First restoration project - I'm having fun!

Ugo51

Retro Guru
Hi guys,

I decided to write about my first restoration project, not because I think many will be interested, but because Id' like to have some sort of written report of this "adventure".

A while ago I asked on the forum what frame to start with to build my own commuter bike. Almost at the same time a friend of mine, without connection to this forum, offered me her old bike which, after many years of riding, had become unusable. Incidentally, it was the very first road bike ever sat on, about 12 months prior (I've always been more into MTB).

The bike is a Forme Vitesse size 48.
I tend not to like modern bikes much, but I do like this one. It's got a very fatty downtube, which I am not a fan of, but the toptube is almost horizontal even in this small size, and the cables are routed externally (I prefer it to internal routing).
Rim brakes, which I favor over discs, and even mudguard eyelets! The perfect bike for me.

It was fully stock, she had not changed one bit of it (nor done any maintenance). Shimano 105 groupset with Truvativ cranks, Tektro r559 brakes and the rest of accessories are brande one23.

It was a wreck. I rode it home for the 16miles that separate her place to mine, stuck in smallest cog of the cassette as the inner cable had broken, with out of true wheels missing some spokes and a loose headset (still easier to rider than my Peugeout btw :facepalm: ).

I didn't start working on it straightaway for lack of time and enthusiasm, only taking the time to take it apart to see what was salvageable.

In December, it looked like this:



When I finally plucked up the courage to see what I could do with it, I saw that actually things weren't that bad.
The aim was to make it ride-able. I still didn't know whether I would keep it or sell it afterwards, and I didn't want to spend a fortune on it.

Headset: I couldn't get the race off the fork, so I brought it in the local workshop and I was offered a new headset fitted into the frame for basically the same price, so I went for it. I will learn how to change a headset with my next project.

Wheels: Two missing spokes, but of the same length of those I used to build my Peugeot's wheels. Easy fix. The front wheel spins very smoothly indeed, the rear one has a scratch in the drive side cup, but it's ok. The rims are in a bad shape so if I decide to keep the bike I will need a new wheelset anyway.

Accessories are all OK. The seat is ugly as sin, but fairly comfortable. Carbon seatpost.
Shifters could use new hoods but they are otherwise in good condition.

Brakes...well, nothing good here. Both calipers are missing a nut, and are fairly loose. I rode it and it was breaking fine, but it would be silly not to replace them. Sadly, all components that are not alloy are so badly rusted that they are impossible to take apart. I will replace them.

Groupset...ah, let the fun begin.
Here my lack of expertise showed big time.
I got a Tiagra BB only to find out that the Truvativ crankset needs a SRAM BB :roll:
I got a SRAM-to-Shimano adapter, only to find out that it's not compatible with Tiagra BB.
I got a SRAM BB, only to find out that the spindle was badly worn out at the non-drive side.
I got angry, and let the project stall for a few weeks...

In the meantime I found a cheap Tiagra crankset. New. It only had the outer chainring, but it worked at my advantage because I didn't want a 34T inner ring, as I prefer a bigger one (I got a 38T, the biggest I could find).
At that point all slotted into place. I like how easy things are when you have the right parts!
I fitted some second-hand Gatorskins and new inner and outer brakes and shifters cables.

I'm still waiting for a new chain, then I should be good to go.

The only broken part left is the front derailleur. It was stuck and no amount of cleaning and lubrication seems to convince it to loosen up. The rear derailleur works fine, but I will need new jockey wheels at some point because they have barely any teeth left.

So at the moment I only need the chain (should be here any day) and I will be able to take it out for a spin.
Then, at the minimum, new front derailleur, new brake calipers and bar tape.
If I want to splash, new jockey wheels, new cassette (this still has some life left in it, but with everything else new in the groupset it would be a shame to leave an old cassette), new seat and new wheel set.
So far I had to cough up about £130, which is OK. Once I ride it I will know whether it's worth spending the rest or if I better cut my losses and sell it.

Thanks for reading :)
 

legrandefromage

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Thats not how you fold a Brompton!

Whats-App-Image-2019-12-01-at-11-05-21.jpg
 

Ugo51

Retro Guru
legrandefromage":2myp9071 said:
Thats not how you fold a Brompton!

Whats-App-Image-2019-12-01-at-11-05-21.jpg

No???
Man, that's why it's so hard to unfold it back! :mrgreen:

legrandefromage":2myp9071 said:
(I have loadsa bits if you get stuck)

Thanks. I'll keep it in mind ;)
 

FluffyChicken

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Love the bit about buying things to fix things to fix things that don't work anyway and then buying the initial thing as a whole. ah the joys :)

You can always ask questions on here, we may or may not know.
or see if anyone has some bits, or is local.

Great so see old stuff getting ridable again.
Rims don't look to bad from here. Check the front mech doesn't have its stops set so it cannot move.
 

Ugo51

Retro Guru
Thanks!
Yes, I love restoring new things.

So far the project has been fairly smooth, with the exception of the crankset business, but that was down to my poor knowledge of the subject more than the sheer difficulty of fixing it.

I suspect that setting the rear derailleur won't be a walk in the park with so many cogs, but I will definitely shout for help if needed.

The front derailleur must have the hinge mechanism very corroded. Screws are OK, I can move it by hand, with great effort, but it's too stiff for the shifter. Cleaning and lubrication don't seem to help, and unfortunately it cannot be taken completely apart.
A replacement is not too expensive though.
 

legrandefromage

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Looks like ten speed and as long as you set the stops on the rear mech up first and use a 10 speed chain, shifting is very very easy to set.
 

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Ugo51

Retro Guru
Thanks.
It's a 10 speed, yes.

Stops are set, I think I now need to play with the cable tension for fine tuning, but I want to wait for the new chain to do that because this one is so badly worn out that I can't exclude that part of the laziness in shifting is due to the chain itself.

Btw, when you say "as long as you set the stops on the rear mech up first" do you mean that I first need to set the top adjustment screw first (smallest cog)?
 

legrandefromage

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set everything up first so the chain doesnt clatter into the spokes on the first test shift or jam itself between the wheel and stays
 

Ugo51

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While waiting for the chain to be delivered (I had to order another one because the first got lost), I got the new hoods.
This is definitely not an essential part, and I can see that I am distancing myself a little bit from the original intent of doing only the essential bits...but they were only £10 for the pair and I thought that if I ever decide to sell the bike, new hoods will look the part and definitely be worth their money.
Also, I had never changed hoods before, and now I know it's a real pain in the arse :)
 

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