I’m really getting somewhere with this project now. Having started with just a bare frame I’m happy to say my shopping list is very nearly complete. It’s taken a lot of searching to find the parts I have so far and a lot of luck with the auctions but I think I’m almost there. The last few parts will be an extremely tough find though.
The shopping list:
Pump Clips – Campagnolo
Rims – 27″ x 1 1/4″ Endrick
Tyres – Dunlop White Sprite
Handlebar – 15/16″ Steel Maes, taped and plugged
Stem – 2.5″
Brakes – G.B. Alloy
Mudguards – Britton’s Celluloid, Electric Blue
Gears – 10 Speed Benelux “Mark 7”
Chainwheel – 46/49T Double
Saddle – Brooks B15 Leather
Equipment – Polished Alloy Pump & Twin Coloral Bottles in Handlebar Carriers.
In the last post, all that time ago, I’d managed to find the original crankset, chainwheels and pedals. They’re matched exactly to the photos I’ve found and thankfully, I didn’t pay too much for them! Here’s what I’ve found since.
A Bluemel’s Featherweight pump. I found this in my Grandpa’s garage along with two other pumps. For some reason I thought this bike needed a white pump but after reading that brochure again, I think I’ll swap the pump out for the polished alloy Afa pump I also found.
Ok, the brochure does specify steel but I must have missed that first time around. I found these alloy G.B. Maes bars on eBay for a good price so snapped them up. I’ll work on polishing the alloy up so that it shines like steel – it’ll be fine!
Now there’s no mention of a brand on the advert with regards to the stem, however, after careful studying of the photos I narrowed my choice down to a select few. The photo shows a specific style, with the handlebar clamp bolt angled on the front underside, the stem bolt should be raised and the rear of the stem should overhang. The Titan stem’s jumped out at me and after a few failed attempts to get one I came across this recently rechromed item and made sure I won it. It’s a beauty!
Finding a Brooks saddle isn’t hard – eBay is littered with them. Finding a specific Brooks saddle in good condition becomes a little more challenging. I don’t think I paid much for this example, less than £30 and for that price I’m very happy. It is used and it does have some tiny scuffs but it’s in excellent condition and will look great on the finished bike.
The brochure stated G.B. alloy for the brakes and that’s exactly what I’ve found. I did do a bit more research than that though. Looking through picture after picture I tried to identify the specific model. In some pictures I saw the Sprite engraving and so, found a set and bought them. They’re in good condition and will look even better after a thorough polish.
Now these are the parts I love the most and the parts I’ve had most trouble finding. Starting with the “Mark 7” rear derailleur, I looked around and found a few examples but they were either extremely high in price or poor condition. I’ve honestly searched for months until I found this specific derailleur. It only cost me £25 and all it really needs is the red filling in on the logo. After that I kept an eye out for the shifters and the front derailleur. Lots of single sided shifters were popping up but never a double. When this one made an appearance I couldn’t let it slip away so bought it straight away – I think that was another £20. The front derailleur is proving to be a very rare part. I’ve seen one in the UK and I was beaten to it. I’ve seen a few more rod shifters pop up but I need one to work with my downtube shifters. If worst, does come to worst, I do have an option in the States but at over £200, I really want to avoid that…
To get the bike working, I’m only really missing the wheels. I don’t think they’ll be too hard to find but I may need to send them off to be rechromed along with the crankset and pedals – I won’t know until I find a set. As for the hubs, the catalogue doesn’t specify a brand so I think I have free range there. The only other parts (apart from the front derailleur) that I need to source are the mudguards. The brochure states “Britton’s Celluloid” but I haven’t found anything under “Britton’s”. In terms of Celluloid, well there’s lots of them. I’ve seen lots of NOS Celluloid mudflaps pop up in all colours of the rainbow, however finding the right colour is tough. It’s hard to match what I see on eBay / Google to the exact colour I need. I think I’ve found a couple that are a near match – close – so close.
I’ll start contacting companies to see if I can get the transfers replicated next and after that, it’s strip and spray time! I’m excited!
