Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Raleigh Professional

I finally got the Raleigh Professional finished! Here are some shots of how it came out. There is a total mishmash of components, mostly European, but some Japanese. Heavy French influence due to my parts collection and interests. Note the sweet Normandy Luxe Competition gold label hubs, TA cranks, IRD freewheel, and Huret Duopar rear derailleur. Those are really the sweetest pieces on this bike. I'll use TA cranks on anything I can from now on: they are outstanding.

One cool note about the ADGA saddle is that it's from the Peugeot my Dad rode when I was a kid. I wanted it for sentimental reasons, but it turns out to be a really outstanding saddle. Sure the finish isn't quite Brooks, but the leather is just as thick and it's quite comfortable.

Here are the parts:
  • 1972 Raleigh Professional
  • Fancy lugs (bird's mouth)
  • Normandy Luxe Hubs
  • Sun CR18 Rims
  • Sapim Race Spokes (DB 14/15)
  • TA Pro 5 Vis Cranks
  • Huret Duopar Rear Derailleur
  • Campagnolo Nuovo Record Front Derailleur
  • Campagnolo Nuovo Record Shifters
  • Olimpic Pedals
  • Belleri Drop Bars
  • Universal Brake levers
  • SunTour Superbe Brakes
  • IRD Freewheel 14-28
  • GB Stem
  • Campagnolo Seat Post
  • ADGA La Chatillonnaise Saddle
  • Zefal Pump and Pump Clamp
  • Tressorex Cloth Bar Tape
  • Velox Bar End Plugs
  • Honjo Koken Fenders
  • ALE Toe Straps
  • Huret Cable Clips
  • Klean Kanteen Bottle
  • Jagwire Cables and Housing
  • KMC Chain
  • Vittoria Zaffiro Tires
Here's the whole Picasa photo gallery from this shoot of the bike:
Raleigh Pro

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My UO-8

My Peugeot UO-8 got a thorough cleaning this weekend when I finally got it all setup with the proper wheels and had it off the road anyway. I rode the Fuji for a week while I did all that. Now that it's all cleaned, I'm posting pics with the Super Champion/Pelissier wheels, the Velo Orange fenders, etc.

The current incarnation includes:

  • TTT long stem
  • MAFAC Competition levers
  • MAFAC Racer brakes
  • SunTour Sprint retrofriction shifters
  • Campagnolo Nuovo Record front derailleur
  • SunTour V-GT rear derailleur
  • Nervar cranks
  • Maillard CXC pedals
  • SunTour Perfect freewheel
  • KMC Z chain
  • Pelissier P1001 Hubs
  • Sapim Race spokes
  • Super Champion rims
  • Vittoria Zaffiro tires
  • Velo Orange alloy fenders

Saturday, June 28, 2008

NOS Parts

I'm building up my Raleigh Professional frame and have been acquiring NOS parts to keep things as nice as possible. Here are some cool parts I've scored on eBay and locally lately. They include:

  • Gipiemme bottom bracket spindle
  • TA crank bolts
  • SunTour Superbe brake levers

More cool stuff is on the way, including some nice Olimpic quill road pedals in French thread to fit the TA Pro 5 Vis cranks I acquired on eBay France. Photos on arrival.

Still looking for decent hoods for the Superbe levers. That single one is NOS but I may have to resort to buying Campagnolo clone hoods on eBay.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Raleigh Professional

I'm really behind on talking about all the stuff I've been up to of late. About a month ago I picked up a nice Raleigh Professional frame and some components at a swap meet. It's a 1972 with the fancy lugs and braze-on eyelets! I don't normally dig sloping fork crowns, but this bike looks so good with the fancy lugs I just couldn't pass it up. I wish it were still in its original colors, but the power coat was done well and it's a nice red. I'll be highlighting the lugs myself shortly. I'm collecting parts to build it up. It'll be my Raleigh (French) Professional when I'm done because of all the French stuff I have to go on it. Here are a couple of shots:

Note the super cool Carlton fastback seat lug with fancy tooling to match the others.

