Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Swiss Granit "Toronto" aka "Ultra"

“Generally speaking, those who make a big deal about tubing are reasonably ignorant of what makes a good bike. I take any frame with Columbus “Aelle” tubing built by a master frame builder over, any frame with SLX built by an average frame-builder. “

I read that paragraph on some Internet forum few days ago. I think it is an appropriate intro in the story about my new vintage “Aelle” tubing racer.

During daily Internet offer browsing, we ran on this interesting bicycle. Most likely unknown Swiss brand from late 90's, with solid Shimano equipment, nice purple color, decent condition, but with major shifters failure - promising stuff :)

After a few days of researching, we conformed that it has famous Columbus tubing, and we were on our trip to get this nice new project.

this is how it looked at the beginning

...and very dirty

we decided to cover a damaged spots on frame with a purple nail lacquer

and boom!!! Ultra racer is reborn!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Duegi Brevettato cycling shoes

This stylish vintage cycling shoes has just arrived from Bologna. Covered with genuine leather. Wooden bottom gives an incredible feeling during the ride :~) They fit ideally to Campagnolo vintage pedals.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Blue sapphire" from 80's

"With steel, you’re not just buying a bike, you’re buying a timelessly stylish piece of art."

This is how I'd like to start the story about this steel racer. Made in mid 80s, probably by a small Italian manufacturer since the frame is not branded and it has an unusual measures. Beside the fact that a guy who used to ride it, chose custom made frame, he also wished to have Campagnolo Victory groupset on this bike :-)

But, at the moment we got it, this bike was in a really bad condition - the most of parts were dirty and rusty. Judging on the condition we faced with, we believe it was unused for more then twenty years. But, we were leading by a feel that this bike could be the special one. Finally, it was carefully restored after years of a devastating downtime.

this is how it looked before we started to work on it

and the process of getting the shine back started :-)

cleaning the old dirty gum
putting a glue to a new seat for covering it with a black leather
breaks before and after polishing


- and after a few weeks, we finally got this beautiful bike to almost original shape. We even left the old Vittoria tires (Vittoria Florida 19) on the wheels. On the other side, we cover the handlebar with a black leather as well

ok I know, I know :-) But I simply had to put this blue scarf as a part of a decoration at the end of this photo session

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Quest for a perfect bicycle - Batavus Champion frame alignment

A common problem on a steel vintage racer is a lack of frame alignment. There are a few factors that cause this issue, but basically a major one is rear fork alignment. As a result of bad rear fork alignment bicycle may have a problem with handling, uneven tires wear, loss of driving energy.

For fixing this issue, we needed: string, ruler, two old rear wheel axle and a peace of wood as a leverage.

You can closely see on the drawing below what was the problem with Batavus rear fork. The wheels are in red. The rear wheel is out of alignment with the rest of bicycle.

 First we stretched a string from one rear drop, crossing head tube, and backed to other rear drop. Then we measured a distance from seat tube to each side of a string - if there is a difference bigger than 1 mm, bicycle can have driving issues.

After making a measurements, rear fork on Batavus bicycle was 5 mm tilted to right.

On the next picture you can see how the process of bending a rear fork works. We were doing it in small increments, patiently, aiming to get a perfect position as much as we could. 

After string measurements showed satisfying results, it was time to check and correct rear drops alignment.
...and after a couple of hours, the result was straight frame :-)