Tuesday, April 29, 2014

1979 Peugeot "Sports" (UO-8) project

I recently went to my favorite used bike haunt, bike-works, seeking a serviceable 27" rear wheel.  I wanted a complete wheel-set for a early 70s  Motobecane Mirage Frame-set that I think I have enough spare parts to build up and sell.  When I looked closely at the rear wheel I had in the parts pile I realized that in addition to broken spokes and surface rust that the inside of the rim had rampant rust and a nasty looking hole that nominated the whole wheel for the recycle bin.
I am rentus maximus destroyer of tubes! 
Another item on the agenda was looking to see if there were any complete bike projects that I could turn around into a serviceable bike to sell.  I have a more than a few frame-sets and as mentioned think I can make a serviceable Motobecane but I was looking for something a bit more straightforward.  To that end a Peugeot Sports caught my eye.
Peugeot Sports "As is"
It was listed for the modest sum of $25 in "as is" condition, so after a quick inspection I snapped it up.  The "as is" part meant the following no; pedals, chain, front derailleur or front shifter.  I am pretty sure I can pick all those missing pieces out of the parts bin and/or I would have replaced them anyway so this was the equivalent of the "mechanics special".  One thing that puzzled me was that the decals, and use of the name "Sports", indicated to me that it was a late 70s or early 80s model and yet it had cottered cranks!? Had someone retrofitted this French steed in its 35 year lifetime?   A little research on http://www.retropeugeot.com/ confirmed the date, 1979, and the fact that the entry level Peugeots, AO-8 & UO-8, still came with cottered cranks into the twilight of the 70s.
1979 Catalog shot for the Sports
Something unique about this bike is that after all the Peugeots I have worked on this is my first black model, I've done white, blue and yellow but never black which seems odd as I would assume it was a pretty standard color.  I still intend to finish its flasher big brother the UO-10 aka "Course" before I start on the sports but thought I would share its "as is" condition before I get started on it.  I have a nice a set of low mileage specialized black walled tires that came with the course that I plan to use on this bike, not my usual choice but I am going to try and keeps costs down on this build.

I have a nice set of stem mounted Sun Tour power shifters to take the place of these beat up and incomplete Simplex shifters.
I also scavenged a Sun Tour front derailleur at bike works to replace the missing one which I assume was a simplex with a plastic body that failed as so many of them did.
hmm something seems to be missing....
I think, hope, every thing else can be either rehabbed/rebuilt or can be found in the parts bin.  I find it interesting to have two different Peugeot models from roughly the same year, while they both share the same Carbolite 103 frame-set they differ significantly in how they were outfitted.  I might have to do a post about how the two compare.
Peugeots proprietary 103 tubing- CroMo.
Now that some decent weather has come, temporarily, to the Northwest I hope to make some progress on the "course" and get it up on Craigslist and here of course.  Until next time ride.smile.repeat.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1976 Raleigh LTD 3 speed Model DL32 a rideable project bike...for someone else

I may have mentioned in my post on the Raleigh Ladies 3 speed that I got a package deal of 3 speeds when my friend was cleaning out his garage in preparation of a remodel.  The other half of the set was a Mens Raleigh LTD 3 speed Model DL32 which, as I found out from three speed hub ,was the entry level to the Raleigh 3 speed line below the mid range Sports (DL22) and the high end Superbe (DL24) with brooks saddle. and locking fork.
Though humble, the LTD still sports a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub, mud guards (fenders to us yanks) and a chain guard.  This particular LTD,  like its sister the Sports, was/is in need of a lot of TLC.  Since I have had trouble finishing bike projects lately, attentive readers will notice a lack of a final installment for the Peugeot Course, I decided to sell this bike as a project.  Even so I still had to do a little bit of work before I could list it.

All the dust and must and rust none withstanding this bikes major issue was the lack of a shift cable, or rather a complete one.
 Your shift cable shouldn't terminate halfway down the down-tube in a frayed rusted mess.  I didn't want to spend any money on the bike but I did want it to be functional.  The tires are old but not dry rotted and they hold air, the brake pads have seen better days but they did stop the bike so with a working shift cable I would have a functional, albeit shabby, 3 speed.

Amazon came through with the six dollar Sturmey archer 3 speed cable kit so I am good to go right..?
And then it hits me, I know friction and I know SIS and I even know STI.  I speak Shimano, Campy and Sun Tour but about Sturmey Archer 3 speeds I don't know Jack.  BikemanforU to the rescue! he did a great youtube series a couple years ago rehabbing a Schwinn 3 speed speedster, with an SA rear hub, and episode 6 goes over replacing and adjusting a 3 speed shift cable, thank you Bike Man!

