Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:05 am

bicyclepassion wrote:The cranks are BSA fluted. Arguably the best cottered cranks ever.
Peter Campbell, 'cotterpin' on this forum, could fix the forks. He is very skilled, and sympathetic to this kind of repair.
Thanks Warren, just the sort of recommendation I was looking for. I'd thought of distressing the paint but getting colour to age and the metal to look right seems hard. You're right though, it can become a part of the machine's story, in this case it might look more like a prosthetic limb than a battle scar, at least until time has had it's way again.
Thanks for ID'ing the cranks too. What was so hot about them?
Thanks
Rob
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by BNA » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:20 pm

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby scratchman » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:20 pm

as far as getting out the seat post goes, providing you don't want to reuse it, but save the frame, here's a method I used.
after soaking in penetrine or WD40 or similar, knock the post inwards a small amount, easier than trying to get it upwards :shock:
so hopefully that's jarred it loose, so now drill a large hole through the post, and using a longish steel bar that's a neat fit in the hole, twist the post, once it turns it will then be loose enough to pull out.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby bicyclepassion » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:40 pm

I am not sure what the metalurgy of ther BSA cranks was, but if you bang them together, they 'ring'. Obviously very good stuff. They were sought after by the top pro's, right up until about 1960.
Does anyone know for sure when BSA stopped making the fluted cranks? As far as I know, it was at the beginning of WW2, and they didnt make them after that. I may be wrong. There was strong demand for them second hand. The 165mm was most common, the 170mm rare. People are always chasing me for 170mm versions.

As far as slicing the seat post to get it out, it takes time but not 'hours'.. Just use the edge of a suitably shaped file to start the cut, then use a hacksaw blade with a 'one end' type handle, and nibble away. Or just keep using the file. Once it is almost through, you can start trying to fold it in on itself. I would think that if you had to make more than one cut, or one and a half, the bike must be VERY rusty indeed. As in throw it away. We are talking about a chrome plated post here in a steel tube, not an alloy post I presume. The wall thickness of the post is quite thin.
I have done it a few times, just wait until something decent on TV, and nibble away for a few minutes at a time, between cups of tea. Take pictures and send them in!
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:46 pm

Seatpost wall is 1.9mm thick (I've cut it now). I reckon it's steel but it definitely isn't chromed. Has a few brown spots on the exterior, but come to think of it not as much as I'd expect from being hung on a fence for a few years.

The rest of the frame has only minor surface rust where the paint has worn away. Headset functions smoothly. Exposed LHS BB threads are good. RHS BB cup is in tight and is a pin drive type with mo flats :(

All in all its in quite good shape for its age. No time for pics till later
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby Mustang » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:33 pm

an amzing story!!!!
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:45 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:Does anyone know for sure when BSA stopped making the fluted cranks? As far as I know, it was at the beginning of WW2, and they didnt make them after that. I may be wrong. There was strong demand for them second hand. The 165mm was most common, the 170mm rare. People are always chasing me for 170mm versions.

Warren
Brown Bros had them listed in 1939, and again in 1952
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:56 pm

Steel right?
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby bicyclepassion » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:02 am

Thanks for the BSA crank reference Clydesdale Scott! I have been trying to pin down the dating of these cranks for a while. Notice the pricing of BSA fluted V other English cranks, about double. With Durax fluted about double BSA, and Chaterlea double that again.
These prices are reflected in prices paid by collectors now, brand for brand.
Anyone got a catalogue listing for BSA fluted after 1952?
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby bicyclepassion » Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:08 am

Seat post is definitely steel, probably was nickel or chrome plated once.
How much of it is inside the frame?
Sometimes it is not much. If you are lucky it is not much.
Start filing! Pretend you are breaking out of jail or something, your freedom depends on it, you will get there.

To state the obvious, 'start' the cut by cutting down the post where the slot is already in the seat bar.

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:12 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:Anyone got a catalogue listing for BSA fluted after 1952?
Warren

sadly not listed in Holdsworth's Aids before WW2 or after
a range of BSA catalogues here for downloading (requires payment)
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:41 pm

bicyclepassion wrote:How much of it is inside the frame?

Fair bit - 110mm
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:29 am

an update;

Cotterpin has my recalcitrant forks in hand, he's been able to reset them cold.

Seat post is still stuck, however I am in receipt of an adjustable hand reamer, looks like being a slow job. Tried a few hearty belts inward after applying WD40 for couple of weeks - she's not moving.

I have a potential front rim on the way, a Fiamme fleabayed relatively locally and inexpensively. I missed an Airlite front hub though, bit silly as it went for $73, not a bargain but they don't show up that often. I have a 27mm seat post on the way too.

Two of the chain wheels and the crank arms are at Vinci Chrome, ready mid Jan. The headstem will follow. I have yet to remove it from the bars. I'm softening up the fried on remnants of old bar tape in a bucket of water at the moment.

