Yes! whenever bicycles are broken, or menaced by international communism, Bicycle Repair Man is ready!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update: Fiori San Remo

The Fiori MTB is coming along nicely. It's now on the home stretch - just needs the cables replaced and the final adjustments made.

I elected to swap out the very pretty, yet very pitted chrome forks in favor of some pearl-white ones. Also managed to score an XT headset (although I only used the bottom on this bike)

I think the next big investment is going to be some bulk ball-bearings and cable housing. Ebay seems to be the best source of ball-bearings, even after shipping - but tomorrow I might call the local industrial suppliers and see if I can't get a good price on 1/4 and 5/32 BBs somehow.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Flat Spot Tool

I made this tool ages ago for a different wheel, but it's nice to get a photo of it and document the process.

It's dreadfully simple.  When you get a flat spot on your rim, you need one of these to punch it back out again.  It's welded out of bike bits and some threaded rod.  Do up the nut to push the rim away from the hub (until it expands more than it was flattened) and let it sit for a while.

You can also do it with a rubber mallet and a good eye, but this is simpler and tends to work better.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheapest Bike Rack Evar

I made this today, as we had been leaning our bikes up against furniture and walls and they were generally in the way.

We needed a use for some worn-out rims that I had kicking around - I've been scavenging wheels (for spokes and hubs) out of the scrap metal pile at Recyclistas.  One's a Sun Rhyno-Lite and the other's an old Araya.   Both were too worn & warped to be rescued.

The wooden frame is a single 8-foot 2x3: $1.45 (plus tax) from Home Depot.  

It seems to do the trick!

Work has also begun on the Fiori San Remo - the handlebar (a lovely Nitto riser) was bent, and the rear axle bearings long gone.  I have relaced the rim and got some crummy steel cruiser bars - it's making good progress.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bike Built: Nakamura Grinder

Picked up a cheap SIS front derailleur and some off-brand vee brakes, and this bike is done. It's going up for $120.

Also upcoming are two old bikes that I sold to a fellow who seems to have convinced himself that I want them back. One's got a busted frame, so I expect I can basically build one out of two and get rid of them... again!

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Nakamura Grinder is almost done now.  I'm just short a set of decent V-brakes and a front derailleur.

Ended up with 24 speeds, as advertised on the frame, and fairly nice components.  Mostly LX level stuff, with a few corners cut here and there (original nutted bottom bracket).

The Mountaineer and the sweater have sold- both in the same day - next in the queue is a battered old CCM Elan, which needs a ton of work, and the Fiori, which doesn't.  The race is on!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bike Built: Century Challenger

OK, so nobody knows what a Century Challenger is. This bike was built out of leftover pieces - the frame got left on the sidewalk outside and was getting sadder and sadder (wheels, saddle stolen... rusting)

I grabbed it and had it hanging in the shed for a while. Put a set of steel wheels on it - Holland quality! Canadian style! Added an Italian (!) saddle and made it rideable again.

I think it's from Sears, it has a North Country head badge on it. I'm pretty sure I had a North Country sweater at some point, long ago. Probably made in Quebec by the Procycle factory.

Up for sale for $40!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I have a problem

I got another bike today. Also $10, this time it is a Raleigh Transit - made in Canada, very low-end (but still pretty). Single speed, coaster brake, imitation Brooks sprung saddle. It has proper 26 x 1-3/8 tires, too, befitting a roadster or city bike.

It will take some cleaning up, so I'm keeping it inside until I have time to put on WD-40 on anything that could get rusty (or rustier).

I also finally finished off the Norco Mountaineer - lots of new parts, hoping to get $160 for it. I'll probably have to drop the price, though, because...

Next bike in the queue: a Nakamura "Grinder" hardtail MTB. I'm aiming to sell this one for $100, so nothing fancy on it- vee brakes, lots of used parts, 24 speeds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New bike: Univega Alpina

Snagged this gem for $10 yesterday. It's a mid-90s Univega Alpina 501. It's got grip shifts, bar ends, 21 speeds and an impressive amount of rust.

Looks to be in fairly good shape, though. Will need a new headset, saddle and chain (and all new cables) - will give it a full tuneup once it comes up for repair.

For now it will get some PB blaster on the seat post (please, please don't be stuck...). And the chain too.

Tonight's task is to finish up a front wheel for a bike that I found on the sidewalk outside - pics shortly!