Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

8Track
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Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:21 am

Hi all,

Following the successful renovation of the garage find 1991 Diamondback Interval TG for my wife ( see build thread here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=49762 ), its now time to turn my attention to my own bike, a 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan.

I bought this bike back in 1989 for about $650 from Pulteney St Cycles in Adelaide who made bikes to order. They sold bikes under the Europa and Elan brands. Its a Tange 5 lugged frame (61cm from memory). It came with a full Suntour Blaze groupset which was their bottom of the range at the time.

I rode this bike a lot back in the day often commuting 50kms a day to work or Uni, and a lot of road riding on weekends. After graduating from Uni, joining the workforce, meeting my future wife, and playing guitar in bands, I lost interest in riding. I could never bring myself to sell this bike and have carted it around the country with me ever since. I did get it serviced and back on the road for a few months around 2000, and also a shorter stint in 2005, but aside from that, its seen no road time since about 1993.

The bike isn't totally original. Within the first year I peeled off the Elan stickers as they were a horrible blocky solid black font and just looked wrong on the bike. In 1991 the front wheel got stolen and the rims were replaced with a matched set of Mavics. in 2000 when I had it serviced, the front hub was replaced with a Suntour Cyclone however the rear hub is still the original Blaze. Finally in 2005 I put a more comfy but very ugly seat on it (fortunately I kept the original white one).

I'd be very interested to hear what your thoughts and comments are with regard to the restoration of the bike. I want to do it period correct and as close to original as possible. In pursuit of this I have secured a full set of NOS Elan frame decals from Sydney. The Elan branding has gold infill which won't suit the colour of the bike, so I guess its off to a signage shop to have them recreated with silver infill instead. I have also got a replacement Suntour Blaze groupset. Its not new, but is in far better condition than whats on my bike now.

I am in two minds about sticking with the Blaze stuff though. I could take this opportunity to upgrade the groupset to something like NOS Suntour GPX, Sprint, or even Superbe Pro. I guess its a matter of how much money I want to sink into it.

Anyway here are the photos of the bike in its current condition. Your thoughts, comments and recommendations are much appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark

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HappyHumber
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby HappyHumber » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:32 pm

Bikes with provenance are great. Personal provenance is even better!
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singlespeedscott
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:20 pm

It's in bloody good nick.

If I was to upgrade the parts I would look for some Suntour Cyclone gear. Good stuff it is.
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minhyy
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby minhyy » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:37 pm

Frame itself is in great condition.

New groupset, 7 speed downtube group, new decals, fresh bartape, Turbo saddle, microadjust seatpost, lowered/slammed stem and you are winning
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8Track
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:37 pm

Thanks guys. I shall keep you posted.

BTW I just priced a full NOS GPX groupset from the US. $1200!!! Yikes. At that price I think I better stick with the Blaze groupset I have already sourced.

I'll get some more detailed photos and load them up. What things would you all like to see in more detail?

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:02 pm

$1200 for a GPX groupset! What drugs are they on? It was probably $200 when new if that. Scrounge around eBay for cyclone stuff. It's better and you certainly won't be paying $1200 to piece together some NOS and good used parts.
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WyvernRH
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby WyvernRH » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:28 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:$1200 for a GPX groupset! What drugs are they on? It was probably $200 when new if that. Scrounge around eBay for cyclone stuff. It's better and you certainly won't be paying $1200 to piece together some NOS and good used parts.

Absolutely, rip off artists, leave them to stew...
I haven't had good experiences with Blaze derailleurs(YMMV) but the rest of the group was pretty good stuff so you might as well stick with it and maybe look for some NOS or good used Cyclone gears to replace the derailleurs if you feel like an upgrade. Nice looking bike :D
Cheers
Richard

8Track
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:19 pm

Thanks for the sanity check fellas. And thanks for the positive comments on the bike. At the time I ordered it, the trend was for the paint on frames to be multi-coloured. Typically the colours would be fade from one to the other along the length of the tubes. So a bike might be blue at the rear, fading to white at the front.

