Tagged: Crank

Viscount “President International” – Colour Change

Everyone loves yellow right?! I know I do.

The last post was really just an introduction to the Viscount. I wasn’t really in bad shape; the stickers and frame had scuffs and there were spots of rust on the frame but the main issue were the rims. The old rims had been painted to hide the rust and pitting ,a cheap and nasty fix, so I decided to strip the wheels down and buy new rims. I’m yet to build the wheels up so here’s what’s new.

I decided to bite the bullet and get the whole frameset powder coated the gorgeous Signal Yellow. It’s a risky choice, in terms of profit, but when it comes to quality vs a rattle can spray job it’s a million times better. The components were all dropped off on Monday morning and I picked them up on Wednesday, along with another build…

The finish is beautiful. Smooth and solid all over. In fact, the only imperfection is my attempt at knocking out the dent on the rear mudguard.

I’ve cracked on with reassembling the frame this weekend and it’s looking good. The bottom bracket and crankset went on first. I don’t think there’s a spot of rust on them now and after cleaning out the remnants of the sand blasting the bearings are spinning smoothly. The cranks are stamped Nicklin, which brings me to something I found interesting. Nicklin, are the company that bought Williams, which would make sense seeing as this chain ring closely resembles a Williams model. This makes me think Viscount chose some good quality parts for their bikes.

The headset is another good quality item, made by TDC and after clearing out all the old dirt and grease I found it was almost perfect. New bearings and new grease and the bike was ready for it’s bars. After looking over the original bars I decided to swap them out for a spare set I had which had better chrome. I borrowed a set of brake levers from my spares pile too as the original ones were mismatched and with the finish so far, everything needs to be top quality.

I stripped the calipers down and polished up each part before assembling and fitting the mudguards. My Dremel really came in useful here, so much so, I’ve ordered more polishing compounds to use it on my other projects. It seemed a shame to put the old rusted bolts back on the bike so I’ve used some brand new stainless bolts – I hope whoever buys the finished item appreciates these little details!

Refitting the seat post and seat is about as much as I can do at the moment. I’m waiting on a few more parts to arrive before fitting all the cables and building the wheels. How’s it looking so far?

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Raleigh Pioneer Spirit – Mistaken Identity?

Believe me, there’s lot more bikes sitting in my garage. This one in particular, I bought at the beginning of the year. I originally missed out on the bike but got a second chance offer through a week or so later, saying I could have it for just over half of what I’d bid. Naturally I couldn’t turn that down. It looked a pretty solid bike that would need minimal work but this weekend I’ve been doing a bit of research and it’s confusing me. Parts are mismatched, from different eras and I can’t find any information about this chrome Raleigh Pioneer Spirit…

At first guess I figured it might be a 90’s bike with the square taper crank and SIS derailleurs but I’ve since found out square taper cranks came into fashion a lot sooner than I’d thought. Still, it could be a 90’s bike so I searched Google for Raleigh brochures and found a site listing a brochure for almost every year from the 70s. The “Pioneer” bikes seem to appear in the 80’s with a white and blue colour scheme, although that depended slightly on the model. Fast forward to 96 and a chrome version is added but it’s called the Pioneer Trail Alivio and it comes with cantilever brakes which would definitely not fit this bike. The random brochures in the 2000s don’t contain this Pioneer Spirit model either so I’m a bit stuck as to where it comes from.

There’s also confusion over what type of bike it’s meant to be because of the mismatched parts. All “Pioneer” bikes that I’ve seen fit into a hybrid category. A bike that had the frames and wheelset of a road bike but the bars and gearing of a mountain bike. Hybrid, town bike, commute… I’ve seen the Pioneer bikes described as these but non specifically have drop bars. The part mystery get’s even more confusing when you realise that there is a 20 year gap between some of the equipment.

