n+1, this time a steel one.


Senior Retro Guru
Well, that's the usual problem with building up bikes - you never know if you're going to like it or not until it's built and you've clocked some miles on it.
My biggest issue now is the rear guard. I'm tempted to buy a cheap set of full guards and butcher them to try & fit over the rear tyre. Or just go down the 650B route. The brake bridge is the limiting factor.

Wald basket doesn't seem very aero, and I sometimes have to battle 30mph winds for almost 2 hours on my way back home o_O.
I have a Wald basket on my gravel bike and its not a big deal in the wind - unless its loaded. But attaching any bag other than one of those super large saddle bags will affect your aerodynamics. Seriously, baskets are super awesomely practical.


Senior Retro Guru
Is there an easy way to check the rear triangle alignment?
20220510_193728.jpgmeasure from the string to the seat tube on both sides. The measurements should be identical if your frame is in alignment. Use a thinner string than I did though- that's just so it shows up in the photo.

jim haseltine

Retro Guru
Not a lot as I was using what I had in my garage. The etch primer and the clear coat were in part used large 450Ml cans and I suspect that the white will have been in a normal 300Ml can. However, the forks and seat stays of the frame are carbon so weren't sprayed and because of the bike's intended use I wasn't going for a concours finish so just went with the finish from the cans rather than flatting back and recoating.


Old School Hero
Was it halfrauds clear coat?

Also, any suggestions on removing existing paint from the frame? Scraper? Paint remover?

jim haseltine

Retro Guru
It was unlikely to have been anything other than Halfords clear coat. I did have some 2K clear coat at around the same time but I found it gave a slight cream tint to light colours so I doubt I used it.

I don't think that the paint remover sold these days will touch the existing stuff - it's not like the Nitromors of old where merely opening a can would remove the paint from every surface inside 10 feet.


Old School Hero

Tried a grinder paint removing wheel but it's waaay too aggressive - can grind right through the tubing.
A "blunt" (non-hook) edge of an old cabinet scraper seems to do the job - the paint is being scraped off while the chrome is not damaged. I reckon one or two sunny evenings in the garden and I'll get 90% of the bike done - then I can try blasting the hard to reach areas with eco-friendly-hippy-approved paint stripper.

The bike is starting to come together, at least in my head. The size & geometry are just right, the project should be a fun one. I'm approaching the "s-1" level, so really need to make this work for the commuter. The only issue is the rear brake bridge, that leaves about 4mm clearance with a 25mm tyre (!).

Any reasons I shouldn't run a 650Bx32mm in the back? That should add some clearance to allow a full guard (622-584 gives me 19mm drop in radius. 32-25makes it an extra 12mm clearance. Space left for 35mm or even 38mm tyres. Modern long-reach (or retro standard) brakes should work with 650B without too much trouble.
I can leave a 700Cx25 up front, or get another 650Bx32 to match the rear. Especially if I'm building a new wheel on the SA ig hub anyway.
If I ever get the finger out and joint an Eroica ride, I can take off the guards and swap in a pair of 700cx25.

Here's a daft question: My usual procedure for removing an old headset is to tap it out with a steel rod, following a star pattern. Worked on all thick-walled alloy frames, but is there an issue with doing the same on thin-walled steel tubing? I don't have one of them fancy expanding specialist tools.


Old School Hero
Right fellers.

Stripped the frame to bare bones and planning to get it sandblasted & powdercoated, which unfortunately should strip the current chrome layer. Ideally, I'd like to keep the rear triangle chromed though. Decisions, decisions.
The fork chrome is a bit worn - is there a good solution to cover up the rust spots?
Option 1 is to strip the chrome from the whole bike & get it all powdercoated in one colour, then add second colour highlights myself.
Option 2: Try to salvage the fork & rear triangle chrome, cover up the rust spots and end up with a shiny little retro machine.

I gather that the rear wheel has been hit slightly from the side (by a car?). The rear triangle has been bent, the non-ds dropout slightly bent inside, while the ds dropout has been slightly bent open. We're only talking a couple mm, so all was fixable.
I've popped my cold-setting cherry using the SB method. The triangle is now expanded to 129mm and trued up. The 129 just happened while I was truing up the stays, and I'm quite happy that I can now install a 130mm hub with ease.

I need to do a final alignment of the drop-outs, but the gauge is still in the post.

The "opened" ds dropout was fixed using a monkey wrench handle - I just filed an oval slot in the handle just big enough to fit the hanger through it, then used the hanger for leverage.

Toying with the idea of having the bike built for the Eroica Britannia 2022 event, but will be running out of time soon. All assuming I didn't damage the frame by cold-setting it.


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Old School Hero
Folks, need your help.

After some thinking I've come to a sensible conclusion that there's not much point in trying to transform this Italian racing stallion into a load-carrying donkey, so instead I'll take the restoration slow and do it well, to have a summer bike for summer 2023.

Since it's just a frameset rather than a complete bike, I can quietly put it into the attic and get myself a full bike to replace the commuter. Not violating the bike limit set by SWMBO.

A perfect candidate came up for sale - an old Bob J, just in the right size, slack geometry and plenty of space for guards, panniers and thicker tyres.
Bought the bike, brought it home, had a good look over it - to my horror found a seatpost crack just under the lug! Seems to have been caused by a too short a seatpost.
I believe in fixing things rather than throwing them away, so can you knowledgeable sirs kindly advise me whether this can be repaired?
I don't expect to be hammering downhill at 45mph on this bike and the damage so far does not seem too critical. I suspect that with a wee patch and a long enough seatpost, this can last for years of commuting. Steel's supposed to be real, right?

My thoughts:
- Drill a small hole at the end of the crack.
- Check if I can get somebody local to weld/braze a patch on this.
- Failing that, talk to a friend who knows a bit about welding (but has no bike frame experience).
- Alternatively, do a carbon fibre wrap around this area.
- Try to return the bike (my least favourable option). Bob J's out of business, this seems to be a nice frame otherwise - lots of wear, but should be OK after a respray, assuming that I can get the quill out.

Also, where does Bob J print their serial numbers? I'd like to date this frameset. It's currently wearing 6 speed Shimmy exage, but the frameset is probably older.


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