Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Score & the Result...

A far cry from BMX but when this project presented itself, how could I resist?

So, a few weeks ago I came into work bright & early on a Monday morning & there’s this beach Cruiser bike lent up against the cages so I went to check it out. It looked in quite good shape, a puncture up front, I did think it was a consignment someone had sent through our parcel network but that wasn’t the case. It had been dumped by one of our drivers fly tipping at the weekend & so, trying not to look too enthusiastic, I asked my boss if I could ‘get rid of it for him?’ It was clear that several of our drivers also had their eye on it so I told them the polish workers must have taken it?! Ha!

So I’ve wanted a beach cruiser for a while now, as I like the thought of just slow cruising to the shops for a paper etc. I did almost buy one of the Revenge Industries 'Booze Cruise' one’s a while back:

However, funds dried up at the time & it didn’t happen. I’ve not been able to establish who produced this bike yet, it has an F on the head tube & the word ‘FUDGE’ on the seat tube but Google isn’t forthcoming with an answer…?

Once I had her home I set to work on fixing the puncture so that I could take her around the block for a spin & a check to see everything else was in working order. The kids were all interested & all had a go around the street. No major issues were evident & it was time for restoration. Here's how she looked when I got her:

Over the course of about 2 weeks, I completely stripped her down:

& with the aid of some duraglit, Autosol, a toothbrush, a bunch of cloths & dusters & a whole lot of elbow grease & TLC, I gradually cleaned & polished every part up. There was some bad rust on the rear rim & I used those wire-wool soap pads to try to remove it but it took some of the chrome plate off. A lesson learnt? All the bearings were in perfect working order & I don’t think this bike had seen many miles riding at all. It’s definitely a neglected case, left out in the rain to rot. How sad… The coaster was fun to strip & rebuild as I’d not had any experience of a brake like this before although, having done extensive work on Bob K’s old Suntour open bearing freecoaster on his Big Daddy, it wasn’t a world away. I had to repeatedly scrub the white-wall tyres to remove the markings & they came up pretty good but not prefect. Everything else was generally in good condition with only surface rusting to deal with. I had to dump the grips as they were soft foam & were a bit ripped up but managed to get a fresh pair off US ebay for about £8 which, aside from the cleaning products I bought, was the only cash I’ve had to spend on this project. Have to thank Ray for the 24tpi wheel nuts he got me for the coaster hub. I may look at replacing the rear rim if a suitable chrome one comes up & the frame has some minor knocks & scratches so maybe a powder coat in future should I feel the need?

Here's the finished project:

I’m very happy with the results; it’s probably taken 20-30 hours of (mainly) polishing, washing & rebuilding but as soon as I took her for a cruise to the shops, it’s clear that work was worth it. You don’t think about rushing or even where you are heading, just slow pedalling along in a very comfortable riding position enjoying this very ‘chilled-out’ style of bike. It takes me back to my childhood days of my old Raleigh Bomber. It will more than likely be my eldest daughter that gets to ride it most as she doesn’t own a bike of her own & I do think it’s a slightly more girl than boy colour scheme? Still, I don’t doubt I will have the odd spin when mood takes…


Monday, July 14, 2008

Few bits...

Not posted for a good while & did some tinkering with the Campillo today so thought I'd do a blog entry for a change...

I wasn't getting on with the tensioners that Fly include with their frames so I took them off. After a session at Corby this week my wheel slipped a bit & I decided I did need at least one tensioner on there after all. My wheel is quite slammed in the frame (oooh look at you!) & it's a bit of a pain to get the wheel out without major surgery of some description. One thing that bugged me concerning the chain tensioners was that, the screw that holds the tensioner to the drop out, sticks out on the outside & interferes with the peg when you push the wheel up towards the BB. I filed off the excess screw that sticks out so that it's now nice & flush to the outer edge of the drop out. This was done in a vice, not in situ ;-)

Just another little detail that's no longer playing on my mind. Here's how the tensioner is positioned on the chain side, fits just nice now!

I've heard that some people have had issues getting these to fit on different hubs so I'm glad that wasn't the case here. After a check over & a little more dialing in, it's good to go for the next session. I picked up some foam cleaner which is real good for removing oily marks from the white frame, now she'd pass the Daz Doorstep Challenge any day!

I also pulled the old Mosca out of the shed today as I want to get rid of her. I cruised up to the local motor factors on my beach cruiser (blog to follow soon) to pick up some paint stripper & after an hour or three I had the back end relatively clean. Shit job stripping frames & I got pissed off with doing it so I left it at this for another day.