Here’s how it stands:

Brakes

The bike has Weinmann brakes all round but they’re not exactly matched. On the rear it has a Type 730 caliper dating to February 1979. I can trace this caliper back to a 70’s catalogue from Weinmann and it also appears in the 1983 catalogue where I can find the dual pull brake levers. The front has a Type 570 caliper but unfortunately there isn’t a date stamp. I suspect it’s from the 80’s judging by the amount of 80’s bikes I’ve seen listed with the 570 components.

Shifter / Derailleur

This is something else that’s going against the grain of the “Pioneer” label and adding yet more confusion with the dates. Every “Pioneer” bike I’ve seen listed has some form of trigger shifter however this bike has a down tube mounted shifter. The frame has the brazing for the shifter location so it’s possible it is standard but it doesn’t fit the Pioneer name for me. The shifter itself is a standard Shimano job and while I can’t find a part number, I can find a date stamp that reads “MH” (or 1988 / August).

As with everything else the derailleurs are something else that doesn’t match. Both are Shimano items but the year of production and style don’t match the down tube shifter. The front derailleur is a Shimano FD-TY15-SS with a date stamp of WA (1998 January). It seems to be a “Tourney” part but apart from that, there’s not much accurate information. Some parts of the internet say it’s a part for double chainrings, some say triple. It’s on a bike with a double so I can only assume it works with that set up.

The rear derailleur is a Shimano RD-TY22 with a date stamp of VC (1997 March). It’s another “Tourney” item and seems to be widely agreed that it’s a 6 speed mechanism (There is a 7 speed variant but it has a “7” after the part number). Whether it is indexed or not I have no idea. What I do know is that bolting up the 6 speed wheel set I have and trying to use the worn out shifter only moves the chain through 4 gears. A bit of adjustment might work but the mismatched parts are making me think it might not have the right gear.

Crankset

The crank set is produced by SR (Sakae Ringo) and although it is missing both bolt covers it seems to be in pretty good condition. The crank arms are 165mm long and have a date stamp of 79 C (March 1979). Again this throws in to question the date of the bike! At the moment the drive side is only a double but there is on option for a third chain ring (currently occupied by a chain guard). I haven’t stripped the bike down yet so I don’t know the condition of the bottom bracket but it seems to spin freely.

Wheels

Well the bike didn’t come with wheels. I bought a 27″ wheel set separately (from the same person) and it has a 6 speed freewheel so I’m going to try and use this set on the bike. They have Rigida rims but I haven’t checked any further than that.

So that leaves me with components ranging from 1979 to 1998. A bike with the name (Pioneer) of a town bike but the looks of a road bike. I really don’t know where I stand.

My final attempt at identifying the bike lies with the serial number stamped onto the seat tube…

NG3002080

I’ve looked into the Raleigh serial numbers and found one site in particular. It lists a “standardised” system from 1973 that included serial numbers stamped on the seat post. There is some margin of error in their chart but it roughly says:

N = Produced in the Nottingham Factory
G = Possible month of production (May in this case)
3 = Year produced, which would indicated 1973.
Remaining digits = Production number

However they do state their research is from the US and the serial number only contains 6 numbers. However another site suggests:

N = Produced in the Nottingham Factory
G = The fortnight the bike was produced. Having 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in a year, the fortnight seems like a good choice. It would put the bike in the 7th fortnight of the year, or the 13th/14th week.
3 = Indicates the year produced but the decade is a guess. It could be 70’s or 80’s.
The remaining numbers are again possibly production numbers.

It’s SO CONFUSING!

Looking at the 1983 catalogue, there is only one bike that comes in chrome, the Prestige GS, but it has completely different components!

