Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Vintage Bikes In The Parents' Garage

After floating through the interwebs for two years and reading various personal accounts on bike blogs, it seems a common incident, at least within the last couple decades, is for a person who newly discovers cycling as a hobby to unearth a reasonably well-preserved vintage relic from their parents' stash of forgotten belongings.

Well, I can assure you that this is most definitely not the case for me (not immediately, at least). My parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s, leaving behind whatever could not be carried by hand or stuffed into a small luggage. In our case, it appears that rather than having vintage bicycles emerge from the garage, the advent of my cycling hobby has put a few in

Sunday, December 27, 2015


The past month has been a surprising whirlwind of activity regarding my stable of bikes. Despite having almost no time to do anything non-school or work related during the last semester, I managed to squeeze a surprising amount of thinking into the mere hours I had.

Surprise! Yes, this is the bike from my Mr. and Mrs. Schwinn post. Shortly after I overhauled his 1964 Racer 3-speed, my friend's dad found a green '72 Speedster with a larger frame that he liked even more. Pretty much a twin of mine, or at least what mine was originally. It was much nicer with a nice original seat and shiny chrome. Anyway, Mr. Schwinn told me that if by chance I ever decided that I wanted the red one, I could get first dibs. I pushed it off for months, thinking that it would be unwise for me to buy another bike. In the meantime, Mr. Schwinn did not find a buyer. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ebay Finds of the Scorching Kind

Those who know me or have been following this blog for a while will be familiar with the fact that I am not only into bicycles and cars, but also collecting toy cars. I am not the type of collector who takes into account the future value of the car for resale or bragging rights: I simply grab what I like and what I can afford and that's that.

To give some background, Hot Wheels first started making toy cars in 1968. Seeing a potential market for 1:64 scale die cast toys that rolled as fast and looked as nice as their full-size counterparts and the lack of such a product in the height of the muscle car age, Mattel seized the opportunity, hired a few custom car fanatics and designers, and that was that. The original line included 16 cars, all of which had red-lined tires (hence the nickname "Redlines"), suspension made of "music wire" that prevented axle damage in the event of accidents, "frictionless" wheel bearings, and "Spectraflame" paint. Most models also included opening hoods, exposed engines, or removable parts. The goal was to extract the maximum "play value" from a toy car while still keeping retail price under a dollar. In the years immediately following, Hot Wheels also released "Sizzlers," which were electrically-powered 1:64 cars designed to propel themselves down sections of the already-famous orange track. Through the 1970s, Mattel gradually cut costs by removing the suspension and red tire lines, reducing the number of cars with opening or removable parts, and downgrading to regular enamel paint. While the novel features definitely set the cars apart in the beginning, there is no doubt that children and adults enjoy new Hot Wheels cars today just as much as they have been for almost the last 50 years.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The $500 3-speed: Challenge Accepted

Coinciding this recent article by Lovely Bicycle, my current roommate (the friend who commissioned the '76 Schwinn Varsity last year) had me build a 3-speed on a student's budget. Normally a single speed/fixed gear rider, he had borrowed my Raleigh Sports one day and immediately fell in love with vintage 3-speeds. Off I was on Craigslist, sniffing around for a diamond in the rough.

No sooner had I hopped online when I found a 1965 Hercules 3-speed (made by Raleigh) for $40 located about a mile from our apartment. The previous owner noted a problem with a loose and/or noisy bottom bracket, for which I already had a '69 Raleigh Sprite frame to donate parts.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Old News: 1975 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist Is Complete

Finally, the (for some) long-awaited post about the loop frame Raleigh that I actually completed over a month ago. I hope two articles in two days isn't too overwhelming ...


I purchased this well-preserved 3-speed roadster for a reasonable price in July, intending to buy the parts and install them all at the same time. Given the fiddliness of the rod brakes and chain tensioners among other things, I wasn't keen on the idea of taking the bike apart multiple times.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Where Have You Been, Ol' Gwendolyn?

It's a bit refreshing to be back on here after a month, not in the least because it means I finally have time to do things other than school and work. The past few weeks has been a whirlwind of activity: grinding it out in the architecture studio, meeting new people, working weekends, and losing lots and lots of sleep. I'd have lost my head already if I didn't love my job and my field of study so much!

Anyway, to the point of this post: I haven't written about my favorite bike in months and so much has changed!

