The last steps in the “Lady Blue” story. Well, it is just 2 more things to do. First its to fit the chain guard properly. The front bracket fitted like a charm, but the one in the back was missing from the guard that I bought as an replacement. The old bracket from the old guard did not really fit so well. But that is an minor problem, I will make a new bracket. What surprised me was that the new, never used (still got the price tag on the back), chain guard fitted so perfect. When I mounted it did not needed any form of modifying, just a perfect fit from the start. That is the moment when you start to ask what is wrong. Things never work straight away or with out problems. But this time, like a hot knife in butter a summer day. So smooth. (the problems turned up later, more of that later on)
So the final step is waiting for the handlebar that is currently in Thailand. Mount that with its new grips and then we are done. I think you all will like the new grips I got. Then I am thinking of perhaps change the head light. After that “Lady blue” is ready for the road again. After at least 20 years of storage. I will ask a co-worker to be a model for it. In typical cloths of course. But if that dont work. I have one idea that might work. A good presentation is everything!
Now to the part of the problems as mentioned earlier.
As you all by now have noticed this bicycle, since I got it , was supposed to enter the Bike in Tweed event 2014 in Stockholm. I have planned to enter the event since last years event. I checked up the dates and calculated everything. All previous years the event has been in the first or second week of October. Since this year I am turning into an old man, there is a event planned in the end of September involving other people and mandatory for me. But that was totally fine with me. Since logically the Bike in Tweed event is held in October, so I could be a part of it and everything just worked out like a charm. Because I had been looking forward to the bicycle event so much. But this year they decided to put the event a few weeks earlier! Right on the day I am planned to other things.
Now I understand why the repairs went so smooth and easy. I can not join the Bike in Tweed 2014 event.
Karma or faith anyone?
The last word has not been said in this matter!
But I got a great bicycle in the cellar, “Lady Blue” in good condition. I can always keep her in good condition until next year Bike in Tweed 2015. It is a matter of planning ahead!
Posted by schneebremse on February 15, 2014
The vacation around Christmas was spent in a cold unheated cellar. Refitting the hubs, crank shafts and chain for the “Lady Blue”. It was many years since I had an rear wheel hub in parts and refitted all together again. It worked! The skill is still there. I guess its like… cycling (no pun intended). Once done, you know the drill.
The mudguards, stand, seat and handlebars of a different type was mounted. Then I mounted the head light, pedals and rear packing holder. I even put on the skirt-guard in crocheted blue wire. I found the skirt-guard in the classified ads. NOS (new old stock), never used, not even unwrapped since the 1930′s. The strange thing was that one of the side had correct 18 hooks. The other side only had 17 hooks?! If only I could complain, but I am afraid that the crochet skirt guard makers closed up their shop about 60 years ago…
The original handlebars was sent with a co-worker to Thailand where he said he might know a shop for remaking the chrome plated finish. New grips are awaiting here for the handlebars. A dynamo is on its way. Then I guess “Lady Blue” is reddy for the roads again. As I mentioned earlier, there might be a nice girl that wants to take a ride on the bicycle later on when the weather is more “bicycle friendly”.
One of my goal is to be able to give a photo of the bicycle when it is done to my co-worker, who so kindly gave me the bicycle. So he can show it to the original owner. Just to show her that the history still is alive and the bicycle are being treasured.
Posted by schneebremse on January 19, 2014
It was the days before Christmas…
The fist assembly of the old bicycle took part in the basement. First I greased up the bearings for the fork and put it all together, now it swings around like a charm. Way better than before. Now it also looks good with it’s cleaned and polished mounts. Perhaps I will need to grease it up once more before the summer, or at least after it has been used a few times. So it has time to set and need a routine service.
While I was at it. I decided it was time to put the new bought tires on the rims. The rims has been brushed with an wire brush and cleaned with strong cleaning agents so nothing would risk puncture the tube. First the rim protector cord went on, then the tire had to go on. I had completely forgot why I hate to change bicycle tires. Now I was reminded. My thumbs, my poor thumbs are now flat…
After the tire went on with one side or wall, as it is better called. Then gently tuck the tube inside the tire. Lastly comes the really fun part (big portion of irony here) that is to get the tire on the rim with the second wall. Again, my poor, poor thumbs.
After some sweat and hard work (and cheating with some tools) the tire was on its place. I filled the tire up with air and, behold! It worked it also looked really nice.
Then, repeat it all again for the other wheel.
There is hope for the blue lady to ride again. Only two small question marks that need to be cleared before is complete.
But that can be saved for some other day. It’s a long time until summer. It must become winter first.
Posted by schneebremse on December 17, 2013
The time had come, it was time for see what condition the old lady bicycle was in. I started by taking off the chain guard, saddle, handlebars. Then the wheels, mudguards, chain, stand. When that was done I started by taking apart the front fork and the bearings.
Except the suspected grease from the 1930′s that was dried up and all dust, also since the 1930′s. The bicycle was in extremely good condition. Minor rust spots, the only rust I found that is of a serious form was inside the rims, where the rim protectors (made in cloth) still did their job and protected the tubes.
I started to clean some parts. Lots of cleaning products and rags, even more elbow grease. Long evenings in the winter will be spent in the basement. Cleaning and polishing. Also the hunt for parts has begun, I have found several parts that is needed. The only real question mark is the handles. They seem to be more or less scarce to say the least. Over all it is a good project.
The goal of Bike in Tweed 2014 is an possibility.
Posted by schneebremse on November 3, 2013
I got an old bicycle from a co-worker some time ago. The reason why is simply that I was talking about an event in Stockholm called “Bike in Tweed”. There is an “Tweed run” in London that has become an regular yearly event, people dressing up in vintage clothes (often tweed) and on vintage bicycles are doing a parade around London. That idea has become a huge success so many other city’s have done similar events. For example in Helsinki / Finland the have the parade in the winter time. For anyone interested, just do a interweb search for “tweed run” or “bike in tweed”. Lots of great photos of lovely clothes and bicycles.
