Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Played around with the Elance 310 some tonight. Tightened up the fixed cog and spun a lock ring on there. Cut a new 1/8" chain. Wheel sits pretty close to the back of the dropout but I like it better than hanging off the front edge. Running a 42 X 16. I'm guessing an 18t on the back might center it in the dropout.

The Univega wheels..........hub was kinda loose and finicky. I played around with that and finally got it right. Vertical trueness was not quite right so we worked with that a little bit. Rear brake was acting up, would'nt stay centered. I added a half round spacer that was missing, replaced the broken washer and rusty nut. Better.

We are ready for the swap. Must double check all the complete bikes this week.


Picked up a set of 26" MTB wheels this morning from Dave in Naperville. I've always lusted for a set of Shimano XTR hubs. They are not quite as desireable as they were 10 years ago, but they make me happy. I need to get the Rockhound back on it's feet and these will be a nice upgrade. I threw them on the truing stand this afternoon and they checked out pretty well. They are very round and straight. I had to tweak the rear a little bit, but still, a nice wheelset.

I also threw the Shimano 600 tubulars on the truing stand this afternoon. These rims suck. I'm now wondering if I can remove the new tires that were glued on without ruining them.

Last but not least, I cleaned up the Lepree hubs on Univega wheelset. At first I just cleaned up the exterior portion with a toothbrush and called it good. However, they kept staring at me from down there on the floor. Alrightythen, lets tear those hubs apart. They were spinning pretty smoothly before tearing into them but I just had to take a peak in there and see how that 25 year old grease was holding up. I probably could have let them go, but now I know there good.

Tonight I will get the wheels back on the Univega and finish "fix"ing the Elance 310. I also need to designate a few projects for Wednesday and Thursday while I'm standing around at the store. I have more than enough stuff ready for the swap so I'm thinking, get the XTR's ready for the rockhound. I have a set of  set of Onza Porcupines and a new Sram 9 speed cassette I can throw on. I've also got an early 90's Rockhopper that needs a new wheel package, I can work on that as well. Last winter when I was working down by St. Louis, I went to the bike swap in Edwardsville and picked up 2 Shimano LX wheelsets for $20 a set, possibly 1st generation stuff. Same hubs that were stock on the Rockhopper. 
Another thing I worked on last night was the Trek Elance 310. I wanted to save the 40 tooth chainring for another project so I pulled it off and replaced it with a 42 tooth. Well then..........when I bolt the rear wheel back in, the axle sits right on the edge/front of the dropout. Not enough room for another link. I have decided to convert to  fixed gear now. I spun a 16 tooth cog on there. Now I just need to use a 1/8th chain. So we're going from a 40 X 18 SS to a 42 X 16 fixed. I'll let you know how that works out.
Carry on.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Grrrrrrrrrrrr! Had to walk away for the evening. I did manage to get the stem out. I broke a drive pin and the tip off my favorite screwdriver, but it finally came out. Seatpost...........different story. It happens to be a fairly long seatpost and extends down inside the seat tube a good 8"-10". VERY FRUSTRATING!!

On a more somber note, Wayne called this evening. He and my mother were at the hospital. This is never good. She was out to get the mail this afternoon and walking back up to the house she tripped and smashed her face into the concrete sidewalk. OUCH! Plans for tomorrow have changed slightly. I will try and set up with the wheels guy a little earlier tomorrow so I can be back in time to work the store. It has been pretty slow there most of the winter and gives me good time to clean and rebuild parts. I will rebuild the hubs on the Univega tomorrow. I also have a set of Shimano 600 tubulars to rebuild, perhaps I will take them along. That is all.
Just words today. Spent the better part of the day surfing for bike crap and found a set of XTR wheels for the Rockhound.....nice wheels....good deal. I did finally drag myself down the basement stairs to the bike shop. I rebuilt the headset on the Panasonic Touring Deluxe and stripped the headset and BB off the "Liz Downing" Quintana Roo frameset. They are now ready for the swap on Saturday. I also have a small framed Trek Pro Series that I'd like to keep the complete Shimano 600 group off of. I had it on the stand and just could'nt bring myself to tear it down. It's a rehab I did a few months ago, before I stepped up my rehab game. So the cables and housings have not been replaced. It has a Reynolds 531 frameset and it's a small size. These are fairly sought after.......small frames of good quality. In the end, I pulled it off the stand and walked it back over to it's lonely hook, the one that hangs just above the toilet, an old funky green one from the 1970s. A story for another day perhaps. If I do decide to strip down the Trek Pro Series it will only take about 30 minutes. After that little mental struggle from within I started working on the Lotus Eclair. Another touring frame. This one has been stripped down already, however, the stem and seatpost are seized. Fun stuff, much like real work. At this point the stem and seatpost have been cut off near the entry point into the frame, then drilled, starting with a bit slightly larger than the existing hole and gradually increasing the drill bit size. I grew weary of that after a few sessions a couple of months ago. This afternoon I decided to resume work on this one as I would like to take it to the swap. In hindsight this is a frame I should have passed on.