With the shift cable  fixed it was time to take care of a few other items.  The foil cover on the shifter  housing had come loose so a little Elmer's glue, a make-shift clamp (cardboard and vise grip) and I had it reaffixed.
One of the things I dread in any bike  rehab is either a stuck stem or seat-post so I had to check to be sure both were ok, they were, and then I added a bit of grease to each to keep them unstuck.   I also needed to figure out the year of the bike and on Sturmey Archer hubs they stamp the year of manufacture so it was just a matter of cleaning away some muck to determine that 1976 was when this bike was made.
1976 is that yankee doodle I hear?
Nope, definitely Rule Britannia 

I then did a quick ride to be sure the bike shifted and stopped before listing it to craigslist.  Given enough $$ and space an old English 3 speed would definitely be in my quiver, also this bike is unique in my experience in that is a 23 inch seat tube model and its in sky blue.  Most of the 3 speeds I see seem to be smaller and either black or brown with the occasional bronze green thrown in.  I am , however, currently an unemployed apartment dweller, not to mention an old fat man living in a hilly neighborhood so I had to be realistic about keeping a 3 speed for myself.

Still it has some cool features.  I really like the look of the original handlebar grips,
I also like that something minor like a plastic brake lever cover has the Raleigh stamp,
and of course who doesn't love a good headbadge?
I am hoping some energetic Anglophile snaps up this craigslist bargain and rehabs it into a solid commuter.

Until next time, and hopefully the exciting conclusion of the Peugeot UO-10, Ride.Smile.Repeat.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

1998 Cannondale Road bike Team Saeco Edition

My first real road bike as an adult was a Cannondale R800, my then wife (now Ex) gasped at how much I spent back in 1999 on this bike but I did end up riding the heck out of it,  including 3 Seattle to Portland rides.
My R800 road bike
As much as I liked my R800, in typical fashion (for me anyway) I soon lusted after a new bike - the cool Saeco team edition Cannondale road bike in viper red!
1998 Catalog shot
Saeco was, and is, an Italian manufacturer of espresso machines and they sponsored a pro cycling team with Cannondale in the late 90s/early 2000s.  Their most famous rider was (Super) Mario Cipollini, aka the "Lion King" and one of best pure power sprinters to ever grace the pelton, among other things he won 4 stages in a row in the 1999 Tour de France.  For a wannabe roadie like myself the team edition Cannondale was way cool.  I eventually grew out of my obsession with the pro style ride and discovered Steel and riding maintainable/enjoyable speeds but those Saeco Cannondales still have a soft spot in my cycling heart.

Super Mario in Yellow winning tour Stage - Killin' it!

Fast forward to about 2005 and my new neighbor turns out not only to be a fellow cyclist (Former CAT 5), he also rides a Cannondale R800 and he is a beer fridge in the garage kind of cool.  And the kicker is his wifes' bike is a Saeco team edition Cannondale in Viper red that I had so lusted after 5 years before!!... sadly it is a wee tiny 49cm bike with 650c wheels and tires (ISO 571) never to be ridden by this clydesdale LOL.

what I would look like on a 49cm bike

My buddies' wife never rode her Cannondale much, I don't think it was comfortable for her, and she moved on to a nice hybrid she rides with the kids.  So the Saeco has been hanging in the garage, collecting sawdust most of the last decade,  until today that is.  My buddy is clearing out his garage and talked about selling the Cannondale in our annual community wide garage sale in May- I once scored a sweet vintage Takara at the May event.  I quickly offered to to try and sell it for him on Craigslist for much more than he is thinking of asking at the garage sale in exchange for a small commission.  It's not like I don't have the time these days while I am looking for work.  Anyway after 14 years I finally got my hands on a Cannondale Saeco team edition road bike.....well one built for elves that is.
I was too impatient to take a before shot so just picture what a bike would look like after hanging in a garage for about 10 years while lots of carpentry projects take place in said garage.  And then I cleaned it up.  This didn't really even count as bike work; just a thorough wipe down with Armor-All wipes, pump up the tires, check the gearing and brakes, a little lube on the chain and Bobs your uncle.  Easy Peasy this bike is like brand new.

Feels a bit weird to be talking about a Aluminum frame/carbon fork bike on the blog but it is where I got my roadie start even if I am a fully converted lover of lugged Steel.   Cannondale is very proud of their computer aided design and this is an early example, as was my CAAD3 R800
I rode my own Cannondale for 8 years and loved it.  I didn't know any different from being jack hammered over the poorly maintained roads of West Seattle on a harsh too small frame (54cm) until I rode my Handsome devil with its smooth 4130 CroMo larger frame (57cm) and plusher tires over the same road and had an "Ah Ha!" moment.   For my pedal mashing, pro kit wearing, racer wannabe try and go fast self the Cannondale worked fine, for my throttle it back, fatter tires are better, who cares how fast enjoy the ride self -steel is the deal.  Still love that Viper red paint job though!
Like my R800 this bike sports the solid mid level Shimano 105 drive-train with the house brand Coda hubs, brakes and cockpit.
105 not too bling, not to blah just right
 Apparently I'm not the only one who likes a viper red Saeco Cannondale since putting the CL ad up this afternoon I've already had two inquires, this little roadie might not last until Saturday.

