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tiger1964 11-13-20 02:29 PM

Tiger1964’s 5 projects (D) 1974 Zeus
One of the FIVE bikes I intend to rebuild/restore this winter. The bike shop I worked at in the 2nd half of 1974, Proteus in MD, had picked up a shipment of Zeus track frames — somehow, someone at the factory had brazed in the rear not-brake bridge in too low for a wheel to fit. The frame cost me $75 without a fork but with getting the bridge fixed, ruining the paint. I stuck on various parts I picked up on the fly. The wheels were 27” clinchers on Campy high-flange hubs but one ’spoke’ of the rear hub is cracked. The crankset is a cotter steel Chater-Lea with a 23T (yes, one inch pitch) chainring; pedals are Campagnolo “black” track pedals. The handlebars and stem are off a Czech “Favorit”, the bars are not exciting but I think the stem is interesting, with the vertical part steel but the extension being an alloy “I-Beam” shape.

I only rode it a couple of times; on one early ride I was in a very crowded place (the sidewalks at the University of Maryland campus when classes were changing) when the locking and sprocket backed off, leaving me no way to stop the bike! Needless to say, the bike gets a brake this time, on the front. The bike has been in storage for almost 45 years.

I have not thought about which parts remain and which need replacement on this one. Perhaps a different crankset might give me more flexibility in selecting gearing, and certainly easier to source chains if 1/2" pitch. I plan to use the bike on the rollers, and also there are paved trails here that are flat enough to ride in just one gear. Hmm, would handlebar tape candy-striped in red and yellow to evoke a Spanish flag be too gaudy? Probably going need a set of track wheels; I am not thrilled about the cracked rear hub and the front hub might get cannibalized for another bike (the Falcon).

tiger1964 11-13-20 04:59 PM

I should have also mentioned - all of these came back from the powder coater today. Yes, I like bright red (my 6th bike is red, my wife’s too, and we have 2-1/2 red cars); the coater gave me a discount for doing all five bikes, and two forks, all the same color. It will take componentry and decals to give each a distinctive appearance.

tiger1964 01-11-22 10:15 AM

Time to start on the Zeus. Just placing a few things finger tight (and nothing is cleaned/polished yet, so not “pretty”) on the frame and a couple of early photos are below. I am already finding:

(a) The nice fork I bought her on C&V/BF looks great, but the steerer is long and the top nut bottoms out while about 9/16” of threads are still exposed. Hmmm, if I could locate a spacer to fill that instead of cutting the steerer, I could leave the bars higher while not sourcing a long stem, right? Looks like plenty of support for the stem. Anyone know where to get such a spacer, or do I need a “stack”?

(b) It has been 45 years but I am pretty sure the bar and stem came to me together; I knew someone with a Favorit bike and was upgrading one component at a time and I bought these from him. I like the combination of steel and aluminum on the stem, to me it “looks right” on a track bike. Oddly, there is no raised center section on the bars and the stem really does not want to tighten down snug, so right now there’s an aluminum-foil shim (!) for display purposes only. I have not micrometer’ed the bar yet and doing so on the stem could get interesting unless I can get the bars out. Also, I may be missing (or in the wrong box in storage) the vertical stem bolt, but I have the correct keyed/threaded ‘plug’ at the bottom. Moreover, it might be an optical illusion but the bars might be a wee bit bent on one side, no idea if I can straighten or am I bar shopping?

(c) My stash of seat posts, one of which was surely on the bike, includes a couple far too small and one so tight it might be wrong too. Time to hone the seat tube, clean/polish the post and measure with a micrometer.

(d) Cranks/bottom bracket are a mesh-mash I put together in late 1974. You se the Chater-Lea crank and chainring, I only have the 23T ring and I see a few Chater-Lea rings in both 1” and 1/2” pitches on eBay, but OUCH! Then again, if I knew the BCD I could explore non-Chater-Lea alternatives. I did not put any bearings in yet, I presume the ring won’t rub on the chainstay because it used to be there before, but looks a bit close. Before I get into spacers, I need to check chainline. Spindle is “Bayless” and the cups are Campy, all look unworn which is good. Both cups right-hand threads by the way, marked “35x1” and I need to get my old Sutherland’s out to see what that is (French? Swiss?) One chainring bolt is mismatched so there’s another project to locate one.

(e) I am installing a brake this time, one on the front only. I looks like I need about 45mm reach; I have some Campy and some Weinmann 500 calipers in my stash — or I might need something else. As for a lever, I was thinking about a lever for upright bars but mounted next to the stem for access when on the tops of the bars. If I decide on more traditional levers, I do recall seeing once a “dummy” rest for the non-brake side, I suspect for stokers on a tandem - but no idea what they are called or if available.

(f) With the wheels being new, less to worry about there. In case of a flat while riding, would wing nuts be a smarter idea than simply carrying wrenches? It looks like I have adequate but not huge tire clearance, and I have a new set of Continental GP5000’s with the tan sidewalls, which might look good on the bike.

(g) Have not yet selected some detail items like a saddle, pedals and handlebar tape.

Wildwood 01-11-22 10:32 AM

Nice. Really nice.
I just don't understand 27" wheels when you start 'from th ground up'. But that's me.

Zeus hoods are available from Spain.

tiger1964 01-11-22 05:08 PM

Originally Posted by Wildwood (Post 22369698)
Nice. Really nice. I just don't understand 27" wheels when you start 'from th ground up'. But that's me. Zeus hoods are available from Spain.

Wow, I hope, really hope that's not technically correct. I ordered 700c wheels, the box arrived labeled 700c wheels; I happened to have a 27" rim (laced, ironically, to a Campy track hub) and put it next to the wheel I ordered, and the newer wheel is shorter. I have not tried mounting a tire yet, but...:eek:

And I had turned down generous offers from C&V/BF members for 27" wheels (and also tubulars).

Thanks for the input on Zeus hoods, so far not a single Zeus component on the bike. And there never has been.

By the way, when I inquired before ordering the wheels, the seller (Velomine) told me the hub was set up for a lock ring on one side and a single freewheel on the other. Looking at the wheel, it has the additional threads for a lock ring on BOTH sides. Bonus! Presuming I can even find more cogs, I can run two for genuine flip-flop. :love:

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