In this second post for the Norman I’m beginning the hunt for parts as well as stripping down the frame to get a better idea of the condition. The stripping came first and knowing the trouble the alloy / steel mix can cause I thought I was going to have a fight on my hands. Fortunately the bike gods were looking down on me and the stem came out with ease – a bit of penetration spray and a tap on the stem bolt shifted the wedge and I was able to twist the stem free.
After removing the bottom bracket, I think I can safely say at some point in the past someone has removed one cup (and possibly the axle), lost a few bearings and left the bike exposed. There was practically no grease in and around the axle or the remaining bearings and I even tipped out some dried leaves and the crumbling carcass of a wasp – nice. The bottom bracket cups are made by T.D.C and could really do with being replated and the axle is a Bayliss Wiley #15 item, which needs a good clean.
The headset, thankfully, has been left untouched and in each cup was a good layer of thick, dirty grease. It’s protected the bearing surfaces and left them in brilliant condition. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about the outer surfaces exposed to the elements – these will need to be send to be replated in chrome. I’m not sure of the brand on the headset but nearly every part is stamped with “Made in England”.
Once everything was stripped I soaked the chrome forks in Oxalic Acid to see if they would clean up and rubbed the frame down with some WD40. The original blue on the frame is beautiful. After the dirt was rubbed away a deep blue shone through and colour was seen in some of the transfers. The forks cleaned up about as well as the frame but both will need to be completely re-done. One discovery on the forks was some red detailing around the crown.
The search for 100% original parts for this bike is not going to be easy. I only have the one brochure shot to go by and although some parts are listed, most fall into the break in the page where unfortunately it looks like two or three words are missing.
There’s absolutely no mention of a brand for the chain ring but what I can see is a pattern. To me, the brochure looked to show a single chain ring with a 3 arm spindle, flowing into a chainring with intersecting lines creating a flat topped triangle. It’s very vague and a good few cranksets match. I was scrolling through eBay, following different searches when I found this one particular set. It looked to have the right design, but it also had the red detailing on the cranks, much like the forks. I bought it, just in case. Continuing to look, I’ve found Williams do a similar design but it appears to be a very rare design. I’ve test fitted the crankset I have on the axle and the non drive side looks to line up nicely but the drive side has something obstructing it. I think there’s a slight lip around the cotter pin hole that’s stopping it so I’ll have to investigate that. There’s no branding on this crankset as far as I can tell.
The only mention of the brakes in the brochure is cut off by the page join so all I can read is “Continental P…*missing words*…t alloy. Silver cables”. It’s not much help so I’ve gone with the safe bet by buying a pair of GB Superhood brake levers and GB Sport calipers. I really can’t pinpoint a specific design or brand with the details I have so hopefully this choice will be ok.
Lastly I’ve looked into the gearing and I had some choices with this. The standard gear for the bike seems to be “light alloy front and rear (hubs) with track nuts. Fixed or freewheel”. However there are additional options underneath listing “Continental derailleur gear. Mondial or Simplex, Sturmey Archer 3 or 4 Speed with tr…*missing words*…olite, Airlite, or Duralite special light alloy hubs.”. I already have a fixed gear, well, two if you count the option I have on the France Sport and I already have a nice Sturmey Archer 3 Speed in the Trent Sports so I decided to look for the derailleur option. Having looked through the Veterans Cycle Club Library at the few Simplex brochures and looking around at for sale adverts I decided to go for the set up pictured below. The derailleur is in excellent condition and looks to have already been refurbished. I believe it’s a 5 speed however I’ll have to double check that.
That’s where I am right now. I missed out on a set of Phillips pedals that I believe the bike came with but I’m keeping my eye out for more. I’m also watching a few sets of Airlite hubs which are pretty pricey! I’ve got till next summer to get this bike done though so there’s no rush!
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…
I’m glad to say I’ve made a bit of progress on the Wayfarer. Today I decided to take the bike to work with me so I could have a play in the warmth and light that our workshop offers. As I described i the last post I was a bit stuck with the cotter pins. I’d tried to remove them the wrong way and they’d got a bit stuck.
The non drive side was the less damaged side. I’d tried to remove the cotter pins by taking off the nuts and bashing them out with a hammer. Unfortunately with the pin being seized all it did was bend. If I’d carried on hammering it I would have had two mushroomed pins. All it actually took to remove the pin today was a chunk of steel to act as a flat surface and a big lump hammer. A few hits with those two and the pin was free. I know, I was surprised too!
The drive side was another story. That side was destroyed. When I’d bent that pin before, I decided it would be a good idea to cut the bent section off and use a punch to hammer the pin through. All this actually did was crush the pin more and mash it up so it filled a bit more of the hole. I tried knocking it out again today after the success of the non drive side but it was still stuck fast. My next option was drilling it out. I’ve got plenty of good quality bits at work so I measured up the hole for the pin (turns out around 9.5mm) and began to drill. The pins are soft so it ate straight through the mashed top but as soon as the drill made contact with the axle it stopped. It wasn’t going to go through the hardened steel so I downsized and tried again. I got a bit further with an 8mm but a 6mm was needed to go all the way through. A couple of taps later with the lump hammer and punch and the pin was out. Easy. I don’t know why I had so much drama with it before!
The only casualties seem to have been the pins themselves. Looking at the axle it seems completely unscathed and the only damage I can see on the cranks is the faint mark of where the drill bit caught the side. Touch wood, I’ll be able to re-use them.
The bottom bracket didn’t put up too much of a fight. The non drive side came away just fine but the drive side was a bit more stubborn. That needed my new technique of clamping the spanner down to the frame (check my Instagram shot) so that it wouldn’t slip off the tiny notches. It worked. Both sides have very dirty and rusty threads and the bearings were dry, nothing a good clean, new bearings and grease can’t sort though.
It’s all ready to strip down and re-paint / powder coat now then. One thing I have noticed when taking the photos for this post if the frame is dented. Whether they’ve always been there or I dented the frame last year I don’t know, but I think it’s going to need to be stripped and repaired with some filler by hand, much like I did with my fixie. It’s not the best time of year to start spraying in the garage though!