Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
Ive been stalking some sweet retro projects by ghettro and hartleymartins recently and was inspired to post my own.
I bought this Malvern Star Vogue a couple of weeks ago on ebay and the plan has been to make it a relatively light bike for my girlfriend. Im no psycho weightweenie but yeah I want to cut out as much weight as I can (afford to). The frame and forks are Tange 900 double butted and weighed around 3kgs according to my pretty dodgy household scale. I think thats an alright starting point. At the Deus Swapmeet last weekend I saw a Holdsworth Mixte frame made of Reynolds 531. It felt like it weighed about the same. So i think the Vogue is pretty light for a mixte. It has a sticker saying it was made in Japan, though Im not too sure how true that is, since a lot of low-end bikes were made in Taiwan and China.
Heres a before picture ripped off ebay, it really didnt look that bad when I picked it up though.
I pretty much decided that all the parts were junk, stripped the bike and gave it a good polish. The paint was in pretty good condition cept for a few scratches here and there and some spots where the paint had flaked off.
So after that I cleaned and repacked the headset bearings, and put in a new BB and Sugino GT cranks. I thought they looked better than the original ones, though not sure if there was much weight shed. Also serviced and polished the pedals. First time Ive ever done that. It was really easy, I have to admit to an irrational fear of taking pedals apart. Also threw on a Suntour VX rear derailleur, Suntour Power DT shifters, and a Suntour Spirt front derailleur (top pull/reverse swing). The DT shifters cleaned up the mess of cables that would have been at the front with the original stem shifters. I also put in a fluted alloy seatpost. I also found 2 polished alloy rims, one is laced to a 6 speed freewheel and Im waiting for spokes to lace the front hub, maybe radially? Dropped over a kilo by losing the original steel rims.
I also bought some centrepull brakes by Mafac at the Deus swapmeet for 10 bucks. Damn Japanese theme ruined. Im not sure why I bought them. The frame has both braze-ons for brake cables as well as holes in the frame for centrepull brakes. I dont know what to do with the braze-ons since im using the holes. I just think mixtes just arent right without centrepulls. I hope someone tells me they understand me, because Im not sure I do. Also does the rear caliper go on the top or the bottom of that brake bridge?
And thats about where Im up to. Its around the 10kg mark now. Im waiting for some Nitto Albatross bars to come in. Im thinking of using reverse levers on them just to be different. Id wrap them in white tape. And Im thinking of buying all white CST tyres and a white Cardiff leather saddle I found on ebay. Im worried because it doesnt have springs and with the upright bars it might be a rough ride. Im also tossing up whether to get fenders, Id be buying them from VeloOrange since I cant find any nice alloy ones in Australia so far, but even alloy ones will add a bit of weight.
Last edited by randyandy4 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Nice to know one's work is appreciated.
ARGH! I knew that some real gems would escape me! But I did have a great time and had free food and booze all afternoon and night. (Went to a wedding and reception).
I'm a bit hesitant about radially-spoked front wheels. I like 3-cross, and it isn't exactly hard to lace a wheel. Getting it to run true on the other hand...
I' was trying to chase down a 531 or otherwise a very lightweight mixte frame for a close friend of mine.
VintageBicycleRebuilds.com.au sell alloy bars for $33.
Hey, great-looking build! That stem looks very similar to my Alps stem on my early 80's Malvern Star. I ditched it though, as it wasn't milled correctly and there was a bit fat high spot in the middle of it - making solid mounting of the handlebars impossible... Just a caution..
The lighting is great in your photos! Did you use flash fill or have a diffused light source behind you or something? Good exposure
The swapmeet wasnt that great in terms of finding parts. Although a guy literally beat me to a pair of suntour barcons by seconds. I watched the deal unfold before my eyes and was upset the whole day that I didnt get there a fraction earlier. 15 bucks for both bar end shifters. Thats a steal. I think it would be better for finding a nice 531 frame, I can give you the details of the guy selling the mixte. It was pretty nice and somewhere between 3-400 bucks. Or youll probably have more luck finding a Tange one, I recently saw a tange nishiki on ebay, and my friend now has a tangaloy Shogun mixte. The 531 wasnt that much lighter in my opinion. Those alloy bars were an option but I think the albas, though 3 times in price, are really nice bars, with extra long handles and they accept bar end levers/shifters.
Thanks for the advice. It is an Alps stem, you must have good eyes. I probably should just get a new nice stem with the bars.
I used a work lamp that dad uses when hes under cars or the house, which you can see in the background. I like mixing different temperature lights. It kinda has a cover one side which kinda works like a gobo for a flash. So i just pointed it so the light was directed to the wall so it wouldnt interfere too much with the shot. I was originally going to bounce flash off the roof, but the flash had no batteries, so I used another old light which was kinda blue-ish-white to help the lights on the ceiling. Its a pretty rough lighting setup, but its all I got, and the work bench is horrid so I definitely needed the lights, so I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!
ARGH! I'm also after Suntour Barcons!
Looks great Andy, the contrast between the before and after polishing pictures is astounding.
I'd like a lighter frame to rebuild my girlfriends bike, I'm looking forward to seeing this build come together.
