Tagged: Road Bike

Peugeot PR10 c.1975-79 – Vive La France!

I have no idea where to start with this one. The French giant of Peugeot is somewhat of a mystery to me. I’m looking through website after website trying to track down and translate brochures and literature to find the exact model of this bike. From the small amounts of research I have done, the one thing I can say is it’s not going to be easy. Peugeot seem to have used their own specific sizing for threading and tubes and duplicated very similar transfer patterns between models. I’ve found many a page showing frustration at trying to track down the correct seat post or bottom bracket. Wonderful.

Anywho. Here it is.

The price I paid? 99p. I saw it listed on eBay and expected it to go for much more but on the morning of the auction ending it still had no bids. I took a chance and won it. The seller had described how the fixed cup was, well, fixed but apart from that it was ok. It looked in good condition and I’d spotted the Simplex dropouts so I figured it was worth the money.

Date wise I expected it to be a 1970’s model and after trawling through a few web pages I’ve managed to narrow it down to between ’75 and ’79. That’s all down to the head badge. The original listing stated the seller had removed the badge to sell separately. He did actually offer me the badge when I went to pick up the frame but I turned it down, only to buy it off him a week later after seeing it on a listing. It’s a nice two piece design. Luckily this is one of the things that actually helped out with the research as this is the only raised head badge Peugeot seems to have used.

The frame didn’t come with the handlebars or stem. Those, again, were additional buys off the same gent I got the frame off. It was only after I started researching that I realised the French frames used odd sizes. Off the top of my head, they use a 22mm stem instead of the British 22.2mm. You’d think the .2mm wouldn’t make much of a difference but it does! When I saw the listing for the Atax stem and bars from the same seller (stating they were from the Peugeout) I thought it would be best to buy them! That’s £12.50 into the bike so far.

This is where I started to look into the models a bit more. One of my Instagram followers saw my post and suggested it could be a PX10, the rare and pricey top model. I’m not so sure and think it could be a slightly lower PR10 but with the amount of cross contamination between model lines it’s quite difficult to pinpoint. I think this catalogue HERE shows the differences the best (and why I think it is the PR10). The frame only has chrome dipped forks, rather than the chrome dipped forks AND rear dropouts of the PX10. It has Reynolds tubing but the badge doesn’t seem to quite match the Reynolds badges in the catalogues I have found. The higher spec’d models also seem to have been given the wrap around vertical banding on the tubes, over the horizontal lines.

That being said, if it is the PR10, and I’m 95% sure it is I have found the specific component list I need.

Brakes: Mafac S Centre Pull w/ Mafac Levers
Crankset: Stronglight TS 52/42 – 170mm – Cotterless
Derailleurs & Shifters: Simplex LJA302 / SX810T
Pedals: Lyotard 136 Race w/ Reflectors & Christophe Straps
Saddle: Ideale
Freewheel: Maillard 14/17/19/21/24
Hubs: Normandy High Flange Q/R W/Simplex skewers
Rims: Mavic Module E tubular.

To me, that seems like a rather expensive list. Fortunately I’ve found most of the parts already and it seems like buying direct from France is the best bet! Unfortunately I’m slightly out of cash at the moment so those specific parts will have to wait. In the mean time I did find this bargain. I saw them listed as “Vintage Mavic Monthlery Route Wheels”. Looking closer I saw they were tubular and had a set of Normandy high flange hubs. They seemed perfect for this build so I stuck them on my watch list and expected them to shoot up in price. In fact, they didn’t move in price at all and I got them for £25. I might need to replace the spokes and the rims definitely need a good polish but I couldn’t be more happy with them.

Total build spend so far £37.50

More to come soon hopefully.

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See.Sense. V2 Bike Lights – My view

The dark nights are here and I wanted to upgrade my bike lights. My main light source comes from a Hope Vision LED light. It’s brilliant. Super bright to light up the way but it does drain the 4 AA batteries quite quickly when on full power! I’ve used that along side a set of cheap Cat Eye lights, and last winter I tried out a SMART 2.0 rear light. The SMART light didn’t even last the winter before it started to malfunction (wouldn’t light properly and wouldn’t turn off) and the Cat Eyes that have served me well for years finally started to dim down. They weren’t going to last another winter so I started the search for a new set, something I could invest in.

