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1950's Frejus project thread - heavy patina content

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1950's Frejus project thread - heavy patina content

Old 03-20-21, 06:13 PM
  #101  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
I'm curious to hear more about the oiler ports on the BB and head tube. Does this mean the associated bearings are more of an oiled system than packed grease?

I will be breaking everything down when I get it, so will be able to peek inside the bearing races/bearings to see what kind of shape they are in. I'd normally clean then pack with Phil waterproof grease, but the oil fittings seem to imply another approach.
Cyclists everywhere, since the dawn of cycling, have been looking at their bikes and trying to figure out what it is about this bike that makes it so dang slow. And they tend to fixate on one thing or another. At one point or another they've fixated about just about everything. Well, there was a time when they had this idea that it was the grease in the bearings that was slowing them down. To reduce friction, some expert said, better lubricate only with oil! (sperm oil was considered best, and no, I did not just make that up!). That's why older Campy hubs have oil ports, and that's why your frame has oil ports.

By the way, I've tried both, and snake oil is better than sperm oil. And yes, I did just make that up.
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Old 03-20-21, 06:19 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Yup!
... I've sent an e-mail to Bikesmith Design to get replacement cotters and a press. The vintage Park presses are double what his press sells for.
Hold on there! The Bikesmith Design cotter press is made for the crank on a Raleigh Sports, Superbe, DL-1, and that type of bike. The ones with a chain guard. Those cranks have a lot of room between the chainring and the crank arm. The cotter is also farther from the chain ring, and that's the problem. If you try to use that tool on a narrow racing crank, like the ones I have on two or three old bikes, you probably won't be able to center the driver on the cotter; and if it's off center, you're just going to bend cotters.

Anyone who wants one, I'll sell you mine. Better yet, get a drill press vise from Harbor Freight. It's a dang handy tool to have around for all kinds of purposes. For example, it is perfect for holding cotters while you file the tapers just right. And when you've got them just right, it's a great cotter press.
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Old 03-20-21, 06:31 PM
  #103  
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Simple word of caution on the Harbor Freight drill press vice as a cotter press:

It may actually work, or the casting may crumble like Granny's shortbread. I had the shortbread experience. You may or may not.
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Old 03-20-21, 06:40 PM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by BFisher View Post
Simple word of caution on the Harbor Freight drill press vice as a cotter press:

It may actually work, or the casting may crumble like Granny's shortbread. I had the shortbread experience. You may or may not.
Fair enough. Full disclosure, my drill press vise (which I really do use as a cotter press) is probably not a Harbor Freight one. I got it at a garage sale for a dollar. I've had good luck with other cheap POS tools from Harbor Freight, though, so I figure their drill press vise is worth a try. I do have a genuine Harbor Freight heavy duty chain tool of some kind that I modified into a cotter press. It's better, for my purposes, than the BikeSmith Design tool; but I still prefer the drill press vise.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I have yet another Harbor Freight tool, I think it's a gear puller maybe? that I also modified into a cotter press. It's pretty cool, but I don't think it has the torque required. The drill press vise is better.
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Old 03-20-21, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Fair enough. Full disclosure, my drill press vise (which I really do use as a cotter press) is probably not a Harbor Freight one. I got it at a garage sale for a dollar. I've had good luck with other cheap POS tools from Harbor Freight, though, so I figure their drill press vise is worth a try. I do have a genuine Harbor Freight heavy duty chain tool of some kind that I modified into a cotter press. It's better, for my purposes, than the BikeSmith Design tool; but I still prefer the drill press vise.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I have yet another Harbor Freight tool, I think it's a gear puller maybe? that I also modified into a cotter press. It's pretty cool, but I don't think it has the torque required. The drill press vise is better.
I hear ya. I have a large bench vise from HF that so far has worked fine. But that drill press vice came apart like it was designed to. All I could do was laugh.

Sorry for the minor thread detour. Very cool project.

I did end up getting a cotter press from a moped website called treatland.tv, though it required a little bit of modification to work on the Stronglight double I put it to first use on. It is pretty stout, though, and cheaper than the Bikesmith one. Shipped fast from California, too.
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Old 03-23-21, 11:26 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
First, is that a tubing stamp on the seat tube just above the BB?

