Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking
We're off to visit the in-laws in a while.
Not particularly noteworthy except that they live in Harrogate, Yorkshire, which happens to be the finish for stage 1 of the 2014 TdF. The start is just 25k south in Leeds. Stage 2 passes through Harrogate the following day. We'll arrive too late for L'Eroica Brittania but it's something I'd love to do on another visit.
Long and the short of it is I need some wheels...
I've been watching fleabay UK for a while but haven't seen much that fit my budget, size, taste or shipping criteria (i.e. cannot collect). Early on there was a rough straight stayed Hetchins in Newcastle and a 50's or 60's Mercian that looked OK for the money but I was in watch mode not buy mode at the time...
I ended up buying a c.1960 lugless Allin frame from Vintage Bike Cave in London. I plan to take some parts with me and pick up others in the interim and have them posted to my ever helpful sis-in-law.
Looking at Campag gearing. For a late 50's / early 60's bike Campag seems to be both practical and affordable. I already have a 1012 RD and matchbox FD's seem to pop up all the time. The frame only has a single shifter braze on, not uncommon, and I can get around it with a Huret LH band on shifter made to fit over the RH boss or any other band on set uptube of the RD shifter. I toyed with the idea of a rod shifter but I have no experience with them, they are not necessarily a cheap solution and were pretty much old hat by 1960.
Cranks; if I can pick up something cheap and interesting (read Durax) in the cottered line I'll go with that. Otherwise I'll take a Stronglight crankset mated it to a modernish Phil Wood BB. Pedals.. dunno. I've got pedals but they're mostly too old for this one.. suggestions welcome.
Brakes. Planning on using a pretty set of Super Olimpic 58's that I already have. pics to follow..
Bars, saddle, seatpost (27mm I think) all up in the air. I think I have enough bits here to make a headset.
Wheels are the biggest challenge. There are plenty of vintage wheelsets available but man are they £££! I was watching a pair of holey Harden/Weinmann that just went north of £200 today. That’s $370 of your Australian money and the auction still has a few hours to run. TBH they're probably a bit old for this build but undeniably attractive and terribly British. I will lower my sights and keep an eye out for a Campag hubbed pair of wheels that fit the period and bank balance a little better.
Last edited by RobertFrith on Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sounds like a good time to be had! I am a little jealous
I so enjoyed my brief holiday in Yorkshire a few years back wishing I had someone to go riding with. I did some great rides anyay..just magic. One day there was horizontal rain and about 14 degrees in the middle of summer but it was very invigorating and most unlike home in Qld.
Wheelset bought. Campag hubs with 5 speed block, Fiamme tub rims. Looking at velobase I think the hubs are these 1006/A.
The Fiamme rim stickers shown in the auction aren't on velobase except in a different colour. Like this...
The seller says "These wheels are the vintage stick on tub tyre sort , your dad or grandad raced on in the 60s/70s , please dont get this mixed up with a 700c wheel although they are more or less the same size." I think he's just trying to say they ain't clinchers and I'm counting on them being 700c tubulars. Did Fiamme make any other tubular rims?
They could look tidier but he says they're pretty true and free from dings, front spokes have some rust. I can live with that for A$106
are you riding over there? yes there were odd sized singles but Id doubt you bought a set, look like later rims decals but pick up some new decals of choice, the design didnt change a lot .
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"
Yep, I'm riding while there, hoping to park the bike with my sister in law and return for L'Eroica Brittania maybe next year or the one after.
Hilary Stone was my fallback for a wheelset. His classic corner section is pretty groovy. With the first L'Erioca Brittania running in June I reckon he meight be seeing a bit of an upsurge in that part of his business.
I found this handy page on Classic Lightweights. Allin fork measures 14¾" so it looks as though 700C wheels should be an good fit with the Olimpic brake callipers.
Headset stack height is 37mm, looking at a Brampton headset.
Why are there so few vintage 27mm seat posts around? They seem totally outnumbered by the 26.8's and the 27.2's. What have they done to deserve such a fate?
I got VBC to double check the seattube internal diameter prior to despatch and they were positive the frame is right for 27mm. If I had a 27mm seatpost I'd just take it with me, but I don't. Seems that around the time this frame was built (~1960) seat posts were transmogrifying from bullet headed to integral clamp. Looking at Velobase and Classic Lightweights it would seem that an early Campag twin bolt would the go. A couple of bikes on CL from this period have seatposts with fluting. Looks a bit racy to me though
Id take a 27.2 as well, beware those brake pads I'd update them, I took a bike OS and found myself brakeless in the wet (didn't get that wet in Perth when I lived there) new decent pads will help.