The word cheap often means you have to buy two, three or four units so I went straight to the most expensive light sets. Those were too expensive so instead I looked around the £80 mark and saw these See Sense lights. They came in three levels: Standard, Intense and Elite. I watched the promotional videos and ordered a set of the standard lights. They sounded great.

Here’s a short video from my perspective.

Powering on and off is simple.
Fitting to the bike is simple. Once you find the right spot (the rear of the case is angled so you can chose which side to direct the light) it really is just a case of wrapping the elastic strap around and securing on the fitting. On my modern roadie I mount the front light on my handlebars due to the head tube being quite big. On my older steel bikes I tend to mount the front on the head tube. The rear light fits nicely to any stem (or seat tube) and I’ve even managed to fit it to a pannier rack.
Battery life seems good! There is a sequence of lights that flash on powering down that give an indication to the battery life left but I find them quite hard to judge so every few days I pop the lights on charge and I’ve not run out of charge just yet. (I tend to cycle 2 hours a day – I think they could easily last me the working week, although that might be stretched with the dark nights approaching).

Riding with them. I like them. Whether it’s a placebo effect or not… I’m unsure but I do feel like I’m seen more, especially when I’m filtering. I really do like the fast flash response to slowing down / car headlights to give that extra bit of warning to whoever may be following you or in front – that’s a great feature and it works well for going through dark spots (tunnels, bridges etc) too.

Two things I will warn about. The first is these lights are not designed to light your way home on a dark, unlit road. I rode through a patch where several street lights were out and there was virtually zero light thrown on to the road in front to show any nasties. (That’s where my Hope light will come in). The second is the glare. These lights, even the standard ones are bright! I’ve tried to show them to the best of my cameras ability but I still think they are a lot brighter. Get the angle right (if mounted on handlebars) or you will be dazzled by the light flashing away!

Would I recommend them? Yes, definitely. Sure you could buy several sets of cheaper lights but the reactive nature of these lights, the technology in them and the brightness really won me over.

Note: This video isn’t sponsored. I bought these lights with my own, hard earned cash. I just know this video should be useful to a few people.

Note 2: I’m set to take delivery of a set of the new RevoLights around Christmas time so expect a video on those too!

Track info here!
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ryan_Little/Before_Dawn_II/09_Believe_in_Me

France Sport – New Rims

The last update post for this bike was, all in all, positive. I’d done the work and had taken it down to show my Grandpa to get his approval. He’d relived a few memories and confirmed my thought that I’d chose the wrong rim size. As soon as I got home, I searched eBay and found a set of 26 x 1 1/4″ Dunlop Light Alloy rims, haggled a bit and bought them. They were pricey but the condition was great and the front had a hub that matched the original rear hub I was set to build into a wheel.

I took delivery of them not long after I placed the order. Condition wise they looked as good as they did in the pictures but they had even more potential. Being alloy they have been saved from the dreaded rust and a good polish would get them shining again so I started work with my Dremel polishing them up. I soon found the cordless Dremel I had (and the Dremel polishing compound) wouldn’t really cut it so I went out and bought a wired Dremel, some Silverline polishing compound bars and a lot more polishing attachments! Over a weekend, sitting for hours, I managed to polish both rims up to a near mirror shine.

The wheel was ready to be built but I needed to work out the spoke length. This seems to be a hit or miss subject so I took all the necessary measurements and used various online calculators to get a rough size. Each calculator seems to vary slightly, and from my minimal experience, I’d say they seem to overestimate the length. I ordered one or two mm shorter than the average and waited for the delivery.

After building the wheels for the Viscount, this wheel build seemed a lot more natural. I could remember the pattern and quickly laced the wheel. The truing it always a bit harder. I don’t have the professional rigs and jigs but I do have a well made homemade jig which gives me a rough idea to the left / right and up / down movement. It takes time. Now my complete job isn’t perfect, there is slight variation but I don’t think I quite have the skills yet to get a perfect build. The wheel was ready to be fitted.

*Actually, before fitting the wheels I fitted some cloth rim tape and some new Raleigh “Sport” tyres.

The new wheels looked great. I was excited to get out and about and see how much speed I’d picked up with the new gearing and thinner tyres. Unfortunately the new chain was not happy with the original cassette that my Grandpa was using. Under slight load it the chain simply skipped over the teeth and I couldn’t get any drive. The old and new just didn’t want to mate. Fortunately, being the clever guy he was, my Grandpa had sent me the old chain in a box of bits that came with the bike. I’ve cleaned it up, fitted it and it works a treat.

