News and Events

Keep up to date with the latest news and events of Modular Bikes.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some Reviews of "The Cycle Zoo"


This is a gathering of reviews of "The Cycle Zoo". Thanks to Sue Archer & Peter Eland (Velovision), Adrienne (Vichpv Site), Jeff Potter (Out Your Backdoor) , Chris and Steve (3CR)

Out Your Backdoor review

Pdfs of Velovision review and articles

A brief mention in the middle of a general discussion on recumbents (search for modular)

Vichpv ad

3CR radio interview


Steve Nurse

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some Folding Bikes

After a brief absence, we have a couple of folding bikes in the yard again. Two bikes came up in one lot on ebay, I put in a bid and there you go, a couple of days later I am driving down the Eastlink freeway after work to pick up the bikes in Carrum Downs. I didn't really know what I was getting but they were cheap enough and these types of bikes are easy enough to fix.

Anyway after unloading the bikes at home I got a chance to look at the bikes: I've got a 16 inch National folding bike with rusty wheels and a 3 speed hub and back pedal brake, and a 20 inch "Another Rob's bike from Blackburn" that was probably made in Eastern Europe.

Well I quite like old folding bikes! There is a great German website devoted to them, which has the philosophy (even if they don't say it!) "These bikes might be old, they might be simple, they might be crappy. But we love them!"

Klapprad is a German term for folding bikes which describes the sort of bikes I like. The German Wikepedia entry mentions the term as follows:

"The need for the term "folding bike" instead of Klapprad came from the need for sellers of high value bikes to distance themselves from the 1960’s and 1970’s Klapprad bikes which were often bad to ride and unmanageable. In contrast, modern folding bikes can ride like full size touring- and sport- bikes."

So, back to my bikes. I did some work on them in the kitchen on Friday night and took the photos, then on Saturday morning worked on the 20" Rob's. This bike has alloy wheels, front brake and coaster brake, worn whitewall tyres.

Try pumping tyres (woods valves) 1 ok, the other has problems.
2nd tyre remove valve, clean valve, replace rubber tube around valve, pump up tyre, ok now.
Remove chain, replace with new one from shed, oil wheel bearings.
Tilt handlebars forward.
Replace front brake cable, oil front brake.
Bike is still rusty. The paint that's left is very faded.
Take bike to front of house, ride to op shop.

Old, possibly homeless guy outside op-shop says that the bike is very old, possibly an antique.
"Yeah, like me", I say, riding off.

Then I started on the 16" National. The wheel nuts are really rusty and I have to work hard to get the wheels off. The bike has a nice, 2 pronged stand and the aluminium mudguards and chainguard and frame are generally in good nick. Despite near frozenness due to lack of oil and rust, the rear hub is a 3 speed planetary gearbox and back pedal brake. Jamie Friday used one of these on his load trike, so its worth using on another bike if not on this one.

1 tyre holds air, the valve and tube is stuffed on the other one.
Removed wheels with difficulty.
Dug out a set of 16" wheels and a tube. These wheels are in reasonable condition, rear wheel has back pedal brake.
Move tyres and tubes to "new" wheels.
That's all sofar, I'll try to get it on the road tomorrow.

Sunday morning was spent getting the orange bike on the road.
Front forks bolt slots too narrow for new wheel. Used electric drill to make extra width.
Seat too low even with the seat post at the top, reverse clamp under seat to raise it slightly, might need to make a new seatpost.
Swap cog on new wheel, I put on a smaller one from the shed which raises the gear inches a bit, also swapping the side the dishing the cog was on made the chain allignment a bit better.

Ok, time for a blocky! Had to fight off my wife Christine and our 98 year old neighbour Edith, they were just itching to have a go on it as you can see from the photo.

The seat is still a bit low but it goes ok. The gear inches are a little bit low and I am pedalling quite fast to get a reasonable speed on a flat road. There is a nice, small organised ride tomorrow, I plan to take this orange bike and see how I go.
Late last night I brazed a couple of seatposts together to make one long seatpost and fitted it to the orange bike.
This morning I headed off on the bike and met Alan & Diane Ball and George Durbridge for the start of the "Bonus VicHpv ride". The little bike performed well all day but the very long seatpost puts my weight right to the back of the bike and there is a tendency for the bike to do wheelies when you don't really want it to. That can be countered: you just need to lean forward when going over small rises or up hills.
The ride itself was billed as follows:
"We will be touring most art on the "Docklands Art Journey" leaflet but in a better riding order, omitting some, and seeing some interesting extras. For some info, click on the Docklands Art Journey link on: Lunch at Docklands. After lunch we start back along the Yarra diverting briefly to view the controversial Yellow Peril now in a more appropriate setting."
The day went very well with Alan wearing his tour leader hat and reading from a printout of a website to describe the varoius artworks we visited. Doing this tour is well worth the effort if you get a chance. Seeing the "Vault" statue next to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art was a highlight: a controversial statue and Melbourne icon next to a truly ugly building! Thanks Alan!
All for now and for this post
Steve Nurse