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"
Agreed. Koolstop make a Mafac replacement.
Rough (but cheap - £17) GB Hiduminium spearpoint style stem with no name alloy bars bought. An early 3TTT stem would have been nice but they're significantly more expensive. These GB stems were being used into the mid 60's from what I can see looking at Classic Lightweights readers' bike pages. This one has been drilled for centrepull brakes which will allow me to reduce headset stack height by the thickness of a cable hanger if necessary. That they only have to be shipped 50km from York to Harrogate is a positive too. I think the stem will clean up fine and I'll keep a lookout for some bars in better nick.
Bar tape?? Again looking at CL's readers' bikes cloth tape seems the go. Black will look just fine on this frame.
The bottom bracket is taxing the few brain cells I have left. I'm pretty sure I'll take a Stronglight 49 crankset with me. I don't have a suitable BB though. You'd think any ISO/Campy taper BB would work wouldn't you? After reading high and low I feel quite unsure... Is anyone here running older Stronglight cranks on a modern BB? Any tips on what works and what doesn't?
Sheldon Brown says:
ISO square taper spindles run longer, and taper down to a smaller end than J.I.S. spindles do. Most European-made square-taper cranks and bottom brackets use the ISO dimensions.
ISO models include:
•Japanese N.J.S. track parts, such as Sugino 75
•(Note: Old Ofmega/Avocet spindles were quite a bit skinnier/longer even than ISO. There are no modern bottom brackets that work with old Ofmega/Avocet cranks.)
Ozpushies! for ALL Australian made bikes.
"It's only original once"
I read Sheldon and then when looking at this Stronglight BB spindle View item I read this... "Suits Stronglight 99/100/200 etc. May not suit 49D"
Start chasing the standards Stronglight used over time and you start chasing your tail. Like Sheldon everyone refers to "older Stronglight", no year no model numbers There are also rumours of Stronglight's own taper!
I just tried to test fit 2 set of stronglight 49D cranks onto a 111mm tifosi bottom bracket ( http://www.wiggle.com.au/tifosi-campagn ... m-bracket/ ) which is meant to be a cheaper alternative to buying campag. This BB fits my campag SR cranks fine. The taper itself fits nicely into the 49D, but there was some variation in the distance each crank would fit onto the taper, the drive side of the spindle was too short for both.
My suggestion if you are using ISO BB's would be to err on the side of a longer spindle.
LG = Low Gear
Check Sutherlands Handbook. My copy (5th edition) warns that although the angle of taper is the same on Stronglight cranks the 'hole' in the cranks is larger and so may slip further up the taper on a non-Stronglight axle, possibly bottoming the back of the crank on the flange of the axle or the tip of the axle may protrude thru the crank - both cases preventing proper tightening. I have fitted 49D cranks on Shimano, Sugino and Suntour axles without any drama but had to fiddle with the axle lengths if I was being anal about chain alignment.
Thanks Richard, Sutherlands is new to me, looks handy though
Remarkably, the various standards all adhere to one taper angle. The variation is in taper fatness.
I tried my 49D's on the only JIS and only ISO spindles I have. They sit way out on the JIS; there's not a lot of crank hole meeting taper. They fit fine on the ISO spindle but of course it's for single speed and probably at least 10mm short.
Options seem to be;
• keep looking for a contemporary Stronglight spindle
• switch to a Campag Record Strada crankset $$ ££ €€
• throw oneself on the mercy of the LBS
I'll send an email to Spa Cycles who are in Harrogate and sell contemporary Stronglight kit and see if they can help.
Sister in law reports that "widgety bits" have arrived. I think this must be the Campag FD and some toe clips from the same seller as well as the Huret LHS down tube band-on shifter boss. Aside from the crank issues I think I'm pretty much there with the difficult bits.
I'm watching a couple of pairs of Campag shifters, seat posts and sundry cranky bits.
I'll get the three for $50 tubs from Yellow Jersey. Chain and cables will be purchased locally (Spa Cycles I guess). Unless I snag an awesome retro bargain it'll be MKS Sylvan pedals. The frame has a seat tube clamp as opposed to the binder bolt that you'd usually see on a bike of this age. I'm going to get a Surly Long Rear cable hanger in case the clamp arrangement doesn't allow for running the MAFAC style hanger.
I'll need a pump.
A TA chainset has appeared on fleabay and the seller is including the matching BB with 125mm spindle. Sounds a bit long and the chainset is a triple, not really what I was after but if the price is right I'll grab it. It could be a safer bet than trying to put together a mismatched set and with limited time I'd rather be riding than pfaffing round sorting out the bottom bracket.