I’ve been out, taken some pictures, shot some video and enjoyed a quick ride. The ride is smooth and fast and the shifting seems to be very precise with the adjustments I’ve made. I’m happy with it. One or two bits to change now (chrome) and I’ll be ready to show it off at L’Eroica Britannia next year.

R.I.P. Grandpa

British Eagle – The Eagle Will Soar Again

*typical evil genius laugh* It lives. IT LIVESSSSSS!!

Doesn’t she look nice! It hasn’t been an easy ride, and it’s probably cost me around £300 for everything but I would stand by this build and say it’s better quality than a brand new £300 bike! From a battered, patched up and seized bike (minus the wheels) to a wet weather / winter ride using quality parts. I’m pleased!

I left the last post explaining how I’d made a mistake with the forks. I’d forgot to check the length of the threaded portion and when I went to install them I quickly discovered the problem. My freshly powder coated Reynolds forks were virtually no use. I contacted Mercian but their response wasn’t too promising. Instead of adding mroe thread with a die they were suggesting a process of removing the old steerer tube, welding/brazing in a new tube of the correct length and then repainting the forks – sounds pricey! I started looking about for dies so I could attempt the cutting myself and found one in China but before I clicked the submit order button I decided to try someone else. The fabrication company that we use at work were my next port of call. I popped down for a chat, explained what I wanted and I was offered a few alternatives. They could use a die to cut more thread in, but there wasn’t a guarantee it would work because they had no way of telling if the tube had been hardened. Alternatively they suggested using a lathe but the layout of the forks made that a logistical nightmare. The last option was to bore out the threads on the upper bearing race. It made sense but I wasn’t quite convinced it would fit well enough.

Luckily eBay came to my rescue and I found a pair of beautiful yellow Columbus forks in exactly the right size – for only £15! Cheap, but there was a reason for that… they had a stem (cut off) seized into the steerer tube. I fancied my chances so bought them. My plan of attack was simple:
– Penetration spray
– Filing flats into the exposed stem to grip with an adjustable spanner
– A little “persuasion” from both side with my trusty hammer
– Fire and ice cycles
The plan may have been simple but reality wasn’t. Days passed as I tried each method daily but the stem wouldn’t move! My last resort was the selection of drill bits at work. A stem made of an aluminium alloy should be fairly easy to drill through so it should be a quick process, right? Well yeh, it was. I initially drilled down the centre with a 17mm drill bit which ultimately created a lot of heat but the stem was still stuck. I followed that through VERY carefully with a 21mm bit. The tube itself has a diameter of 22.2mm so I was really looking out for the side walls, trying not to damage then. Millimeter by millimeter I at the stem away until I thought I was hallucinating. As I looked into the tube I could have sworn part of the old stem had been on the right as I’d started drilling, now, at this point, it was on the right. I tried to drill again and this time the portion ended up at the top. IT WAS FREE! A light tap from the underside and it dropped right out. No damage to the forks at all!

That evening I rushed home and got the rest of the bike put together. I swapped out the crown race on the forks and fitted them first (I need to get a couple of silver spacers to match the headset) and then fitted the NOS replacement 3TTT stem and the original bars. On went the brake levers and I adjusted everything to my riding position before fitting the new brake cables and taping them in place on the bars. I’ve chosen to use some yellow cloth bar tape for a more “vintage” look but I’ve double wrapped the bars for more comfort. The only thing I want to change now is the grubby white brake hoods…

Everything is now tightened down and adjusted. She’s ready for her maiden voyage. I’m looking forward to it (I’ve also treated myself to some Shimano R260 Carbon Shoes 😉 )

Circa 1990 British Eagle
Reynolds CR-MO Frame
Columbus Forks
Shimano 600 (Ultegra) Groupset
Shimano Exage Brake Levers
Campagnolo Khamsin 700C Wheelset
Michelin Krylion Carbon Tyres
3TTT Record 84 Stem & Forma Bars
Tange Headset
Look “Delta” type pedals (unsure of exact model)
SKS Mudguards
Soffatti Leather Saddle

BSA “Tour De France” c.1976 – Battered, bruised and… burnt?