I decided to put a different spin on this trend and asked the bike shop to fade the colours around the tubes rather than along them. I remember asking for mint green fading to silver and then to white around the tubes. The bloke in the shop was somewhat dubious, but when it came back from being painted he called to say how taken by it he was.

To this day I haven't seen another frame that fades in this way.

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:29 am

8Track wrote:Thanks for the sanity check fellas. And thanks for the positive comments on the bike. At the time I ordered it, the trend was for the paint on frames to be multi-coloured. Typically the colours would be fade from one to the other along the length of the tubes. So a bike might be blue at the rear, fading to white at the front.

I decided to put a different spin on this trend and asked the bike shop to fade the colours around the tubes rather than along them. I remember asking for mint green fading to silver and then to white around the tubes. The bloke in the shop was somewhat dubious, but when it came back from being painted he called to say how taken by it he was.

To this day I haven't seen another frame that fades in this way.

I too think it's a cracking paint job.
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rustychisel
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby rustychisel » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:41 am

coupla thoughts: nice bike, big bike. If it fits you still and suits the sort of riding you're doing then it's for keeps.

Blaze groupset: the alloy is made of cheese. Pretty poor stuff IMO, but you can certainly collect and upgrade in Cyclone, Cyclone II or even Superbe and it won't cost a mortgage.

Wheels look like MA2 rims... 27in? I found getting good tyres to be an issue, so swapped everything over to 700c. If that's the case you need to make that decision early so you know what clearances for brakes etc you're looking at.

Full retro never made a lot of sense to me. A good bike (the heart and soul is the frame and forks) can always benefit from better components, newer metallurgy etc, but that's just me.

Best with it all.

8Track
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:02 pm

rustychisel wrote:coupla thoughts: nice bike, big bike. If it fits you still and suits the sort of riding you're doing then it's for keeps.

Blaze groupset: the alloy is made of cheese. Pretty poor stuff IMO, but you can certainly collect and upgrade in Cyclone, Cyclone II or even Superbe and it won't cost a mortgage.

Wheels look like MA2 rims... 27in? I found getting good tyres to be an issue, so swapped everything over to 700c. If that's the case you need to make that decision early so you know what clearances for brakes etc you're looking at.

Full retro never made a lot of sense to me. A good bike (the heart and soul is the frame and forks) can always benefit from better components, newer metallurgy etc, but that's just me.

Best with it all.


Thanks Rustychisel,

The bike still fits - I haven't shrunk any! The riding I will be doing is pleasure and fitness riding with the wife on bike tracks so I think the bike will certainly be suitable for that.

Being a bit sentimental I think I'll stick with the Blaze groupset simply for originality's sake. Understand your recommendation for newer parts, but I think if I start getting more serious about riding I'll just go buy a new bike.

The Mavic rims are indeed MA2 models. The size on the tyres is 700 x 25C, so I assume they are 700 sized rims.

I have just started giving it a good clean up and polish. Removed the speedometer and water bottle bracket and refitted the original seat.

Cheers,

Mark

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ldrcycles
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:17 pm

+2 or 3 or whatever it's up to on the paintjob, it looks very nice. And + something to Cyclone as well, the Cyclone rear derailleur on my Mercier is about the best shifting i've yet used.

On the subject of GPX though, i had a ProTour with a full GPX group and it was excellent, always shifted perfectly and the shift feel was many orders of magnitude better than SIS. I agree $1200 is over the top (like all of that seller's prices) but by the time GPX was out SunTour were fast heading for the gurgler and Accushift got a bad name as well (undeserved in my experience), so there can't have been that many made and wouldn't be a whole lot of them unused a quarter of a century later.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:38 pm

Tyre question....... Cheng Shin Gumwalls or green Kendas?

Gumwwalls for authenticity but green tyres would be fun!