Apart from the confusing parts list the bike is in pretty good condition and won’t be too hard to get up and running. The confusing history still bothers me though! Without knowing what era it came from I can’t fit the right parts…

Wheel building and the France Sport

Building my own wheels is not something I really thought about before this France Sport build. Wheels have always been readily available for me to buy and use. This build threw up some problems with that idea though. There are no three speed wheels available, finding a three speed freewheel is rare and the size of rim I need is long gone. It’s forced me to patch together parts from other bikes to make up a wheel set that will work but there’s one thing I need first. Introducing my new wheel building / truing stand:

With the idea of building my own wheels set in my head I had a look around on eBay for some of these stands. The search threw up the usual Park stands along with other brands but they were all well over £100 for a substantial bit of kit. I found this gem hiding in among all the other adverts. It cost me £50 and it’s designed and built by the chap selling them. Every part is laser cut steel and it’s fully adjustable to fit a range of axle sizes and lengths. I think it’s a beautiful bit of kit and it’s coming in handy!

I started by trying out my truing “skills” on a few of the wheel sets I already have. It’s pretty simple to understand and get your head round. A little tighter here, a little looser there… I managed to pull a spare 26″ x 1 3/8″ wheel back to perfectly straight without much effort. The practice did however highlight the rear wheel in my “good” 27″ wheelset was beyond repair. I could true it and make it spin without any side to side wobble but looking from the side I found the rim had multiple flat spots. Nothing much I can do about that but fortunately my 3 speed freewheel fits on the hub so I’ve stripped that wheel down to pinch the hub for the France Sport.

That leaves me with a clean front wheel fitted with a new Continental World tour tyre, a shiny new chain and all the parts (minus the spokes) for a rear wheel build.

The 26″ x 1 3/8″ rims I’m going to be using probably aren’t the original size for the bike. Diameter wise they’re spot on but this size tended to be used on the “town” style bikes. After looking for some advice about sizing on a Facebook group it was suggested the bike probably had a slightly narrower 1 1/4″ rim but the possibility of finding an original replacement for that size is extremely low. The slightly wider rims will do for now!

The next step is to collect all the measurements to work out the ideal spoke length and shorten the OLD spacing slightly so I can build the final piece of the puzzle. Wish me luck.

France Sport – Bringing the 40’s back to life.

I’m super stoked to bring you the progress with this bike. I really hope it makes my Granddad proud.

After the fiasco with the “cheap” powder coating company and another bike I decided to spend a bit more and go elsewhere. I’d been speaking to Paul from Central Wheel Components via email and after answering every question I had and checking out their previous work I took the bike over to them. This was Tuesday morning last week, and after initially being informed I’d have a 2-3 day wait I was really impressed when Wednesday morning I had voicemail saying the bike was done. At lunch I collected it and comparing it to the other company… well, there is no comparison. The quality is spot on, you can tell it’s been thoroughly cleaned and the vital parts protected. The colour is even and glossy; it’s beautiful. It cost £70 for the frame and forks, which is pricey but you pay for quality. I’d recommend them!

Picking up the frame was the kick in the ass I needed. I ordered all the replacement cables etc that evening and spent Thursday and Friday with a box of parts, polish and wire wool cleaning up everything that needed to go back on. The cleaning revealed a few things. For one, the parts are in a lot better condition than I thought and apart from the stem (which has a lot of chrome missing) they didn’t really need any re plating. The cleaning also brought out more information about the components.

The most obvious (and I don’t know how I missed this) was identifying the cranks and chain ring as BSA parts. The big B, S and A built into the chain ring was a big giveaway but I actually saw that second. Underneath all the old dirt I revealed two faint BSA logos and the tooth count (44). BSA stands for “Birmingham Small Arms Company” and as you can guess, they produced guns. They actually produced a lot of items from bikes and motorcycles to guns and buses.

The bottom bracket also cleaned up nicely to reveal Bayliss Wiley (15). There’s not much on Google about this company. They were a British company based in Birmingham founded in 1919 that built, from what I can see, bearings, hubs and bottom brackets.

Today I set about putting the bike together. I started by refitting the Stronglight headset with fresh grease and new bearings. Both this headset and the bottom bracket had two pin holes in them for a tool to tighten them. When I removed them I’d managed to clamp on some mole grips and unwind but I wasn’t sure if the same would work for assembly. It turns out my Granddad had thought ahead and when he’d given me the bike, he’d also sent me a box of spares. It had chains, random fittings and some old tools. One tool in particular had the exact pin layout I needed. Whether it’s something he’s made himself or a genuine tool I don’t know, but it worked!