Tomorrow I will have coffee at McDonalds with Maggie of Maggies Deja Vu fame and then head to Naperville and pick up the XTR wheelset along with a set of XT shifters/levers. I'm also working on a blog for the resale shop, so I need to take some pictures of the shop and proprieter (Maggie) for the blog. She is not aware that I have been working on this. I will tell her over coffee in the morning.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Update on todays earlier post.

The Sekai 2700 is a bike I picked up from a CL ad a few years ago. It's not my size but I did some riding on it, as I was excited about having a vintage road bike at the time. I also loaned it to by niece's husband Brad to ride in a Tri event. I believe this is a '79 or '80 model. Information on the Sekai brand is somewhat limited but can be found with a bit of digging. In tearing this bike down I discovered the bearings were rather crusty and it should not have been ridden as such. The Sekai lettering on the downtube is a baby blue with white outline on a tan frame. I decided to go with strong white accents and I think it turned out well. I wanted to top it off with a white racing saddle. I had a white suede San Marco but it was a bit grungy and did'nt seem to fit well with the new cork bar tape. I spent some time looking for something appropriate and found a few leads and even some bargains at Niagra. I ended up scrubbing the suede saddle I had with some soapy water and a toothbrush and I may give it another treatment this week.

 Below is the Schwinn Traveler pictured in todays earlier post. I had forgoted that I needed a current pic. The bar tape switch made a huge difference in the final product I think, as did the black cables. I also changed out the saddle. It is difficult to tell from the before and after pics but I also replaced all the cables, serviced the bearings and trued the wheels.
 This is the Univega Viva Sport I spoke of earlier. It is very near complete. The Univega lettering on the downtube is more of a gray but I still think the black accents work here. Keeping in mind that I've done all of these refurbs with parts on hand, I tried something a little different with the black/white color scheme here. Still need to rebuild the hubs and clean up the freewheel on this one. I like to do hub rebuilds while working the counter at the resale shop on slow days, which there has been no shortage of this winter. The Univega rebuild will fill the 5th and final reserved spot at the bike corral on Saturday.
 Additionally, I have a few more things to prep for Saturday. A Panasonic Touring Deluxe that needs the headset rebuilt and a Lotus Eclair (another touring frame) that I need to finish the painstaking task of removing the seatpost and stem. When I purchased the Lotus I made the mistake of not checking these. Something I should have (and did) know better about.
Getting ready for the Bike Winter Swap on March 3rd, 2012. I registered for this swap about 4 weeks ago, reserved a table and five spots in the Bike Corral. At that time I had zero bikes fully prepared. I now have 4 complete and a 5th that I am putting the finishing touches on as we speak. These bikes have been completely stripped down and rebuilt. Headset, BB and hub bearings cleaned and regreased, new shift and brake cables installed. I like to try and keep these bikes as original as possible. For example, if the bars have the original cloth bar tape and it is in "very good" condition, I keep it intact. Like on this Sekai 2500. This is a bike I had ready for the swap and ended up selling a bit early. I actually had another bike ready that sold as well. Which means I've actually completed 7 bikes in the last 4 weeks. This is possible due to todays thriving housing market. I have not had steady work as a plumber since around 2005.

Here are a few of the rehabs from the last 4 weeks.

A Trek Elance 310 that was bought as an incomplete at a swap 2 years ago. The frame tubing is Ishiwata EX, very nice stuff. I built this up as a single speed because I have have several single speed wheelsets and it seemed like a good idea at the time. It is my size and something I can play around with.

 A Fuji Sagres SP. The only year these were made was 1986. Fuji procured their own frame tubing and it is fairly well reputable. They made some very nice bicycles. This is one of the bikes that found a new home. Selling vintage bicycles in February is not common but it does happen. Jessica drove down from the Quad Cities with her brother to check this out and she fell in love with it. She's planning to do RAGBRAI this spring.
 Schwinn Traveler........I had a few of these Travelers (3) in a variety of sizes and conditions. I was able to take the parts from 2 of them and build this one. The bar wrap is pretty ugly is'nt it? It was some stuff I had lying around and wanted to use. I have replaced it. I also replaced the cables, saddle, pedals and done quite a few other things to. As I am writing this I just realized.............I have'nt taken a pic of this bike since putting it through the wringer.........oops! Pics coming soon.
 Their was a thread on bikeforums recently discussing Gravel Grinders, actually it was called "Show your Gravel Grinder" and it was the inspiration for this build. I had an '89 Schwinn World hanging around in the basement, one of the many that my wife feels will bring the house to it's knees (she says the floor creaks from all the bikes and frames down there). So I decided this would be a good candidate for a Gravel Grinder. Built from my parts bin or should I say part bins.
Currently working on a Univega Viva Sport that I bought at the Community Thrift for $8 about 5 years ago. I have loaned this bike out to a couple of high school kids the last couple of years and rode it myself in the Tri-City Challenge a few years back as well. It is much to big for me and it is badly in need of some fresh grease and new cables. It is very near competion. Still have the hub bearings to clean and grease.  Pics coming soon.

I also have a Sekai 2700 that I just completed last week. Will take some pics today. I usually go with black accents on these bikes because it's what I have readily available, but on this Sekai I chose to take a chance with white. It looks pretty good to the naked eye but sometimes pics can be unforgiving............we shall see!