I agree, centre-pulls do look at home on mixte's, hopefully the old Mafacs are up to the challenge though, what pads will you be using?
I was thinking maybe black or antique brown saddle, tape/grip combo might look better, as there are no white accents on the frame.
Bit off topic, are there any swap meets like this in Brisbane?
Last edited by frog on Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
Holla at me if you wish to swap the Mafac's for some Dia-Compe's and keep it all Japanese as intended, I might even have some Dia Compe brake levers with built in quick release to match for small $'s. I'm in Sydney so it could be easy
Nice looking build and love those pictures. Talent with a camera.
I wish I could have made it to Deus swap meet but I was building a decking at home and had the momentum going and didn't want to stop. Oh well....
Are there anymore swap meets around Sydney?
thanks brass, there should be another swap meet in november or there abouts. if you drive down parramatta road, keep an eye out because deus should have a big sign up saying bicycle swap meet when its close. i only found out when i saw a poster on someones blog. ive wanted to go to the last 3 swap meets and missed out. finally got there. im sure most capital cities would hold them somewhere. I know of one in melbourne, but not sure about brissy.
I signed up to their mailing list and they send out an email called the oily rag which tells you upcoming swap meets/events.
Was hoping there would be another swap meet somewhere around Sydney.
The last motorcycle swap meet Deus had wasn't very good. Hardly any 2nd hand stalls, mostly just engineering companies trying to show off there handy work or in one case lack of.....
Some of the boys are planning a L'Eroica style get together on Sunday 29 August. Not sure what the plans are (SOP?) but if you have an idea of what you are after, and bring along some small bits to trade, chances are the other retro people will have what you want hidden away in the shed. Swap contact details around that day, and you'll build the contacts you need to find bits.
So its been a fair while. But finally making some progress with some help from the high aussie dollar. Anyway at the moment I have installed the new Nitto Albatross bars, which have ridiculously long grip areas and take barend shifters/brakes. The stems pretty tall but I wanted the handlebars as high as possible without looking weird. I think its just passable, though it does look a little odd since the headtube is so short. I have synthetic tape on it at the moment, feels bleh, think I will get some white cloth instead, though not looking forward to how quickly it will get dirty, and I dont think theres a clear enough shellac to protect it since shellac apparently always colours what you apply it to. Picked up the Suntour RD and cranks pretty cheap so lucky me. Looking for an early version Suntour Cyclone FD to match the rear now. I think the early Cyclone looked awesome. Oh and the rims are old Mavic clinchers I think, can anyone confirm that? Next on the order list are tires, the saddle, pedals, oh and a freewheel, and Im going to be buying a couple of each (leather saddles and tyres), for other bikes, so it may be another long wait for the next update, but at least its getting somewhere...
Heres the Nitto bars and stem, and the inverse brake levers.
And heres how they look on the bike.
this must be one of the slowest projects around but finally heres another small update and well not much has happened really. i do have to say ive enjoyed taking my time and im quite happy with how its coming together. its now got cloth tape double wrapped over the other white bar tape. it also has new white tyres which i think look pretty good. i also won an early generation suntour cyclone FD to go with the RD off ebay today. the only thing left to buy really is a nice saddle and some mks road pedals but im also considering buying a clamp for DT shifters and using some nice suntour superbe shifters instead of the suntour power, however they dont ship to australia apparently.
Its been 7 months...cant believe it. but its done, it feels awesome to ride, im really happy with it as is its new owner, my girlfriend. Its good to see lots of other projects now too. I remember being inspired by one or two projects now theres heaps. Love em, keep them coming.
That looks awesome, love the red frame with white tyres, the white seat with brass nor is copper seat rails looks good. Loving those peddles, what are they? Sorry if you've already covered that looking at this via iPhone with slow (3) reception......
The saddle is leather so its quite hard at the moment. We actually havent taken it out for a long ride, but she had no complaints yesterday on a short test ride. I havent heard the best reviews about Cardiff saddles but if she has any complaints ill let you know.
Pedals are MKS Sylvan Road pedals. Theyre nice from a distance, but the finish close up, is no where near as nice as some other vintage pedals Ive seen. It kinda looks a bit like plastic, especially the shaft But they were much cheaper than the Suntour Superbe pedals I wanted. Cranks are early Suntour Superbe with Campagnolo 47T and 42T chainrings.
First up the bike looks fantastic! Great choices with omponentry and tyres.
Can I ask a favor though? I have put downtube shifters on a step through frame I'm building up for my girlfriend (aren't we awesome?) and I'm using the same clamp on shimano cable guide/stop bracket you're using on the downtube.
Everything is fine on the drive side (the cable guide side) but I'm not sure how to do the front dÃ©railleur side as there's only a cable stop. Can you give me some advice or maybe a picture?
Hey mate yeah Ive seen your Seiko its looking pretty cool too! But the problem is that while your cable guide has a stop, your derailleur doesnt. So your options are to a) use a different front derailleur which does have a stop built into it and run a cable between it and the stop on the existing cable guide, or b) find a cable guide, like an old campagnolo one which has a cable guide on both sides.
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