I should not be allowed on eBay. Someone should ban me from it until I’ve cleared the back log of bikes I have. Sometimes the urge to put in a “cheeky” bid to test the water gets the better of me and I end up winning. Oops

Back in 1976, BSA, owned by Raleigh, produced this entry level sports bike. Whether the name represented a “Tour De France” achievement or not, I don’t know, but from what I’ve read people have mixed opinions of the bike. Some seem to fondly remember wanting to own one and others loving the ride however there are those that look down on this “basic” bike and shun it. At the time this bike was first purchased it would have cost the buyer £96.95, which is apparently worth roughly £727.26 in today’s money! That seems a crazy amount! I paid a whole £12.50 for this bike and it came with two spare handlebars!

Ok so it’s not in the best condition and it is missing a couple of small parts but really I don’t think it’s going to take that much work to put right. The paintwork is clearly the worst part of the bike. A strange shade of faded red / orange with a fair helping of stone chips and what looks like a burn on the down tube. The top tube has taken a good knock at some point, leaving a good sized dent, but structurally it looks straight. I’m not really worried about the paint though. Seventies paint can easily be stripped and it won’t be hard to respray in a deep red and fit new decals.

I chose to take a chance on this bike mainly because the chrome looked to be in good condition. There worst component is the front derailleur and I think with a bit of work with the Dremel and polish I can polish it up nicely. If worse comes to worst, I can replace it with the front derailleur I have left over from my fixed gear build. Raleigh really seem to have put their name on this bike with the components, only leaving their branding off the Brooks saddle and the Weinmann / Union hubs. Hopefully I can save the Brooks saddle. It’s definitely seen better days, however with some treatments I’m hoping it with supple up and not tear apart on the first ride.

The plan of attack is going to be something along the lines of:

Strip the bike and sandblast the frame (checking for any defects)

Clean and polish all components, replacing any that aren’t deemed useable.

Respray the frame in a deep red and replace decals.

Find a replacement top tube pump, rear caliper, brake levers and seat post pin.

Possibly replace the rims with 700C

Buy all cables and consumables.

Build and sell.

It’ll be a nice bike when finished I think. It’ll fit nicely into next years L’Eroica Britannia!

British Eagle – Nearly There

I am so happy with the potential outcome for this bike. Considering the state I got it in, giving up on it because everything was seized and almost throwing it away, I think it’s turned into a beautiful bit of kit.

So what’s changed? Well the colour for a start! I decided to ditch the old metalic blue and go for a classy black number. It might not be the right choice of colour for a winter bike but style sometimes comes at a cost… I found some new Reynolds forks in the same style and set about stripping the paint… only… I couldn’t. The original paint was so tough that a good few coats of Nitromors barely even touched the surface. Sanding was an option but being impatient I decided to take a trip to the powdercoaters and get it sand blasted. My aim was to spray the bike. It would be cheap and easy but would it last? No. It had to be powdercoated. Black was still on my mind however something else caught my eye….

MOD Green! The finish, the colour, just wow. I love it.

Digging through my drawers I managed to find some of the original parts for the bike. I still had the old handlebars, bottle cage and brake levers so I was going to need a lot more components to complete the build.

Groupset: Shimano 600 (Ultegra) I set about searching eBay for parts, mainly looking for a modern STi groupset but also keeping my eye out for older sets. I really don’t like downtube friction shifters and I really did have my heart set on a shiney new set however at £70, I couldn’t turn down this set. It looks almost brand new! Nearly all the decals remain and the only imperfection is the shiny scuff on the drive side crank arm. What’s even better is the downtube shifters are indexed for the rear derailleur so there shouldn’t be any more guess work in shifting. Everything fits the frame perfectly.

Handlebars & Stem: I decided to look back over the old photos for this one. I wanted something close to the original in terms of the stem but back then, I really didn’t know much about parts. As soon as I glanced at one photo I recognised a badge. Zooming in, I was certain. The stem I’d snapped off was a 3TTT stem! Doh! I ran a Google image search which brought up some early 90’s catalogues which confirmed my thoughts but also revealed the identity to the weird shaped bars. The stem I needed was a 3TTT “Record” and the bars I have are 3TTT “Forma” bars. I looked through eBay and found a few high priced stems but at £80 a pop I was put off, until fortunately, I found a NOS “Record” stem at just £25.

Pedals: I’ve given the old Look pedals a good clean and they seem to work still despite the paint flaking off. I’m going to give them a go and if they don’t work out I’ll buy some Shimano SPDs.

