Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Remembering my 1st 10 Speed

Well this is not exactly it because mine was badged as a Rudge but this appears to be the same bike as Raleigh bought the Rudge line in it's last years.  This catalog page is from the 1962 Raleigh catalog.  I bought this bike with some money from a paper route and some from gifts.  I rode the bike all around the Chatham NJ area.  It came equipped with Cyclo derailleur similar to this pull chain model.
It was not very good and I soon bought an early plastic Simplex of the more modern parallelogram design. The Rudge was green and had white plastic fenders, GB side pull brakes and a handle bar mounted double water bottle holder.  It also had a Brooks seat.  Here is some info on the Rudge company.  This one I had had the Rudge headbage.  It also had a headlight mount about half way down the right fork tube.

I rode this bike through college and then gave it to my sister in Chapel Hill where it was left outside and later stolen.  I wonder if it would be worth anything today.  I have never seen another one.

When in the USAF I bought a Sears Freespirt about 1973.  It was somewhat heavy but ran pretty well and I commuted often from Bossier City to Barksdale AFB which was about 9 miles each way.  I would then ride to the chow hall for lunch and back home maybe doing an errend or visiting a friend on the way home.  On weekends I would sometimes go for a longer ride with a friend and got comfortable going 50-75 miles on Sunday afternoons riding around Shreveport in the heat of the summer.  

One day I was hit by a car turning right when I was next to them.  It bent the wheel and the frame a bit but I repaired it and continued riding it while in LA.

In 1976 I returned to VA after my time in the USAF and bought a used 1971ish Peugeot PX-10.  This bike had a Reynolds 531 frame and tubular 'sew up' tires.  It was a real light weight and was comfortable to ride long distances.  The frame was 'springy' and it had a somewhat long wheelbase compared to bikes of today.  
PX-10 1967

Modern Pix of a Used PX-10

After the PX-10 was crashed I purchased the Roberts Frame and used the wheels, seat and handlebars from the PX-10.  The frame was bent and repaired but I left it at the bike shop has it had been severely heated and the paint and decals were gone.  I rode a number of PPTC club rides and some centuries on this bike.

New Shimano Front Brake on Reynolds 531 Fork

Shimano Recessed Nut 

Drilled out the rear of the fork to accomodate the Shimano 600 Front brake that is designed for recessed nut mounting.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Manihiki Atoll, North Cook Island E51M Worked with QRP

Just Worked E51M with QRP and an End Fed Halfwave Vertical at 0330 Eastern Time on 40 Meters.

The main product of the Atoll is Black Pearls

Monday, April 2, 2012

New Grouppo on Bike

New Brifters and Tape
New 600 Crank and Forte Pedals
New Parts mostly On

New No Shifter

New Rear Brake

New Rear Shifter

Of course none of this is really New but they are a big upgrade as the last time this bike was upgraded was about 30 years ago.  Still need a longer stud to mount the Shimano Front Brake so the old Dia Comp is still there for now.  The frame had no boss for the front derailleur so the old Suntour is still there and seems to work at least OK even with the STI.  The Front Brifter was not working at first and was not sure what do do but Liberal WD40 was recommended by many.  This did not seem to work but I sprayed a lot on and operated the lever about a hundred times.  This did not make any difference but the next day it worked fine.  The next step would have been to soak it overnight in solvent and then take it apart for cleaning.  There are directions for this but I am glad disassembly was not needed beyond removing the lever pivot pin which was hard enough for me. After a few mins of tuning the old Suntour front derailleur started to work.

Next will be to find a longer stud for the Shimano front brake and find and mount a magnet on the Spinergy wheel for the cyclometer.  Oh, and put the vintage brooks seat on it.

Me and Jack 

After working on the bike....and before Easter haircut.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vintage Road Bike

Vintage Road Bike Roberts Frame
This bike has been in my garden shed for a decade or more.  It was assembled by me around 1979-80 after I had a serious accident on my Peugeot PX-10.  The frame on the PX-10 was bent beyond easy repair after a HT mic jumped out of an unzipped handlebar bag.  Grabbing the mic by the wire while going down a hill at 25 mph or more it wedged in between the front wheel and the frame pitching me over the handlebars onto my early Bell helment and face.  After the ambulance ride to the ER I received 26 stitches and some head x-rays.  Later I had several teeth repaired.  The Helmet foam was crushed and sliding down the road on my head wore through the trim bead on the helmet.

Early Bell helmet we wore at the time

 This probably saved me or at least prevented serious head injury.  This was introduced in '74 according the Bicycle Safety Institute page on history of bike helmets.

All the old PX-10 parts were now in the basement and I happened to see a used frame in a close enough size at a bike shop in Bethesda.  I was told it had belonged to a Mid Shipman  and that it was a criterium  racing frame.  Well the price was reasonable so I bought it and used the Wheels, Seat and Bar from the PX-10.  I purchased other parts mail order from Nashbar and Performance.  I assembled the bike and road many miles on it training, some club rides with PPTC and some Centuries and some weekend rides such as the League of American Wheelman/Bicyclists GEAR, GEAR UP and GEAR Down.  Later we took our children to some of the larger weekend events and they got to experience staying in college dormitories and having some freedom at the campus.

Campy levers

Mighty Cranks and Rings

Nice Sun Tour VX

Original '531' Decal

Dia-Comp Brakes

I think the Frame was made by Roberts in England.  I was told that the previous owner used it for Criterium racing and the bike had a short wheelbase, steep steering angle (for the time) and a high bottom bracket.  It was built with no cable braze ons for a rear brake cable so it may not have had a rear brake initially.  It did have braze ons for shifter cables and bottle cage.  When I bought the frame it also had Campy headset and bottom bracket.  I think I paid $175 for it at the time.  Not shown is the Brooks saddle from the PX-10.  The wheels are Mavac with tubular tires.