The bottom bracket was next. I gave it a good clean out first to get rid of any grit but I still had problems with it. First was my own mistake of putting the axle in the wrong way around. It needed the longer side on the left so the pedal could clear the frame, it’s lucky I checked! After that, I’m not sure what happened but when I tried to refit the non drive side, the cup stopped turning half way in. It wouldn’t wind in any further and it wouldn’t undo. I tried cleaning out the pin holes for more grip but it was stuck. The mole grips came to the rescue again and after another clean I managed to get it all fitted properly. The crank arms and pedals went on straight after.

Handlebars and brake levers next. I aligned the levers so the tips sat level with the flat of the bars and then wrapped the bars with some Ritchey “Faux Leather” tape. Brown to match the Brooks saddle. It was fairly expensive tape but it was really nice to wrap with. It feels comfortable and had some stretch to it so I could get a good layer going. I loosened the levers a little to slot the tape underneath just to give a bit of a cleaner finish.

Brake wise; the calipers had a clean and grease, new cables were fitted and new brake pads were adapted. The calipers themselves went straight on, no messing there. The replacement pads were a slightly different design to the original so needed to be adapted slightly. The pads used are 40mm long and can be slipped out of the backing plate. I didn’t want to just swap them out for 35mm blocks so I ordered some replacement Shimano pads. They were more elliptical than oblong so I had to trim a small section from the end to square it up before fitting. Great fit though! In terms of the cables, I’d gone for the best my usual supplier offers, PTFE coated with the pear nipples. I bought some good quality outer cable and alloy end caps too. Cutting the cables to exactly the same size as the old ones, they went on with ease. I haven’t tensioned the cables yet due to not having wheels but they’re almost there. I also need another cable clamp for the top tube. For now I’ve taped the frame where I want the clamps (and to protect the paint) while I look for a pair. They’re super expensive for such a small part though!

What’s left… Saddle and pannier rack! I greased up the seat tube before fitting the seat post but that was still very tight. Not sure why it’s so tight after the thorough cleaning but the grease should stop it seizing again. The Brooks saddle looks amazing! After the saddle came the pannier rack. It’s just a small alloy one but I thought it might be useful to have. Again, I taped up the frame to stop the brackets damaging the paint and clamped it down for an initial alignment.

Gearing! This bike, as I think I’ve said before, has a three speed shifter. An indexed three speed shifter. I’d cleaned the shifter, derailleur and chain tensioner during the week and they came up really well. I absolutely love the copper chain tensioner. It’s beautiful. I still have the old cable on for the derailleur at the moment but don’t worry, there is a new one to go on. As for the wheel side of things I thought I’d got it right with a three speed freewheel. There were only two units on eBay that I could find so I’ve ordered one to try however after researching Bayliss Wiley I’m wondering if the bike used one of the setups I saw in a image of one of their hubs. It did look like it had three sprockets exactly the same size but I’m wondering if that was a technique used… Check it out here.

I think that was about the end of assembly for now. I had hoped one of the 27″ wheel sets I’d picked up would fit but they’re just too big. Fitting the 27″ wheels and looking at where the brake pads were originally aligned to I think it’s safe to say the bike had 26″ wheels originally. One more thing to look for.

So here it is. An almost fully assembled (circa 1940s) France Sport. I realise I still need to fit the head badge too… the rivets are on their way.

Puch Sports 5 – Whole again.

One bike down, seemingly endless more to go.

Today, I finished the Puch. I spent the beginning of the week searching for parts on eBay, looking for brakes and gears before finding one seller with everything I needed in terms of components. I got those ordered and went back to my usual “consumables” supplier for the rest. By sheer luck, everything arrived first thing this morning so yet again, I’ve spent most of the daylight hours in the garage.