Friday, September 11, 2015

1979 Ross Professional Gran Tour 1-Year Review: Not Really Professional, Grand, nor Touring but Still Quite Alright!

So I've had the bike for a year now and it's been almost as long since I last looked at the "before" photos. After being given a year to "develop our relationship," the Ross now looks and feels like a totally different bike to me.

I remember taking the bike for a ride shortly after getting it, learning how it felt as it was. It was my first road bike and I had only ridden a road bike once before. I used to think that the frame was super stiff and although it is a little stiffer than my bendy Raleigh frames due to the molten-salt-bath brazing method, it's not all that different. I think the feeling was in part because old saddle put pressure in all the wrong places.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Schwinn Mania

Over this past year of rescuing and refurbishing old bikes and finding new homes for them, I failed to realize until now that the brand that I have worked with the most is Schwinn, by far. Of 15 bikes that I have found new owners for, 7 were made by Schwinn. It comes as no surprise since millions of bulletproof electro-forged frames were turned out every year during Schwinn's golden years (also see this link).

When I first got into bikes, I did not find Schwinns very appealing but somehow, as I learned more about them and worked on more of them, they grew on me. By some twist of good fortune, as I wrote about before, I now have my very own electro-forged Schwinn 3-speed, albeit heavily modified. Without further adieu, I have decided to share here the colorful assortment of Schwinns, electro-forged or brazed, that I have worked on.

Green 1972 3-speed pair for me and my sister

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Schwinn Twins

I have finished updating my 1972 Schwinn 3-speed for now.  First things first, the bottom bracket had to be cleaned out after being ridden through the flood.

It hadn't occurred to me until after the fact, but one-piece cranks are very poorly sealed compared to the 3-piece kinds.  The outer "plate" is the actual bearing race so water (whether clean or dirty) enters very easily.  When the bike had a chance to dry out after the flood, there was sand inside the bottom bracket making all sorts of grinding noises.  To make matters worse, the bolts for the chain guard were rusted on so I couldn't completely remove the crank.  The best I could do was pressure-wash the balls with WD-40, blast it with compressed air, and put it back together ... and then I poured oil down the seat tube to wash the sand outward as the crank was turned.  Crude, I know, but that was the only way I could think of. The grinding noises did disappear.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Car Spotting in Ann Arbor

With all of the bike stuff that has been going on lately, it may no longer be apparent that I am first and foremost a car guy.  Well, I have had some of these photos rolling around in the "New folder" folder on my desktop and it's about time I share some of the cars that have caught my eye over the past few months.  All of these were taken with my cell phone so please excuse the poor quality. 

I also managed to stumble across a car show so be prepared for a long post!

1980-86 Ford F150 short bed, 4-speed manual

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mr. And Mrs. Schwinn

It may or may not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with this blog, but my bike-fixing ventures have become somewhat of a small business.  It is neither big nor official because school is my first priority right now. This started out as me saving bikes from the dump and refurbishing them and in most cases, they were perfectly good frames that just needed a cleaning, lubricant, new cables, chain, and usually tires.  I would then resell them to new owners just so I could get my money back.  I never intended to make much of a profit from this; it just broke my heart seeing so many good 30, 40, 50 year old machines going to waste.  I wanted the old bikes to find a good home and ever since I started doing this roughly 9 months ago, 15 of these bikes have passed through my hands.

I have been posting ads for my bikes on the school's free & for sale site for some time.  Friends or classmates looking to either buy a bike or have one fixed started referring me to their friends.  Often times, I would tie my tool bag to the back of the Raleigh after work and be able to fix their bike on the spot.  I suppose they saw a benefit to working with me because they wouldn't have to be placed in line in a real repair shop and have to wait days or weeks for the bike to be finished. Additionally, maybe more importantly so, I didn't charge very much beyond parts.  I mostly just did (do) this for fun and to keep good bikes on the road.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Holy Grail of Transportation Bicycles

This post was supposed to be titled "Raleigh DL-1: A Man Sure Can Dream" when I planned to write this article a couple weeks ago. I was then going to spend the majority of the post drooling over the '73 Tourist that Lovely Bicycle! used to own, talking about how historically significant these rigs are, and planning what modifications I would make with the DL-1 that I would someday own. Due to a roller coaster of events, the aforementioned title is no longer fitting and I'm not even mad about it! Why? Well, I introduce to you:

