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 Post subject: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:59 am 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:28 pm
Posts: 3361
Location: The Admiral Benbow
I need some help with a restoration and have some road related questions regarding the bike in this thread

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=219975

firstly I want to use cable brakes, upgrading from bar pull. im looking around for side pull brakes but...

would I need 700c wheels? frame had 26inch
would they fit the frame?
the fork only has a hole in the back of the crown, do I drill the front? or fit to the back
the rear spacing is 120mm is that going to be a problem?
should I stick with cotter cranks or go with square taper for convience

id like to use the bike so practicalty and comfort counts but id like to keep it looking vintage as its my granddads still.

thanks in advance for any advice
im also on the look out for nice but cheep vintage stuff :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:25 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:21 pm
Posts: 589
It's your bike, so you can do what you want with it, but what you're proposing doesn't strike me as a good idea for three reasons:
1) I don't know if this is a historic marque or museum piece, but there can't be many left and is worth restoring for that reason alone;
2) you will run into all sorts of compatibility issues once you start trying to upgrade it and new parts will look incongruous;
3) even if upgraded, it's unlikely to be satisfactory in it's new guise, more an unhappy compromise.

But like I said: it's your bike, so to answer your questions:
- you need to measure the brake drop, to see if there is anything that would fit as is. Check the availability of tyres too, that may swing the argument in favour of 700c wheels. Steel rims aren't great for braking on either, which is another good reason to upgrade. Are the current ones MTB size?
- again, you would have to measure up; there looks to be plenty room, but maybe not with the mudguards although tyre choice will also be a factor.
- to fit a conventional calliper, you would need to drill the front. It is possible to fit a calliper through the front only, but it will foul the down tube on the back of the forks. An alternative, is a calliper that clamps on to the forks, as used to convert a track bike (with undrilled forks) for use on the road.
- 120mm is the track/single speed standard, so plenty of 700c wheels available.
- square taper are a better design, but convenience isn't really a factor: the cranks of one are no harder or easier to remove than the other; how often do you take cranks off anyway? Obviously you would also have to fit a new bottom bracket with new cranks and there's a good chance that the BB shell is not to a current standard.

If you want a practical, comfortable, vintage looking bike then I wouldn't do any of what you're proposing: it is what it is.


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 Post subject: Re: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:29 am 
Old School Grand Master
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:41 pm
Posts: 8244
Location: Cumbria
Having worked on these bikes as a lad they were a nightmare as nothing new ever fitted very well..........if you want to ride it I'd clean up and refurbish what is already on the bike.

Shaun


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 Post subject: Re: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 419
I would say that if you want it to be practical, keep it roughly as it is - these old bikes are practical! Upright, comfortable, hub gears, full mudguards, BB grease nipple...

Two upgrades that I personally would consider are:
1. Aluminium wheel rims - on this bike they will be 26x1 3/8 or 590mm (not to be confused with 26"x1.xx or 559mm, which is standard mountain-bike size and NOT interchangeable) - for more info look here http://sheldonbrown.com/26.html

The reasons for upgrading to aluminium rims are twofold. Firstly, they're a hell of a lot lighter. It'll never be a light bike, but this is one upgrade that you'll definitely notice. Secondly, the braking, especially in the wet, will be massively improved. You're unlikely to find any aluminium 26 x 1 3/8 rims that can be used with rod brakes - you'll have to upgrade to normal rim brakes. You'll likely find that the mudguard mounting holes can be used for mounting long-drop dual-pivot calipers (I have used Alhonga ones in the past - they're pretty good for the money), and you'll need to get some new brake levers, too. I have upgraded a few old rod-braked roadsters in this way and it really does make a massive difference.

Archie Wilkinson sell aluminium 26 x 1 3/8 rims in a variety of colours, including silver. They also sell complete wheelsets for £70, I think, which is a bargain - although they are singlespeed (which is an option if you live in a flat area). Raleigh still make them, too.

2. A full oil-bath chain case - I am surprised that it doesn't have one (or at least a hockey-stick chainguard) - perhaps it was damaged and discarded at some point. This will completely protect your drivetrain from dirt, grit and grime. Combined with steel chainrings, all you'll need to do is dribble some fresh oil on the chain every six months or so, and it'll give perfect service whilst keeping your trouser-leg clean. A hockey-stick style guard will protect your trousers from grime if you'd prefer not to fit a full chain case.

Other than that, I would leave it as it is. You could fit square-taper cranks if you wanted - it should just need a different axle. There's not much point though - it'll look incongruous and these bikes will never be light. What lighting system is on it, a Miller dynamo?


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 Post subject: Re: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1112
Hello,

Another alternative is to use hub brakes instead of side pulls. Heavier and a bit more expensive,
but you won't have to drill anything and hub brakes are more consistent in different weather conditions.

Sturmey Archer, Shimano and SRAM all make modern hub brakes (often combined with hub gears) that should
fit. Or you could find something vintage from Sachs, Sturmey Archer etc.

Good luck,

Johnny


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 Post subject: Re: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:22 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 419
I would be wary of installing drum brakes on forks that were not designed for them. I have seen at least one photo of a fork blade bent by the force of the torque-arm. A rear coaster brake should be fine though - forces are limited by the low traction on the tyre, and that area is inherently stronger anyway.

Shouldn't need to drill anything to attach modern rim brakes, either.


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 Post subject: Re: vintage help wanted
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:21 pm 
Gold Trader
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Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:28 pm
Posts: 3361
Location: The Admiral Benbow
thanks guys, some good advice all taken in. looking round the net and on ebay there seems to be quite a few of these floating about and the parts new or refurbished parts seem cheep and easy to get, the rims were to far gone to be usable so the plan is to get it up and running with brakes that work while I refurbish the old rod pull and get some new steel rims so that it will still be original but ill have usable wheels for when I want to ride it.
my granddad will turn 94 this year so I think getting his old bike back will cheer him up no end, he just lost my nan. they had been married 65 years


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