Tagged: Halo

MBK Trainer – Fixed Gear Version 2

I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned this before but the 80’s Raleigh frame that I used on the first fixed gear is now “dead”. What happened? Well I’m not quite sure. It’s viewable in one of my Cyclist POV videos, where you can see I’m riding along and all of a sudden the rear wheel locks up and I come to a stop. It’s happened before but never that violently and never just riding along. I realigned the wheel and rode on, but after getting to my destination I realised the wheel no longer looked straight… The rear triangle looked bent. A few second opinions later and I had concluded it must be the end of that frame.

Note: At no point have I actually checked the frame alignment with the available tools.

A few weeks have gone by and now I have version 2 up and running. Version 2 was found on eBay for the small sum of £15. Naturally the colours caught my attention and I had to have it. As luck would have it, nobody else was interested in it and I won the auction for the starting bid. I have to say the seller of this frame has been an absolute pleasure to deal with – possibly the best seller I’ve dealt with. He emailed me as soon as the auction ended and asked if I wanted some further postage quotes and after looking around found one for £4 cheaper than quoted. Unfortunately he hadn’t checked the PayPal transaction and booked the delivery for the wrong address. Nevermind, he got straight onto the courier and had it changed. The courier didn’t even come and collect it and instead it had to be dropped off at the post office and sent from there. I was updated on the whole process and never left out. I wish all sellers were like that!

Anyway, the new build! The frame is a two tone, pink and purple, MBK trainer. I haven’t been able to accurately date it however I’m leaning towards an early 90’s date. Lugless, oval tubing and CRMO – I really like the frame. It has its fair signs of wear and it the colour apparently disgusts come people but I love it. It’s just my size and it’s so light.

Straight away I removed the headset from the old build and fitted that to the MBK frame. The old Halo wheelset went in perfectly, as did my old black stem. This is where things change. Instead of the flat bars I wanted to fit a set of drop bars in black with some all black brakes. I’m only running one brake, yet still decided to fit two levers. Why? Because I like the riding position! Finding the all black bars took a lot of searching on eBay as most 25.4mm clamping bars are for silver in colour for old road bikes! It was worth it though, the black bars and brakes make the pink stand out even more.

When it came to the bottom bracket and crank I had to get something new. The Raleigh uses 26tpi thread and a cottered axle, where as the MBK frame uses a standard 24tpi thread. I have a few spare cartridge bottom brackets that I could have used but something new was more appealing. I decided to head to VeloSolo and take a look at their collection. I opted for the 107mm Stronglight bottom bracket and crank set. It looks amazing and threaded straight into the frame. The Raleigh used a 42 tooth chain ring (I believe) where as the Stronglight uses a 48 tooth. Combined with the 14 tooth sprocket I’ll be getting more top end but hill starts will become a bit tougher. I’ll see how I get on with it and if it’s too tough I’ll swap out the sprocket to a 16 or 18.

The tyre clearances are close but I’m going to swap those out for some Michelin Krylion Carbon when I get some spare cash! (Those tyres are brilliant – I’m using them on the British Eagle in the wet). Apart from that I’m 100% happy with the outcome. The bike feels like a perfect fit and everytime I look at it I find a massive grin creeps across my face. It’s definitely not everyones style. What do you think?


Project 80’s – Now With Matching Wheels

A bit of an unexpected early Christmas present arrived about thirty minutes ago. I say unexpected because when I placed the order I was told the item was out of stock and wouldn’t be back in until the 10th January. This was after having the website (in my opinion) indicate the item was in stock by saying “Usually despatched within 1-3 days”. The order was placed on the 10th December so the 10th January was going to be a 32 day wait! Either my complaint sped things up or they suddenly found some more stock but my order has arrived “early”!

I ordered this Halo AeroRage front wheel to match the Halo rear wheel I have. It fits perfectly and almost finishes the bike. I’ve changed from 27″ to 700C so the brakes needed adjusting slightly. The pads needed to be moved down a fraction and the caliper needed a bit more movement to make contact with the rim but it’s all on and working. I’d just like to replace the caliper with a modern unit and replace the stem with a black item and then I’ll call the bike finished!

So to finish off this post; Thanks Mum for the Christmas Present 🙂 It’s really improved the bike!

Project 80’s – The “final” assembly.

The “final” order for this build turned up today! Everything looked spot on but it’s not exactly going to be the final order… I’ll explain further on in the post.

So the final stages of the assembly have begun. With the new order arriving I could get cracking and get the bikes back on two wheels. I was a bit concerned I’d order the wrong combination of wheel / sprocket and lockring but luckily it’s gone together perfectly. The wheel is beautiful, perfectly black and no brake surface, exactly what I wanted. The hub has one side with a single ring of threads for a single seed freewheel (which I’ll buy at a later date) and the other side has two rings/steps of treads. The set closet to the spokes is for the sprocket to screw onto and the Token 14 tooth sprocket went on without any issues. The smaller step of threads is for a lockring to hold the sprocket in place. It’s a reverse thread so that when you’re cycling it won’t work itself loose, and again, simple to fit. It honestly took me no more than 60 seconds to assemble the gearing on the wheel. I already had the tyre and inner tube ready. I’d mistakenly bought a 700C tyre for the build before I realised it had 27″ rims but thankfully the new 700C wheel allowed me to use the tyre. It’s just a simple black Continental City Ride tyre but without masses of colourful designs it works well with the solid black wheel.

The back end is looking gorgeous. That leads me to explain how it’s not quite the final order. After fitting the rear wheel and having a look at the overall product I decided I didn’t want to use the original front rim. It just doesn’t look right. The bike won’t feel complete to me without a new solid black wheel and tyre so I’m on the look out for a new front wheel now too. Still, that won’t stop me getting it rideable.

The cranks were the next thing on my list to be assembled. They needed a bit of TLC first with the chain ring being coated in old grease and dirt and the cranks suffering with patchy surface rust. I gave the cranks a quick blast over with the Dremel and some sand paper and the chain ring got a good de-grease before being assembled. The new pedals screwed right in and I was able to fit the cranks to the bottom bracket. I do need to re-cut the threads on the crank bolts so for now, they’re just rested on the bike. I’m actually quite happy with how it looks with a silver crank set. It’s saved me spending a pretty penny getting them powder coated.

The bike isn’t quite fully assembled right now though. All that I really need to do is fit the chain but somehow I’ve ordered one that doesn’t fit. It goes over the front chain ring fine but it seems to big for the rear sprocket so it’s going to be back to Chain React Cycles for a replacement. The listing for the sprocket didn’t specifically state the 14T needed a 1/8″ chain and I’ve bought a 3/32″ so no riding until I can get that sorted!