Falcon build help

SomeBen

Retro Newbie
Hi everyone. I picked up a Falcon after work late last night and couldn't wait to see it this morning. I think the frame is mid to late 70's. It was gifted to me by a good friend of mine who had bought it from an elderly gent a few years ago.

It might sound crazy but the plan is to replace the chainrings with a single chainring and closely spaced cassette.

I've taken some pictures this morning and wondered if anyone might know a thing or two about the bottom bracket or crank-set, and how to service or replace parts? I probably also need to check the headset so any info how to service that would be really helpful too.

Thanks,
Ben
 

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hamster

Retro Wizard
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Have a look on the Park Tools website for decent video guides.

Bearing in mind the age it won't have a cassette but a screw-on freewheel.

Be very careful about spending much money on it - while it's in beautiful condition it's a low-end bike. For starters it has steel rims, which give it VERY poor braking in the wet.

I don;t know how much you paid for it, but you will be very rapidly £200 down for upgrades. Something like this (I have no relation to the seller) will give you a fully sorted race-ready bike out of the box.
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=425422
 

SomeBen

Retro Newbie
Re:

Thanks! It was given to me by a friend who bought it for £10 a couple years ago. I have thought about swapping the wheels. Would it be possible to add a cassette and derailleur without too many issues?

I'd like to get it back on the road so any other advice would be much appreciated.
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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A brilliant buy for £10!

Firstly a BIG check is to have a look at the tyres - there should be a size on them with something that says ETRTO 630 or 622 alternatively they may say something like 27x1 1/4" or 700X28C. If it's 27" / 630 then they are an obsolete UK wheel size. While wheels are (just about) available they are larger than the normal 700C ones and tyre choice is also very limited. Swapping to modern wheels (with cassette hubs) means you probably need new brake callipers to reach a bit further..so you see how costs start to spiral.

My own road bike started with 27" wheels, so it's not unsolvable. However it's the cost / benefit question. I am pretty sure your bike has a cheap, heavy, basic (rudely called gaspipe) frame. Lighter steel frames (which will ride superbly) will have a Reynolds 531 transfer on them. |It's really whether you could have a more promising starting point.
 

non-fixie

Retro Guru
It looks like a small frame, like 52 cm or so. Make sure it fits, before spending any time and money on it.

It looks good, though, and it if it fits, rides nicely and is intended as a keeper, it is absolutely worth the suggested upgrades, IMO. If it were mine I'd be looking for a used 27" wheelset with aluminium rims and decent hubs. With a bit of luck it comes with a good freewheel, and if not, a classic "corn cob" shouldn't be too hard to find.
 

SomeBen

Retro Newbie
Re:

It's definitely got some gas pipe tube styling. Not sure about the size but it did feel slightly smaller while pushing it home the other night. I normally ride a small so hopefully there's enough adjustment!

I've been out this morning with the tape measure. It looks like the seat-tube is 21 1/2 inches centre of the bottom bracket to the top of seat-tube; 23 inches from front of top-tube to front of the seat-tube; 10 1/2 inches from floor to centre of the bottom bracket. Pretty sure the rear spacing is 120mm which would match the 5 speed in the back. Front fork spacing is about 95mm.
 

jim haseltine

Old School Hero
I wouldn't trust those brakes either from what I remember of the bikes from when I sold them. We could adjust the cables so that the rims dragged on the blocks but could still pull the brake levers back to touch the drops of the handle bars. The 'safety' levers (as they were often marketed at the time) were a contradiction in terms.
 

SomeBen

Retro Newbie
I put the bike up on the stand and gave the chain and cogs a scrub this morning. A few decades worth of dried oil took some elbow grease to remove some of it. Any suggestions what to do to remove all of it? I played around with the downtube shifters which was a little bit fiddly at first but they moved quite nicely. I took a picture of the derailleur with the chain in the smallest cog and big chainring but wasn't sure if the derailleur position looked right? Any help would be much appreciated again!
 

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