Thank f*ck for that! I’ve been missing riding Cannock every week! On the last outing I had a nightmare with gears, not being able to select anything on the rear apart from 1st and 9th. Re-tensioning the cables did nothing to solve the problem so it was time for new parts. They’re not the most expensive but I don’t always have the free cash to throw on bike repairs so for the last month the MTB has sat in my garage unloved. Until now.
I think the main culprit for the issues was a bent derailleur hanger. I’d had a bit of a smash last year and bent it out of shape but bodged it straight again. This probably weakened it and after a few more rides it decided to bend out of shape again. eBay is full of replacements so I had a browse and went for the little black number made by “raceti”. It was one of the more expensive replacements but it looked one of the best quality. It arrived quickly and honestly, it’s a better fit than the standard piece! It’s spot on and comparing the old and new I can really see how misshapen the old hanger was.
I also went ahead and bought a new gear cable set. The cables on the bike had seen near enough 1000 miles and we’re due a change but instead of going with the same kit made by Goodridge I decided to go for a Shimano XTR Cable Set. I’m a little disappointed to be honest. The Goodridge kit came with two different sized cables and different “connections” and caps that all perfectly interlinked to keep the cables completely enclosed. However, in the Shimano kit you get a nice set of end caps that interlink and one end can accept the outer casing but the other can’t so you’re left with one nicely sealed end and the other just flapping around doing nothing. Unless I’m completely missing a trick here, it’s an absolutely pointless system. I had to re-use parts of the Goodridge system to protect the cable.
Ignoring that inconvenience I also had a small problem with the rear shifter having the cable stuck inside which meant I had to strip the shifter down to free it up. The cables usually feed right through the shifter but this one had looped round and bent so it couldn’t just slid out. After that, aligning the gears was my next issue. Surprisingly the rear went on fine but the fronts required three hands and only having two I struggled around for a while, redoing it all several times before I eventually got it how I wanted it.
I’ve been out for a test ride tonight to make sure everything shifts smoothly before I hit Cannock again and I’m happy to say everything is spot on. Perfectly smooth shifting on the rear and good shifting on the front. Upshifting requires a good long push on the lever but it does go in without any issue.
The route I rode actually took me through a few Strava segments I conquered last year along the local Canals. That was until “Sonic” stole them all using his cyclocross bike… Anyway, I was surprised to see I wasn’t too far off my best times and I wasn’t even going balls out to beat the segment. I’m not going to grab the KOMs back on a fat tyred MTB but I can definitely improve on some and get closer!
This wasn’t exactly the plan but needs must.
I bought the Falcon with the intention of getting straight on it and riding around to see how I compare on some Strava road segments. I had to make a few repairs straight away; the wheel bearings were stripped and regreased, the rear cassette/ freewheel changed and the chain replaced. It worked after those few jobs were completed but it’s still not perfect.
One change I’ve made is replacing the tyres. It came with some old, cracked Continental World Tour tyres. They still had a bit of life in them but with loads of tread they caused a lot of friction and I felt they were slowing me down. Don’t get me wrong, grip is good, but I want to go fast and the tyres were scrubbing off the speed. I had a quick look around and there isn’t a lot of choice left for replacing old tyres. I had 27″ x 1 1/4″ tyres (630 – 32) compared to modern sizes of 700c (622). The number in the brackets (the bead seat size) is the important value and unfortunately there isn’t much variety for the 630. I did eventually find a set I liked on Chain Reaction Cycles though, some Continental Ultra Sport tyres, and within a couple of days they arrived at my door and were fitted. I bought a set slightly skinnier than the previous tyres and combined with the limited amount of tread, I’ve managed to increase my speed. The tyres aren’t “slippy” or “unpredictable” though, despite the lack of tread they’re pretty responsive!
It’s all well and good fitting new tyres to help me go faster but I’ve still got a bit of a problem with the gears. The rear cassette / freewheel was wrecked when I bought the bike but I’ve previously changed that for a “good” one as well as replacing the chain. That got the bike ride-able but I was still experiencing a few problems. In the highest gear (largest chain ring / smallest freewheel cog) I was experiencing a sudden skip under load. It wasn’t constant (indicating maybe a stiff link in the chain) so I was a little confused. I’d tried to re-align the rear derailleur and tension the gear cable which made it a little better but the problem was still there (slightly).
