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Old 07-11-14, 09:58 PM   #1
Lascauxcaveman 
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Messin' with the Lambert (again)

From 1982 to about 2008, my (1972?) Lambert Grand Prix was the only bike I owned. I got it from a guy who raced it for ten years then sold it to me as a frameset; "Death Fork" on the side. It was my campus bike during the school year and recreational rider in the summer. It was built up mostly with a bunch of leftover parts from a badly bent Schwinn Le Tour, plus a few pieces from the LBS. I remember the guy at the LBS practically begging me to buy a pair of alloy rims when he put it together for me. "No way dude, $60? Are you nuts?"

Fast forward to 2010, being a woodworker kinda guy, I built a wooden trunk for the back rack and a wooden fender for the front. Neato! I started commuting on this thing on nice days and could haul some groceries without wearing them on my back. Bent rims and worn out brake pads prompted me to finally upgrade to alloy wheels (about $80, now. Inflation, I guess) Forty bucks for new tires? You gotta be kidding me!


Not long after that, I logged onto Bike Forums for the first time, clicked on the Classic & Vintage thread, and the floodgates sorta opened up. I picked up a lot of bikes over the next couple years, mostly mid-level stuff at garage-sale prices. Since the Lambert wasn't getting ridden any more, I decided it would be fun to repaint it; the original paint was really beat up. Since Lambert is one of the few marques for which there are no good repro decals available, I decided a custom job, rather than a restoration would be the ticket. Chemical strip, high-build primer, wet sand, wash, then prep with mineral spirits before spraying it with a couple coats of appliance epoxy in can. Black and white, pretty straightforward. Parts from other bikes updating and upgrading a nice, light (but somewhat whippy) frame back down to a reasonably light 24 lbs; neato!
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Old 07-11-14, 09:59 PM   #2
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A couple weeks ago, I got a nice package deal on CL; a set of 29er wheels with Alfine 8 speed hub, shifter, cable, installation instructions, two sets of newish tires and a Paul Components chain tensioner (not used on this build), all for $100! Some serious high tech blackness just looking for a frame to go on. The Lambert immediately came mind. Chain guard is a NOS English thing from eBay land.


I went for a bad boy kind of path racer look, with those ridiculous inverted M bars mounted to an ATAX stem from an old Peugeot, because they were the only ones I had on hand that I could get the Alfine shifter to go on (and just barely). A 20 mile shakedown ride had my wrists sore and my hands numb. Not usually a problem for me. But I'm sure I looked pretty badass the whole way







Next up: fabricating some chain guard mounts to get it a little lower and farther back, and buying a Jtek bar end shifter so I can go back to the drop bars and actually ride this thing. Obviously, some real pedals too. I'm pretty impressed with the Alfine hub, which works great if you have it dialed in EXACTLY right, and has a really wide range of gears. Very spinny low for getting up the hills and and spinning out downhill at about 39mph -fast enough!
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● 1971 Grandis SL ● 1972 Lambert Grand Prix frankenbike ● 1972 Raleigh Super Course fixie ● 1972 Peugeot UE-18 Mixte ● 1980 Apollo "Legnano" ● 1982 Bianchi Limited ● 1983 Nishiki Landau ● 1984 Peugeot Vagabond ● 1985 Trek 600 ● 1985 Shogun Prairie Breaker ● 1985 Raleigh Elkhorn ● 1986 Univega Nuovo Sport ● 1986 Merckx Super Corsa ● 1987 Schwinn Tempo ● 1990 Cannondale ST600 ● 1993 Rleigh Technium ● 1996 Kona Lava Dome ● And a Bike to Be Named Later ●

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Old 07-11-14, 10:34 PM   #3
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I like it! Maybe you can find a sign painter to paint the brand name on the tubes. Better yet, make up your own brand name!

Is that a custom rack you fabricated for the handlebars? I like it!
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Old 07-11-14, 10:39 PM   #4
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Looks great, is that the death fork painted?
I've been playing with my Viscount again lately, with a new wheel set and cassette.

