and that it had to be blue.  He also wanted to keep the budget in the $250 range.  I told him I thought I could help him out and envisioned a split top tube classic European Mixte, perhaps a Peugeot or Motobecane, to fit the bill.  Today I decided to visit my favorite haunt for bike projects, Bike Works, to search out a donor for this project and I found not exactly what I had in my own mind but a bike that fit the bill none the less.  It's a nice  late 70s or early 80s Schwinn Le Tour III Mixte frame in need of some TLC.  No split top tube but a very nice Japanese built lugged frame with Le Tour branded SunTour parts, and the blue paint seems to be in good shape for its age.  It's certainly NOT a 40 pound, hernia inducing, Chicago built Varsity.
1978 Catalog

I have some nice swept back city bars and brake levers to match  from Velo Orange put aside for just such a project and I think the SunTour components will clean up nicely.

Since I only had to shell out $40 for this little gem I might also be able to upgrade the Steel wheels to some new Alloy 27 inchers and maybe add a faux leather sprung saddle.  And for sure it needs a nice basket up front.
I am hoping this will turn out to be a sweet Mixte if I do my job right and certainly it will be a upgrade over the Nishiki that was a garage sale casualty.  Should be a fun build for my sister in-law, and a face saver for my brother- More to come.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

1979 Fuji Royale (September 2012)

Make: Fuji
Model: Royale 
Year:  1979 
Obtained: September 2012 
Found: Bike Works 
Paid: $25.00

While visiting my favorite place for project bikes, Bike Works, on a Wednesday  I spotted a Fuji frame-set that gave me pause.  I thought to myself  "stop buying frame-sets! its easier to do complete bikes" and so I passed it by.  I really liked the look of it, however, especially the world championship-like banding on the down tube and I had been hankering to work on a Fuji for a while so on Thursday I was back to buy it.

The excellent site -Classic Fuji- helped me identify my prize as a 1979 model Fuji Royale

My frame-set came with a front derailleur, stem, seat post, brakes, bottom bracket, and a crappy headset.  I bought a new Tange headset and got most of the other parts out of the parts bin.  Unfortunately I did not get a frame-set only picture.  Have I mentioned that I really like head badges?  The Fuji's head badge is a classic.

I ran into issues with the rear derailleur and the crank-set I had out the parts bin so I put a new Shimano TZ-50 RD on the frame (cheap but effective) and lucked into a Fuji panto-graphed crank-set at Recycled Cycles to fix the crank issue.  I even found a (modern) Fuji branded saddle for this build.  The crank cleaned up nicely with the application of some Mother's Aluminum polish, a  great tip from my friend Hugh -Mothers really does the trick.

When I brought this bike home I had a vision of doing some orange accents to tie into the orange band from the world championship looking rainbow stripes and the orange lug lining on the frame.  I think the orange bar tape and toe straps add some color to an otherwise understated silver frame.

All in all I am happy with how it turned out and it was snapped up off Craigslist fairly quickly, so I guess the orange accents worked.

On a side note a new job, hurray for income!,  has kept me away from regular posting on the blog but I am hoping to finish up both the Raleigh curbside find project and the Fiorelli project soon. 

As always. Ride.Smile.Repeat.