Seat & Seatpost: What I really want is another Brooks saddle! The reality is I’m spending too much money so for now I’ve settled for the old mountain bike saddle I had on the fixie. The seatpost I went for, one of the cheaper used items on eBay (£15), is also an old mountain bike model. It was in a right state when I got it. The alloy was scratched, dull and embedded with dirt but hours of polishing with the Dremel has brought the shine back. It fits perfectly into the seat tube now with a brand new stainless clamp bolt.

Wheels: Well I already said I had the Mavic wheelset, and I did buy a spare hub to rebuild the rear hub and a new set of Shimano skewers but what I’ve actually ended up fitting is a Campagnolo wheelset. One of the sellers I follow, who is fairly local, and often has nice bike parts listed from house clearances, just happened to list a few 700C wheelsets. I ended up winning the Campagnolo set for just over £20 and also a “back up” Alexrims set for £10. Both wheel sets are in great condition but the Campag are the nicer of the two. They’ve been wrapped in some Michelin Krylion Carbon tyres, which again, were a pretty good buy at £25 for a pair!

Headset: I actually still have the old headset but it seems to be missing some parts. After having a look around I went for a Tange headset. It was reasonably priced (at £15) and looks to be a good quality bit of kit. It was easy to fit but here’s were I’ve run into a problem. Numpty here didn’t bother to check the thread length on the forks when buying them and they’re 10mm or so too short! I was all set to get the bike on the road last weekend but this has really thrown a spanner in the works. I’m currently looking for somewhere to add some more thread (I’ve tried Mercian but they haven’t replied yet…) but if worst comes to worst, I’ve found the correct size die on eBay and I’ll attempt to do it myself. I’m kicking myself at this rookie error.

Everything else is ready to go! I don’t know when I’ll get this finished off but looking at what I’ve achieved – I will see it through. From a £10 scrapper to a beautiful commuter. For what I’ve spent I could have just bought a brand new bike (all be it a cheap one) but where’s the fun in that?!

Keep an eye out for the finished bike. Hopefully it won’t be a long wait.

British Eagle – Can I Save It?

This bike hasn’t exactly been my best buy. My last post regarding this “build” was months ago, probably well over a year ago, and nothing has really happened since. It cost me a grand total of £11 and was one of those buys that occurred because I just thought I’d chance it. Unfortunately that chance paid off and I had to drive all the way to Huddersfield to collect it… around £50 in fuel!

I was hoping I could make it into a nice road bike for the following summer but after picking it up and starting the work I realised it was in pretty bad shape. The Reynolds CR-MO frame had several “repairs” to the paint job, the stem was stuck firm and eventually snapped off (destroying the forks too), the seat post wasn’t completely seized but didn’t come out unscathed and the cranks really took some work to remove. I’m now just left with the frame and a bottom bracket that has brittle plastic cups. Plastic cups that round off whenever a C spanner is used.

So the question is, can I save it?

Well I’ve started to look back over the bike. Sanding back parts of the “repaired” frame reveal some quite nice tubing underneath. There is one area of damage on the top tube, a pretty nasty dent, but I think it should be ok. The fact that it has Reynolds tubing is a bonus, even if it is the less desirable CR-MO tubing. Having said that, I’ve done some research into “CR-MO” and it brought about a possible date. According to this forum post, Reynolds started giving their CR-MO tubing numbers in 1991, so it is suggested (by looking at the sticker) the bike was produced in the late 80’s. Unfortunately I can’t find a catalogue to back this up and the parts I did have are long gone so a more precise date will remain a mystery (although looking at the old gear seems to suggest early 90’s?).

Either way I do want to try and make something out of this frame but first I need to get the bottom bracket off! Right now it seems the only way I’ll be able to do that is with some careful grinding and cutting – the plastic BB cups are beyond help!

Today I took the frame in to work and had a play in my lunch break. There was absolutely no way the BB was coming out simply by undoing the cups so I had to take some heavy handed action – the kind of action that could have trashed the frame. First I grabbed a big screwdriver and a hammer and began to chisel off the tops of the plastic cups. They didn’t put up much of a fight and underneath it revealed another layer – a dust cap. I popped that off and underneath that I pulled out a bearing retainer and evaluated the situation. What I was left with was what looked like a tightly packed shell. A layer of plastic was on the outside, bound to the threads of the shell while internally sat a metal shell holding the bearings and axle.