Headset is sorted, I won a NOS Gnutti. Also got a £7 no name 27mm seat post (still watching an early twin bolt Campag unit that miiiiggghht go cheap). I found 2 27.2's in the parts bin so I'll shine one of those up and take it along as suggested by Torana68.
Last major bits bought -
Stronglight triple w/bb
pair campag shifters
Brooks professional saddle
period band-on bidon cage
Down to the bits and pieces -
bar tape - looking for Cateye, seems a bit harder to get than it was a couple of years ago, any leads appreciated
Surly long rear cable hanger ('cause I'm I'm not sure how the seatpost clamp will work with the centrepull brakes)
tubs, pedals, chain, cables... multitool.. pump
Last bits bought. Red cable outers, Wippermann 808 chain, surly hanger, did the 3 for $50 deal tubs from Andrew at Yellow Jersey again. If you haven't visited you most definitely should. Yellow Jersey is the last bastion of tha 90's website stylin' .. Old Skewl online shopping - send them an email, they send you a paypal bill back! US shipping price take a little bit of shine off their bargain prices
Caved and bought new MKS road quill pedals. Campags would have been nice but I'm not up for the Campy tax at the moment and the MKS units look just the same. And are new. May yet pick up some Campy's or Marcel Bertet Lyotards but only if they're cheap! MKS came from SKS, along with Koolstop pads for the MAFAC's.
Found some Cateye tape on the 'bay, Aussie seller, has black or white. Black I guess. I have some Brooks leather bar tape here already. I vaguely remember buying it off the marketplace and thinking I'd find a use for it. Could be a bit ott though?
Have arrived in Harrogate and unpacked the bits and pieces that have been accumulating.
Aside from the beautiful frame it seems I've been accumulating a few headaches ::-)
Axles are marginally too fat to fit the dropouts, both front and rear.
Braze on shifter boss thread won't work with either campag or huret shift lever bolt
TA BB cups; RHS is a perfect fit, LHS is loose as buggery.
Off to Spa Cycles first thing in the morning to find some remedies
In fact it looks like the lever boss has never been used... Seems to me it wouldn't have paint on it if it had.
NOS Gnutti headset came without bearings, easily fixed
The workshop this arvo
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One way and another I've spent most of the day on Allin.
Bets I made on bargains haven't paid off. I find myself desperately looking for someone in the vicinity who can drill my French threaded cranks out to accept standard pedals.
Spa Cycles were partway close to useless today. They helped out with a modern BB, stronglight for £10, but the mechanic was unwilling to help with anything that posed any sort of minor challenge at all. And grouchy with it.
My pair and a spare from yellow jersey has got itself stuck in the US. Should have taken 5-8 days to get here and was dispatched on May 1. I guess I would have been onto this earlier but for being thoroughly distracted by my mum being in hospital in the 5 weeks prior to my departure. So no tyres yet, gotta shell out for whatever tubs are on offer in harrogate tomorrow.
By pure arsey chance I blundered into a bloke who tapped the shifter boss to accept the campagnolo lever and screw. He had a bike shop that he gave to a mate during the GFC. Mate has the tools, he has the expertise. If I can bring them together I'll be laughing. Otherwise I'm back to sq1!
Anyway it looks much more like a functional bike than it did this time yesterday. The Huret left shifter conversion is great, campag lever won't fit though. The frame turns out to have a cable stop for a front derailleur despite the fact that it doesn't have a shifter boss... Kinda weird but it saved me from having to deploy the Shimano band on cable stop that I brought along. Campag front derailleur appears to be NOS which is an unexpected bonus. Ditto TA bottle cage.
sad to read of the challenges you are facing.
I had to get some crank arms rethreaded from French to English 2 weeks ago. My LBS who love old bikes, told me of a small machining shop across the road that they use as required, and gave me the pedal taps with the instructions. We marked the arms with L for left and R for Right, and I picked them up the next day. Small job, modest charge.
It all worked perfectly.
Yep, should be a simple job for someone who knows what they're doing. Just gotta find that person. Two people have recommended Bob Jackson in Leeds. I'm going that way on Thursday but I'm keen to get this sorted Wednesday. Wanna ride!
Are you heading anywhere towards London (I know you're currently "up North liyke")? The best vintage bicycle shop in the UK is Sargent & Co ( http://www.sargentandco.com ) 0207 359 7642, they can assist with rethreading. The shop is is Arsenal (Finsbury Park). If you're not heading back South any time soon, perhaps Rob could recommend someone in your area. Good luck!
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