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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: Richard Nurse

Before photo from this blog post


The object of this project was to restore a 1950's steel frame bike with a coaster brake hub to a usable and ridable state.  The coaster hub was the main problem which in technical terms had ceased to exist.

 I bought a new coaster brake hub made in Czech republic by Velosteel with 36 holes and married it to an old mountain bike rim with the same number of holes.  I dismantled all of the components of the old bike and replaced what I felt was necessary including the headstem.  The chain did not need to be dismantled as the frame has a removable seatstay.

This type of bike is remarkably simple and requires very few specialist tools to dismantle and reassemble.  The replacement of the headstem bearing was done by a local bike shop, otherwise I did all the work myself with whaterver spanners I could find that were lying around.  The bottom bracket was left in the frame as this was in good condition.

First of all I brushed the whole frame with paint stripper, then removed all the old paint using a variety of tools.  The bare frame was inspected for flaws and then cleaned with white spitit.  I resprayed the frame using undercoat followed by a 2 pack epoxy top coat with all the appropriate components suitably masked.  Patience is required during respray.  It is best to apply several light coats rather than beng impatient and using the whole can all at once!  It is best to start working on the bike again after a nice hard finish is achieved.  Follow the instructions on the can!

The rebuild went smoothly enough although with the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to use a larger wheel size than 26" mountain bike.  Bear in mind that brake lugs etc. do not come in to play and so any wheel size can be used except that pedal to ground clearance may be reduced using smaller wheels.  The gearing can be adjusted be altering the single cog on the rear.  I have also found that using wide, flat handle bars helps when climbing as you can use the bars to pull on as well as just using your body weight. 

Airey's Inlet, 23/12/2012, by Richard Nurse


Airey's Inlet to Lorne and return.

Conditions- bright sunshine with a strong southerly wind.
I set off just ahead of Steve on his recumbent and pressed on hard. This was a race of sorts!! The southerly headwind proved troublesome although the gearing (gear) was about right. I had the choice of a low aero tuck position or to stand up and keep my body prone to the wind. Either way progress was reasonably slow but managable. I made it to Big Hill (99m elevation) and then on to Lorne ahead of Steve and waited 5 minutes or so till he came in.  Cold milk in Lorne - it contains protein apparently - and then we were on our way back to Airey's.  Steve passed me on the flat bit leading up to Cathedral rock but I was able to reel him in on the uphill, only to have him zoom past as soon as it was downhill again.  Didn't see him again all the way to Airey's Inlet.

If I had another go at the bike I would put on the proper size (700C or 28") wheels, the small wheels make the ground clearance to the ground clearance to the pedals a bit small.


Today I have learnt that cycling in santa costumes is difficult at best. The pants afford minimal ventilation and where very baggy about the ankles, flirting dangerously with the freshly oiled chain of the single-speed. But it was painted in a very smart matching red.

When Steve and Richard went for their adventure yesterday, I went for a ride on a mystery mountain bike. The frame and wheels were probably a tad small for my comfort, but it was still easy to ride. The tire tread was very bald making riding on the Airey's Inlet unsealed roads very difficult. The bicycles that 'live' at this house are all in various states of disrepair, decades of cobwebs and sea air aren't the greatest conditions for storage, but they do meet of brief of getting one to the shops and back without to much trouble

Second lesson of the day. Santa suits are not made for open water swimming.

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