My very own 1975 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist! It's so long that it almost doesn't fit in my usual "photo frame area." Surprisingly enough, it lay comfortably in the back of my friend's '07 Ford Escape with the front wheel turned 90 degrees.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Because of shipping taking longer than expected, I have been waiting to write again about my Schwinn 3-speed.  Until then, here is something to keep y'all occupied:

As you may recall (if not, look on the menu to the left), I built myself a heavily modified 1979 Raleigh Superbe at the same time that I was building an also-heavily-modified 1976 Schwinn Varsity for one of my good friends.  Tonight after work, I went to dinner at the Fleetwood Diner as I do sometimes.  I spotted the unmistakable white tail of a classic Raleigh 3-speed across the street as I was waiting for my food. Praying that it didn't move before I finished eating, I kept my eye on the street corner, ready to run out to chat at the sight of the owner unlocking it.

Fortunately, the Raleigh stayed in place.  I made my way over expecting it to be one of the 3-speeds that I've already seen parked around campus.  To my surprise, it was a Superbe, essentially a Sports that came standard with a Dynohub generator, fork lock, and rear rack.  Not only that, but it was the same color as my own! It looked to be an early-mid '70s British model, made when they still came with the Brooks B72 saddle.  The headlight and chain guard were gone, but I hope the owner knows what he or she has.

On top of that, there was a mid '70s Schwinn 10-speed parked right next to the Superbe in the same color as the one I built for my friend.  I didn't feel it right then, but I am now in utter disbelief.  Somewhere in Ann Arbor, there may be another me and another Yoon rolling around on another "bronze green" Raleigh Superbe and another "flamboyant red" Schwinn 10-speed, both from the '70s.  The only major difference is that theirs are almost bone stock and ours are very clearly not.  I stuck a note on the Raleigh saying something along the lines of "Yo, we have the same bike! Are you into bikes too? [...] email me if you wanna chat! Cheers" Fingers crossed that the owner of the Raleigh responds; if he or she is indeed acquainted with the Schwinn's rider, the four of us will have to meet up.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Simple Tire Swap Turns Into Full Hub Rebuild and Gwendolyn Will Always Be My Favorite Bike and I Don't Know Why I Find These Stupidly Long Titles Entertaining (Rest Assured, They Won't All Be Like This)

As I said before, I wanted to keep using the Sturmey-Archer AW 3-speed hub for commuting around Ann Arbor because the original SW hub on my '58 Raleigh Sports was more fragile and hard to find parts for.  So, after enjoying the fully rebuilt and better-than-new SW for a few days, Gwendolyn waited a few more (more like ten) days for me to get around to swapping the wheels and tires.  I finally got around to it yesterday night.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

1972 Schwinn Speedster: I Think It's Here To Stay

Surprise! Another Schwinn seems to have rolled my way.  This time, it is a 1972 Schwinn Speedster.  My friend's girlfriend's dad was cleaning out the garage when my friend noticed it and thought I'd like it.  He sent me a photo and seeing that it was a 3-speed, I went crazy.

My friend tossed it in his F-150 and brought it to me from Dearborn.  While assessing the damage (or lack thereof), the bike began to grow on me.  It had a 1988 Sturmey-Archer AWC (3-speed coaster brake) hub with standard size 26 x 1-3/8" rims.  Perfect! I cleaned it up, aired up the tires, adjusted the cables, and threw on a new chain.  It ran beautifully.  It was super smooth, yet felt a lot more solid than any of my other bikes.  That might be in part because I don't have any noisy attachments on it yet.  The old speedometer, which is the same as the cheap. draggy one I had bought earlier and hated, actually ran smoothly because it had been worn in nicely.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gilbert Lives Again!

As a recap, my 1979 Raleigh Superbe restomod had been immobile for about a month due to a broken axle.

Well, the folks at Sturmey-Archer were nice enough to give me replacement internals free of charge.  It turns out the people who sold it to me on Amazon were supposed to sell them as replacement parts for the Torker Graduate (which has since switched to derailleur gearing) but did not specify it.  They told me that my hub shouldn't have been warrantied, but they did it anyway.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Rejoice! Gwendolyn's Sturmey-Archer SW Hub Gets Rebuilt (Plus Some Other Stuff)

Before I go into detail on the good news, there are a few updates I have done to make my trusty 1958 Raleigh Sports even more practical.

