Thursday, March 30, 2017

Passage refit Part IV upgrades and Frame

Clean up BB
I am working on cleaning up the Passage and as I was working on the bb I discovered that my bb was unique.  Usually the bearings are in cages and are separate from the bb cups, but in the case of the Passage not so much....
cups bearings and cage is all in one
This would be a problem if the bearings were beat up but they look fine so I'm just going with the originals.

I've already gone into the change ring changes so we'll skip them.  When I was riding the Passage at first I didn't like the stock Pedals, and I have wanted to try the MKS sneakers for a while so that upgrade was pretty easy.
Old up top and new below
I also knew the stock bars were too narrow and the stem was too short so that's my next upgrade.

I also wasn't thrilled with the size or action on the brake levers.
Old Levers
New drilled levers with a larger grip area.

I talked about the new rear derailleur but here is a visual of the longer cage on the Shimano LX.

The Passage came with a Nashbar faux leather riveted saddle.
I moved it over to a project bike and replaced it with a WTB Rocket but I wasn't feeling that saddle  and Velo Orange had a closeout on a leather sprung saddle so I went for it.

Since I am down to the frame it was time to deal with some rust spots.  I like to tape them off because my first step is using Naval Jelly which is good on removing the rust but is nasty toxic stuff, I use gloves, glasses long sleeves and work outside with that stuff.

After a dose of the Naval Jelly and a rinse and dry, I use the dremel.

The small brush works well in the fender and rack eyelets, and some of the ones on the Passage had rust.

Once the dremeling is done I move on to the protection of the bare steel.
Yep nail polish, I read about using it for touch up on the Rivendell site a long time ago and this paint is fairly close to the frame color.

touched up
No I am not going to win best in show but I am going for functional here.  I am hoping to make some more headway this weekend.  Until next time, Ride.Smile.Repeat.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Passage refit part III Crank set

I really should have spent today working on the Passage frame - there are some rust spots to deal with  - but I didn't.  Instead I worked on the crank since I had received all the new rings, the Passage was spec'd with 50/46/30 rings which I wanted to change to 46/36/26.

old up top and new on the bottom
I won't have the top-end speed but I don't need that, I need low end and mid-range that the spec did not have in order to haul my fat-a$$ up the hills.  I did make a mistake on the disassembly of the crank-set.  I didn't take careful notes of how it all went together!

I gave all the parts a bath in the sonic cleaner and although I had a general idea of how it should go together I wasn't sure.  I did some web searching but couldn't find the exploded view I wanted.  I have a shot of the crank which I then magnified and was able to confirm some things about the crank assembly.  Thank you digital photos!

spacer positioning
I did have a few things to do before reassembling the crank, cleaning of course and some polish.

In the photo above the non-drive crank arm has been polished and the spider-arm has only been cleaned.  I was hoping for a more dramatic result but this is where having a garage workshop with a bench mounted grinder/polisher would come in handy.   One of the things I love about the older cranks is the model is engraved in the crank arm, its not a sticker or laser etched.  I also had a part to replace, while taking the crank apart a thin washer escaped and has yet to be apprehended.  You will notice in the photo of the layout of crank parts above there are four groups of 5 parts and one of only 4.  Since this washer is a spacer I needed to replace it, fortunately a washer is pretty easy to find at the local hardware, the other parts wouldn't be.

new on the left
 The replacement is a plumbing washer, not as much flange but I was more concerned with the inner diameter and the thickness.  So to start putting the crank back together we begin with the middle ring and fitting the threaded nuts into the side with the bevel around the bolt holes.

Threaded nut is in place ready to be positioned on the underside of the spider arm.

And this is where the washer is comes in where it will be a spacer between the outside of the spider arm and the outer 46t chain-ring.

And now we are ready to put on the outer ring with beveled bolt holes facing to the outside.

Finally we are ready for bolts to connect the 36t middle and 46t outer chain-rings together.

My special Park tool CNW-1 comes in handy to hold the threaded nut on the underside of the middle ring steady while I tighten the Allen bolts, comes in handy for disassembly too.

Two down and one to go, the granny ring gets the rest of the hardware.  Spacers between the spider arm and 26t chain-ring first.

Then I could position the the small ring on top of the spacers with the beveled side of the bolt holes facing inward (toward the frame).

 And now its all together with the new rings and the crank is ready for the bike to be reassembled.

These Sugino chain-rings are old school with no fancy ramps or pins but I did notice that the 46t and 36t rings have small tabs on the inner part of the ring, since with a more modern chain-ring there is  a pin  you line it up with the crank arm I lined up the tab with the crank arm as well.