I took a chance and began to hit one side of the axle in an attempt to knock it through. It moved popped out the other side after a couple of hits and soon after I had the internal cartridge out. That just left the remains of the plastic cups stuck to the shell. My gut instinct was to grab a hacksaw blade and carefully cut through each cup in two places so I could gently prise the shell out. This was the point I could have really damaged the threads. If I cut too deep I’d go straight through them and if I used too much force levering the sections out I’d probably squash the threads. Regardless of the risk, the method worked and the frame was finally free of a bottom bracket.

The old bottom bracket cups had the Axis stamp on them as well as the country of origin, Italy. It would have been a bit strange to have Italian threading on an English bike but luckily the threads turned out to be 1.37″ x 24 TPI – the standard English / ISO thread. That only left the question of – have I damaged the threads?

Of course I haven’t 🙂 At home I had the old external bearing BB from my Holdsworth lying around so I used that as a trial. The drive side went in without any sort of trouble but the non drive side decided not to thread. Instead I grabbed a spare steel cup and trialed that. Fortunately that went straight in so I’m happy to say, the frame can be saved!

Hiding in the back of the garage I also have this 700C Mavic wheelset that I was given last year. The rear rim has a bit of damage and the rear hub is missing the bearings but I think I should be able to use them on this build. I’ll scout around on eBay for some components and see what turns up. I’m thinking a nicely resprayed frame, some carbon forks, alloy bars and seat post, along with a modern STi brake/gear combo. Finished off with some mudguards and I should have a winter commuter.

Happy days.

Raleigh “Predator” – Fixed Gear Facelift

I was getting all ready to write out a nice post about my plans to change the design of my fixie. It’s coming close to the 1000 mile mark so I thought it’s only right to spruce the old girl up a bit. In the first few hundred miles the bike got beat up quite a bit, trying to fine tune the chain tension etc. A respray is long overdue but I also wanted to change the style of all the components.

I wanted to flip things around. The light frame would go dark and the dark components would go light. Essentially I was going for a black and chrome look. It would look a little more “period” than it does currently. This, of course, meant buying a Brooks saddle and a chrome seat post to start with. I opted for a B17 model in black. I got it for a good price and it’s in pretty good condition. I rode with it on Friday and I can safely say it’s just as comfy and supportive as all the other Brooks saddles I’ve ridden.

The next buys were a new set of bars and a new stem. I didn’t want flat bars anymore and I didn’t want the tradition drop bar, although I would have gone for the sleek sloping style that are on the France Sport if I could have afforded a pair… Instead I went for a set of “North” bars (or at least that’s what I’ve seen them called). I think they’re meant to be used as riser bars for town bikes but instead I’m mounting them upside down so there is a very slight drop. They’ll be wrapped in a black cloth tape and fitted with a matching period brake lever. Stem wise, I wanted to go back to chrome or polished alloy. I still have the original SR stem from the bike but it only has a 60mm reach and I feel comfortable with a bit more. My searches on eBay threw up lot of choices, too many choices, but I found myself leaning towards the alloy stems with a “sleek” design. On my watch list was a renovated “Biba” stem which was beautifully polished, however as £40 it was quite pricey. I kept looking and to my surprise another “Biba” stem popped up under the title “Unusual British Made Stem”. The seller had noted the two cyclists in the logo but hadn’t seen they also spelt “biba”. It was only £10 so I bought it without waiting. It’s needs a slight polish but it’s exactly what I was looking for.

As for the next steps I’m hoping to get my hands on a “Rudge” crank set because I love the hand design and possibly some new pedals. The frame will be stripped and repainted a gloss black and the bike will be good for another 1000 miles.

Well… actually that’s all just a “wish” at the moment. I had a slight accident on Friday riding to work. While trying to flip my non drive side pedal, without hitting any form of pot hole, my chain jumped off the sprocket, wrapped itself around the hub, locking and pulling the rear wheel out of alignment in the drop outs. This was at around 20mph, possibly more and was quite a violent motion. I skidded to a stop, realigned the wheel and tensioned the chain and rode on. Something didn’t feel right though. When I got to work I checked the bike over and noticed something that concerned me. Looking at the bike from the rear, aligning my sight down the seat tube and head tube, shows the rear wheel has a lean to the non drive side and it also seems the rear triangle is now bent slightly too.