First, I bought a Greenfield rear kickstand.  The original kickstand, however strong, did not extend far enough from the bike and was located too far forward to provide support with weight on the rack. Actually, it was barely adequate to hold the bike up empty.  I never intended to use a kickstand while the crate was full of groceries, but it is doable with this one.  5/5, would recommend.  Also, I fit a piece of cardboard into the bottom of my new (used) crate but not for reasons you may think.  I am not foolish enough to loosely carry things in there that are small enough to fall through the holes, but when the crate is in my room, I always throw the rest of my bungee cords into it for storage and the cardboard makes them easy to take back out, rather than allowing them to hook onto the bottom of the crate and demand disentanglement.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

1972 Schwinn Super Sport: Updates

I didn't think I'd be changing the Super Sport after I "finished" it last time, but I should have known better.  As I have probably said numerous times on this blog, no project vehicle is ever finished!

After riding it some more, I still think this bike is unbelievably fast even when fitted with upright handlebars.  Something I'm noticing in the photo just now is how funky it looks with its road bike geometry - the saddle doesn't sit as far back over the rear wheel as I'm used to seeing on upright bikes.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Poor Man's Fixed Gear

Well, it ended up as more of a "fixed wheel" in the end, but I'll get to that.

I picked up this Huffy Open Road a few months ago for free, knowing full well that it would not be worth making truly roadworthy again.  It would have to be thrown out eventually, but I didn't feel right doing it immediately.  I planned to salvage the half-decent parts from it such as the alloy wheels and the reflectors.  Before doing that, though, I wanted to give it a chance to roll on its own again. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Fillet-Brazed ... Cruiser?

Just like how I wasn't actively looking for a mixte or another 3-speed, I knew of how nice the old fillet-brazed Schwinns were but I wasn't looking for one at the moment.  Interestingly, all three of these things found their way into my hands within a month.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Mixte!

Almost immediately after discovering my love for beautiful mixte frames, one found its way into my hands.  Someone on the school's for sale website had seen me advertising my own bikes for sale and offered her own Raleigh Sprite as it was in need of repair and she was moving in a few days. In trying to make a quick sale, she let it go for nearly nothing.

Behold, the 1981(?) Raleigh Sprite 10-speed mixte as it was.  The rack seems to have been mounted crooked from the factory, all of the chrome surfaces had rust, and it needed new consumables. The previous owner said she had let it sit outside for a year.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Roll On, Rollfast.

I was at work a couple weekends ago, making my rounds when I spotted a gigantic bike sale going on in someone's yard.  I returned later to find that a guy who I only know as Victor was moving soon and trying to sell as much of his stable as he could.  As far as I could tell, he was just like me.  He had various vintage bikes, frames, and wheels lying around and crates full of old parts. Most of the bikes were ones that hardcore cyclists and enthusiasts would shrug off as being heavy, crude, and worthless.  There were many old electro-forged Schwinns, Free Spirits, Hercules AMFs, and a few brands I'd never heard of.  There really weren't many high-end frames and most of the bikes were to be sold as projects or for parts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Toronto From The Perspective Of This Dude

Well, I guess there's no good way to introduce this smoothly, but last week, I went to Toronto for three days with four other close buddies from the architecture school.  I drove us from Ann Arbor through Detroit since I knew the way and we switched drivers a couple times once we got into Canada.  We ended up looking at things that we'd otherwise pass by if our parents were the ones to organize the trip.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

1980 Schwinn World Sport

Here's my second commission: another red Schwinn for another friend.

Well it used to be red, at least.  This 1980 Schwinn World Sport was rescued from the dump as always.  It had a bent rear wheel and all of the usual consumables were shot: tires, tubes, chain, cables, etc.  This particular bike was made in Schwinn's Giant factory in Taiwan rather than the Chicago factory.  One of my friends, again from the architecture school, wanted a decent road bike to get around town and go on nice rides with, but within a budget.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Best of Luck

Within a week of completing the Wrench-A-Thon, all three of my bikes fell victim to some rather unfortunate events.