I am about 95% sure I have put it back together correctly and now have a record of how it was supposed to all connect.  I won't know for sure if its right until I get the Passage back together and start riding it, if my chain starts falling off or the front shifting doesn't work then I will be back to square one.

I should have another post soon on the other new stuff that I have for this bike and how it compares to the items that came on the bike.  Until next time; Ride. Smile.Repeat.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Gitane Tour De France - Finis

Frame + Parts

As I said back in July when I purchased this bike for $80 my plan all along was to part it out and see if I might profit from selling the bike that way.

I disassembled the bike right after I got it and paid $15 to have the cranks pulled since the Stonglight cranks require a special tool that I do not have so that brought my total investment in the bike to $95.  After that the bike sat, in pieces until I finally got going this month to start listing its Frame on Craigslist and the parts on eBay.

The first thing to go was the wheel-set.  I had someone inquire about the frame on CL and I mentioned that I also had a wheel-set which I had not listed yet.  While he wasn't interested in the frame he wanted the wheel-set at $20.  When he came and picked the wheels up he liked them so much he threw in some more $$ so I ended up with $24 for the wheel-set.  I should mention that I didn't do much with any of the parts before listing them, no scrubbing, polishing, rebuilding or lubing.  I was upfront in all my listings that the parts needed a good clean and lube but I was interested to see what I could get with a minimum amount of effort.

Mafac Competition

The next thing to go was the Frame but we'll leave that for later.  My first  ebay sale was the Mafac Competition brake set.  It had plenty of views and multiple bids.  I started the auction at $19.99 and it ended up selling for $29.28, so now I am up to $53.28.

Next up on eBay was the Huret Jubilee shifters and cable guides. This set also got a healthy number of views and multiple bids, again I started the auction at $19.99 and it went for $26.00.  That brought my total up to $79.28.

After the shifters was the Stonglight crankset, I had high hopes for this one as it even had the bolt caps which I have heard are hard to find.  I was somewhat disappointed to only get $26.00 as a final bid.  This is a listing that probably could have benefited from my doing some clean and polish and perhaps I should have started the bidding at 29.99.  Now I was up to 105.28 and was officially in the black on this deal, clearing $10.

This is where the story starts to get interesting, the next listing was the Huret Jubilee rear derailleur which I read good things about on the web.  This auction was going great, with about 30 minutes left I had 101 views, 16 watchers, 9 bids and the auction was up to $42 with about 30 minutes left! And then I noticed I had an unanswered question on the auction.   The question was "why are you falsely claiming this item is in good condition when the frame adjustment housing and screw are sheared off?"  What!

b screw

In the photo above you can see what the assembly should look like a screw to adjust the tension of the RD against the frame, known as the B-screw.  You can also see that in the illustration below (Credit Zinn and the art of Road Bike Maintenance)

I scramble to my derailleur to check it out and DAMN! he was right I can see where the housing should be there is a broken spot on the derailleur body - the photo below is a bit blurry sorry- look to the left of the big nut.  How did I miss that!!!

dude wheres my housing?
With the auction closing in on 20 minutes to go I was too late to cancel it but I added a note with the new info to the listing and reached out to the high bidder with the new info and telling them not to pay me.  After the auction was over I cancelled the order listing damaged item as a reason.  What a fiasco, I should have caught this on the day I bought the bike but didn't check carefully enough and I should have noticed it before the listing but I am just glad someone pointed it out so I didn't mistakenly sell this as a "good" derailleur.  I am trying not to think of what could have been, in good condition these derailleurs are in demand...sigh.

So I relisted this derailleur as "parts only" with an opening bid of $9.99 and it sold yesterday for $21.50 which brings my total up to $126.78.

The frame, oh the frame, was listed on Craigslist for $50 and I got one query in the first go around but no real interest.  When I relisted it I had someone from California ping me about it, I ended up selling it and he had a local friend in Seattle come get it.  Included with the frame was the French headset, seat-post, stem and bottom bracket as these are pieces that make building a French frame up tricky, due to unique sizing and threading.  As a person I follow on Facebook said recently "there are lots of old French bicycles  out there but oddly not many old French parts".  All was well until I received a text from the local guy who had paid me for the frame,  it arrived in California and the buyer said it was cracked and he wanted a refund.  What!!! after taking a few moments to process I asked if he would send me a photo of the issue.  I couldn't really tell from the photo if it was a crack, a scratch in the paint or a dent.  The affected area was in the seat tube cluster.

