Saturday, June 29, 2019

Allez refurb: Tear Down

In a continuing to reduce the large inventory of bikes I am trying to make hay while the sun shines and I made a start on refurbing the Specialized Allez Sport with a tear down.  In addition to selling the Ibex, I just sold the Schwinn LeTour and the Novara is on CL so its starting to get a bit more roomy around here.

For fun I decided to start with only 3 tools just to see how far I could get.

According to Alexa it only took me 7 minutes to run out of things to do with my Y wrench, I could loosen the derailleurs but without a chain tool I couldn't remove them.

It didn't take too long to get down to a box of parts ......

....and a frame.  The tear down is always the fastest part now comes the real work.

One thing I wasn't sure about was the bottom bracket.  This one is sealed and so not really rebuild-able without a vice and a really big socket.  If I was keeping the bike I would probably keep the stock bb as it still turns nice and smooth, however since I am going to sell it I have ordered a new Shimano UN55 in the correct size.  The stock one will go into the parts bin.

Ride. Rebfurb. Smile. Repeat.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Randonee: On the Block

Due to a number of factors I have decided to list the Randonee on CL.   First of all its summer and therefore the prime time to sell bikes, I have sold the Ibex and I have had some interest in the Letour but I have a ridiculous number of bikes and the Novara is the closest to being ready for sale.  My other bikes are either keepers or projects that need the full treatment.  Also while I like the Novara it is overlapped by multiple other bikes (520, HD, Cresta, 420, Moto_GT) in the stable.

I decided to be a bit smarter than I have been in the past and I removed the nice VO leather saddle and replaced it with the Vetta that was on the Cresta GT,

I also removed the Sneaker pedals and swapped them over to the Handsome devil and took the platforms from the HD, originally on the Trek 420, and put them on the Randonee.

For now I am leaving the updated cockpit in place and pricing the bike high enough so I recoup those costs, but if the bike languishes on CL for multiple weeks then I can always swap to the stock cockpit and lower the price.

Another reason to get a bike on CL is that I have been hearing allot of grumbling on Bike Forums about how soft the Vintage bike market has become.  I have never been in this for making $$ but I like to at least break even.  A soft market might be good for me in that I could pick up bikes I am interested in for less but I do have a glut currently I would like move and not take a total bath on.  Time will tell.

Ride. Reduce. Resell. Repeat

Friday, June 21, 2019

Randonee: shifting gears

The ebay Suntour Downtube shifters arrived Thursday as anticipated.  I toyed with the idea of ordering replacement hoods for the ends but the Rustines version Velo Orange sells would cost me more than the shifters did so they will go bare for now.

I got them mounted on the bike with no issues other than I started out with them upside down lol,  I was lucky the Symmetrics had been mounted on a clamp band because there was a stop on the backside of the downtube that also works for the banded DT shifters, some bikes mounted Symmetrics via a braze on bolt hole in the center of the downtube which would have been more problematic.

One nice feature of my Park PCS-9 work stand is that you can loosen the knob on the back of the clamp arm and that allows you to..

Rotate the bike to the desired angle.

That allowed the RD to be at close to chest height when I ran the RD cable which is a bit funky on the Suntour Cyclone as it runs through the center of the derailleur body, rather than underneath.  With the bike rotated I didn't have to crouch to try and run the cable.

I got the shifting to work fine in the stand, now I just need to shake this stupid cold so I can take it for a road ride and then return it to work.

Ride. Power Shifters Rock, smile. repeat

Thursday, June 20, 2019

1993 Specialized Rock Hopper Comp

I am still not sure what I was thinking.  I followed this bike for a couple weeks on CL and maybe it was the color/decals combo or my yearning to make a late 80s/early 90s MTB work for me but when it was approaching 3 weeks on CL I made an offer and after some back and forth agreed on $65.

To their credit the seller, who was selling the bike on behalf of a boss who had left it behind, noted in the ad that not all the gears worked.  He did make it sound, however, like most gears worked and only a few didn't, the reality is a few work and most don't lol.  The front shifter is fine but in the rear I can only move back and forth between the 4,5 and 6 cogs so its effectively a 3x3.  That should make test ridding it interesting, I haven't yet because I picked it Monday evening and woke up Tuesday with a cold I have been fighting for the rest of the week.  I did do an extensive WD40 flush of the rear shifter but it has made zero difference.

Another gotcha was that the drive side crank had no bolt!  I had noticed something odd in the CL photos but forgot to look when I arrived as I was thinking about stuck stems and seat posts which were fine.

Fortunately not only did I have a spare crank bolt in the parts bin but its just about a perfect match, that issue is resolved.

In addition to the paint and decals being in good shape for their age the bike has full Shimano Deore LX components, not as high zoot as XT but nice stuff.

The wheels are stock, and matching, Specialized rims laced to Deore LX hubs, and the tires while not what I would pick are not dry rotted and are a robust 26x1.95 size and will certainly do for test riding the bike.