First, one of the nuts on the rear axle of the '58 Sports got stripped.  This is the 1979 wheel and hub it's using, so the right side nut is two pieces rather than one.  I guess I tightened the nut down too hard thinking it would prevent the wheel from slipping forward, as this had been a constant problem ever since I repainted the bike.  The nut actually gave out while I was at work so I had to walk the bike the whole way home.  I ended up replacing the 1979 right side axle nuts with the one-piece 1958 one for the time being.  I think I should order some new ones just to be safe.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wrench-A-Thon Part 3: 1979 Raleigh Superbe

Finally, updates for the third bike have been completed.  I'm not going to say it (or any of my other project vehicles) is ever done because everybody knows that would be a lie.  I'm just talking about the series of things I've been planning to do as of this spring.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wrench-A-Thon Part 2: 1979 Ross Gran Tour

I have completed my mission to finally make the Ross safer.  After months of hacking around and throwing things together, I got tired of almost-dying every time I hopped on.  I cleaned the disgusting, oily, muddy winter mess with WD-40, degreaser, and a Super Soaker and slowly replaced components one at a time.  I received the beater back from the shop today due to something I did not have the tool for, but I'll get to that later.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wrench-A-Thon Part 1: 1958 Raleigh Sports

For the last month, I've been performing some rather needed updates on all three of my bikes.  The weather is warming up and the money is flowing in; not that the weather has anything to do with the amount that I ride, but I felt like it was about time.  Below is what my room frequently looked like: at least one bike and many tools and components strewn about.  This photo is from the day I installed the reproduction Raleigh reflectors.

Throughout the wrench-a-thon, the bikes have more or less remained in rideable condition when they had to be (or at least one was rideable at any given time) while I waited for parts except for Gwendolyn, the '58 Sports.  Without further adieu, here she is.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Six Weeks After Groundhog Day

Before I get to the point, I want to present this gem:

Just your average college kid polishing off an entire pizza before heading to a meeting. Finding no other surface in my room on which I could place a super hot pan, I unfolded the basket of the Raleigh Superbe and put the pizza on it.  I like having racks on my bikes for this reason.  Not specifically for pizza pans, but it's surprisingly convenient to have a small table always at my disposal.  On a daily basis, I have a habit of tossing my phone, trouser straps, gloves, or any number of those things onto the rack while I unlock and get ready to ride.  In the warmer months, I'll sit on a concrete berm to have lunch and use the rack as a lunch table, keeping the food a safe distance from the creepy crawlies on the ground.  If I remember correctly, the first time I had done that with the Superbe was just a few hours before the photo above was taken.  Fun stuff.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Raleigh Reflectors!

Image from Lovely Bicycle!

As many bike lovers know, almost all English 3-speeds back in the day came with these cute little "Fairylite" reflectors on the rear fender.  Unfortunately, they seem to have a tendency to disappear.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Four-Way Wheel Swap

This post has actually been a draft for so long that plans have changed and it's no longer a 4-way wheel swap.

Four years ago, I got this '70 Oldsmobile 442 W-30, likely inspired by the muscle cars that raced Baja in the '60s and '70s.  It was cool for a while but I kind of wanted to lower it to stock height.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

New Shoes for Gwendolyn

Ever since I got a second (and then third) bike, I've wondered whether I can truly call my dependable '58 Raleigh Sports my "daily." Sure, it's not the one that I choose to take out every single time, but I also don't base that choice off whether or not the bike will get dirty or wet.  I've treated all of my bikes as all-weather, all-purpose commuters and they are all outfitted with at least fenders, a rack, and lights.  For better or for worse, I have liked all of my bikes so far to be good for everything.  I fear getting stuck in the rain without fenders and I never again want to walk my bike a quarter mile because there's no other way for me to carry food during Ray's Red Hots' Dollar Dog Happy Hour.  If I look at how I treat my bikes and what I use them for, I guess all three of them are dailies.  They all get ridden at least once or twice a week regardless of weather and are washed only occasionally.  However, they still receive the maintenance and love they need to continue taking me places for years to come.

Friday, February 27, 2015

1976 Schwinn Varsity: Restoration Complete

Prior to today, I'd been slowly working at the Schwinn when I wasn't doing school work or wrenching on my other bikes.  My friend who commissioned me to do this doesn't ride in the winter so he said there was no rush at all.

One of my friends who has access to the machine shop helped me grind the old kickstand thing off.  The kickstand was long gone and the sleeve it went into was badly rusted.  These brazed-on Schwinn kickstands were really tough, but I suppose that doesn't make a difference when they're not actually on the bike ...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Repairing Shoes with Rubber from Bikes

I must give credit where it is due and the video below is what inspired me.