A number of things went through my mind, how did I miss this?, was it a scam? etc, but I quickly settled on sending the full refund.  There were no winners in this deal, I was out the $$ and the frame and parts, the buyer was out shipping and didn't get the frame he was searching for.   In retrospect I could have inspected the frame more carefully to being with, and I could have documented all the parts of the frame before selling it so if there was a claim of cracks I could show that it was in good shape before the sale and the issue would have had to have occurred during shipping, but that is all 20/20 hindsight.

My classroom on parting out bikes
So to sum up, I think my instincts were right on that this bike was a good candidate for parting out, for a $95 investment I could have received about $200 in return had things gone better with the rear derailleur and frame  As it was I still cleared $31.78 on my investment of $95 and some time in disassembling the bike and I learned the lessons to check twice or thrice before buying, and before listing the parts.  Had I found the derailleur and frame issue I could have lowered the initial price and still sold the French seatpost, stem, bb and headset.  Hopefully you can benefit from my experience and missteps.  Even after the fiascos  my ROI (return on investment ) for this deal was 33%, which is better than I would get at the bank ;-).  And I  still have useful things leftover like the; rear rack, bottle cage & clamps, pedals & toe clips, replacement handlebars and front derailleur the seller provided,  which I can sell or use on a build.

As always Ride.Smile.Repeat.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Passage Refit Part II down to the frame

Today my plan is to get down to the frame on the Passage but first things first, its Sunday and that means the Farmers market.  Before I could leave, I needed to search for a tool that I had not used in seemingly months...

Oh yeah baby its Sunny! Even as a native of the great Pacific North West I have found this winter to be dreary, going weeks without a sun sighting.  Not today!

We've missed ya Sun!
Even the Handsome Devil seemed to enjoy soaking up the rays.

I decided in March I would try to break out of my IPA box for the one beer I have every week.  I love IPAs , double IPAs and Imperial IPAs but sometimes change is good.  Went with my German side and had a nice Pilsner by the Commons.

I ducked into the local Italian deli thinking about something sweet but was seduced by the garlic knots.  Have I mentioned how blessed I am to live where I do?

I did find my sweet fix at the market Pie stand,  what is "Irish Apple?" I asked "it has apples, Bushmills, and Irish cheddar" they said.  They had me at Bushmills.

Ok, I got my sun fix and now its time to work on the bike.  You will recall I got some big stuff off last time like; wheels, cockpit, pedals etc. but still had a ways to go.  So I started with the cranks.

I am looking forward to putting the new chain rings on this crank and giving myself a wider and lower gear range.  I really like that this crank has an original Sakae crank bolt cap, unfortunately the bike only had one so I will put a generic one on the non-drive side.

one is the loneliest number..
Last week I didn't really need any special tools but that changed this week, my crank puller got some exercise.

Now its down to the bottom bracket and getting the kickstand off.

The drive side bb cup tends to be a bit of a bear to remove, fortunately I have the correct tool and I picked up a trick that just requires some hardware store parts and makes this job soooo much easier.

It was recommended on a blog I read that if you had a lag bolt, nut and two washers it will allow you to snug the bb cup tool in place - the cup is has a very thin interface where the tool goes and without this hack the tool tends to slip off.  Another thing to remember it that the drive side cup is reverse threaded so you loosen it clockwise.  With the bottom bracket out my suspicions that this bike was just a superficial rebuild, before going on CL where I found it, are confirmed.  There is grease on the bearings but it is neither new nor abundant.

I can also see this on the Canti posts after I removed the brakes

You don't do a complete tear down and leave rusty canti posts...also I noticed something interesting, modern canti bikes have posts with three holes for the spring, the Passage has only one.  That should make fine tuning it interesting.  On to the headset and now I have a nice collection of parts laid out; the headset, shifters and the baggies have the brakes in them, front and back.

Speaking of shifters I have a decision to make.  The bike came with the original spec Huret rachet down tube shifters.  I'm not sure I am crazy about the look, its ok but I'm not gaga.

One year when I had purchased many parts at Rivendell I used my yearly dividend to pay for most of a set of Silver shifters.  Still in the box just waiting. I like them and have heard good reviews.

And finally I went out of my way about a year ago to get some Dia-compe ENE down-tube shifters that I LOVE the look of.
my pair
spiffy marketing shot
So after working through the remaining stuff, even the headset cups, I arrived at the bare frame.

I was fortunate not to encounter any stuck parts so now its down to the real work; cleaning, polishing, and reassembly.  I was hoping to have a Gitane TdF update today but that story has taken some twists and turns.  I think I will have the full story next weekend for you.  Until next time.