Edit: never mind on the fork ?, I zoomed it.
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Old 07-12-14, 12:33 AM   #5
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Old 07-12-14, 12:46 AM   #6
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I just love these old Viking Lamberts











z
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Old 07-12-14, 01:22 AM   #7
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If you point the nose up on your saddle and then lower it, you might be able to keep those handlebars without destroying your hands. Make sure your hips don't rock when pedaling. Positioning the saddle so that your pubic bone bears some weight takes weight off your hands and shoulders. It opens up possibilities.

I love the chainguard. I love being able to jump on a bike wearing long trousers and not need to worry about anything.

What's your impression of the rear hub? It doesn't have a brake, does it?
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Old 07-12-14, 06:08 AM   #8
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My Lambert went through a similar evolution, eventually ending up with a three speed fixed gear hub and no original parts. The white paint panels were flaking away but the red wasn't. So I scraped away the white and left the red. Made my own decals. It lives on Long Island, where i spend vacations, and it has become my main summer bike.

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Old 07-12-14, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
If you point the nose up on your saddle and then lower it, you might be able to keep those handlebars without destroying your hands.
Generally good advice, and I tried that, but when I got the seat low enough to make the wrists line up to the grips comfortably, I wasn't getting anywhere near proper leg extension. It felt almost like I was on a kiddy bike, not something actually in my size range.

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I love the chainguard. I love being able to jump on a bike wearing long trousers and not need to worry about anything.
I know! I'm looking forward to putting some fenders on it too, and see if this thing will be be my daily winter ride.

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What's your impression of the rear hub? It doesn't have a brake, does it?
Really works great, and has a much wider range than I expected, but has to be dialed in EXACTLY. This one is the non-coaster brake version, so I'll be putting on a rear caliper as well. The non-machined rims (heck, they're not even flat sided) seem to work pretty well with a standard rim brake, and probably will be even better when the ano wears of the contact area. Both wheels have disc brakes hubs, so I could also pony up and add that at some later date when I get get bored again.
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Old 07-12-14, 02:23 PM   #10
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Is that a custom rack you fabricated for the handlebars? I like it!
Yes, I've made a few of those by bending 3/16" and 1/4" aluminum rod stock. The initial bend over a broomstick clamped in a vise, the second bends in place over the stem/bars, and the final, sharper bends in the vise itself. Turns an average cheapo backpack into a capacious, multipurpose randonneuring bag.
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Old 07-12-14, 02:41 PM   #11
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My Lambert went through a similar evolution, eventually ending up with a three speed fixed gear hub and no original parts. The white paint panels were flaking away but the red wasn't. So I scraped away the white and left the red. Made my own decals. It lives on Long Island, where i spend vacations, and it has become my main summer bike.

Do you lay out the decal design with Photoshop and send a PDF to a printer or do print your own?
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Old 07-12-14, 02:58 PM   #12
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I kind of like, I am not usually huge on the 'all black' look. The shifting works good? I am always having redouble with mine and was thinking about doing something like you did. My frame has the rear cable running along the TT but I have been thinking of using a Sturmey type fulcrum sleeve and running a full housing down the back of the seat to make the cable route smoother.

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Old 07-12-14, 04:47 PM   #13
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Do you lay out the decal design with Photoshop and send a PDF to a printer or do print your own?
I use Corel Draw. I use the laser printer at work to print the black lines on waterslide paper, but in mirror image; then color in with gold and/or other color paints. Before applying them to the bike I smear a thin coat of dilute Elmer's glue on the frame, which lets me slide the decal around all I want before it sticks down. Once placed I rub it down, working the droplets of glue out, and it becomes pretty permanent. Let dry, clearcoat, and it's not going anywhere!
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Old 07-12-14, 06:18 PM   #14
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I use Corel Draw. I use the laser printer at work to print the black lines on waterslide paper, but in mirror image; then color in with gold and/or other color paints. Before applying them to the bike I smear a thin coat of dilute Elmer's glue on the frame, which lets me slide the decal around all I want before it sticks down. Once placed I rub it down, working the droplets of glue out, and it becomes pretty permanent. Let dry, clearcoat, and it's not going anywhere!
Thank-you for that information, rhm!
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Old 07-12-14, 06:50 PM   #15
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I kind of like, I am not usually huge on the 'all black' look. The shifting works good? I am always having redouble with mine and was thinking about doing something like you did.
I'm not really that big on all-black either, but that's what happened to fall in my lap, so I went with it

