Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cresta GT Update part II

After letting the fork sit outside in our temperate weather for a few days I removed the tape from the canti studs and crown race area and mounted the VO headset crown race with my crown race setter.

Got the fork reconnected with the frame without much fuss.

I even got the wireless sensor back on the fork so the bike computer can keep track of my mileage and my very slow MPH.  And the original to the bike canti brakes got installed.

After doing some fiddling with the brakes I took it out for a neighborhood ride, the beer Junction may have been involved, and the fork didn't fall  off so I think I am good.  The rear brakes going to need more adjustment but that's minor.  I used the handkerchief I stowed in my new Carradice bag to project the top tube from the parking sign I had to hitch to when I stopped for beer.

I have a few more things to take care of like re-wrapping the  bars, I may go with Yellow this time rather than reusing the red Deda tape that I saved.  I also saw a deal on Metal fenders, Mud Butlers from Handsome Cycles for about $50 shipped.  The VO ones I had been eyeing are closer to $70 and don't include shipping.  I got a 45 mm size which should handle the Sand Canyons, if not I do have a few other bikes I could try them on.

The parts for the Ibex have come so the plan for the weekend is to get the FW off, clean and repack the hub, then install the new FW and chain.  Since the new FW has the same cog sizes and spacing as the old one I hope that I won't need to mess with the indexed shifting ...we'll see, Hope to end the weekend with it back on CL.

Ride a white legged steed, Smile. Repeat,

Monday, May 27, 2019

Cresta GT Update part I

I was all excited to get the new bagman support on the Cresta for the Carradice Barley bag and decided to take the Cresta on a quick store run.  I had not gotten out of the alley before discovering a drawback to the open frame of the support.  The bag can droop down and rub on the tire.  I tend to have less that a fist full of seat post show for fit reasons and that exacerbates the issue.

There is a art and frame shop in the Junction and it occured to me that a cheap canvas could work as a bag stiffener to keep the bottom of the bag flat.  I was able to get a 9x12 for about 2 bucks and cut it down to size.

It seems to work and provide clearance above the tire, however I haven't tested it out yet as I had access to a garage over the 3 day weekend so.....

..the Cresta went into the work stand so I could once again remove the fork.

While the fork was still mounted I removed the brakes since I want to put the brakes from the original fork on the replacement after painting.

I also took care of the bolts for the stupid hangers that kept Schwinn forks connected to front tires in the mid 80's.  Because of the tight space I used a vice grip.

I also used my crown race puller so it would be easier to paint the fork.

I also pulled the race from the original fork since it goes with the VO headset on the Cresta and it can now go on the Passage fork when its ready for reassembly.

The Cresta GTnow rests, fork-less, in the work stand ready to be reunited.

I headed to True Value for supplies yesterday.  Did some light sanding and tried to deal with any rust on the Passage fork

I taped off the crown race area and the Canti studs and then did some light coats and finally let it sit over night.  I didn't do anything fancy like sanding and then applying additional coats or finishing with a clear coat, but it should look the part from 10 feet away.

Although its tempting to throw it all back together I am going to let the paint cure for a day or two before I remove the masking tape, install the fork crown race and then put it back on the bike.  More to come.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Some progress on the LeTour and a step back on the Ibex

When you have a stable of bikes you must be careful to spread the wealth of riding so as to blunt the petty jealousies, back biting and in fighting that can arise when bikes feel neglected or out of favor.  To that end I rode the handsome devil to the market today.  I didn't remember to take any pictures but I did have a market breakfast sandwich and of course sampled some beer.  After quite a bit of rain yesterday it was a nice sunny ride.

Schwinn LeTour

As I mentioned last week the Dia-Compe rear brake I had sourced for the LeTour didn't work, the arms were to short.

I was fortunate in rooting around in the caliper brake bin at Bike Works yesterday to find a long reach 47-57 rear Shimano brake which I picked up along with a new brake cable since one of mine was too short.

And success! the brake arms are more than long enough and the brake is dual pivot rather than single.  This means the front and rear brakes are mismatched but at this point what I care about is functionality.

So the brakes are done at least from the initial set up and running the cables and housing just need to dial them in and maybe true the front wheel a bit.