I thought I'd start stripping the back wheel down tonight. Fiamme rim with an Airlite high flange double fixed hub. Spokes are a bit rusty, axle won't turn, hub could do with a clean and polish. Step one; remove cogs. I pull out the chain whip. Ba Baou! Suddenly I am a man who needs a 3/16 inch pitch chain whip :( Sheldon has a solution (see the vise pic under chain whip on this page). Will have to wait as my nearest friendly vise is a k away at my folks place.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:45 pm

I'm not exactly in one step forward one step back territory. Yet. However.
Went to use the old man's vise only to discover that it was removed from the workbench prior to their move. And of course the special square headed bolts that fix it in are missing. So no joy with the Sheldon vise chainwhip thing. Now I'm fixing the vise to fix the fixed wheel
Changed tack and frittered away some of Sunday arvo on the head stem. Here is what I have learnt;

• Cinelli stem v. hard to remove from Alps Industries steel bars
• Cinelli stem v. rusty and will be rechromed (patina be damned)
• Cinelli stem badge has a couple of specks of paint extant, will be cleaned up and repainted.
• A Cinelli head stem badge has six :!: colours on it.
• Cyclomondo sells new binder bolts but;
• I could also do with a new expander bolt - 6mm x 150mm - any ideas :?:

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Not sure mine will ever approach the perfection of this NOS unit;

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby metalrideroz » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:04 am

I have lots of expander bolts and wedges, will have a look for a 150mm one.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:58 pm

Thanx metalrideroz, the magpie in me is looking for shiny shiny one :D . The one I have is rusty, not trusty. The cone I have is is fine though.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:55 am

Thanks metalrideroz for the bolt. Thanks cotterpin for the beautiful job of cold resetting the forks - no longer looking like cotterpin's description; "Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk" :D
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:01 pm

Just popping out from under my rock, Rob to say thanks for sharing. Really pleased to see this bike getting the attention it deserves.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:12 am

It took over two hours of hard work but I got the seat post out with friend Tim's help yesterday. I bought a secondhand adjustable hand reamer. As I understand it it should have been self centring but after a few passes we could see the top end of the seat post wall was thinner on the right. We checked progress with at torch after each pass and when the whole top was sub 1mm thick we could see that it had revealed some frame tube at the bottom end on the left. It still wouldn't turn or come free with multigrips but we were able to collapse it inward with a big punch.

Looks fast and easy, trust me this was hard. We took turns, had a long break for a cuppa half way through and my arms felt like jelly by the timewe were done.
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Still a long way to go in this pic

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Collapsing the remains of the post

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The culprit, somewhat reduced.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:20 pm

There's a fair bit of caked-on mullock on the back rim

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I made a metho rim bath out of an old tyre

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a ten minute soak and a quick scrub with the scotchbrite gets you this

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Last edited by RobertFrith on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:09 pm

After pulling out the seat post I used Tim's bench grinder with a buffer to go over the frame. Very carefully at first, but it seems that any paint that has survived 20 years hanging on a back fence is there to stay. I've been over all the hard to get to corners with the Dremel with a nylon brush since bringing it home. On the inside I've degreased and rotary wire brushed any areas I can reach, loaded it with metho, dried it in the sun and blown the inside with SWMBO's hairdryer (don't tell). The inside's had a dose of fish oil and the outside has had a dose of this stuff;
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Museums use it. It will protect the paint and exposed metal from further atmospheric oxidisation without the indignity of clear coat. And it's reversible; comes off with metho.
Re-assembled frameset is a smidgin under 3kg;

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby HappyHumber » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:46 am

Where you getting all the great tips from, Rob; the ol' boys at the WAHCC? You piqued my interest a bit more in that thread about the late notice picnic recently. I don't own any "veteran" metal myself (yet) but love pouring over the details of yesteryear.

Incidentally, I've met your mate Tim - and his beautiful Tommasini - on a couple of Audax rides last year. Told me a few drool worthy stories from your L'Eroica trip.
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby WyvernRH » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:36 am

Very nice, lotta work in there that has paid off with great results.
I'm going to have to get myself some of that polish stuff to preserve the 'patina' and artwork on a couple of my older frames.
Cheers
Richard

[quote="RobertFrith" The inside's had a dose of fish oil and the outside has had a dose of this stuff;
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:30 am

HappyHumber wrote:Where you getting all the great tips from, Rob; the ol' boys at the WAHCC? You piqued my interest a bit more in that thread about the late notice picnic recently. I don't own any "veteran" metal myself (yet) but love pouring over the details of yesteryear.
Incidentally, I've met your mate Tim - and his beautiful Tommasini - on a couple of Audax rides last year. Told me a few drool worthy stories from your L'Eroica trip.

The reamer tip came from asbestos, who I bought the frame from
The wax tip from Tim, who works at the WA Museum
I thunk up the metho bath all by myself!
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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby RobertFrith » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:26 pm

Some of the shiny bits back from Vinci's; BSA cranks and 23 tooth BSA inch pitch chainring

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Re: Swansea Track bike 6 swan

Postby scratchman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:26 pm

ooh....... shiny, me like :D
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