I read on your thread and others that these Alfine IGHs were finicky about their cable pull, and I believe it. So I did the most direct routing possible with a minimum of cable housing involved and no sharp bends. This required me to avoid using the brazed on cable guide riding on top of the bottom bracket, and screw on a plastic cable guide underneath. Luckily, I had a tap that matched the thread of the mounting screw on the cable guide I had in my parts box so it was just a matter of drill, tap and install. As you can see from the photo, it a straight shot from the BB to the cable receiver on the hub, so I couldn't think of any good reason to put housing on that run, even though the receiver is built for it.
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Old 07-12-14, 08:44 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I kind of like, I am not usually huge on the 'all black' look. The shifting works good? I am always having redouble with mine and was thinking about doing something like you did. My frame has the rear cable running along the TT but I have been thinking of using a Sturmey type fulcrum sleeve and running a full housing down the back of the seat to make the cable route smoother.
I also built my Viscount frame into a 3-speed fixed gear:



Shifting is fine, but I decided to minimize housing by mounting the shifter on the stem and using a vintage fulcrum clip on the downtube and pulley at the bottom bracket.

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Old 07-12-14, 10:42 PM   #17
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I have two Lamberts, Reg Harris versions here. One is being morphed into a mismatch of parts, Campy 10 speed brifters, first edition DA crankset, 9 speed shimano cassette-RD, Kinlin 19w silver hoops. Raleigh Rando bar . Nice little bike .
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Old 07-13-14, 08:31 AM   #18
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I also built my Viscount frame into a 3-speed fixed gear:



Shifting is fine, but I decided to minimize housing by mounting the shifter on the stem and using a vintage fulcrum clip on the downtube and pulley at the bottom bracket.

Nicely done!
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Old 07-13-14, 08:53 AM   #19
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But where do I find one of these that fits a MAX OR frame?



Thanks for the tips guys I'll have to pull out the 3DBB and see what I come up for smoother routing.
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Old 11-23-14, 02:08 AM   #20
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Forgot to post pics of the "final" build: Got the J-Tek shifter on the drop bars (works pretty swell) the extra-long VO stainless fenders for soggy winter riding and the universe is once again back in balance. Neato!



Took care of my chain guard clearance problems by finally just going with my Lambert of England (TA Cyclotouriste copy) crank. This allowed me to get the chain guard down nice and snug over the chain ring, which I have to admit looks a lot better than the last configuration.


My first bell! I found this in a box of parts I bought about a year ago. It's black, so it had to go on this bike. I've never before thought of adding bells to my bikes, since I can't hear them myself. (My high-frequency hearing is long gone - if I hold my ear close to this when I trigger the striker is sounds like a dull click). But when I hammer this thing four five times as I motate down the MUP, people move outta my way, so it feels kinda like a magic dog whistle to me.


An in-line cable adjuster is absolutely a requirement for the somewhat finicky Alfine 8 IGH hub. I'm glad I found a non-plastic one online. "Steel is Real."


Ye Ancient Venerable Racer centerpull calipers, as always, on this bike. Sometimes the olde ways [strike]are the best[/strike] are adequate.
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Old 11-23-14, 12:07 PM   #21
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Ye Ancient Venerable Racer centerpull calipers, as always, on this bike. Sometimes the olde ways [strike]are the best[/strike] are adequate.


Excellent work and excellent pictures.

I've been using bells on my bikes for a long time. They have become necessities. Riding without a bell feels almost as scary as riding without adequate braking.

So what are your chainring and cog sizes? I'm eager to look at your gear chart.
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Old 11-23-14, 03:33 PM   #22
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So what are your chainring and cog sizes? I'm eager to look at your gear chart.
Ring/cog = 48/22, 175mm crank, which according to Sheldon's calculator results in the following gear inches with an Alfine 8 + 700c x 28 tires:

30.8
37.6
43.7
49.7
58.4
71.4
82.8
94.3

When I have a choice, I shoot for a low of about 30 gear inches on any bike I'm going to be using for commuting or significant climbing. Not gettin' any younger!
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Old 11-23-14, 04:04 PM   #23
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That's about as close to perfect as I've ever seen in a set of gears. Maybe I should consider getting one of those hubs.
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