Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
I made something of a start today, stripping the bike down, so I thought start a thread.
I also started removing the (non original) blue paint, as I'm planning to keep the frame as a 'bare' steel finish. That is 'bare' as in some form of clear (probably powdercoat) directly over the steel, so I'll spend a bit of time filing and sanding to get it looking good 'naked'.
I'm unsure how durable this will be in the long run, but we'll give it a go and see, worse case I can re-finish it down the track, but I'm keen on the raw steel look if it can made to work.
The frame seems to have just about every eyelet and boss possible, so it will be well suited to mounting some fenders and racks down the track.
One of the braze ons, I've seen on other bikes too but never known what it's for is the small round tab a inch or two up the rear stay on the drive side?
Also, the fork steerer is stamped TANGE, which is what I expected as I understand the frame to be an Apollo IV, but the main frame tube is stamped RENOLDS 531.
Actually the stamping is light and all I can make out for certain is ..OLDS 53.. but those characters are legible.
From reading one of the Apollo threads on here I was expecting it to be tange.
I started to wonder frame being an Apollo IV (which it was sold to me as by the original owner), but I think that checks out as the serial number is in the same location, format and font (84 09 82809, on the bottom/side of the seat tube) to another bike of similar vintage that I know for sure to be a Apollo.
Frame stamping images here: http://imageshack.us/g/696/randonneurjapaneseapoll.jpg/
So yesterday I knew it was decent frame that rides nicely and should be well suited to its intended use (I've had it for about a year and have used it occasionally to commute).
Today I learned a little more, that its an ?OLDS 53? frame with a TANGE fork.
And, perhaps, tomorrow I'll learn what that little tab on the rear stay is for too.
Is it a trick question?? ...(as on QI)
Maybe it isn't obvious? That little lug above the chain is to hook the chain on when you take out the wheel.
Sounds like a fun project, look forward to the progress.
Have you also got the spare spoke holder on the chain stay?( The little lug just in front of the rear cable stop)
Here is a very eloquent video from the opening sequence of "A Sunday in Hell"; A 1976 documentary of the Paris Roubaix race which I thought demonstrated the use of this little lug.....
Actually I was wrong. it doesn't demonstrate it. Silly me thinking that in era of drillium weight savings those bikes would have those lugs. However, the pencil shaped little rod of metal he uses through the dropout triangles does show how such a lug could could be used I thought I'd still post it anyway - as it's a fine intro to a great old doco film in case you haven't seen it.
After all is said and done; a lot more is usually said than done.
I've been tinkering away with this one for a while and now its back from the powder coaters and I've put the headset, fork and bottom bracked back on.
I decided to experiment a bit further and threw some gold pearl into the clear too. I'm quite happy how it turned out.
The look is basically a clear gloss over the bare steel, but with a gold shimmer when it catches the light at certain angles. Pretty cools actually as it sort of matched the gold colour of the brazing.
In some of the pictures below it looks golder/yellower than it actually is, probably because of the light I had on it to take the pictures. The last picture is more true to how it looks.
Also below are a couple of pictures of the frame as-striped of paint, and after preparing for powdercoating.
I spent quite a bit of time with the file, wet and dry and buffing wheel. Cleaning up rough edges and tidying up the brazing so that its mostly just a neat fine line at the joint.
Actually I was a bit worried that the polishing might not be a good finish for the powder coat to adhere to, but it seems OK, so far anyway.
Last edited by amrjon on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I do Like chrome, but the plane here from day one was a clear over bare steel, Hopefully it will hold up OK over time. If not perhaps that could be an option down the track.
I’ve also been cleaning up some components for this bike today too. Mostly those that were on there originally – Suntour, Sugino, Nitto etc. I still need to source some racks, ideally one that will utilize the nutserts on the forks, but I’m still trying track something down. I’m thinking of hammered fenders too, but I’ll try some fluted ones that I have first and see how they look.
I’m still unsure about the brakes though. Ive cleaned up one of a pair of centre pulls but I’m not sure whether I like them so much now.
What do you think, shouldn’t a randonneur have centrepulls?
Looks great. It certainly doesn't look like any Apollo IV I've seen. To many braze on's. But the stamping is Identical to my 85 Kuwahara built Apollo V.
Also it is my belief that all Randonneur bikes should have centre pull brakes. They look great with, and work well with, fenders.
Could be, you've got me thinking now. The fella a bought it from said he bought it new, in the 80s. He also said it was a touring model, hence the triple rings, lots of eyelets and braze ons for racks etc and something about the trail of the forks. I thought he said Apollo iv? I should have paid more attention. It does have kuwahara BB and head set.
Yeah, I think i will put it together with the center pulls and see how it looks.
Continuing the very slow progress, I've finished rebuilding the wheels ( new brass eyelets & nipples and rims polished - hope it stops), started to add a few parts to the frame, taped the bars and given it a name.
Next I need to order some fenders, tyres, a chain and pedals, and try some suntour front derailleurs to find one that works with the triple rings.
Also, does anyone know of any 27" gumwall tyres with a slick tread? I've been looking at the panaracer pasela's but would perfer a slick?
Last edited by amrjon on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I like the shellacked tape. I do my cloth tape a little different to you. I locate my levers into my desired position. Tape the clamps into position. I then remove the levers thus leaving the clamps in the right location. I then do the handlebar tape. Once done I replace the levers.
Makes good sense. I haven't applied cloth tape before but will use that method next time. Thanks for the heads up.
Finished off on the weekend and taken for a test ride and a few pictures.
Needs a few little tweeks, some more fitting pedals, a bottle cage and maybe a rack or saddlebag, but I'm quite happy with how its come together.
The old suntour 5 speed freewheel makes are real 'old school' sound that I like, and check out the spare spoke holder in the last picture.
It will be interesting to see how the clear powder coat will hold up long term.
Just in case I don't have enough pictures below, here's a link to the album too https://picasaweb.google.com/114981989265809879359/RandonneurBuild2January2012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCLTLhZDY2ZCR5QE&feat=directlink
always love your projects, and your photos.
The locations bring back great memories of growing up in Wollongong and my regular visits since.
Cheers, some more details - it's primarily 80s vintage as per the original bike.
The driveline is a suntour mix, symmetric shifters, Vx rear, superbe pro front, sprint hubs, with sugino gt tripple cranks
Rims are mavic module 4, with new brass eyelets and nipples.
BB and headset are kuwaharra,
Dia compe Brake levers, and a Nitto stem
New, bits are (yes) gran compe centre pulls, 27x1 1/8 panaracer paselas, the hammered fenders (a tight fit because they are meant for 700c) chain cables and 1xcustom reynolds decal!
Not new, but not original are the brooks champion saddle, the 2 derallieurs, and a suntour 5 speed freewheel (came in a superbe box but not sure?)
Not much cushioning on the cloth grips though! I probably want to raise the brake levers up a bit too so I may change them to leather at the same time but I'll give them a few more rides before I make a call.
Scott, have you been down to north beach and Belmore Basin lately? They've done a pretty nice job of it. I'm yet to try the new cafe in the old pavilion though.
Last edited by amrjon on Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I've got a set of these on my audax bike. Heaps of power. However after your first real steep high speed decent you'll be changing the pads to some kool stop salmons. The original gran compe pads squeal like banshees once they have warmed up.
They were a bit of a fiddle, the first ones I bought were a bit too small so I had to have a second go at it and and I had to make up a jig to support the rim and a punch to set them. The original eyelets went right through to the inner wall of the rim, I couldn't find any like that so the new ones are sit on the outer rim wall.
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