The frame I was given had the stem, handlebars and crank set attached which all seemed to spin smoothly, however, the first thing I did was strip the lot down. The grease in both headset and bottom bracket was pretty thick but it was well covered and fairly clean. Still, I pulled everything out cleaning it up and putting my own grease back in. The same happened with the wheels, with the bearings being stripped, ceaned and regreased. A bit of fine tuning here and there and all the bearings were moving freely and smoothly.

The parts I’d ordered… The Union pedals went straight on. They didn’t need cleaning at all; beautiful condition. I’d ordered a Shimano downtube shifter and a Shimano Tourney derailleur. Both were in excellent condition and fitted straight to the bike without issue, almost. The frame doesn’t actually come with any fixed cable guides so I’ve had to cable tie and tape everything to the frame. Nothing major… just a small cosmetic issue. I did almost get caught out with the brakes though. With the huge choice that was offered to me on eBay I ended up picking some Italian Galli calipers and some unbranded shifters. Firstly, I forgot the ferrules so I had to “borrow” a pair off one of my other builds. Secondly, the calipers didn’t exactly fit. The front was fine it had good reach and worked well but the rear, well, it didn’t. It was a few millimeters too short and would have ended up using part of the tyre to brake. It was also too close to the frame and was catching on one triangle leg. Solution? Use some spaces to clear the triangle and extend the mounting hole by a few millimeters so the rim could be used for braking. It worked.

Apart from that little “problem” with the rear caliper everything went together really well. I even took it out for a test ride after and I’m really impressed with how smooth it runs and how easy it is to select gears. Unfortunately I picked up a puncture… One last thing to repair before it goes to it’s new owner (when it’s sold).

Tomorrow… another bike.

If you’re interested in the bike, it’s on eBay here.

Raleigh Winner – Assembled 95%

All it needs now is a bottom bracket cable guide and then it can be 1005 status.

It wasn’t easy though. Although it looked like the bottom bracket threads had been protected while being stripped and powder coated, I had a massive fight with both cups. It took a while to find the sweet spot and not cross thread and strip the frame. That part was an absolute nightmare.

Ignoring that, the headset cleaned up nicely and got treated to some lovely new grease. The rear derailleur was stripped right down, cleaned, greased and reassembled. A shiny new chain and cotter pins were fitted. I broke out the new cables, fitted them and adjusted the brakes. Basically, it’s all greased and back as one bike.

I actually really like the finished look. If I’d been given some money to change the wheels it would have made the bike near perfect in looks. They’re about the only thing to really let it down. Too badly rusted and pitted for a polish to work, I could only replace a spoke, try an alignment and get them fitted with new tyres.

It’s a nice look though, wouldn’t you agree? I just hope the new owner doesn’t leave it out in the rain…

Raleigh Winner – Powder coated.

Here it is, yellow. While this post is an update for the Frankenstein it’s mainly going to be a review of the service I received from “Forge Finishing”.

I initially made contact with “Forge Finishing” via a web submission. Man flu had got me by the throat and stolen my voice. The form was submitted at around 1pm on the 6th Jan. In short, I explained I’d had their company recommended to me and I’d like a rough price for one bicycle frame to be powder coated yellow. The response I got at around 5pm on the 9th said I would need to pop in with the frame to get a quote. I tried on the Saturday but the building was all locked up. It turns out their opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am till 4.30pm. If I was to pop in, it would have to be in my lunch break or at 4pm on the Friday.

I took the frame in for a quote on the 12th during my lunch break. When I explained I’d emailed and been told to come down for a quote I was met with a couple of awkward confused looks. The person responsible for the quotes wasn’t in at that moment but I was told their bottom price is usually £30 plus VAT. I was asked several times if I wanted to just book it in without a real quote but I asked if I could leave the frame with them and have them call me with a genuine price. Being lunch time, they said I might not receive a call today but would be quoted by tomorrow (the 13th).

