Saturday, 29 December 2012

A winter service

Before and after pictures of a winter service carried out this week.

Service completed and ready to go back to its owner.
If you want your bike fit for the roads this spring give Bobs Bike Shed a call.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

L'Eroica build continued

 So I have spent a number of weeks searching and  collecting Campagnolo group set parts for the Raleigh TI build and although it wasn't intentional, I have ended up with a significant number of NOS ( New old stock) parts. It started with a very nice set of Super Record brakes and levers which have some slight marks on, but I think they have probably only been mounted on a display bike. So as the search continued I started to lean towards NOS parts. So much of whats advertised as used, at what I think are hugely inflated prices seem to be in a poor state, I do sometimes wonder why people don't clean stuff up before trying to sell it. Interestingly Mario (My frame restorer) reckons the price inflation on vintage components is in part due to the resurgence of using old/ new steel frames.
Along the way I have managed to pick up one or two bargains but in the main, I have paid market prices and as I want the bike to look the part I'm happy with that.  Below are some photos of what I have so far and I have decided to go Super Record as far as possible in line with a 1980's Team build although I have picked up one or two Nuovo record parts as you can see. The last four photos show the  brakes and gear levers fitted to the frame.

Nuovo Record Rear Mech

Nuovo front mech

Super Record rear mech

Seat post

Parts so far including a pair of NOS Mavic GP4 rims

Super Record Brake lever

Rear Brake

Front Brake

Down tube Gear levers

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

A L'Eroica winter project

You tube has a lot to answer for, a quiet moment searching cycling stuff  had me looking at videos of Chianti in Italy  watching films of past L'Eroica sportives and dreaming of bikes I lusted after as a teenager. A thought began to develop and idea about taking part in 2013 had me trawling the internet looking at vintage parts and searching for a suitable frame.  The beauty of L'Eroica is that there are rules and very specific rules at that.
Your vintage bicycle must have all the following characteristics:
• road racing bicycle, built before 1987 (not cyclo cross or time trial bike)
• steel frame (the only aluminum frame bikes permitted are ALAN or VITUS with either screwed or glued joints)
• gear shift levers on the down tube of the frame (exceptionally, only pre-1980 bar-end gear shifts are allowed)
• pedals with toe clips and fitted straps (quick release pedals are not allowed, except Cinelli M71 pedals)
• the passage of brake cable outside the handlebars
New bicycles with steel frames can be used but they must be assembled with vintage components (gear levers, handlebars, pedals, etc).
The adjustment of the rear wheel gears to suit the difficulty of the route is permitted.
So you get the idea, this ride is for vintage bikes only. The key thing that distinguishes L’Eroica from other 'sportive's is the road surface. The event combines tarmaced roads with "Strade bianche". Unmetalled roads or roads that haven’t been tarmaced  they’re naturally chalky hence their name white roads. They can be gravelly, dusty,  sandy,  smooth and occasionally bumpy.
I want to take part but entry's are limited to overseas riders and I will have to be quick when the 2013 enrolment opens. In the mean time I can have great fun searching for vintage Campagnolo parts to build on to my recently acquired frame. Its a special build Raleigh Ilkeston Frame with the serial number SB3836 which puts it at 1980. It came from a chap in Netherlands which is quiet fitting as the Raleigh pro team was in its hey day during that period with its main riders coming from the Netherlands. The second picture shows the frame following its repaint in Team colours and now its waiting patiently for some lovely vintage parts. The icing of course will be if it gets to ride the Strade Bianche in October next year.....well we can all wish can't we 
SB3836 prior to repainting
SB3836 Repainted

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A Wiggle Purchase

A customer came to me this week with a problem with the front changer on a recently purchased ( 2 weeks ago) Charge Scourer that he bought from Wiggle cycles. He didn't want the hassle of boxing it up and sending it back to Wiggle so he decided to look locally to see if he could get the problem solved. Having been to his LBS who quoted a silly figure just to leave the bike there so they could look at it, he found Bobs Bike shed whilst scouring the internet. The bike in question had been fitted with a 34.9mm Shimano front changer whilst having measured it and checked on  Charges website, the seat tube is 31.8mm. Now the changer did have a plastic shim in-between the changer clamp and the seat tube but wasn't enough to provide a nice fit with enough clamping force to secure the changer. Subsequently when changing gear during climbing a  hill the changer moved on the seat tube and became in-operable. The fix, well as a temporary measure I have added tape to the seat tube to widen it and re fitted the changer and adjusted the gears. Its all working now but I would certainly recommend fitting the appropriate sized mech for the 31.8 seat tube (Shimano do a 31.8 clamp as well as a 28.6 to 31.8). Incidentally Wiggle said it had been fitted with the wrong sized shim and they would send the right size to the customer when they came into stock.
Very strange, personally its not something I like but in this day and age I guess its what called cost effectiveness!!

Heres what it all looks like.

Friday, 12 October 2012

The benefits of anti seize compound

So I recently offered a basic service with new cables thrown in, as  a raffle prize at a fund raising event at my daughters school.  The winner contacted me to book his bike in and was very pleased to have won as he wanted to start using his bike to cycle to work. The bike in question a Dawes Road bike built from reynolds 531 tubing seemed in reasonable condition although it hadn't been looked at for some time and following an inspection I recommended some additional work to bring it up to a road worthy standard.
The first item on the list was the bottom bracket with very worn bearings, so I began to attempt to remove the worn part.
Oh dear it was well and truly seized, after overnight soaking in some special home brewed penetrating oil and some additional leverage applied with a persuader ( my trusty piece of scaffold tubing) I managed to remove the offending item.
The photos below shows what happens when you don't use enough anti seize compound when fitting a BB and there is no drain hole in the BB shell to allow any moisture in the frame to drain away.
the last 2 are of the shell all clean and re-cut threads ready for its new axle.

Oh dear thats not good

Ah now thats better, nice and clean

Monday, 8 October 2012

The 2012 NEC Bicycle Show Trade Day

So its been a couple of weeks but here are my fav photos from the NEC bike show trade day. The first few are of some wonderful works of art that epitomise the use of steel as  UK frame building goes from strength to strength

And now for steel from the Colnago stand

This photo reminds me of my 14th birthday and a trip to Holdsworth's in Penge to get my first proper road bike.....brilliant

Some other highlights

Some lovely wooden wheels which Bobs Bike Shed will be featuring in the workshop very soon

and finally Sir Chris Hoy