Also, fyi, in case you still only have the one bar plug - https://www.ebay.it/itm/Frejus-eroic...sAAOSws5xgVPF1
Thanks for the lead on the plugs - Seller accepted my offer and they are on the way. I'll sell the single NOS one that I have on hand.

Thanks everyone for the ongoing input and advice - very much appreciated.
I'm keeping my eyes on the Park CR-2 tools, and have not been in the workshop in several days. I will get back at it soon.

Good stuff - keep it coming!
-Scott
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Old 03-23-21, 09:00 PM
  #107  
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Crankset rebuilt

Just finished rebuilding/refurbishing the crankset.

Simplex is the only marking I see, so not sure about Magistroni.



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Old 03-23-21, 09:28 PM
  #108  
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no worries, it's a real Giostra...


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Old 03-24-21, 02:42 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
Im having difficulty finding early to mid 50s 120/100 Gran Sport (3 piece construction, it seems) hubs that Id feel comfortable building and riding. Most seem to be pretty well used/wallowed and I shudder to imagine getting them to full tension. I think this is one area where I will draw the line - safety and functionality > historical accuracy (same with well used rims of similar age).
Im increasingly on the close to the right era, but NOS boat for hubs/rims.

I am finding some NOS shells, and would need to source axle sets and caps/outside races (which is easier said than done).

Are there other hubs of the era that might be suitable?

Otherwise, Im finding some NOS hubsets from the 60s/70s that should slot right in, and give me some piece of mind (since I plan to ride the bike, not display it).

Example below - Im inclined to do something like this unless the NOS shell build-up is more feasible than I am finding.
Open to suggestions.


There should not be a problem. My 50 Bates rolls on FB/Siamt hubs that are very old, not newer than early 50s and possibly much older. Rims are Fiamme Red with the old stamping and ferrules at valve hole. The rear wheel is pulled to full tension, approx 120kgpf. My build. Front I cannot get an accurate reading as midsection of spoke is only 1.4mm and Park chart does not go there. They are tight. Believed to be an Oscar Wastyn Sr. build.

These wheels are used regularly. Not a display bike. No problem at all.

Another wheel is built with a 1930s FB track hub that was put to side ages ago because the axle was badly bent. Replaced with Tipo axle and now a qr fixed hub. A bit queasy with washers bringing original narrow hub up to 120mm. But again the wheel is in regular use at 120kgpf. Nicest thing you can do to old bikes is use them.
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Old 03-25-21, 09:21 AM
  #110  
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Is there a recommended source (besides a well-equipped hardware store) for the chainring bolts? As you can see, several of the ones on this crankset have seen better days, and one of the heads broke off under mild torque as I was re-tightening.

One thought is to simply get replacements (I'm a fan of stainless hardware if chrome isn't available) at the local hardware store, which has a dizzying array of nuts and bolts.
I'd retain the nuts on the back, since they are very specific.

I'm looking online for sources, with no real luck other than procuring a complete crankset.
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Old 03-25-21, 10:35 AM
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a wonderful source have found for fasteners is the Bolin Equipment Co. of Berkeley, California

they are a stockist for fractional, metric and Whitworth, all finishes, righthand and lefthand, including the odd "puzzle" head fasteners

they stock no cycle specific fittings

​​​​​​https://www.bowlinbolts.com/


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Old 03-25-21, 11:07 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
with no real luck other than procuring a complete crankset.
Correct. I'm sad to say.

One of the things I specifically searched for at 2 Italian bike swap meets was vintage screws and nuts. I saw none.
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Old 03-25-21, 04:04 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
I have a full Universal Mod.51 brakeset on its way now.

Next up, hubs and rims...... Looking at Nisi, Ambrosio and Fiamme for rims, and Gran Sport (of course) for hubs. I'd LOVE some input here, as I don't want to end up with something sketchy. I intend to ride this bike. Tubulars, of course

Now, I'm 99.9% sure I'll need to replace those brake pads. Open to suggestions.....

Side note: at least the seller could've flipped the reversed brake pad before the photo shoot

A word or two about Universal 51s. They are a 70 year old design and are based on an even older design. In my experience, they act their age. That is not meant as a compliment.