If I decide this bike is a keeper then I think I got a decent deal, if I decide to pass it on I may have to spend at least $25 on a basic pair of Shimano 3x7 shifter brake levers to get the shifting working again.  I have a few ideas about what to do if I keep it. but it needs to be ridden to see how the fit and feel are.  I am toying with the idea of riding it as clunker challenge bike # 2 in all its 3x3 geared glory.  It might fun, challenging and certainly would give me a feel for whether I like the bike.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Monday, June 17, 2019

What is wrong with me?

I literally just sold the Ibex and like a nervous twitch I have already filled its slot in my over crowded apartment.  Sigh.  Early 90s Specialized Rock Hopper,  Deore LX components, paint and decals in good shape for the age of the bike, matching Specialized wheels seem original, not horrible Performance bike tires.  It was on CL for $85 I talked him down to $65 as it had been sitting about 3 weeks.

Not sure what I was thinking.  More to come after I have actually ridden it and taken a closer look.

Ride.Smile. Ban me from CL and FB market place. Repeat.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

I should 've stood in Bed

With apologies to Bugs Bunny on Saturday maybe I should've stood in bed.  I was going to do so many bike things.....

It started off well enough wrapping the bars on the Cresta GT one side done, right...

Wrong.  I fell victim to one of the classic blunders which, besides not getting into a land war in Asia, is when wrapping bars check your work early and often and certainly before you tape up at the end! Sigh.  So hearing the voices of my parents in my head, Any job worth doing is worth doing right, I unwrapped the whole thing and started anew, this time remembering to check -visually and by feel that the wrap was even and had no gaps.

Ok bars wrapped, lets go for a ride, after all I just got my brakes adjusted so its all good...right?

I'd only gone a few miles when I noticed an odd sound during braking, so I stopped and saw the above (adult language) not the result I was looking for.  I limped home, left it for a day so I could find my zen.

These vintage Dia Compe canti's have a hex nut one one side so you can loosen it to make the pad adjustments and a hex head on the other side which allows for..

The step I didn't do last week (edit coming to that post) which is to use an allen wrench on one side and a box end wrench on the other to get the brake post very SNUG so it doesn't rotate like it did for me.  I thought I had them all tight last time but I went and did the both end snug trick on all four pads.  I hope this is the end of the Canti saga.

The good news is that I rode the Novara after work twice last week and even tackled the hill I had avoided the week before and conquered it.  The bad news is the front shifter was acting up and needed attention.  They do provide a workstand in the bike lock up which is nice but there is no clamp so its tough to much actual wrenching and I also remembered how many little parts the Symmetric shifters had so the bike got a ride home.

I soon realized that even with a proper stand I needed the shifters off the bike to really work on them.  I did this reluctantly because dealing with mounting the clamp for the shifters before had been a real PIA but I removed the cables and forged ahead.  Even with the diagram and multiple attempts I could not get the front shifter secured to the shifter body without a lot of lateral play,  I finally removed a washer and it kind of worked but I had no faith it would hold up and my patience had run its course with the Symmetric shifters.

Ebay provided a pair of banded Suntour power shifters like the ones on the Moto_GT, I would have liked to get them from Bikeworks but I would have had to wait a week to go and there is no guarantee they would have any, and by then the Ebay ones should arrive.  Hopefully the Novara will be back up and running next weekend.  The Symmetrics are boxed an ready to go to a bike forums member for the cost of shipping.

Ok it wasn't all bad, I got the Ibex sold to a nice lady who also has a Bianchi road bike but wanted something to haul kid trailers and take camping.  I rode the Moto_GT to deposit my haul but held back enough to treat myself to an IPA at C&P to celebrate.

Ride. Don't let the turkeys get you down. Smile. Repeat.

Fathers Day Ride to Breakfast.

This was fathers day about 8 years ago on a bike errand to the hardware store.  This year my request to the girl was that we would ride the 1 km to the local junction and have breakfast at the Easy Street cafe.

I knew the last time she rode was in Bend, Or. last summer on rented mountain bikes with a friend which meant the Mixte I had refurbed for her had been stuck under the porch for at least a year so I picked it up the day before so I could pump up the flat fires and give it a once over.

After a wipe down with armor all wipes, air in tires and a check and lube of the chain, shifting and brakes it was ready for the 2 km round trip to breakfast.  I swear I could faintly hear a merci beaucoup Monsieur coming from the French market Peugeot.

Despite a long wait for a table at breakfast it was a good fathers day morning.  The girl doesn't like me posting pictures of her to social media these days but she did relent and allowed me to post a shot of us to Instagram stories so it will only be there for 24 hours.  She did have to show me how to access the stories part lol.  I'll take it.   I think the Schwinn I just rebuilt would fit her so I might have her take it for a spin to see if she likes the faster road bike feel.

Ride. Breakfast with the Girl on fathers day. BIG smile. repeat.