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Old 04-12-11, 10:39 PM   #1
Cubey
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Rescued Puch bike

I went and asked a friend who kind of collects junk bikes and works on them as a hobby if he had a clamp on style bottle holder and he didn't. The next day, someone he knew gave him an old bike in rough shape that had a portion of a clamp on bottle holder so he called me up about it. He said it was a road bike but in "rough shape" so I told him I'd come look at it when I came to pick him up to take him to a meeting we both go to since he can't drive due to a history of seizures.

So I get there and it's a Puch! But in definitely rough condition. Also.. while he's a really guy (maybe too nice for his own good at times) he's not very good at bike repair. I helped him repair a rear brake on a bike that he was kind of messing up somewhat when I got there the other day. Reason I point this out, he kinda started to take things apart and almost made it worse heh.

I offered him $5 for the bike and he said that was fine.. but then he was just going to GIVE it to me for nothing but I wanted to be nice about it and give him something for it. I ended up taking him to Wal-Mart and told him I couold either give him $5 cash if he wants that, or I'd buy him a chain breaker tool ($4.97 before tax) he said he needed. So he opted for the chain tool. He also gave me more or less just a frame of another bike with a few other parts he said I could take what I wanted from if I needed it. It has very interesting pedals which is mostly why I bothered taking it (which I may post later, forgot to take pics of it).

It's in "needs everything" condition pretty much. Needs tires, tubes, brake shoes, brake & gear cables, maybe a chain (it's rusty but moving), saddle (ugly but usable maybe), handlebar foam... and really.. paint too *LOL*. Plus it needs greasing of bearings all the way around I'm sure. But I'm up for the challenge! I'm not in any particular hurry to make it road worthy. If I get sick of it for a while I can put it out in my shed out of my way with currently seatless MTB.

The rear tire it has is a trainer tire and has no tube in it at all right now. Could be my friend removed it since he messed around with it some after he got it, hence the rear gear shifter hanging down like it is.

It looks very much like the "Puch Vent Noir II" except it's a 12 speed, not a 6(?) like that one in the pic below is. It looks identical from what I can see of what little pin striping can be seen. Also it has that branded seat:




Here's some pics of it as of right now:







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Old 04-13-11, 06:29 AM   #2
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Comparing the pictures, I am pretty sure they are not the same bikes. Yours has a claw mounted deraileur, stem shifters, and a larger rear gear cluster. It is still a Puch, which is not a bad thing, it's just not the same level of quality as the Vent Noir. I would clean and lubricate everything and see how it rides. After the frame is clean, and you see how bad the paint looks, you could repaint if neccesary. Don't spend a lot of money, though.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:09 AM   #3
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Vent Noir and Vent Noir II are higher-end bikes...$5 for one would cause you to have a guilty conscience Yours ain't too shabby, though. Try washing it down with Awesome or Fantastik cleaner, then try some Polishing Compound (not as abrasive as Rubbing Compound), or a cleaner wax, or just plain old car wax. Probably best to disassemble it for cleaning, putting parts in a box awaiting the rebuild. Black paint job, so any touching up will be a breeze! Take it apart, see what you can salvage (you can sometimes clean and oil cables and cable housing, soak the cain in degreaser & then put it in a plastic bag and soak it with oil and leave it for awhile, then work any tight links). Anything you need you can get cheap online at Niagara Cycle Works. BTW, I got my current chain tool at Wally-Mart, and it gets some use! All my expensive ones broke, but not the $5 one!
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Old 04-13-11, 08:18 AM   #4
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Yeah, I knew it wasn't the Vent Noir (II) since they have less gears. That's just the closest looking model I could find a picture of.

Cable wise, I think all but the front brake cable are bad... rusted and not moving. A complete cable kit at Wal-Mart is $5 so I'll get that eventually if the spare cables my friend gave me won't work. The housings may be salvageable if I can get the old cables out. I was thinking the same about the chain as far as soaking it in oil but didn't think about degreasing it first.

I already have a $5 Wal-Mart chain breaker around here someplace I bought about 6 years ago and used once or twice on a gas scooter that uses bicycle chain and it worked great.

Most costly thing would be tires and tubes for it. I just sunk $50 into tires and tubes for my Schwinn Le Tour from a local shop because I didn't want to wait 2 weeks for the parts via an online source. But for this bike, I can stand to wait. Once I get the bike cleaned up and fixed I can get the tires and tubes and tubes last. If need be I could even swap the wheels over from my Le Tour for long enough to test it out if they'd fit.
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Old 04-13-11, 02:18 PM   #5
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I worked on it a bit today. The rear derailleur was no good it seems. One of the springs that are built inside is no good. But the one from the other partial bike he gave me does work so I moved it over and had to dig out a replacement screw and nut as the one it had seemed to be too short. He probably lost the one it had and just put another on there without checking the size since it was just hanging down.