First and foremost, put some Kool Stop pads in there. If you can fit good modern cables and housing on without offending your period-appropriateness standards, I suggest doing that, too. In my book, safety trumps period correctness on this score.

Second, with Kool Stops and good cables, they will stop you . . . eventually. They are flexy, especially that rear one. Now, I am a large person (255#) and I ride in a hilly area, so adjust your reading of this accordingly. But I found them to be scary, to the point where I made sure to use them a lot to keep my speed well under my usual descending speed. I just could not trust them to keep me safe otherwise. YMMV. I hope it does. But do be careful.

You did find a very nice looking set of them, though. They certainly will look great on that bike.

On a different tack, regarding period correctness in your parts selections: I think you are doing great. When I was trying to revamp a 1961 Bianchi Competizione, I decided to go what I called "period appropriate." I pretended i had had the bike when new and I had upgraded/replaced some parts along the way in the normal course of events. That gives you a fair amount of flexibility in selecting parts while still keeping with the C&V spirit. Make of that thought what you will - it's worth exactly what you are paying for it.

It is obvious that Frejus found the right home, and that is a good thing.
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Old 03-26-21, 03:33 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
A word or two about Universal 51s. They are a 70 year old design and are based on an even older design. In my experience, they act their age. That is not meant as a compliment.

First and foremost, put some Kool Stop pads in there. If you can fit good modern cables and housing on without offending your period-appropriateness standards, I suggest doing that, too. In my book, safety trumps period correctness on this score.

Second, with Kool Stops and good cables, they will stop you . . . eventually. They are flexy, especially that rear one. Now, I am a large person (255#) and I ride in a hilly area, so adjust your reading of this accordingly. But I found them to be scary, to the point where I made sure to use them a lot to keep my speed well under my usual descending speed. I just could not trust them to keep me safe otherwise. YMMV. I hope it does. But do be careful.

You did find a very nice looking set of them, though. They certainly will look great on that bike.

On a different tack, regarding period correctness in your parts selections: I think you are doing great. When I was trying to revamp a 1961 Bianchi Competizione, I decided to go what I called "period appropriate." I pretended i had had the bike when new and I had upgraded/replaced some parts along the way in the normal course of events. That gives you a fair amount of flexibility in selecting parts while still keeping with the C&V spirit. Make of that thought what you will - it's worth exactly what you are paying for it.

It is obvious that Frejus found the right home, and that is a good thing.
yes. I imagine the braking to be aspirational at best.
I have read that the 51s are prone to cracking on the arms, so the CX model is on my list of potential upgrades.

Crankset bolt update.
Ive found suitable replacements... 5mm x 12mm .8 thread bolts.

8mm heads vs 10mm



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Old 03-27-21, 09:57 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
A word or two about Universal 51s. They are a 70 year old design and are based on an even older design. In my experience, they act their age. That is not meant as a compliment.

First and foremost, put some Kool Stop pads in there. If you can fit good modern cables and housing on without offending your period-appropriateness standards, I suggest doing that, too. In my book, safety trumps period correctness on this score.

Second, with Kool Stops and good cables, they will stop you . . . eventually. They are flexy, especially that rear one.
I have a set of Universal 39s on my 50s Italian and they sure are flexy - even with KoolStop Continentals, new modern cables and alloy rims.....but because of the alloy rims I can say they don't scare me per se.

On the crank bolts I had to do a similar thing with a Magistroni crank (Torpado pantograph) - I ground down the heads to remove the markings to make them look a bit more period correct (thought about dishing them too but that proved to be a bit to OCD even for me....besides I didn't have a suitable drill bit handy).
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Old 04-11-21, 02:30 PM
  #116  
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Just arrived from the old country:

Any tips on restoring these? Oxalic acid bath, perhaps, followed by 0000 steel wool?


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Old 04-11-21, 07:44 PM
  #117  
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I'd try a brass brush myself.
Great to see you making progress!
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Old 04-12-21, 07:23 AM
  #118  
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Before attacking with a brush, I'd see what a little Simichrome would do (contains some oxalic acid).
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