Anyway thanks for indulging me in a little trip down Aluminum...err..Memory lane.

As always ride.smile.repeat.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Time Travel Tuesday; 2007 Converting a 1970s Azuki 10 speed to single speed

I have been wanting to post about this for some time but could not find any pictures...until now.  Back in late 2007 I had this idea to find an old 10 speed to convert to a single speed commuter.  I was working in downtown Seattle and from my house in West Seattle it was only about 6 miles.  I was in decent shape at the time and figured I could handle the one uphill I would need to tackle to get home.   So I found this free old Azuki "Prince" 10 speed on Craigslist and my odyssey with old steel began.

My first foray into vintage steel
 Now at this time I still thought the coolest bike I could ever have would be a carbon Specialized Tarmac road bike.  I only had basic bike maintenance tools and only a vague idea that I could turn a 10 speed into a single speed, heck I barely knew a freewheel from a cassette!  I notice in this picture that the Azuki must have been free because it had no saddle as the saddle pictured is an used Selle Italia gel saddle from my Cannondale R800.

According to the late great seer of old bicycles -Sheldon Brown- the Azuki was the "House brand of Louisville Cycle & Hobby, Louisville, Kentucky" According to wikipedia the Azuki line came from Japanese manufacturer Kawamura which was approached by West Coast Cycle Supply Company (WCC) to create two lines of bicycles and they asked the Kawamura workers to come up with names for the lines which resulted in them choosing Nishiki for WCC's primary, nationwide line of bikes (after Saga Nishiki and the gold Nishiki thread often woven into wedding kimonos) — and Azuki for the secondary bicycle line (after the sweetened, red Azuki bean), using the chrysanthemum as the Azuki logo.

Anyway I just wanted a cheap bike I could turn into a single speed and the Azuki is what I stumbled across. It was, as I now know, a pretty run of the mill low end bike boom 10 speed. It sported:a big ol pie plate rear wheel
Stem mounted shifters with "safety" brake levers
and Shimano Tourney level components throughout like these center pull brakes
You will also note that this bike had no brazed on or decent clamp on cable guides just some stamped steel bands that looked like hose clamps-

The only other bike I have worked on with such rinky dink cable arrangements was the Sears Free Spirit- not a ringing endorsement. I only planned to run a single brake cable so I wasn't too concerned. You'll notice, in the completed bike shots, that when I ran the rear brake cable I used zip ties - classy, didn't occur to me that running a front brake would have been much cleaner.  I may have been concerned that grabbing a handful of front brake could result in an endo.

Looking back its somewhat of a miracle I actually got this bike built into something useable. I got it stripped down and, before I found my love for patina, sanded down the frame and rattle canned a new paint job. First a coat of primer in my makeshift garage paint "booth"
I kept the blue color and added white "safety bands" to the fork and seat stays-I though they might make me easier to see in the dim light.
Even then I knew I wasn't cool enough to go fixed so went to Recycled Cycles and had them dish the rear wheel and add a single speed freewheel. I replaced the original handlebars with a nice set of Nitto B-115 handlebars with an inverse lever for the rear brake. The Nittos probably doubled the worth of the bike. I also swapped out the quill stem for an adapter to use a "modern" 1 1/8" stem as back then I didn't know any better.

This was also my first use of the Shimano PD M324 pedal which gives a classic pedal look with a platform on one side while offering the option of clipless SPD useage on the other side. I still use this pedal type today on my Handsome Devil, they are very handy; 80% of the time I just jump on the bike in regular clothes and normal shoes and go platform, but the other 20% I slip on bike specific gear including Keen commuter sandals and clip in to do serious cyclist stuff (yeah right).

I ended up commuting on this bike for about 8 months and got pretty strong from having to go single speed up a 6% grade on my way home but eventually I decided, or maybe that was my knees talking, that gears weren't such a bad idea. Still it was fun and I even gave some thought to swapping the "fat" 27x1 1/4 tires for some "skinny" 27x1 tires and riding this bike on the annual Seattle to Portland (STP) 200 mile ride (over 2 days). I eventually sobered up but I did give it serious consideration -LOL. I realize that in addition to being my first 10 speed rebuild this was also the first old steel bike I sold on craigslist.

I also see from these shots that I wasn't very patient when it came time to document my final build as you will see that I only did half the bar wrap and only got the rear fender on before I had to take some snaps.

Kind of fun to look back on this and realize how little I knew about working on old 10 speeds back then but you have to start somewhere right? As always ride.smile.repeat.