Falcon build help


Retro Guru
Excellent work!

I generally use WD40 and a (tooth) brush for removing old grease and oil residue. Works really well.

Your chain is a bit too long, IMO. My rule of thumb is that the derailleur's jockey wheels need to be aligned vertically when the chain is on the small cog / big chainring combination.

Setting up brakes with safety levers requires more than a bit of attention. Position of the levers on the bars, as well as the shape of the bars need to be correct, or you'll end up with the problem @jim haseltine described above.

I spent a full day trying different combinations of bars and levers, before settling on these for mrs non-fixie's Méral. They now are testament to the fact that they can work very well:


The Méral itself, BTW, is also proof that a bike with lesser tubing can still be awesome.


Retro Newbie
Thanks! I had the toothbrush on it today too. I'll try the WD40 method tomorrow. The freewheel has Made in Italy 84/ Regina BX written on it. I presume this was added later? The gap between cogs is pretty big and the chain is very chunky and sometimes gets jammed between the front derailleur and chainrings. Is this a common thing with downtube shifters? Looks like the wheel is buckled and have some issues getting the wheel to sit straight in the dropouts without sliding forwards when tightening the nuts. Does anyone have any thoughts?


Retro Guru
The bike looks to be from the early eighties, so that freewheel *may* be original. Generally Regina freewheels are regarded as quality items, I believe. Someone more knowledgeable may be able to chime in on this.

When the chain jams between the front derailleur and the chainrings, the deraileur may be mounted too low. Hard to see in the picture. A shot of the bike from the drive side would be helpful.

Move the derailleur up a couple of millimeters, and see if that solves the problem.


Retro Guru
A trip to Wilkinson in their biking section for really cheap essentials:
- a can of degreaser @£4, much better than WD40, they also have Muckoff one + other stuff of the same brand at the moment on sale @50% off
- black bar tape @ £3
- a set of three brushes - steel, plastic and a miracle brass one for all the alloy as it does not scratch it @£1 (buy more than 1)
- electrical tape @£0.50
- consumables, like inner&outer cables @cheap or buy on eBay @£5 for a set
- chain lube @ £3

Pity, just sold 27" alloy wheels and tyres in excellent condition with same 120mm rear. Look for bikes that are broken with good wheels on eBay/FB perhaps or post here if anyone has a spare set cheaply going. DON'T by new stuff apart consumables, money out of the window. DO change those brake levers, £10-£15 will get you a nice set.

And watch some YouTube videos on how to....do anything, best are Park Tools ones. A week or so and you can ride the hell out of it....in nice weather only if keeping these wheels though :)

good luck

jim haseltine

Old School Hero
Pull the wheel back so the drive side is tight against the gear hanger plate and tighten the track nut that side then push or pull the rim across until it's central between the chain stays and seat stays and hold it there while tightening the left hand nut - it can take a while before the technique becomes second nature.


Retro Newbie
Hi everyone!

I eventually got it up and running and it has been out on the roads around the South West during the Summer months. It’s not very tidy looking and weighs a considerable amount but surprisingly it goes really well along the road.

The crankset and bottom bracket looked okay so they haven’t been touched. I also decided to keep the downtube gear shifters and the quill stem. I had a very worn set of 700c wheels so found a used 9 speed chain + cassette + spacer then bought a long cage rear derailleur (accidentally). I haven’t had any issues yet with the chain slipping off or the quick release skewers not clamping the wheel in the dropouts, despite hitting some deep potholes.

I took out the safety levers and replaced the handlebar and brake levers, then installed new cables from Wilko (thanks for the advice). The overall cost was a little more than expected but also needed to replace the brake calipers after the front crumbled in my hands!

So finally it has been out on the road again after probably 20 years and everything seems to be working okay. I would now like to try cyclocross (which was the reason for putting it together) so it could see mud and rocks, possibly blood and tears too!

I’m hoping to fit some knobblier rubber though only have 622x15 rims and not sure if they’ll fit between the frame. Also considering a flared drop handlebar without replacing the stem but the clamp diameter is 25.4mm which is quite uncommon now-a-days. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly received as always! 👍


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Retro Guru
(...) possibly blood and tears too!

There you go! 😄

Thank you for the update. Glad the bike turned out to your liking. It's nice to see it get the appreciation it deserves. 👍

I'd think twice about getting knobblies for this bike. If mud is what you want, then OK. But in any other terrain I'd prefer to use the space available within the frame and forks for a wider and smoother tire. The 30mm Challenge Strada Bianca is one of my favorites, both on and off road.

WRT bars, Nitto still makes nice bars with a 25.4 clamp diameter. I have the B135 on a couple of bikes, and they are quite comfy and versatile. Not exactly cheap, but decent deals can be had. Check out Planet X, for example:



Dirt Disciple
I have an early 80s Mirage much like yours and totally agree about the weight ... not insignificant. Still a nice ride though.

Do you still have the derailleur and freewheel by any chance? Mine was "converted" (read butchered) into a fixie some time back and I'd like to get hold of some more-or-less period appropriate parts to reveal its inner glory, if it has any.


Retro Newbie
I’ve got them stored away somewhere. Not sure on the condition but you’re welcome to them. 👍

The handlebars at the moment are the Nitto RB-002 and offer a good reach but would be over-extending if replacing with drops as the frame was smaller than expected. Have done a bit of research and might need a taller stem similar to the Nitto RT-10 to raise the drops to a comfy position. A flat riser handlebar might also be an option but would mean replacing the brake levers again. At the moment it works okay so more or less decided to wait until all the other jobs are completed. I’ve ordered some 35mm rubber from my local bike shop and they’re happy for me to return them if they don’t fit. Like the idea to add smooth wide rubber if all else fails. 👍 Going to see if my local bike shop could help me out with some wide rims. The frame doesn’t have bottle cage mounts so might find out about installing them too. 🙂


Dirt Disciple
I’ve got them stored away somewhere. Not sure on the condition but you’re welcome to them. 👍

Brilliant, thanks. I don't seem to be able to send a PM, to maybe you can drop me an email to my username at me.com.

Oh and putting some fatter tyres on will transform the bike. I have 32mm Schwalbe Ones on mine and it is immeasurably nicer for it.