While waiting on a rear brake solution I had threaded the rear shift cable only to have the $%(*! cheap cable guide pop off.  This one has a post that goes into the hole in the bb, I think it supposed to be a bit bulbous on the end to keep it from coming out but that wasn't working, perhaps why later model under bb cable guides were bolted to the frame.

The hole in question..

Some good 'ol Elmer's glue which I have had for literally decades to help the cable guide stay put.

I rigged a rubber band clamp to keep the glued cable guide tight to the frame overnight.

I then got the rear derailleur hooked up and ran the new chain I purchased for the bike, a SRAM 830.

I would like to keep this bike indexed shifting as it was when I got it, but at first try it only sort of works, the derailleur isn't truly inline with the freewheel , its a bit outboard of where it needs to be.  As I have some other irons in the fire I am saving fine tuning the limit screws for when I have more time but I am inching closer to being done with the Schwinn.

Bianchi Ibex.

I had a local interested party come ride the Ibex Friday, unfortunately it dropped the chain while they were test riding it, he was very complementary of the bike and price but the trigger shifters weren't his cup of tea, can't blame him, trigger shifters aren't my top choice either.  I suspected the chain drop was the sticky freewheel rearing its ugly head again even though I though it was fixed.  I decided to pull my CL ad and ordered a new FW and chain and will relist after I have installed them and test ridden the bike.  I will raise the price a bit but I'll have more new stuff to list and hopefully won't have to worry about dropped chains!

As I was prepping the Ibex Friday for the test ride I noticed something about the seat tube bottle cage mounts, I am not sure they really thought this through.  Sure with some spacers you can make a bottle cage straddle the FD but why not just move it up the tube about 3 inches so the top bolt braze-on becomes the bottom one? Then the cage bottle is above the FD, like it is for most bikes.  Curious choice.

I mentioned other irons in the fire..... I should have an entire Cresta post coming soon.

Ride.Smile. Rattle-can a fork. Repeat.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Clunker Challenge 2019 Finished

Today I got in a 15 km ride along Alki to put the finishing touches on the clunker challenge for 2019.  I spent about about $80 for a 87 Trek 520 Cirrus and a few parts like pedals and a bottle cage.  I started riding on April 6th and finished on May 25th and rode a total of 105 km so I met the requirements of; spending less than $100, riding 100 kilometers an doing so in less than 100 days starting on April 2nd.

Light house is above my saddle a bit obscured

I had in mind that I wanted to get a shot of the light house on Alki during the ride, forgetting that its kind of short, you can't get very close without trespassing on government property and with the buildings and trees its tough to get a clear view but I did my best.  It was a good ride, although it looked threatening the rains held off, but I did have tail winds, side winds and a head wind on the way back.

My only complaint about the trusty Trek 520 was the stock Vetta Saddle, I ended up wearing bib shorts under regular shorts to make it tolerable for any ride longer than about 3 km.  I think the 520 will go into dry dock for a bit as I have a bunch of projects in motion right now, but I have the following items for it on hand after it gets a tear down and the spa treatment:

  • Barely used Panaracer Pasela's 27 x 1 1/4 that were briefly on the Novara Randonee
  • Deda dark blue bar tape to play off the Trek decals
  • New Nitto Noddle handle bars in 44 cm width
  • New Nitto Technomic stem to get the bars up
  • a set of 4 new dia-compe brake pads
  • MKS sneaker pedals

I still need to figure out cable and housing, I think the Ice Grey Jagwire kit is nice and would work on this bike, and of course the saddle needs to go.  If Velo Orange still had a deal on leather saddles I would get one but that is done, so for now I will probably borrow the Brooks off the Handsome devil when the time comes as I think the 520 has a 27.2 seat post so it would be a straight swap of post and saddle.  In the meantime I keep looking on ebay for deals on Brooks.

Ride. Finish a challenge. Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday Odds and Ends

I put the Bianchi Ibex on CL last week but I thought it would look better with some new grips so since I had no serious bites last weekend I ordered some $10 Celeste grips and cut off the tired old faux leather grips.

I think the new grips give the Ibex a fresher look, we'll see if that translates into a sale,  I raised the price a smidgen to cover the new grips but I think its still priced to sell.