The rest of the day went by without a phone call as did the 13th so at 4pm, before they closed for the day, I called them. There was a bit of searching around and then I was told it would indeed be £30 plus VAT. I wanted something a bit cheaper but I was willing to give them a try so I told them to go ahead with the job, all the details were taken and that was that.

One thing I hadn’t actually asked for was when I could collect the frame. I went down to “Forge Finishing” on Friday (16th) just before closing to see if the job had been done. It hadn’t. I won’t try and give 100% accurate quotes but I was told they had to concentrate on their “normal” business first and that the person looking after the frame would get it done “some time next week”. Understandable. Main business comes first however I was also told that the frame (and other parts) would have to be done after hours. I really have to question why a business would take on work they can’t actually complete in work hours. Had I been told to start with, I probably wouldn’t have left the frame with them. To me, fitting things after hours means rushing and rushing doesn’t mean quality. The last thing I was told that day was I’d get a phone call when the work was complete.

Guess what? I didn’t receive that phone call. Instead I waited all week and after work today (around 4pm) I went over to “Forge Finishing” to check. There was a bit of shuffling through paperwork but then off they went to collect the frame. I’ve no idea whether it was completed at the start of the week or the end but I really think their communication is lacking.

The frame was given to me all wrapped up in bubble wrap. Before anyone asks, no, I didn’t check it over there and then. I should have. While the quality over the majority of the frame is pretty good, to a level I’m happy with, there are parts I really don’t like. The steerer tube is my main gripe. It looks to me like the frame was hung up by that tube and during the stripping process some paint was missed and coated over. There is a rough finish, almost bubble like and definite ridges to the coating. I’m happy the important bottom bracket threads were protected though! There’s a couple of small things too. Parts of the cable guides haven’t been coated (I’d imagine it’s quite difficult to get into small spaces?) and there is a small scuff on the rear drop out. I’d give the quality a 6.5/10.

For a trial, I don’t think they passed. I’ve been speaking to other companies too who I’ll also try and and review but taking this instance, I wouldn’t want one of my own, or a paying customers bike to go through the process at “Forge Finishing” with those obvious mistakes.

Raleigh Winner – The Frankenstein

I have far too many bikes on the go at the moment…

I’m doing this one as a bit of a favour / Christmas present. It’s a late 70’s / early 80’s Raleigh Winner but I’m calling it the Frankenstein because it’s not all original. When I first saw it I thought it looked “odd” with the BMX style chrome forks and what seemed to be 700C wheels and after a bit of research it turns out I was right. Those parts are “new”. The original bike should have come with 26″ or 27″ wheels with matching skinny painted forks. It was a lower end bike for Raleigh and came in either 5 or 10 speed, retailing at around £120. This bike is only a 5 speed but it does have the cable guides underneath for the front derailleur. Anyway, the job is to strip it, clean it and make sure it’s fully working.

It came apart really easily. Everything was stripped off without issue, apart from the drive side bottom bracket cup. All the parts are in a nice pile on my work bench waiting to get stripped, inspected and reassembled. The frame is going to get powder coated. With it being a Frankenstein I don’t feel the need to keep it original and with the paintwork being covered in scratches and flaking paint in parts I think a colour change is in order. The forks just need a good polish so it’s only the frame that will need powder coating on this one.

Speaking of the forks, they’re the first thing I started to clean. I’ve got no idea where they originate from or how old they are but they only needed a quick wipe down with the super fine wire wool and polish to get the shine back. There are a couple of scratches on the inside legs but there’s no major damage. The front brake got the same treatment too, first being stripped down to it’s components, then being clean individually before being greased and reassembled. There’s no branding on either forks or brake, but I’d like to assume the front brake matches the rear Weinmann brake.

The handlebars were next, before the light left me today. They’re 100% an original part looking at all the pictures from original bikes. The stem is a SR item, the bars are stamped with Raleigh’s own logo and the brakes are Weinmann dual pull. Even the clear grip tape matches the pictures of original bikes, that was quickly removed though. Everything had a good clean and polish before new grip tape was wrapped around.

