Posts Tagged With: bicycle

A story of Canadian financial failures – all in one bike!

IMG_0716 Yup, I know – it doesn’t look like much, and I almost left it where I found it – awaiting a metal crusher so that it could be turned into rebar at the Stelco plant in Regina (or wherever they send the mass of metal that is gathered up from the many  municipal transfer sites in the province. But if you know me, you will know that I just could not leave that bicycle there for such an ignominious end. I brought it home, and only after starting to clean it up, a realization about the bike came to me. It is a reminder of two now-defunct icons of retail in Canada. The emblem on the front fork displays the name T. Eaton Company, founded in 1869 by Timothy Eaton, closed to bankruptcy in 1999. IMG_1652 And, partially hidden behind the chain guard ring, another well-known trade name – CCM. The Canada Cycle and Motor Company Limited was founded in 1899 and went bankrupt in 1983. IMG_1655 Fortunately, the original CCM built quality bicycles, and after some elbow grease and attention to detail, this Stallion will be ridden again. IMG_0727 IMG_1654 IMG_1653

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Lemons and Grapes – Rhonda’s new makeover bike

One of last year’s projects has spawned the latest effort from Village Cycleworks. In 2013, a pair of rather ordinary “mountain bikes” were refurbished and given a facelift. The result was the Jack & Jill Makeover. Well, Jack & Jill are finding a new home this spring – they have been purchased and will be travelling to southern Manitoba as Mother’s Day/Father’s day gifts. Soon they will be taking their new owners on country rides for coffee with the nearby neighbours. After picking up Jack & Jill from the Village Cycleworks shop, our customer called back with an inquiry – could we put together a bike for herself? She had some requests: she preferred the purple paint used on Jack and Jill; she also liked the fenders; and she would like a basket.

Well it happened that there was a suitable bike on hand that had the potential to fulfill those requirements. It was a “made in Canada” bike sold by the large tire-selling Canadian hardware chain.

Rhonda's bike - the before shot

As with many (most?) bikes that make their way to a landfill site, on the surface it did not look too promising, with deflated tires and bent wheels, rusty cables and cable housing, scratches and rust spots on the paint. It did have the important ingredient required for a successful make-over – a solid and true frame with bosses for mounting cantilever brakes.

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Paint scratches and peeling decals are really nothing to worry about – they are just surface blemishes.

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So the bike was dismantled and, after a bit of elbow grease, sent to the “paint booth”.

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A new paint job deserves a custom touch.

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After a few days to allow the paint to cure, it was time to re-assemble everything, making sure to grease and reset bearings and true up wheels. Serviceable components were salvaged from other donor bikes. A few new components were added, including, as requested, polycarbonate full wrap around fenders and an aluminum front rack with a wooden deck. Here, after 40 hours or so of work, is the result, proving the old adage “Never judge a book by it’s cover”, or in this application “Never judge a bike by its scratches and rust!”

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Moustachio – the transformation is complete

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Once the components were chosen, assembly could take place. Wheels were greased and trued. Duro Sierra tires were selected – puncture resistant, with reflective sidewalls. Derailleurs were installed – the front one original and the rear one new – a Shimano Alivio RD-M410. Cabling was configured for derailleurs and brakes.  Wrap-around fenders and a sturdy rear carrier were included in the mix, adding functionality and style. My Lion Bellworks bell was transferred from the Expediter light duty cargo bike to the new city bike.

Then for a new experience – wrapping the moustache handlebars. Before tackling the job, I went online and discovered that there are as many experts on the topic as there ways to wrap handlebars. By combining the ideas and approaches that seemed to make the most sense to me, the job was completed and the results very satisfying.

Next up – a test ride, followed by a photo shoot. The test ride proved exhilarating – the light frame and narrow tires coupled with the ability to “get down” on the moustache bars produces a fun ride that turns heads when you stop long enough for folks to appreciate it. Great fun.

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Moustachio – the ingredients for a transformation

Well, in the last post, it was clear that some there was still a lot of work to get that old Norco bicycle looking presentable. It required removing ALL of the paint, including the original very nice two tone job, and in addition, all of the decals and stickers. I will spare you the details – suffice it to say that it took time, elbow power and several sheets of sandpaper. Once the bike was “clean to the bone”, it was time for the “paint booth/bike shed” and the metallic Pearl Glow paint that had been selected. Here we are, just hanging around, waiting for paint to dry…

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Next? the fun part – after cleaning old components that were to be recycled, it was time to select and find the new ones that would make the transformation. You may recall that I mentioned something in the last post about moustache handlebars… Let me tell you the story of the origin of this style. It goes back to the 70’s in Japan when school children fell in love with the drop down handlebars of racing bikes. For some reason, school authorities felt that these bars were too, well, too riske!! and they banned the use of them by school children. But the kids found a way around that by modifying the original style. Perhaps it is the wanna-be-rebel side of me then that is drawn to this style of handlebar… :o)

So, lets have a look at those “rebels”. Here they are, resting nicely in a stem that I picked up a year ago, originally used on a lowrider bike that had been trashed. Yes, those bars may not look like much yet, but take time to wait for the outcome.

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I knew that the Shimano quick shift combination levers that were originally used on the Norco bike could not be used with these handlebars. Bar end shifters are in common use with moustache handlebars and it is easy to see why. However, I did not have these and I did not want to spend the money to buy them but there was an alternative that I was certain would work…

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Yes, something ‘old school’ – Shimano shifter levers from a road bike from the 70’s, attached to the stem. There were a collection of these shifter levers in a coffee tin in the “parts” department of my workshop  and by mixing and matching and searching through a pile of old road bikes that were destined for the recycle melting pot, I was able to put together a set that looked good and worked well.

