Friday, May 27, 2011

Victor goes to the big city

Victor went the big smoke last week. 
first stop was the university, where he had to rub shoulders with some insouciant fixies, naturally.

then he marveled at the variety of bikes he saw.
he never knew there were so many kinds
or so many customisations.

he thought that all these bikes must belong to giants.

everywhere he looked, bikes had unnaturally thick wheels.
he started to feel inadequate.

and hubs...

finally he found some bikes he could relate to.

it was scary being locked up in strange environs
but when he got home he realised how much he had learned about the world outside
and he was grateful to his owner for taking him somewhere new.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stop press - Gitane finished... again

can't believe after 25 years I managed to find her chainguard...

birthday bike

the boy received this for his birthday.
it's a bit big for him yet.
bmx frame geometry is much more adult oriented these days.
but it's a pretty sweet rideTM and I think he's happy with it.
at least it doesn't have a manufacturer's sticker on it that says:
"this bike is not designed for tricks, stunts or off-road use."

Sunday, May 15, 2011


path racer bars - cont'd

here are the Nitto dove bars

and here are the original steel ladies' tourers
(slipper-shod foot pictured)
slightly wider across the top and with less of a forward bend.

here's the comparison.
time and test rides will tell which will become the favoured bar
on the new Sport.

Gitane finished

I had to replace the original steel wheels which were warped.
but 55cm diameter rims are hard to find.
the more common size is 52cm, which is the 24" mountain bike standard.
so I had to find some extra-long reach (i.e. 100mm) brake calipers.
these Taiwanese steel jobbies from Ephraim in Brunswick were just the ticket.

I miss the white-wall tyres the bike came with, and the grey wheelchair tyres which were their replacement
(MTB don't do girly tyres)
but this is outweighed by having alloy wheels
that are straight.

these Dia-Compe red dot rip-offs are by Cherry Japan and are, of course, NOS!
sparkly handgrips help to offset the macho black tyres.

here's the final look. 
compare it to a slightly more original version of the same bike
here at the little bike blog.

new shoes

these NOS! shoes from the 70s are exactly what I've been looking for:
stiff soles but cleatless. 
and stylish.
maybe VeloOrange could remake them?

and a shot of the sole, with molded ridges to catch onto your pedal

actually, these soles get a little slippery in the wet (which we've had a lot of lately)
and my feet would have slipped sideways off the pedals if I wasn't using toe-straps.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oji-san's helmet

what every well-dressed Japanese retiree is wearing this summer.
strangely, made in Denmark by "Yakkay".
if Victoria's helmet laws weren't so draconian I could import one.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


this bike doesn't just fly, it sings.
for those who are new to this blog, this is the older, commuter brother of my original bike
which is still in the paint shop...
new Campag 144 BCD 53 tooth 3/32 chainring.
all the old steel parts (rims, crankset) have been replaced with aluminium alloy
to free the frame's potential.
it's now a fully-actualised, completely-evolved
click for supermassive wall poster for your bedroom.

Raleigh "Stow-Away" folder

bought this for $25.
it'll be a bit of work, but it's got a Sturmey-Archer (British made) 3 speed hub
and lovely embossing on the seat stays.

fave tools - repair stand

this is going to change my life

new wheel for Victor

when I got Victor he had nasty steel rims but lovely hubs.
I vowed to do something about it.
finally got the front wheel done.
front and rear laced onto a nice pair of 27" Rigida rims
albeit single wall. 
but then they only cost me $30ish
and they are straight and have a lovely profile that fits the era.
none of that deep V shit thankyouverymuch.
nicely done at my lbs run by the very decent Sean.
even if he does trade in mostly crabon stuff.

W. Germany

och ja! hergestellt in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Weinmann Type 810

another one that works.


yep. works.

why do single rings throw chains?

because their profile is too low,
IOW they're worn out.
solution, higher profile or just a
new ring.
two single ring set-ups pictured.
top one is worn alloy throws chains all the time.
bottom is worn steel.
the worn steel still has a high profile and so, no probs.

Gitane steel rims and rust

lots of scrubbing gets the surface rust off.
hardly Concourse d'Elegance but who cares.

Gitane folder

you know how my brother's U0-8 has long since since been consigned to the dustbin of history
i.e. the rubbish
well my sister's heavy steel bike is still with us
and is my latest "project".
like the grey-nursey wheelchair tyres?

stern gear

a very funny chap looked at this ring on the Victor and said,
"That's a stern gear."
I suppose 53 is big-ish.
as I run a single ring up front, 
it solved all my chain throwing problems.
new teeth is what does it.

enviro-friendly hand cleaner

it's a sea-sponge.
just add soap, scrub! and it gets off all known grease.
it's also a great depilatory device.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

a mess o' bikes

nine bikes at last count, not including scooters and trikes.

eBay sellers and their packaging - an occasional series

here is how my Campag 53T 144 BCD 3/32 chainring arrived from Italy.
padded bag, then cardboard, then bubble-wrap.
sure beats the local bike shop that posted a chainring in a large envelope with no padding at all