Thank you, Tyrone Corbett.

The spare tire in my station wagon doesn't hold air anymore so I tried convincing my mom that we should get a new spare for it and donate the old one to me to repair my shoes.  That plan didn't succeed so I did what logically was the next best thing: I used an old city bike tire to re-sole my beloved Nikes.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Complete, As Far As I Know: 1979 Raleigh Superbe

The week I got Gilbert running, extensive road testing began.  

First, though, I had to deal with shifting problems.  That cable clamp in the center of the photo is mounted backwards.  If I used it the right way, it couldn't be clamped hard enough to prevent the cable housing from slipping.  When I tightened it down just enough to keep it still, the housing was crushed and I wasn't able to move the cable.  I decided to free the clamp from its clamping duties and use as just a cable stop.  I have learned that no matter how much money is spent, nothing is guaranteed free of my hackery so I might as well stop counting on "plug and play" kits.  Also, the English white tail had to be painted onto the rear fender.  

That feeling when your bike has a Valentine on Valentine's Day and you don't (kidding, that photo was taken earlier).  
Also, yes, it is locked the wrong way but that was corrected after the photo to the right was taken.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gilbert Lives!

After a heavy week at school, I was finally able to relax on Friday afternoon.  Except, I didn't actually relax.  My plan was to do as much work as I possibly could on my Raleigh Superbe and my friend's Schwinn while still getting my other homework done.  Having set aside the entire afternoon for play time, I had lunch at noon and got to work.

The new spokes arrived more than a week ago so I got to work lacing the hubs into the wheels and truing them.  I used the bike as the truing stand and made a jig out of a Cap'n Crunch cereal box (it's my favorite cereal so I have a bunch of those lying around).  I used removable strength Loc-tite in hopes of preventing the nipples from rotating in the recessed spoke holes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Snow Ridin'

Some people may be aware that much of the U.S, notably the eastern half, has just received a little more snow than it was hoping for (this headline though).  After most of the winter went by without snow, here we are in Ann Arbor / Detroit with more or less a foot in most places.  That isn't "too much" by my standards, but it certainly increased the level of both fun and inconvenience at the same time.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Varsity Restoration Continues

It's kind of hard to keep track of how long I've been working on my friend's Schwinn because it's been so on-and-off between school work and the other bikes.  Because of this, I'm going to stop counting it in days. I guess this is the third significant chunk of time, say about three hours, that I've sat down (stood up, rather) to get a visible amount of work done.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Monroe, MI

Early in January, I went to a model train swap meet with a high school friend and a few of his modeling buddies.  We rode in a pristine 2001 Ford Excursion with 260,000 miles on it all the way to Monroe, MI and proceeded to spend a few hours at the place poking around.  I'm new to modeling trains but seeing as trains were one of the first interests I had in life, I felt more than ready to start.  At the moment, there's too much for me to make sense of except for the fact that good stuff is readily accessible.  Apparently, Hot wheels made 1:87 scale (HO) cars.  I thought my favorite scale was S scale (1:64) because it matched with the hundreds of Hot wheels I already have, but it doesn't seem very common at all.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Suspense: 1979 Raleigh Superbe

Well, after the small amount of work I did yesterday and today, I think the only thing the bike is waiting for is the package of spokes.  Maybe a light bulb, too, but I'll get to that.

I cold-set the frame yesterday.  I had been planning for the longest time to go out and find a 2x4 as suggested in Sheldon Brown's article, I then got the bright idea that this tubing might be soft enough that it didn't need the additional leverage, and I my guess was correct.  I'm willing to bet the new spacing change (front 90 to 100 mm, rear 110 to 130 mm) isn't perfectly symmetrical, which can lead to problems depending on how bad it is.  I think I'll be fine seeing that the unrefined tubing of these bikes is so flexible, anyway.  Tightening the axle nuts would probably result in bending the dropouts to the right position as opposed to bending the axle.  Fingers crossed.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Baby Steps: 1979 Raleigh Superbe

The title says it all: parts have been trickling in and I've been putting together what I can.  Various small things have been assembled and prepared for installation, but until I build the wheels and cold set the frame, none of the stuff can be installed once and for all.

I have decided to put the headlight bracket upside down.  For fear of the bolt gradually loosening and dropping the headlight on the street, I drilled a hole to put a screw in and "made" a lock washer.