On the subject of the chain breaker... well, it kind of broke today. Stupid cheap pot metal. But it's still usable. The little fins that stick up in the center part broke off but it's still usable thankfully. I tested it out on a junk chain first and it did the trick.

I got the chain off, degreased it in one zip lock bag then put it in another with some oil. I'll let the oil soak in a while.

I also worked on the rear wheel bearings. I wasn't sure how to get the inner ones out without the risk of not being able to get them back in properly (being loose ball bearings) so I just packed it good with fresh grease, span the wheel, put more grease.. etc. I did that a few times. The other ones (opposite side from the gears) I did take out and clean good before putting fresh grease. Feels like it might be grinding a small bit due to those other bearings I didn't take out so I may just have to try taking them out, cleaning it out good and putting them back in.

About the only other thing I did today was take a rag to the frame with some dish soapy water. Looks better for sure.

Last edited by Cubey; 04-13-11 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 04-13-11, 02:40 PM   #6
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I busted the Wal-Mart chain break too, you can't use the first set of fins, only the second set.
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Old 04-13-11, 04:44 PM   #7
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+1 Really has nothing in common with the Vent Noir. At $5, it was a no brainer. But the nutted axles, steel rims, stem shifters, claw derailleur hanger, steel chain rings, turkey levers, etc., that Puch is entry level. But regardless, at $5, nice find.

To change all of the bearings on the rear wheel, you really should pull the freewheel first. That is a good idea anyway, as cleaning the freewheel is another important task, and it is easier to do off the bike. Any bike shop can remove that freewheel for you for about $5, maybe even free.
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Old 04-13-11, 08:38 PM   #8
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Well I got bored and messed with it some more. I have the old gear cables working half well. I ended up trying to combine two chains because it wouldn't shift into the highest possible gear (biggest part of the rear sprocket) when I had the front sprocket on the higher gear. It was acting like the chain was too short.

The chain is a bit jumpy but it doesn't jump off completely and if I fix the cables, it will shift to all the gears but it seems that chain isn't quite right. The two chains were slightly different so I guess it's causing it to not stay totally on the sprockets like it should. Plus it could be that other derailleur I put too. Plus I made the chain slightly longer.... i think. I lost track. I made it way too long then made it shorter again.
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Old 04-14-11, 12:27 AM   #9
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couple more guesses: it says "made for" Puch and has a decal that bears a resemblance to an Ishiwata frame tube decal (can't read it, just judging by the shape). I think this is a Japanese frame marketed by Puch...headlugs look like some that Miyata used on bikes like the 210 and 310.
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Old 04-14-11, 10:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unworthy1 View Post
couple more guesses: it says "made for" Puch and has a decal that bears a resemblance to an Ishiwata frame tube decal (can't read it, just judging by the shape). I think this is a Japanese frame marketed by Puch...headlugs look like some that Miyata used on bikes like the 210 and 310.
Yeah the picture didn't come out. End part of it is gone but it looks like it says Manga or Magnum.
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Old 04-14-11, 11:47 AM   #11
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Your bike was a special makeup the Iowa Puch importer brought into the states in the early/mid 80's.

If I recall it was a typical Japanese bike that worked well but was nothing too special. The one thing I remember was the decals were easily damaged and we couldn't clamp them in the bike stand over the decals or they would get smooshed.
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Old 04-15-11, 08:12 AM   #12
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hey I have the same frame.

it's definitely what fritter says: it's not a vent noir.

especially the bit about decals being easily damaged... I ended up stripping the bike out of all decals off the seat tube out of frustration from it getting smooshed after locking it up against a post and having it fall. Bleh.

it's ishawata magny tubing.

check out http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...anchi-Ishiwata for some details about the tubing.

I ended up making mine into a winter fixie beater. works wonderfully. not the lightest bike but it rides nice.
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Old 04-15-11, 08:26 AM   #13
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Before you put any more effort or money into it, check whether the frame (and maybe the fork) are as bent as they look in the picture of the complete bike. If you don't know how to check for a bent frame or fork, post back here.

By the way, 6 speed and 12 speed mean the same thing in this case; both bikes have 2 chainrings in front and 6 sprockets in back.
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Old 04-15-11, 12:00 PM   #14
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No, I don't know how. But it doesn't seem bent to me looking at it in person. It may just be a bad picture perspective that makes it look that way. When I said 6, I meant the Vent Noir looked like the rear sprocket only had 3 gears on it. Looks way too small to have 6.
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