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What have you been wrenching on lately?

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What have you been wrenching on lately?

Old 03-07-23, 06:14 PM
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The bottom bracket is threaded, but the inside of everything is black so it doesn't show well. There was a little surface rust and I probably wouldn't have had to paint it had the thrift store owner I bought it from not tried to clean it. I assume the Bonderizing may have accounted for the black insides and the lack of rust.
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Old 03-08-23, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M
The bottom bracket is threaded, but the inside of everything is black so it doesn't show well. There was a little surface rust and I probably wouldn't have had to paint it had the thrift store owner I bought it from not tried to clean it. I assume the Bonderizing may have accounted for the black insides and the lack of rust.
It still looks like a nice frame, especially if it wasn't expensive. Personally I don't mind vintage bicycles being repainted, in some cases you really don't have much choice. Plus, if it keeps the bicycle on the road for another 50 years, that's a plus in my eyes
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Old 03-09-23, 09:03 AM
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Old 03-09-23, 09:04 AM
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One of these days I'll figure out how to take a clear picture. This ones for you Neal!
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Old 03-09-23, 05:09 PM
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Since I will have to say goodbye to my Grand Sprint sometime soon and probably I'm not going to get a price that covers the value of the components, I decided to keep Mavic MA2 wheelset I've built for it previously. I got the rims in a very good condition and I can always use them on another bicycle, they have plenty of life left and are nicer than Rigida DP16 I currently use on it.
Which means it's time to build yet another set of wheels. And also clear out some parts I'm not going to use for anything else. I've got two decent low profile rims which will be definitely good enough. I decided to lace them onto this pair of 1981 Maillard hubs. I've cleaned the hubs inside out and polished the shells a bit. Bearing balls in the rear one were not great. The only one I had are grade 10, which is an overkill, but in they went and the hub is nice and smooth now. It also required an additional spacer to bring it to 126mm OLN. This was probably the original spacing on this hub, the axle had a few milimeters extra on the drive side compared with the NDS.
And decided to use track nuts on both hubs in the end.
Marine grease (also known as "forbidden jam") in the photo is for the hubs. "Wee dram" of whiskey is to lubricate the mechanic at work. That + some blues through the speakers = a very relaxing evening



Total bliss

Even basic hubs deserve to look good
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Old 03-09-23, 07:41 PM
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I've been thinking through some changes to my Super Sport, and have begun directing my attention toward assembling the parts for these changes. Here's a somewhat recent photo of its current incarnation:




I'm pretty sure the rear triangle is out of alignment (checking it this week with the Sheldon Brown String Method), and will be looking to expand the OLD to 130mm in the process. That will result in some drivetrain updating (to 8x2 friction), as well as a change from 130 BCD 52/39 to 110 BCD 50/34 up front. Drop bars will also be returning.

Do you all have a preference between aero and non-aero levers, insofar as their function vs. looks? I have a great set of Weinemann drilled levers with nice new hoods (non-aero) or a set of very comfy cane creeks (aero) to choose from.

Also happy to hear any other insight or advice you all have.
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Old 03-09-23, 09:29 PM
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Nick! I believe there's a slight function improvement when going aero levers yet I cannot deny the beauty of the graceful sweeps that non-aero levers provide. With a frame of your vintage and mix of parts, you can go either way and you'll still be right.
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Old 03-10-23, 06:19 AM
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The 'function improvement' is due to factors other than the type of lever. I'm running 1980s Dura Ace levers on one bike, and they are pretty "bad" in the sense that they take a lot of force. I believe it's only a matter of pull ratio; there's not much else going on there, since the cable path is simple and clean, and the rest has nothing to do with the levers.

With aeros, the trick is getting the cable lined up so the steel doesn't rub on anything other than the lining. Not hard to do. With some levers, it helps to have all the parts

My go-to setup is Shimano aero levers -- dunno the model; they've made them for ages, it's the type Rivendell sells.

My favorite at the moment are 1980s Triomphe with standard cable routing. They fit my small hands well, the replacement hoods feel right, and they brake well. I believe™ that earlier brakes -- like those DAs -- had the levers curve away farther from the handlebar. I find those awkward to use. The Triomphes feel just right. And best of all: I can use a Mirrycle with those, hands down my favorite. I use the ones marketed as 'Ortlieb' on my aero bikes; they are not as easily damaged.

cheers -mathias
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Old 03-10-23, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by nick_a
I've been thinking through some changes to my Super Sport, and have begun directing my attention toward assembling the parts for these changes. Here's a somewhat recent photo of its current incarnation:




I'm pretty sure the rear triangle is out of alignment (checking it this week with the Sheldon Brown String Method), and will be looking to expand the OLD to 130mm in the process. That will result in some drivetrain updating (to 8x2 friction), as well as a change from 130 BCD 52/39 to 110 BCD 50/34 up front. Drop bars will also be returning.

