Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Sunday in Hell, 1976 Paris-Roubaix

the uploader calls this "old movie about bikes"
I call it "the old movie about bikes".
too much in this that is awesome to be able to list
but the camera crew's car almost running over the lead rider when he crashes
is one.
just... formidable.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

He won

top effort mate.
and on a bike made of plastic kitchen utensils 
to boot.

this man had a nicer bike

Friday, July 22, 2011

Aerospace Sport first restoration pics - general perviness

mudguard mount added on chainstay bridge

Aerospace Sport first restoration pics - colour comparison

the colour on the Victor
compared with the new powder-coat on the Sport.
not the same colour by a long shot.
when I looked at the swatch in the paint book
(which, strangely, was called "Flame Red", which is the same name as the factory original colour)
I knew it was right.
when the frame came back I knew it was wrong.
when I looked at the swatch again it still looked right.
when I held the frame next to the swatch they were definitely the same.
when I looked at the frame by itself it still looked wrong.
it's such a nice job
and I've waited so bloody long for it
(five months and still counting)
I'm just going to live with it.
maybe time will darken it a tad...

Aerospace Sport first restoration pics - the bottom bracket

the bb with chamfered spacers.
Jesse found that the bottom bracket shell 
(the fat red tube at the bottom of the frame through with the cranks are joined)
was too narrow
for the italian threaded dura ace bottom bracket set
(the spindle that joins them, the bearings it turns on and the cups that stop the bearings falling out each end)
so two spacers were machined, each 2.33mm width
and chamfered (shaved at an angle on one side) to meet the bb shell more neatly.

First Aerospace Sport restoration pics - headset and headtube

this is the headtube upside down.
we found that there had been some slight stretching of the headtube 
from years of use
which meant the headset was no longer supersnug
(a technical term).
so Jesse machined a very nice collar
and brazed it on.
note the point detail in the centre.
those with extra keen eyes may notice the collar narrows
as it wraps around the back of the headtube.
dura ace first gen headset
held in place with an elastic band and
a bolt for now.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

hand-made leather saddle bag for tools and stuff

based on an old Malvern Star saddle bag.
two straps hold it closed and also attach it to frame, saddle, wherever.

stiff leather for front and back
softer leather for sides
linen thread.

the brand says 
which means "martial"
and was done with an antique Japanese cake* branding iron.
these were used so that if any of your cakes strayed 
into another farmer's herd you could tell which ones were yours.

here's my preferred position
since hanging from the saddle obscures the rear light.
could also hang it sideways
from the top tube.

* I think they were used on dorayaki.

Aerospace Sport archive photos

black and white contact sheet
of old colour negatives.
taken in about 1986.
shows the Aerospace Sport in close to
original condition.
from this I can tell that the bike still had the original Viscount headstem.
which means some bastard at a bike shop swapped it out
while I had the bike in for a service.
if memory serves
he said something like
"we changed your head stem too".
this was the same bike shop
that replaced the original rims with single wall rubbish laced onto
cheap rubbish hubs
and said I should bin the sealed bearing Viscount hubs.
dumb fuck.
that bike shop doesn't exist any more
went out of business.
serves them right.

enjoy the bigness of these pics.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So Honjo mudguards really do fit 27" (ISO 630mm) wheels.

because I was a bit worried.
Jitensha Studio said they couldn't guarantee a fit, as the mudguards are made for 700C (ISO 622mm) wheels.
but they said they believed some people had successfully installed them.
carefully measured my frame to see and yes
it matched the absolute limit of the mudguards' tolerances for radius.

whether to attach the stays with one Daruma or two?
Jitensha Studio said "please use two".

this is Daruma

and so is this

saw an old bike of Jesse's at Bike Bar with similar narrow Honjo's
that used only one.
um-ed and ah-ed for a week.
finally opted for two as the clearances are so tight
didn't want any movement of the mudguard.

sks mounting bracket holds mudguard to chain stay bridge without needing to drill into the frame.

getting the mudguard to fit the front wheel was trickiest.
since they are really just glorified aluminium foil,
they can take a bit of massaging, coaxing, bending.

the section in front of the fork needing some careful bending upwards
to increase the radius enough
that it didn't dig into the tyre.

think I finally managed to get them to follow the line of the wheel.

if the person who reads this blog is interested, I'm happy to go into details about the ins and outs
of Honjification.
just leave a comment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


these arrived today from the US.
from the wonderful Jitensha Studio.
Natsumi san answered all my pestering patiently.

a smooth set for the Sport and
a hammered set for the Victor.

the Japanese do some crazy things to the Roman alphabet.

Victor's new cockpit - Nitto version

Nitto aluminium 'Dove' bars.
so far, liking the position.

and the side view
bedroom wall poster size.

new ring

47T Super Record ring
proving a bit friendlier on the local hills
than the 53.

Victor now officially DA

with Dura Ace brakes,
rear cluster
and Crane rear derailleur
Victor has earned his sticker.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


this from the wonderful Hilary Stone.
wooden rims
beautiful high flange hubs
Chater-Lea crankset.
click the link to see close-ups.
only £1250 + postage