Tagged: White Walls

Viscount “President International” – Finished

She is a beauty!

I’m over the moon with how this build has turned out. My only criticisms are the lack of chrome rims and the lack of decals. The first was a genuine mistake when ordering new rims (and a semi misleading picture) and the second is purely down to nobody produces the exact Viscount decals. I have found some, but when I ask a question and the seller ignores me I don’t find that too promising for a potential sale.

Anyway, the finishing touches. Starting with the wheels I replaced the old rusted spokes and the badly painted rusted rims with a brand new set of alloy rims and stainless spokes. I’ve built the wheels myself and trued them to the best of my ability with my jig. They seem straight and true, and the white wall tyres finish the bike off perfectly. Building the wheels wasn’t actually too hard. I’ve built one wheel before and this time the whole process seemed ten times easier. I feel like I could lace another set from memory any time now.

After using white wall tyres I had to use white cables; clean and crisp. They’re held down with a series of brand new cable clamps which the bike lacked in its original state. The Sturmey Archer hub has taken a bit of tweaking to find that sweet spot for “2nd” gear but I think we’re there now. I took her out for a quick test ride and all seemed well.

I’d love to get £250 back for the bike and maybe make a small profit; we’ll see. A lot of money and time has gone into this build but I’ve tried to focus on quality. It’s lasted 40 years already, I’m sure it will last another 40! (My Carrera Vulcan cost more and barely made 2 years without a complete rebuild!)

What do you make of the finished bike?


Rekord – Update

It’s time to update things with the Rekord. Don’t get excited though, nothing has changed with the looks… it’s still rusty as hell and I still love that look. It’s far too rusty to get back to original. Anyway…

After the introduction post last year I’ve ridden it once or twice to the shops and back. I’m a bit torn riding it. It’s fairly comfy but it’s slow as hell. Riding any sort of incline becomes a complete chore and standing up to pedal doesn’t make it that much easier. It’s definitely a flat land bike. Of course it didn’t help that the Sturmey Archer 3 speed wasn’t working properly but it still rode.

Instead of fixing the gearing, the first thing I sorted was actually the dynamo. I tried checking the original dynamo out with a multimeter but either I couldn’t figure out how to use it properly or the dynamo was dead. Step two was to check the lights by carefully arranging 6V worth of AA batteries in a line, grounding one end and sending power to the lights with the other. Bit awkward to do by yourself but it confirmed the lights worked. Generally 1 + 1 = 2 so I figured the old dynamo was dead. EBay had a massive choice of all different kinds but I managed to find one that looked similar and placed the order. Fast forward to the new dynamo arriving, cleaning the mounts back to bare metal, fitting and adjusting and I have a working dynamo light. (No pictures of this part I’m afraid however there is a video on my Instagram)

I really needed to get the gears sorted. Tonight was the night.

A lot of these old town / shopper / folding bikes ran the Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub. It’s quite a daunting contraption on the surface that I didn’t really want to mess with. I searched YouTube for any videos relating to the workings of the hub and luckily a guy I subscribe to has two really useful videos.

Stripping down and cleaning a 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub – Click Here

Adjusting the cable and shifting on a 3 speed Sturmey Archer hub – Click Here

These videos helped no end. I was still a bit nervous about breaking into the hub to inspect the gears but honestly… it’s not that hard especially after watching the videos. It’s like anything like this, as long as you take your time and arrange the parts neatly, they’ll go back together just fine. Granted I didn’t strip the entire mechanism down but I pulled out all the clutch and bearings to give them a good clean and grease and I had no issues. The old grease was full of dirt and rust. A soak and a wipe around with some paint thinners soon cleaned it all up though. New grease (stupidly I left my new bearings at home) and the hub was back together in no time.

I still had a bit of trouble with the gear adjustments. I understood perfectly the principle of the 3 gears and their alignment but getting it into practice took a good few attempts. I get 2nd and 3rd working but lose first. Find first, then lose third. A tweak here and there with cable tension and I had all gears. It’s strange shifting with these old gears though. If you ride normally and drop a gear, or change up it won’t change. You have to stop pedaling to change gear or it just won’t go. I like old technology but shifting like that is a pain. Thank god for the indexed derailleur.

That’s it for tonight. One more bike working pretty well. Problem is now, do I sell it for some much needed cash or keep it…somewhere. (Distinct lack of space at the moment)

Eine kleine Deustchlander

God knows if that German is gramatically correct… but a small German is exactly what I’ve been working on.

Over the summer I bought quite a few cheap bikes. This one in particular cost me the grand sum of £7. The funny thing was I was watching it on eBay the week before and got outbid, loosing it at £17. The gent I bought it off only lives a mile or two away too so I didn’t really have to waste money travelling miles to get it. He saved me a lot of money!

The bike in question is a 1986 German made “Rekord” folding bike. Information on these bikes seems to be non existent so I can’t really find out anything about the history of the company. All I can tell if the bikes has sat outside for a very long time. There isn’t just surface rust on the chrome that can be wiped off, it’s now eaten into the steel underneath and has a good hold. Saying that though, when I picked it up I tried out all the adjustments and mechanisms and everything spun or unwound freely!

The rust is staying. It’s not worth me stripping the entire bike back and having it sprayed or powder coated and anyway, I like the rust look. It reminds me a little bit of a rat rod with the white wall tyres.

This weekend, I’ve stripped and cleaned all bearings, replaced all cables and brake blocks, greased all the adjusters, replaced the tyres and chain and well, got it all fully operational! It’s actually been really easy. despite the rust not one bolt rounded or snapped. Nothing was seized. Nothing. Everything came apart really easily! The only “problem” I had was that the Bottom Bracket and Headset turned out to be caged bearings and I don’t “stock” any cages. Nevermind though, I cleaned the old ones up and regreased the lot and their working fine.

I still need to get the dynamo lights working but as it stands, it’s a nice little cruiser.

One change I did make was to replace the standard plastic grips with some longer BMX rubber grips which then made the brake levers sit on the bend of the bars. A little change but it gives the bike some character.