Next – brake levers… My research had disclosed that non-aero brake levers were the best choice when using moustache bars and while going through that pile of old road bikes, I found a possible candidate set. I was not completely satisfied because the hoods on them were long gone. About the time that I found these, serendipity stepped in. An ad appeared on Kijiji for a “mint condition vintage drop bar shimano brake lever set”. The ad described them as coming from “a 1978 Miele road bike, the drop bar is a “Sakae Custom Road Champion”  in near perfect condition minus wear from original install…  The brake lever set is Shimano, both levers come with hoods which are in good shape”. I inquired to see if the levers could be purchased separately but was told that they would only go as a set. An hour later, the vendor messaged me back to tell me that someone wanted to buy the handlebars only, and so I quickly went to pick up the levers and hoods – here they are…

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As you know, it takes a bit more than handlebars, shift and brake levers to make a bicycle but in this instance, these were the most interesting components. With these now on hand and with the paint finally cured, check out the next post to see the final outcome of this transformation.

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The Jack and Jill makeover – the RESULTS

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These are the parts that go into a bicycle and this is the pile that was left after “Jill” was taken apart. Now lets see the results after  a manicure and some new “duds”. First the paint:

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Remember those rusty, rough looking bikes that we began with? Already looking different, right? Next its time for the nuts and bolts basics – cleaning and greasing and adjusting bearings, and running new cables to make sure that brakes work and gears change. All the important but boring stuff – it needs to get done to make the best out of any bicycle. After thats done, we can get to the fun part – let’s see what else we can do….

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Let’s start at the top, with new Velo anatomic comfort grips. Along with the grips, aluminum Tektro linear pull brake levers, designed for four finger ergonomics.

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New tires and tubes start us on the road with CST Commuter street tires – smooth rolling with a continuous central band lined by water runners and triangular shoulders to enhance traction. Braking is important on a bicycle and dual colour brake pads were installed. These pads are designed with channels to guide excess water and grime off of the braking surface. For those days when a rider might be caught by a sudden rain, full coverage fenders were added front and back, constructed of light weight but strong polycarbonate and installed using stainless steel hardware.

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KMC Rustbuster chains were installed to provide long lasting trouble free service. The LU-214 City Pedals from Wellgo were selected – they are made of one piece aluminum with a Kraton rubber gripping surface and Cro-Mo machined spindles. Light weight aluminum bottle cages as well as convenient kickstands were added.

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Classic alloy rear racks were also added to make it easier to carry “stuff”.  And to ensure a comfortable shock absorbing ride, a Rhyno Comfort Web Spring saddle was chosen, with thick foam top, coil springs at the rails and a web spring.

So how did we do when all comes together?

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There you have it – the Jack and Jill Makeover. Available for you at Village Cycleworks. Time to dig those bikes out of the garage, bring them on over, and get the NEW LOOK. Turn those dusty, rusty, trusty “mountain” bikes into modern, city loving, commuter friendly, exercise ready Prairie Cruisers!! Why buy something new when what you have is still very serviceable and only needs some new additions and improvements to bring it back to life? Give me a call and lets talk!!

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Categories: Rescued and returned to use | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Transition – Mountaineer to Expediter

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It started with an idea, a challenge to be met Bicycles are great ways of getting ourselves around but often we have “stuff” that we want to take with us. The old wire baskets that many of us used to have on our bicycles are inadequate for many of the things that we would like to carry these days. What to do? The low bed cargo bike that I built has much more capacity than is often required when not going on  a serious shopping trip and yet I still wanted a way to carry some of my “stuff”.

Often the solutions that we come up are not original ideas but rather ones that we have “borrowed” from others, and that is what happened in this case. I have seen photos of light duty cargo bikes, carrying “stuff” on racks over the front wheel – this extends the cargo carrying capacity of a regular bicycle but keeps the bike compact enough to remain an “about-town” form of transportation. That is what I decided to build and thus began the transition. All I needed was a “donor” bike, and the one I found was an early model Norco mountain bike, named appropriately but without much originality “Mountaineer”.

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Even though the bike was saddle worn and a bit rough around the edges with chipped paint and rusty cables, missing wheels and brake pads, there were still lots of good miles waiting to be ridden – it was not time to put this horse out to pasture yet!!

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After all, not only did the bike come from the well-known Canadian bicycle manufacturer, Norco, but it had originally been sold by one of the landmark bike shops in Saskatoon, Joe’s Cycle. It had a pedigree and it also had some history.

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Hence the transition began, on a jig that I built to accommodate this and future cargo bike builds.IMG_8202

By using a smaller front wheel smaller and by pushing it forward, a place was made for carrying cargo.

All that remained was to join the front to the back… IMG_8209

Add the cargo bay…IMG_8223

Now to the paint booth. Throw on some primer…IMG_8227

Add some colour…IMG_8235

And a bit of bling…IMG_8241

Some cedar for the cargo deck…IMG_8255

A few recycled components…IMG_8253

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Now add to the mix some carefully selected new components:

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Swept back handlebars allowing an upright riding stance

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New Shimano  TX50 Tourney thumb shifters and ergonomic four finger Tektro brake levers

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Aluminum Wellgo CU-214 City Pedals with ball bearings and Cro-Mo machined spindles 

 

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Fenders, front and rear

IMG_8332 Puncture resistant front tire

Kenda Pathfinder rear tire, low profile and selected for reduced rolling resistance

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IMG_8341Centre kickstand to allow easy loading

There you have it – the transition is complete – from Mountaineer to Expediter – a re-purposed bicycle ready to deliver rider and goods with style and pizzaz. Order yours today!!

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