Back to the bicycle. It was the co-workers mothers bicycle. She dont use it any more so she was glad to get rid of it. I am not 100% sure of the personal history of it. I will do some research.
But the bicycle itself is a old Swedish one. It is a Hellas made by Fagergren and Johnson in the southern town of Kalmar. A approximately way to date the bicycle is to look at the rear hub. Almost every Swedish made bicycle in the years 1925 up to 1960′s used the German Torpedo hub. Those hubs are stamped with the last two digits of the year. That gives you an roughly date, add a couple of years and you are in the ballpark. Add the details of the bicycle, such as frame paint and other small details. So with all that in mind I can say that the bicycles hub is made 1931 and the frame has the details of late 1920 and early 1930′s.
Today I started to take it apart to check on details and do some cleaning. I must say, its is in very good shape for its age. Hardly no rust, some dents on the mudguards. The handlebars are repainted many years ago. The handles are stuck, but that is not a big deal. After all there was many different versions and styles of handlebars at that time. Also the most popular handles where so called black “Rambler” handles. The saddle is most likely in a to bad shape after all exposure of weather and wind. But I dont think anyone will blame me for getting a new “aged” Brooks saddle in a vintage look. As for the handlebars, I might be able to find a better used one. Rambler handles does surface on auctions and so on from time to time. I might ask my connections in England to help out on that one.
I will wash, clean the frame and mudguards. Take apart the hubs and clean them out, re lubricate them (I have grease from the 50′s so even that will be vintage). I have 11 months to complete the bicycle. It will be in the “Bike in tweed 2014″. There is all reddy a person that want to use the old bicycle all dressed up in vintage clothes. If it all turns out well, a photo will be taken of them two for the Schneebremse blog readers.
I will keep you all updated on how it all turns out.
Posted by schneebremse on October 19, 2013
I finally made it. I took my self in to the city and bought me a brand new bicycle.
I have been searching high and low on internet after a bicycle that fills my demands and wishes. I found a few ones that really caught my eye. Both in design, style and usage of material. My demands was:
- Old style, roadster
- A Brooks saddle
In Sweden there you cant find classical “roadsters”, only everything else. Now I wanted a gentleman bicycle. Preferably with rod handles for the breaks. Now there is actually English roadsters today, they are good looking but now 100%. Small details that disturbs the overall appearance of the bicycle. But in Holland, there you can find really great bicycles. I found the brand Gazelle and the “Toer Populair” model. Old style with new technology. But to find one here in the middle of nowhere. Impossible. Import? Well then the price would equal to a small car. Then I found a shop in Berlin called Hollandrad that sells the Dutch bicycles. I contacted them if they export their bicycles. Sadly I never got a reply.
I did some more search, then I found the Finish bicycle Pelago “Bristol” from Helsinki. That model looked just right. Clean, simple but yet classical.
So I went to the retailer Gamla Stans Cykel and bought a Pelago “Bristol” with 3 gears. When selecting a geared version, they mount a hand break for the front wheel. Now, that is the only 2 things I dont like with the bike. I think that the hand break handle should be on the right hand side. But there is the gear shifter, that is made of plastic, a sad story. I am thinking of getting an old shifter in metal and re-mount the hand break. Then there is the issue of a light. The bicycle is modern, why not a modern light. There is LED light that is really vintage looking (but with an modern twist).
The I looked at it and thought “less is more”. The bicycle is so clean in its lines now that I must git it a great bit of thinking about lights and other stuff.
When at the retailer, I asked to get a different saddle. I wanted the Brooks B135 saddle, for the comfort. Also for nostalgia. My grandfather used to have a double spring saddle (I still have it).
But when riding the bicycle home, it struck me. It is a great, really great made bicycle! Works like a charm! Now after a few weeks, I haven’t changed my mind. I will write more about the “dream bicycle” one day, if you like to that is? A great bicycle, all black, shiny and silent.
Here is she is.
Posted by schneebremse on July 25, 2013
Amazing, let me be the first to congratulate you. Waiting is a virtue so they say.
Sadly, the motivation has been drained. There is no lack of topics, on the contrary. There is many things to say about everything. Life, work, people, situations and events. Everything has a story waiting to be told.
One of the things that is slightly confusing for me, or has become a sort of obstacle on the way to a post here on the blog. That is what direction to take. Of all things worth to write about, hoe to choose? A funny reflection of an everyday item or an serious debate on how the society is slowly, but steady, collapsing in to a heap of rubble. Should I write about how to cook? (now, that is something we dont want to happen). Or should I go on writing these topics about nothing, my way of seeing things? How small or silly they might be?
One thing is crystal clear. I want to write! Sadly I cant find the peace to write, never to sit down and put down the reflections on paper (yes, computer in this case). The strange thing is that when I am at work, travelling, shopping I always get new ideas and topics to write about. But as soon as I get home all ideas disappears like dried up tumble-weeds, blowing across the plains of emptiness in my mind. The once green meadows turns in to abandon desert where the imagination and creativity just, disappeared. Where did it go? But then I get out on the move, things starts to grow, the green leaves comes out. The water is again flowing in the stream. The birds are singing and the bumble bees humming. But at that stage I dont have my computer with me. The change of the seasons in the inspiration for writing is very quick and unforgiving so it seems.
But things will change, they must change. Not that anyone reads this, but for my own personal peace of mind. Or do you actually read this?
Just for a fun note, I am going to buy a new bicycle soon. Now that will take care of an entire topic by it self.
Flowers at the old church
Posted by schneebremse on July 6, 2013