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:47 am

27" or 700C? If it's 27" then i'd go the gumwalls, as i find Cheng Shin/Innova/Swallow (probably all out of the same factory) to be great tyres, good grip and virtually puncture proof. Cheng Shin 700C tyres on the other hand aren't worth even thinking about, the ones i've had would puncture at the mere thought of something sharp being in their vicinity.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:35 am

They're 700c. The Cheng Shin Gumwalls do look very thin!

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:52 pm

Ended up buying a pair of Schwalbe Gumwalls. Will fit them tonight.

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:07 pm

Here is a photo from this morning. All cleaned and polished, ready for the restoration to begin! Original seat reinstalled.

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:20 pm

Oh yeah - I fitted up the front wheel with the Schwalbe no problem. When I took the old Duro Thriathalon off I found an orange liner in between the tyre and tube. I guess its a puncture protector. I refitted it into the new tyre and all seems good.

I went onto the rear wheel but the orange liner was stuck to the tyre and broke up in pieces. So the back tyre won't have the puncture protector. Can you still buy this stuff?

Interestingly the tyres that came off were 25C and the new ones are 23C. The new ones actually look a little bigger. Does rubber shrink over 20+ years?

Finally the back rim has a very small dent in one of the sides so I didn't proceed with fitting the tyre. In the morning I will get out a block of wood and a mallet and see if I can coax it back into true before the tyre goes on.

Cheers,

Mark

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:56 pm

Looking good but your saddle looks very low. Is it at the right height? It would be strange that it's so low if the frame was custom made for you.
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8Track
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:52 pm

Seat height got messed up. No biggie. Will get the ergos all sorted out as the refurb progresses.

rustychisel
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby rustychisel » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:06 am

looks like you'll need to find at least 1 pedal cap as well. MKS quill?


BTW, I owned this one for a time...

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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby bychosis » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:33 am

8Track wrote:Oh yeah - I fitted up the front wheel with the Schwalbe no problem. When I took the old Duro Thriathalon off I found an orange liner in between the tyre and tube. I guess its a puncture protector. I refitted it into the new tyre and all seems good.

I went onto the rear wheel but the orange liner was stuck to the tyre and broke up in pieces. So the back tyre won't have the puncture protector. Can you still buy this stuff?


Mr tuffy tyre liners are in my road bike, and in the garage to put unto my fixie before it gets ridden again. Haven't had a puncture since fitting them. Well worth it IMO, means you don't have to go for special puncture resistant tyres which is good for a build where look (or budget) is important.

Looks like a great bike, I'd be restoring for functionality, not historical accuracy so go for what works best. Enjoy riding along on your history!
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

8Track
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:00 pm

Well I got my tyres on after straightening out the dent in the back rim, replaced the brake pads and adjusted the brakes. Cleaned the chain and cluster too.

I took it for a very short ride to see how it felt. Not as smooth as the Diamondback that I fixed up for my wife. I think once the bottom bracket and hubs are attended to, then smooth will be attained.

The steering is very twitchy. Got to be quite vigilant to make sure I don't dart off in another direction when changing a gear.

I will order some new MKS AR2 pedals and toeclips too.

Overall very happy with how it feels at the moment. Looking forward to doing the additional servicing and hitting a bike track soon.

8Track
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby 8Track » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:50 pm

WOOOHOOOOO!!!

Some other Ebay sellers just listed some NOS Suntour GPX stuff at much more realistic prices. Got new levers with hoods, a crankset, and hubs coming my way.

With regard to bottom bracket, how do I know if mine is English?

Thanks,

Mark

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singlespeedscott
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Re: Restoration of my 1989 Pulteney St Cycles Elan

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:52 pm

Strange you say that the Tange 5 Élan is not as compliant as the Diamondback.

I have both a Diamondback Expert TG (same frame as yours, OS Tange Crmo) and a Tange 5 Ricardo. Although the Ricardo uses PG tubing, they are standard sized and I would choose it over the Diamondback any ride. The DB is just to stiff for me on the roads I ride. I prefer a frame with a more flexible top tube. I think a thinner standard size top tube with a decent set of compliant forks, instead of the ghastly uni crown ones it's adorned with, would make the DB a much better ride.
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