The chain has slipped off and locked up before but never this violently. I asked my work mates to have a look too and they said the same thing. The rear triangle looks bent… I’m going to try and find a frame alignment tool and check it out so fingers crossed. It would be great if I could just bend it back but the more I bend the steel, the more it stresses and eventually the more likely it is to fail…

Raleigh Trent Sports – Panniers, Pedals & Glass

My mind changes a fair bit. I’ve only recently bought the Carradice saddle bag and webbing pouches for panniers but I’ve gone and bought a completely new set. The old set up was more than enough for me but it just looked a bit cluttered. I had a look around eBay and saw a few sets I liked. Missing out on the first couple, I managed to win the auction for the next set; a pair of Altura Arran 36 Panniers. Yes they are modern but they have more than enough storage to carry a change of clothes, coat and food for the winter trips to work. They should be waterproof too… hopefully.

They were so simple to fit and look a lot neater on the bike. I’m happy.

Next up, I decided to change the pedals. The bike came with a set of Union flat / cage pedals but according to the original brochure the bike should have a set of nice quill pedals. My excuse to buy a new, rather expensive, pair was that these Union pedals had a bit of play in them and seemingly no way to strip them down and repack the bearings. I could feel the movement in the pedal axle as I rode and began to picture a pedal breaking off at some point. The decision was made and eBay had the goods. There were lots of different quill pedals from cheap, rusted worn pedals to the super expensive NOS pedals. I opted for the middle ground and bought a beautifully shiny used set. Stamped “Made in England” and “SA”, I want to presume they’re Sturmey Archer pedals. I could be wrong, who knows, all I know is they’re gorgeous and make me want to strip the whole bike down and do a complete restore to get the paint to match!

Last but not least, the speedo is finished. The glass I ordered arrived and has been fitted. It was a little smaller in diameter than I wanted but it was still a fairly good fit in the rubber seal. I’ve applied a thin layer of black sealant to the edges so *touch wood* it shouldn’t fill up with water in the rain.

I just need to find a set of 50’s lamps now and get the dyno hub working!

Raleigh Scorpio – From Rust to Riches

Riches may be a tad too far in descriptive terms but for a bike that was seized and covered in rust it hasn’t turned out too bad at all. If you consider all I’ve really done is a strip and clean the outcome is brilliant. OK so it’s not going to win any awards but it’s another bike saved from the scrap and for someone (I hope) it’s going to open up a new world of exploration.

The final job I had to do was to sort out the rear wheel. That was the only thing stopping me from aligning the gears and the rear brake and getting the bike on the road. Unfortunately the original wheel had a bent / broken hub so I went on the look out for a replacement. I found a rear wheel in excellent condition on eBay, made an offer for it and it got accepted. It arrived, I swapped out the axle for the Raleigh gear but unfortunately it wasn’t the right fitment. Despite a bit more spacing the chain sat far too close to the chain stays for my liking and the dish of the wheel was completely wrong. I had to find an alternative.

Fortunately for me, I’d been watching a complete 27″ wheel set and with it ending at around 9.30am on a work day I managed to win it for the starting price. A low starting price. I was expecting to pick them up from the Post Office on Thursday after the failed delivery attempt but to my surprise the Parcel Force guy recognised my name and turned up at my work in the afternoon to deliver them. (He’s not a stalker, just recognised my name from delivering to my workplace regularly) While this set wasn’t as completely rust free as the last replacement, I’m happy to say it did fit!

At the weekend I stripped down and cleaned the axle, giving it a fresh coat of grease before fitting it to the bike. The dish was perfect and the chain line was spot on. I swapped over the tyres, aligned the brakes and gears and gave everything a final check. It was finally ready for the road!

The test ride didn’t start off too well. You may notice one shiny new component missing from the finished picture…? If you didn’t, it’s the pump. The nice new chrome steel Raleigh branded pump I’d bought seems to have had a terrible fitment. Less than a mile into the ride the pump had fallen off three times, bouncing across the road. On the third time it fell into / under the rear wheel of the bike and got bent so a little further down the road I threw it straight in the bin. Things picked up after that and I tried to put the bike through it’s paces. I racked up 20 trouble free miles and called the bike complete.

If you’re interested in buying the bike after seeing the progress, it’s available on eBay [HERE]

Overall I think the build went well. It was a bit of an experiment to see how well the Oxalic Acid treatment would work and on reflection, I am impressed. It wouldn’t have been worth completely stripping the bike down to have parts send off and replated and sprayed and although it still does look rough up close, I have to say I really like it. For anyone who does buy the bike; you always have the option of upgrading to 10 speed should you feel the need. The frame has all the guides built into it…

Well that’s it. I hope you like the finished bike and I hope you’ve enjoyed following this build. Onto the next one!