Do you all have a preference between aero and non-aero levers, insofar as their function vs. looks? I have a great set of Weinemann drilled levers with nice new hoods (non-aero) or a set of very comfy cane creeks (aero) to choose from.

Also happy to hear any other insight or advice you all have.
First beautiful bike but the drop bars seem like a great move with that seat. I can't imagine that sitting upright.
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Old 03-10-23, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
First beautiful bike but the drop bars seem like a great move with that seat. I can't imagine that sitting upright.
Ha indeed! I have B17s on my other two main rides and this felt like total punishment. The previous iteration had drops and I will be returning to that, with slightly wider (44cm) Nitto Noodle bars.
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Old 03-10-23, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nick_a
Do you all have a preference between aero and non-aero levers, insofar as their function vs. looks? I have a great set of Weinemann drilled levers with nice new hoods (non-aero) or a set of very comfy cane creeks (aero) to choose from.
My bicycles are from late 70's or early 80's and I'm not that interested in any components newer than mid-80's really. That being said, I have 6400 Ultegra gruppo (not complete) and that originally would have come with aero brake levers or brifters. I still went with older 600EX levers when using it. I like the whole retro look of the cables sticking out and downtube shifters so it's an esthetics decision for me. If I were ever to commit a crime of getting some modern (as in 90's modern) bicycle (don't see a reason why I would do that at this point) and go for aero levers, I think I'd just go for brifters instead.
The most modern components I use are of the 600 EX SIS group (86/87), which had both aero and non-aero brake levers. Non-aero ones look much nicer to me. All the aero levers look sort of generic and very much alike.
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Old 03-10-23, 03:35 PM
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You have the dual pivots already so I'd go with the cane creeks. But the coolest would be Shimano non-aero SLR.
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Old 03-10-23, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by nick_a
Do you have a preference between aero and non-aero levers, insofar as their function vs. looks?
Very much. I prefer non-aero for looks and function. I enjoy using them and they allow the cockpit to be versatile, on-the-fly. But they can look grossly out of place on bikes post-1986.
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Old 03-10-23, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Very much. I prefer non-aero for looks and function. I enjoy using them and they allow the cockpit to be versatile, on-the-fly. But they can look grossly out of place on bikes post-1986.
I'm appreciating all of these different outlooks. Thank you all!
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Old 03-11-23, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
Very much. I prefer non-aero for looks and function. I enjoy using them and they allow the cockpit to be versatile, on-the-fly. But they can look grossly out of place on bikes post-1986.
Also; ease of maintenance. Hiding the cables under the handlewrap bar ain't gonna make anyone the next Eddy Merckx anyway.
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Old 03-11-23, 06:41 AM
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DIfferent perspective here - i changed my non aero for aero levers, and the brake power is VASTLY improved. Same brake setup (except for cables/housing - compressionless w/ slick inner. which came with the BL-400.) Was using the weinmanns before and i wonder how i was even able to stop properly
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Old 03-11-23, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
DIfferent perspective here - i changed my non aero for aero levers, and the brake power is VASTLY improved. Same brake setup (except for cables/housing - compressionless w/ slick inner. which came with the BL-400.) Was using the weinmanns before and i wonder how i was even able to stop properly
Could it be that the brake power stayed the same and what changed was the modulation? Though you don't mention what brakes you use, newer brakes are designed to work with aero levers and springs in both compliment each other to ensure the calipers open fully when you release the lever. I understand BL-400 probably have shorter cable pull than Weinmann levers of any type, which would make them feel differently, I guess?
Next thing is that there were several models of Weinmann brake levers, and whereas they are very similar, the lever and body shape did differ. Which did also influence the feel you get from them. Weinmann AG Carrera and 405 feel differently than AG 605 and the latter are less ergonomic and less comfortable to break from the hoods.
Then there's the position on the handlebar: newer brake lever usually are mounted higher than the very traditional setup. Here I can actually give some RL examples (albeit anectodal as it follows only my experience). On my main bicycle I use Weinmann Carrera levers with Weinmann Vainqueur centre pulls. They are mounted so that they are a bit like an extention of the flat section of the drop handlebar (so more like with modern brake levers). Braking from the hoods is very easy and it's the setup I prefer over modern brakes because it seems to work really great for me. I prefer it from dual pivots or good quality single pivots because it's perfect for riding in the city. I can assure you I can stop very properly with this setup, even from the hoods.
The other bicycle is a 70's machine and position of the brake levers is pre-determined by Hutchinson rubber cover for the handlebar. Brake levers are Weinmann AG 605. They are much more forward. Brakes are again Weinmann Vainqueur centrepulls. Braking from the hoods is not so much braking on this one, rather a rapid deceleration. You can stop quickly breaking from the hoods, but it's not very comfortable and puts more strain on the wrists. If I want to brake and stop quickly without putting my wrists at risk, I have to go lower and grab the handlebar on the bends. Which is generally not a problem as I ride this bicycle in a less aggresive way than the other one, but of course one has to adjust their braking expectations and style.
It has to be mentioned that brakes on both bicycles use pads with slightly different compounds (but contemporary and by the same manufacturer).

