Saturday, February 24, 2007


Today I removed the surface rust from the Breakaway frame and started painting it using DupliColor acrylic lacquer from the local Repco.
This won't be the final paintjob, just something to make it presentable enough to ride while I am in Invercargill for Track Nationals in a couple of weeks.
When I get back, I'll get it beadblasted and sent to Walter Thorburn to make it look more or less like this.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wasting time with old bikes, part 2

A few months back Rick Woodward treated himself to a metal polisher, which he initially powered with a coffee grinder motor before embarking on Toolman-esque quest for more power.
The latest motor seems to be meeting with Rick's approval, but I'm wary of any tool that can flick a heavy object across the room at my first lapse of concentration, so lately I've been polishing a few widgets by hand:

This 1995 Chorus seatpost was heavily scratched from being pushed all the way into a small frame.
I removed the worst of the scratches with 120 grit emery tape before polishindg with progrssively finer wet & dry, and finishing with Autosol.
It probably has a home on my Bianchi.

Simon Kennett gave me this pair of 1950's Campagnolo Gran Sport hubs a few years ago.
Until recently they have been waiting for a suitable project (and that's a story for another day).
These Harden hubshells belong to Wayne Davidson from Invercargill, and are part of a transaction so convoluted that probably neither of us knows where or when it will end.
They will look good on one of the English 1950's road /track frames presently cluttering my shed.

Keeping the Breakaway off the backburner

The Auckland Track champs have kept me out of the shed lately, but I have a made a little more progress.
I brazed bidon bosses into the inside of the seatstays (left) for a stealthy Vanilla-style mudguard mount, and cleaned up all my brazing.

I'm still trying to work out how to mount a framefit pump.
My plan was to put a pump peg on the seatstay, but a thumblock head barely clears the Campagnolo Veloce rear hub, so I have to decide whether to put the pump along the top tube or track down something more compact like a Silca Impero.

This afternoon CTB brought around a brand spanking new Brooks Swallow, like this one but in black. The Swallow has longer rails than the rest of the Brooks range so I can get my preferred wayback seat position despite the Breakaway's 73.5 degree seat tube. I could get the same position with a modern plastic saddle, but, naaah, it wouldn't be the same.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ritchey Breakaway project, part 1

My new project is steel Ritchey Breakaway road frame, that I will build up as a lightweight credit card tourer.
Though Tom Ritchey himself uses a Breakaway for lightweight touring, my requirements are somewhat different, so I made a few changes.

I'm not a fan of carbon fibre, so I built a Reynolds 531 fork with a modified Pacenti crown.
I want to be able to use this bike with fat tyres and/or mudguards, and this fork has plenty of clearance, plus eyelets on the dropouts.
To make the 1" fork fit in the frame, I'll be using a set of Wheels Manufacturing headtube reducers. I considered brazing sleeves into the headtube, but this would prevent a future owner from fitting a 1-1/8" fork.

Clearance between the back tyre and the seatstay bridge is minimal, so I cut the bridge out, and brazed in a new one 6mm higher. These old Campagnolo single pivot brakes are a better fit around mudguards than dual-pivots.
I brazed a bidon boss into the bottom of the bridge to attach the mudguard.
The new bridge is at the maximum reach of a Campagnolo short reach caliper.

Mudguards need a front mount too, so I brazed in a chainstay bridge with a threaded boss.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

2007- forthcoming delights

Tokoroa Forest Charity Fun Ride
March 4th
Brought to you by the same folks who run the excellent mid-winter Fun Ride at Okoroire.
I've never done this ride, hopefully this year I will be able to negotiate a day off from track training.
There are three distance options: the 35k Radiata Rambler, 75k Cashmore's Challenge and the 100k Titanic
Click here to download the entry form.

Track Nationals
Invercargill, March 13-17
Donna is of a mind to do some damage to the UCI Masters World Records for 200m & 500m, and what better place than the new indoor velodrome at Invercargill.

Japanese Bike Retro Ride
On a date yet to be decided.
Like the Bianchi Ride last year, use of a Japanese bike is encouraged, but by no means compulsory.
At least four regular members of the Retro Grupetto own classic japanese road bikes, not to forget Keirin Pimps Glenn Selwyn & Chris Tennent-Brown who own NJS approved track bikes.

Chris Kulczycki's Velo Orange blog recently featured a list of links to Japanese framebuilders. Unless you can read Japanese, its best to treat them as an adventure in cyberspace and click on links randomly.