That’s it for today. Next job is to clean the rest of the components while the frame is powdercoated. A simple black will do. (Correction, Yellow has just been requested)

Fixed (Again)

It seems like every post I make about my fixed gear build is one saying I’ve fixed it again after something went wrong. Hopefully, this will be the last one!

It’s fixed!

On its last outing, after the last fix of bending the chain ring back into shape, I had constant problems with the chain popping off and flexing. I figured it was down to the damage caused before, but also that I’m using the smaller chain ring of the original double set so it’ll never be as strong as the solid outer ring. I wasn’t entirely sure what to do until I started buying a few bikes to do up.

A solution presented itself when looking over the new bikes. They’re all old three speed bikes, with one single speed ring up front and the three gears inside the Sturmey Archer hub. A single speed chain ring up front… with a cotter pin crank… Putting two and two together told me I should take one of these chain rings and put it on the fixie with a new, stronger chain and that’s exactly what I’ve done!

I had chose to take the chain ring off a very rusty Raleigh Wayfarer but my original technique of removing the cotter pins failed drastically and now I had two mushroomed pins holding the cranks to that bike. I found this guy on YouTube who has a channel dedicated to fixing bikes and watching a few of his videos gave me some ideas on how to remove the cranks. Low and behold, on another bike, I left the nut on the cotter pin, used a big punch on top of the nut and with one swing of a hammer the pin was free and I could swap the cranks over!

However, as with every simple job, something went a tad wrong. When I put the new crank on the fixie I found the BB was very stiff and then found the shell was unwinding itself from the frame so I ended up stripping all that down, cleaning everything off and regreasing it. The “new” crank and single speed chainring went on fine then. It’s sightly bigger than the old one but that just means more speed 🙂

As for the chain, I decided to ditch the cheap Clarks chain I bought after only using it for 180 miles. It felt so weak and it’s been nothing but trouble so I went for a Izumi chain this time. I saw it had good reviews on Chain Reaction Cycles and my first impression is it has a more sturdy appearance and feel than the Clarks chain. It looks solid, feels heavy duty and seems well made. I had a slight problem with it being a bit big for one of my chain tools but it went on smoothly and rides well!

When it was all back together I took it for a test ride and I’m happy to say there were no issues whatsoever. I even managed to set a couple of PBs on some local climbs. Hopefully, this will be the bike fixed completely now and it’ll last a good while! It’s always a learning process but now I think I know the best way to go about doing a fixed gear conversion on an old Raleigh! I’ll get it right first time with the other builds 😉

Fixing the Fixie.

I’ve lost track of time with this. I don’t remember how long it’s been sitting in my living room waiting to get fixed but now it’s done. Well, fixed should be used loosely. Everything is back together and working but it wasn’t the most ideal solution. Some may remember but on the last outing for the fixie, the chain slipped off, got caught on the chain ring and bent it (partly down to a bolt being missing from one of the mounting points?!). I had to walk the bike home, it chewed up a load of paint work and I was royally pissed off. The aim was to buy a new Bottom Bracket and crank set but finding a match for the old Raleigh threading is difficult and I never have the money to spare so I decided to “bodge” the fix.

The old chain ring is steel so although it’s bent I thought it should bend back into shape with some careful persuasion. I had to strip the crank off, and with the cotter pin coming out really easily the job was done quicker than I thought. The old chain ring was persuaded back into shape with my trusty hammer and after fitting and giving it a few spins it all seemed straight. A few little tweaks were needed with some mole grips but it seems to be back to normal… I replaced the bolts with some fresh ones, trimmed them down and added lock nuts so I don’t have to worry about them coming loose again. The chain went back on really easily too. I replaced a few links and the job was done. Everything span as it should…

I’ve taken it for a quick test ride and nothing went bang so I think it should be good for a while… I’m looking forward to some more fixie cruising!