This is not to discard or diminish your experience, I'm just saying there are many factors that might influence the way we perceive things, e.g. braking power. The single biggest factor would be the cable pull of the brake levers (other than quality of the brake pads and construction of the calipers, of course). I guess the best way to compare how cable routing influences the braking power would be to compare BL-1050 (non-aero with return spring) and BL-1051 (aero with return spring). I'd actually expect non-aero cable routing being better (fewer and gentler bends of the cable) for the braking power. But anyway, verious people have various preferences and that's perfectly OK.
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Old 03-12-23, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by VintageSteelEU
Could it be that the brake power stayed the same and what changed was the modulation? Though you don't mention what brakes you use, newer brakes are designed to work with aero levers and springs in both compliment each other to ensure the calipers open fully when you release the lever. I understand BL-400 probably have shorter cable pull than Weinmann levers of any type, which would make them feel differently, I guess?
Next thing is that there were several models of Weinmann brake levers, and whereas they are very similar, the lever and body shape did differ. Which did also influence the feel you get from them. Weinmann AG Carrera and 405 feel differently than AG 605 and the latter are less ergonomic and less comfortable to break from the hoods.
Then there's the position on the handlebar: newer brake lever usually are mounted higher than the very traditional setup. Here I can actually give some RL examples (albeit anectodal as it follows only my experience). On my main bicycle I use Weinmann Carrera levers with Weinmann Vainqueur centre pulls. They are mounted so that they are a bit like an extention of the flat section of the drop handlebar (so more like with modern brake levers). Braking from the hoods is very easy and it's the setup I prefer over modern brakes because it seems to work really great for me. I prefer it from dual pivots or good quality single pivots because it's perfect for riding in the city. I can assure you I can stop very properly with this setup, even from the hoods.
The other bicycle is a 70's machine and position of the brake levers is pre-determined by Hutchinson rubber cover for the handlebar. Brake levers are Weinmann AG 605. They are much more forward. Brakes are again Weinmann Vainqueur centrepulls. Braking from the hoods is not so much braking on this one, rather a rapid deceleration. You can stop quickly breaking from the hoods, but it's not very comfortable and puts more strain on the wrists. If I want to brake and stop quickly without putting my wrists at risk, I have to go lower and grab the handlebar on the bends. Which is generally not a problem as I ride this bicycle in a less aggresive way than the other one, but of course one has to adjust their braking expectations and style.
It has to be mentioned that brakes on both bicycles use pads with slightly different compounds (but contemporary and by the same manufacturer).

This is not to discard or diminish your experience, I'm just saying there are many factors that might influence the way we perceive things, e.g. braking power. The single biggest factor would be the cable pull of the brake levers (other than quality of the brake pads and construction of the calipers, of course). I guess the best way to compare how cable routing influences the braking power would be to compare BL-1050 (non-aero with return spring) and BL-1051 (aero with return spring). I'd actually expect non-aero cable routing being better (fewer and gentler bends of the cable) for the braking power. But anyway, verious people have various preferences and that's perfectly OK.
Thank youy for your elaborate response. I use/used Diacompe Dual pivot with both lever set-ups (aero/non aero). The aero levers have a return spring, the Weinmanns did not (could very well contribute to the brake feel). Brake pads were the same for both: Shimano RC554. As mentionend, I did change the cables and housing for the aero hoods, since it was due for a change and came with the packaging. Admittedly, it was not a scientific test,but i have way more confidence in my brakes now and they feel a lot more potent. I don't ride my bikes very agressive and always stay within limits - usually not faster than 50km/h on a decent, because i get the fear

