Monday, February 25, 2013

the shed, the schred, and a whole lotta bbs

Spent some time last week fixing the old bike shed. The old concrete slab was literally crumbling under my feet so I busted it out and with help from some friends poured a new one. I personally like to see people's little bike shops so I figured that I'd post some here. I'd never done concrete before but now that it's said and done I give us an C plus.

BB tested

And then a little last minute camping

hobo camp style, tarp city
Sweet 90's mtb splatter paintjob courtesy bird craps!

First use of the Biolite stove. This thing is awesome! It burns twigs and has a little electric motor that powers a fan to keep it hot.  It recharges itself and will charge other devices via usb once it's hot. Pretty rad, a tad heavy.


Heading up to Repack

and up

Coming down Repack, classic style.

fleur de lys
An then, a project long on my mind, the IRD freewheel rebuild. I'd never done this before and couldn't find much good info on the web, but this nearly new freewheel had crapped out on me and I was resolved to fix it.
Here it is opened up topside bearings exposed. The top cap (which is a cone) removes clockwise with a spanner, which I didn't have so I used a hammer and a nail punch.

And here are the guts with the puller installed.You don't need the puller for this, I used it to thread the FW onto a dummy hub that's clamped in the vise. You can see one of the offending pawls stuck down.

one pawl removed

old pawls gave rap a cold call...

This I think is the problem. The spring that pushes the pawls out was too wimpy to do it's job so I needed a replacement, but where to find one?

So I took apart a Suntour FW but no luck there. This is however a much better design, larger pawls and each have their own spring instead of one large one.

Then I tried a Shimano one, Bingo! I also made this little tray to catch all the bearings, it's just a plastic lid with a hole cut so that it goes over the hub threads. It was very helpful in saving all those BBs.

Now we're talking! Shimano spring and pawls installed on IRD guts, halfway through installing the balls.
And it's done. Rebuilt IRD freewheel. Why go through the trouble? Well, there simply are not any high quality 5 speed freewheels out there anymore. I'd be happy to buy cheap shimano ones but they only make super lame 14-28 gear combos. If you want to carry a load in the dirt, 28 is a bummer of a bail out. Why stick to 5 speed? Well, it's a tough one, but you have to change the rear wheel if you want a more modern set up. And to do it right you have to build a 26" rim on a 130mm spaced road hub, because 135mm is too far to stretch.  This thing gets installed this week for testing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Narwal gumwall skinwall tires

I'm kinda a fan of tan wall tires, whichever wall you call them, gumwall or skinwall. Even though I prefer to modernize old mtbs I still have some love for the aesthetics of the old gumwall. In recent times it's been hard to find new quality gumwall tires to rebuild your vintage mtb, but it seems that there is some small change in the air. The Soma blog today noted that Panaracer is going to start making the classic 26" Smoke and Dart tires in a gumwall once again. This news got me hunting around looking for other gumwall 26ers and  I found that Onza has two of them! It's like finding a bird thought to be long extinct, only way lamer, because well, it's just a tire.  There's also the DMR Super Moto, which is really the best of the bunch because it has a Tetris-y tread pattern that most folks can actually use. It kinda reminds me of the totally awesome Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road tires, who it's worth noting, has a new vid out all about that classic bike.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

When you are sick...

Been in bed for most of the last few days, knocked on my ass by this years flu. Once I felt good enough to look at things again, I fell into an internet k hole and ended up finding this German blog full of vintage mtbs. This guys seems to have a collector bent, but there are bunches of pics of extremely cool Euro and American vintage bikes. Also heavy on the neon...enjoy!