I have been stalled out on the Schwinn Le Tour at rebuilding the hubs.  I started with the front wheel Saturday by removing the stupid "safety" hangers which physically connect the wheel to the fork, comes in real handy when you need to change a tire, smh, they are scrap metal now.  I can actually operate a quick release skewer like most 10 year olds.

I got the bearings out, cleaned them up in the sonic cleaner along with the axle and cones,  the races got cleaned up and with some fresh grease the bearings are back in and ready to go, 3 out of 4 main bearings are now done.

Today it was time for the rear wheel, in addition to cleaning up the bearings and adding new grease I found a number of extremely loose spokes which would explain the wobble in the wheel.

One trick I learned in removing bearings is to use an old bike computer spoke magnet to get them out of the hub and into my Park Tools magnetic bowl, I still have bearings try and get away from me but not as many and using the magnet is not as messy as sticking your fingers in there.

Of course it can't all be smooth sailing, the cheap CST tires were a bear to get off the rear rim, I don't recommend bringing in the screw driver but in this case with these $%&*! tight tires I made an exception. I did finally win.  If I hadn't needed to put this wheel in the truing stand I wouldn't have bothered.

The sonic cleaner did its magic with the bearings cones and spoke protector.

And now all four main bearings have clean bearings and fresh grease.

The wheel is far from perfect but its closer to true and all the losey goosey spokes are tightened up.

I got the stock FW off the bike I gave it a WD-40 bath but it still refused to spin, as it turns out I had a new Shimano 6 speed 14-28 FW in the parts bin and that had been there for years,  so I put it on the bike and I will play with the stuck one later and see if I can free it up.  I might even try an take it apart as I have nothing to lose.

Rear wheel back on with the fresh new Shimano FW, which I hope will make setting up the indexed shifting easier since it matches the spread on the old FW.

Seems to be one step forward and two back with this bike, the bearing are done, unfortunately the rear brake needs sorting.  The Le Tour had no rear brake when I got it, I found one at Bike Works but the arms where the pads go are short,  T-rex arms, and they don't extend far enough for the pad to meet the rims flush.  Sigh.  The good news is I can go back to Bike works and root around in the parts bin.  I will measure first before I do.  I would have assumed the caliper brake arm length was pretty standard in this era but this what I get for assuming.  

So closer on the Schwinn but it still needs the rear brake shorted, the cables run and we'll see if setting up the index shifting is a chore or not.  If it is, I can learn some new skills and I did find a helpful Park Tool video that should come in handy.

I got in a ride this morning to push my clunker challenge mileage on the Trek 520 to 90 km.  Hope to finish off the distance  and complete the challenge next weekend.

The goodies have accumulated for the Trek and await the end of the clunker challenge for installation.

I think the bar wrap will play off the Trek logo and the wider bars, taller stem and sneaker pedals will improve the comfort.  I still need to sort a saddle, as the Vetta must go, but I have a few Brooks I can borrow from other bikes in the short term.  I think the Seat post size on the Trek and the Handsome Devil are a match so that would make swapping fairly easy.

As I mentioned previously I wasn't sold on the look of the Carradice bag with rear rack on the Cresta GT,  and since I was able to find a modestly priced, used bagman support I ordered one.

Today I got the rack off the bike and the bagman support, basically a metal loop, installed on the saddle.

Since the front of the bag has to attach to the support and not just loop around the seat post the supplied strap was too short for the new support, however I like to keep toe straps around even though I usually discard the toe clips, so I had a spare and it was plenty long for the job of securing the bag to the support loop.

I like how it looks with the support loop much better than with the rack so I am glad I bit the bullet and bought the bagman, I might need a bigger bag now like a Nelson long flap lol.  The barley bag has a 9 liter capacity and the Nelson has 15 and can extend to 18 liters, but I am not going to upgrade unless I actually start doing credit card tours and decide I just have to start bike packing/camping.

All the work on the Schwinn meant missing the farmers market but I decided to ride up to the Junction and get a late lunch.  I have felt like I have been neglecting the Moto GT lately so it got the nod for the lunch ride.

Since I was nearby I had to stop in at the Beer junction for a couple tasters including this Third wheel Coffee Porter from Dwinell Country Ales in Goldendale, Wa.

Three day weekend coming up so I hope to keep riding and wrenching.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.