I am building a nice set of wheels for it using Sun CR-18 polished 700C rims. I had to track them down as they have gone out of production now. The regular silver CR-18s are still produced, but not in the polished finish. I managed to find one each at two different local bike shops, both with Presta drilling. I don't at the moment have the spokes or the hubs that will go with the wheels. I have a set of standard Normandy's that I polished up, but I'd like something nicer. I'm looking for a score on eBay or Craigslist. The bike took 27 inch wheels originally and reducing to 700C should leave me room for fenders, a must here in Portland. I'll be looking in to more Velo Orange fenders for it once it's on the road.

The Zeus headset that came with the bike is brilliant. It's as smooth as any head set I've used. I've heard good things about them in the past, so we'll see how it holds up on the road. I'll post more pics as I polish and clean parts to go on this bike.

On a sadder note, I sold the Raleigh Competition I had purchased in the fall in an effort to pay for this bike. I never got that one assembled and I'm glad I waited. This Pro should be more fun. It's definitely built better and much more my style.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Nervar Cranks

Well it turned out the left arm was toast on my sweet old Nervar Star cranks. I am still looking for another set to replace them. Next time I am used serious Lock-Tite on those bolt threads. In the meantime I need to ride something to work. So I headed down to the Recyclery and asked about a pair of vintage cranks to replace my injured Nervar cranks. They didn't have anything up at the counter or out on the floor, but the nice guy at the counter kind of smiled, walked into the back and came out with these pretty Nervar cranks. I scored them for a really great price.

Sure, they're not as cool as the Nervar Stars, but they are really nice, and astoundingly light. I wish I had the correct rings for them, though. These seem to be the right BCD (122mm like Stronglight) but not exactly the right shape. They came home looking pretty rough, but some 400 grit and 1000 grit sandpaper and some Nev'r Dull later and they shine like almost new. The rings got the same treatment and look excellent now. The only thing not excellent is the Sugino chain ring bolts that need to be replaced. But they work for now.

The left arm is already on the bike and the drive side will go on today. Too bad their first ride will be in the rain!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Crank Arm Toast?

After nearly a year riding them, my Nervar Star left crank arm came loose about 2 months ago while I was riding. I put the bike on the train and walked it home from the stop. I tightened back up, this time with lock-tite on the bolt. It seemed ok for awhile, but a few weeks ago this clicking started when I was pedalling hard. I checked and the bolts were still tight. It got much worse this week so I decided to take it to the bike shop downtown by my office to see if they wanted to take a look at it. After being treated badly by the staff and with lots of "French stuff, ooooh, yeah that could take awhile" comments, I left in disgust. I tore the arm off last night and figured out that it is not deformed in the normal way that an arm deforms when it comes loose (rounding it out), rather the flat sides have been dug into too much by the spindle at the point, so it rocks impercetibly on the spindle while riding. But you can sure hear it. I'm now looking for a solution or a new crank arm. What a bummer. These are really pretty cranks so I hope I can fix it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

10 Months Bike Commuting

I have now passed 10 months of commuting by bike. This has totally changed my world in a positive way, and the funny thing is that I had no idea how much that would be when I got started. My trusty Peugeot (see earlier post) is holding up well and I've gotten to where shifting the nice SunTour levers is almost easier and more accurate than indexing anyway. When the weather gets consistently nice here I will switch from my winter wheels to my newly-home-built Super Champions with Pelissier hubs. They look fantastic in my office so I'm almost sad to put them on the bike. We'll see how well my first try at wheelbuilding holds up. In the meantime, if you're ever going to build your own wheels, pick up this book by Jobst Brandt: The Bicycle Wheel. This book really gives you all the information you could want or need on how to make it work. So far so good. More after I've put a few hundred miles on them.