Sunday, July 10, 2016

Finished and Delivered! (Raleigh Super Course Part X)

So when Thursday arrived I still had the brakes to do.  I had run the cables and housing but hadn't hooked it all up.
Front done
One thing I like to do when working on Center-Pull brakes is to clamp down the brake arms so the pads are touching the rim - taking the slack out of the system and then pulling the cable through and adusting the bolt on the straddle wire hanger.  Unfortunately the quick clamp I inherited from my dad has about a foot and half of over hang so it doesn't stay clamped very well, I need to get something better suited for bike work.  I did get the front snugged up but an extra set of hands would be nice for this job.

Rear done
One thing I enjoy about using colored cable housing is that even the cable tips can add a splash of color.
golden tipped cable

So Thursday night finished with the bike complete in the stand and just in need of a test ride on Friday.
bike stand work complete
While I was at work on Friday I got to thinking that an Upright Sophisticated Gentlemen's City bike needed a kickstand and I had one rattling around in the parts bin so I took care of that before the test ride.  I like to protect the tubes of the chain stays when I do this.

I keep some old tubes around for this job as they are really good for protecting frames, handlebars etc.

I cut a couple rubber strips to put around the tubes where I am mounting the kickstand, you can cut them long enough to circle the tubes but since I am really only looking to protect the top and bottom I just cut enough to form a "C" on the tube.  I then use a little electrical tape to keep the rubber in place while I mount the kick stand.

When  I first mounted the kickstand I had the mounting bolt dead center between the tubes but that ended interfering with the movement of the crank arm so i had to adjust it slightly.

Close tolerance
And with that it was ready to go on it test ride.  When I am testing out I bike I look for the following:

  • Is there play in any of the main bearings; wheel hubs, bottom bracket/cranks, headset/stem
  • Does the saddle slip is it aligned straight?
  • are the handle bars on straight
  • do the brakes work -crisp or mushy?
  • does the shifting work - no over or under shifts
  • An untoward sounds?
I came back with a few things to tweak and then it was ready for some beauty shots.
Non-drive side

Drive side
Just a little ways from where we started with this bike.  I was up early on Saturday to load the bike up and head to Portland.
are we going somewhere?
The bike spent a little time as a gallery piece - I didn't mind.

I'm home!

And then it was off for the shake down cruise and lunch.

The Sophisticated Gentleman on his upright city bike.

Hanging with the Handsome Devil.

And to cap the evening off Joe delivered on his promise of beers and dinner (Bangers for me) at the local English style pub,  hmmm Imperial pints.

I have certainly enjoyed refurbishing old ten speeds in their drop bar form but I might have to do more of these city bike conversions.  We'll see.

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


  1. You are an artist, my brother. The gentleman's bike should maybe come with a tweed suit...many years ago Esquire or Car and Driver ran an article called "the Gentleman's Bike" talking about the proper motorcycle for the city...I have always remembered that article, although I don't remember the bike...I just remember that it was understated, not over-powered or ostentatious, and that it would make perfect sense to ride it while wearing a bespoke suit. I should check with our colleague George Hahn. (I really should repopulate the blog list)...did you catch his post about leaving New York? Well over a hundred comments.

    But I digress, as usual. I have a kickstand on Little Miss. At a certain cadence or perhaps level of torque it hits my foot, also it seems to hit the frame. But it is still on the bike. I really like a kickstand and the Schwinn has a mounting plate for one. I got mine from Wald and I may shop out a different version.

    OK. Fantastic work, as always. Hugh would be proud. Where is that rascal, anyway? I am sorry to neglect my internet family but work is demanding and the hours are gruesome. But we do what we can, wouldn't you say? Do you realize we have been at the Blogging for YEARS now? (At least you have. I envy your output.)


    1. Good to hear from you TPC, I have a kickstand with the same issues but with my foot I can usually reposition it when riding, its a bit of an annoyance but the utility of the kickstand outweighs any minor issues with it shifting a bit. I think Hugh has been consumed with other pursuits but I too hope/wish he would do some more bikes.

      I am somewhat astounded to see I am approaching 100 posts so yeah - years wow!? I totally get the demands of work my friend- no worries you do what you can. Hope you are taking that single speed for the occasional spin.

  2. I searched a bit in the library database for that article Tim mentioned, but could not find it. Will continue search later. Bound to be something on the subject. Meantime, went for another ride yesterday. The bike is running smoothly. All the decisions Ryan made seem to have been the right ones. Exceptional attention to detail. Thanks again, Ryan!

    1. Hey Joe glad you hear you went for another ride glad to hear things are running smoothly and my "design" decisions worked out so well. You are very welcome Joe.

  3. This has been a fascinating series of rebuilds for this bike, and Joe, you got a true one-of-a-kind beauty. Ride on over to your local pub, tip a few and be proud of that ride!! I am a bit jealous of you working on bikes. The slow methodical work that has such rewards. Ever since being home from my Mickelson ride I am concentrating on some long overdue house maintenance issues. I am a hack with those tools in my hand, I would rather work on a bike.
    Does this time poor thing ever get over??
    Let's see, my favorite parts. I really like the colored cable housing. Your work on that Brooks really brought it back to life. The new wheels will really pay off for Joe rolling down the road in the future.
    Very nice Ryan, I echo what Tim said.....artist

    1. As always Jim thanks for your kind words, this was a fun project and once I got started it really seemed to take on a life of its own, and those pieces you mentioned liking were some of my favorites too it addition to the transformation for Road bike to City bike. You may be envious of my wrenching Jim but I am equally envious of your cool rail trail rides. Maybe we can work out a swap?