And of course I agree that different ppl like different things. I liked the retro look of my non-aero levers but also really appreciate the "clean" look of my handlebars now (less cabling issues with handlebar bags )
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Old 03-12-23, 02:33 PM
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Ah another day, another wheel. I've tested postive for Covid today and thus my plans for the day went through the window. No symptoms, but can't really hang out with people. So decided to lace the Maillard hubs. Quickly found out I don't have spokes of the correct lengths for the rear one, so I've built another front one. Perhaps for the best, I always find front wheels more tedious for some reason, so good to get extra practice.
No idea who made the rim, it wasn't the easiest to build on but also not the worst I worked with. I decided to add washers underneath the nipples this time for some extra strength. It's a bit more fiddling during the build, but I thought it won't hurt to make the wheel a bit more resilient. All true and (reasonably) round and actually looks quite alright. Now the question is whether I should put Michelin Dynamic Classic 700x28c tyres on a rim with inner width of 14mm or perhaps it's best to be extra safe and get a pair of 700x25c instead...


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Old 03-12-23, 04:09 PM
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The famous Musselman coaster brake. "The only coaster brake to survive a 25-mile ride down Pikes Peak!" "It can't be misassembled - so simple a child could put it together!"



3000ºF working temperature - hey, repack - smoke that grease!

The brake arm is stamped 'J C Higgins', the Sears house brand. A. J. Musselman made a lot of money selling these to Sears and other companies through the decades of the golden age of the coaster brake.

The brake arm and drive screw are lot marked 'U △" - fourth quarter, 1955, towards the end of production for these hubs. The stationary cone and hub shell are lot marked "U" - 1955. Curiously, the spool and drag assembly are lot marked "R △" - fourth quarter, 1952.

The axle threads were a little smushed where they'd been in the dropouts, so I fitted a new chromoly 3/8x24 axle.

The handy axle vice:



Stack the parts up:



Slide the shell down and turn in the drive screw until it bottoms:



Ready to go another 67 years:



That's a recent production New Departure 'skip tooth' cog for 3/16 chain.
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Old 03-12-23, 04:49 PM
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Well, I wanted to finish the Krapf bike up but realized I didn't have quite enough white cable housing to do it. I'm also trying t sort out a seatpost for it. I have a really shiny stem on it so I want a mirror shine seatpost vs a milky anodized silver one. So I grabbed a Velo Orange seatpost to see just how much work it would take to polish it by hand. Spent maybe 30 minutes using wet sand paper, steel wool and metal polish to get the look I wanted. Quick coat of wax and then put on the bike. I do need more setback but now I know I can do the same to a Velo Orange setback seatpost easily enough. I will say the clamp setup on this one is a pain in the butt to mount a saddle too.


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Old 03-12-23, 09:17 PM
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Kestrel Talon SL Build …

Finishing touches on the Kestrel build …
Diy rim decal installation …
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Old 03-13-23, 01:05 AM
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Been slowly assembling, er, re-assembling my '89 OS Paramount as of late. It was really good in several ways with modern Dura-Ace 9000 and slick nearly-Dura-Ace RS81 wheels (same C24 rims, different hubs, maybe slightly heavier spokes), but that group is on a 2000's carbon bike and I wanted to go back to a more period correct build. STI/Ergos are fun, but I love downtube shifters, so the Paramount is getting 7-speed Shimano 600 (6400 generation), which continues to be a favorite groupset of mine in spite of me not owning it very often. The OS's frame isn't perfect visually--though it presents quite well--and thus the groupset isn't as well. The frame was bought for a killer deal, and the 600 components have been sourced at very reasonable prices, again, to 'match' the frame.

I should really get a photo of it in progress, but it is looking every bit as lithe as a 66cm bike with era-correct components should, mega-long 130mm Cinelli stem included. I need to build the wheels--that should be the final component to complete it. Polish the 600 seatpost, cable it up, chain and bar tape, tires, etc...
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Old 03-13-23, 06:36 AM
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Having a go at building wheels for my gravel bike project. Re-purposing my Sun CR-18 rims with Shimano M525 disc hubs. So far, so good…


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Old 03-13-23, 08:11 AM
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I can't even imagine buying ready-made wheels any more. Why would anyone sacrifice a few hours of peace and quiet when building the wheels themselves? Very relaxing.
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