I’ve made another attempt at trying to fix the problem by changing out the gear cable. It looked worn and rusted and didn’t seem to hold tension that well so it seemed possible that could be the cause of my problems. Changing a wire is easy, making sure the highest gear is selected on both the shifter and rear derailleur simply unclamp the cable at the derailleur and feed it out thought the shifter. Refitting is just as easy, feeding it back through, but before clamping it up make sure the derailleur is in line by adjusting the “Hi” screw. Normally they are marked on the derailleur but unfortunately mine weren’t so I had to check around the back to see which was the correct screw. The “Hi” screw needs to be adjusted (in most cases) so that the jockey wheels of the rear derailleur line up with the outside edge of the smallest cog of the freewheel / cassette. Once that is adjusted the cable can be pulled tight through the derailleur and clamped into place. Then it’s just a case of lifting the wheel, spinning the pedals and selecting the lowest gear and adjusting the “lo” screw so that the jockey wheels sit in line with the centre of the largest cog of the freewheel / cassette.
I thought I’d got it all spot on but after a quick test ride it was still skipping. I think it may be down to the derailleur being worn and having a bit of play in it and luckily I have a spare off the Raleigh. If I can’t get the gearing spot on with adjustment I’m going to try to fit this “spare” derailleur and get it working spot on. Until then I’m just going to have to live with a slight slip at sporadic moments in top gear.
Tonight I’m hoping to get over to Donington Park for a cycling open night so we’ll see how the bike performs there although that may get rained off. Poor brakes and rain won’t mix very well…
It’s not much but I’m making a bit of progress again.
First up, after helping Kyle out with his gearbox change, buying the pizza and donating a space saver I had lying around, I was kindly given his old gearbox to use. It’s a S80 LSD gearbox out of an Integra Type R so that narrows down the choice of engine I’ll end up using! It also came with the gear linkages and what looks like the dual bend shifter from the Type R too, which is cool. The box and the linkages will need a bit of work first though. Kyle mentioned the box was making some “weird noises at high revs” and it grinds into fifth gear so my aim is to teach myself how a gearbox goes together by stripping down and inspecting this box. Once it’s all together it will make a really good box for a N/A track build, especially with the LSD. I’m really looking forward to the challenge!
I’ve also got a bit of an update for the headlight intake I’m building. The last post I made about it was when I had assembled it and fibreglassed the centre of the duct. That had left a lot of messy fibreglass hanging out of the back but the front was also quite rough. I wasn’t originally planning on doing this but I’ve decided to tidy it all up and make it look pretty as well as function.
The first thing I did was trim off all the excess fibreglass and grind down the joins so they were all flush. That was a nice simple job with the Dremel but it couldn’t cope with levelling off the front face. I had to use a couple of skims of filler to get that smooth. Unfortunately, while sanding it down, the fibreglass has got very thin in places. So thin it can be depressed and would probably easily break and leave a hole. I’m going to have to strengthen it with a bit more fibreglass and sand it down flat before laying down a coat of primer.
Even with all this work I’m still undecided if I’m going to sue this intake or sell it though. I think it looks good and will function well but I’m going to create a V2 with a bigger diameter and no backing before choosing my favourite to use.
The fixie project is ready for its colour now but I’ve got no one to do it! Over the weekend I did the final bit of prep’ work sorted and dug out a tin of paint I had left over from an old project but I don’t have the tools to spray it myself anymore.
Once again I sanded down the problem areas; this time using a slightly finer grade of sandpaper and using it wet. It revealed a couple of spots that I wasn’t happy with and a bit more filler was needed. Thankfully it was a bit cooler so the filler didn’t dry out so quick and I got a nice smooth finish. It didn’t need much more sanding after that. A quick rub to level it all off and a wipe down to clean off all the dust and I could put the final primer coats on. Two cans worth went on and that’s how it stands; Ready for the colour.
I’ve gone for a Honda colour; Frost White. Like I said before I had it left over from an old project and it’s only going to get thrown away if I don’t use it. Unfortunately I don’t have any spraying gear anymore with there being no power in my garage so I’m going to have to find someone to spray it. The sooner I can get the colour on, the sooner I can start the rebuild!