The new project

Some time ago when I was looking around to buy a new bicycle. As you might have read about it here. It was about my adventures with the China made bicycle I bought. There was an ad on the classifieds ads on internet, a company where selling these “Classical retro bicycles…”. I was stupid and naive so I bought it, I got it home, I adjusted it, I took it for a ride, I tore it to pieces, I threw it away. I dismantled the bicycle and filled bags with parts that where useless in every way, the chain case, the cranks, the break rods, the luggage rack, the saddle.

For example, when I was riding the bicycle I got bruises from the saddle. It was so sharp and badly made that you could cut yourself on the edges of the leather. The cranks was off each other by 5 degrees, which made an very difficult peddling motion. But the most disturbing part was when I put my foot on the pedal and pressed down gently just to see how stable the wheel and frame was. The wheels bended like soft cheese on a sunny day.
Here is an image of my little test, I am not pressing hard, not aggressive, only pressing down on the pedal with my foot slightly in an inward angle. I am even holding in an mobile phone in my hand and taking a photo while I am doing the pressing down test.
In short, that bicycle was dangerous in every way. I walked home with it, not riding. Well, to be honest I was so disappointed at the lot so I just wanted to forget it all, as soon as possible. I stowed away the frame and wheels (they where to big to put in a bag) in the back of my storage in the basement.

Just a few days ago, I found the frame again and started to look at it. The frame it self is not so badly made. It seem to be able to be used. The front fork, no. So I got an idea. I have all these different bicycle parts laying around after all repairing I have made lately. Why not make a final project? A racer with an retro/vintage/odd look? Down turned handlebars, old grips and so on. Why not? Well, one thing speaking against it is I need to buy a lot of new parts. But on the plus side, I do not need to run around to find them. I can visit the bicycle parts warehouse where they have all sorts of different bits and pieces. Perhaps I can make a bargain when buying all sorts of parts. About the frame it self, it has the holes drilled for the Phillips style braking system with rods and pads. Just like an old English roadster, only worse. I remember pressing hard on the breaks to stop and heard a “booing” sound when the rods flew away. Do I need to mention that the break pads dropped off in the first bump on the road? But anyway, the frame looks to be the only solid part of the entire bicycle. Beside the stand.

The stand was a rear wheel mounted thingy that must have been made by the left over from an old dreadnought ship. So incredibly heavy, so unnecessarily stable. I bet you could stop a car with that stand. A total overkill in metal usage. The stand weighted almost as much as the bicycle itself.
No. Of course I am exaggerating, but it was made in thick metal with strange rods sticking out everywhere. I guess that the stand was made in the original batch of steel and pressing tools. Then after on after making 15 million bicycle parts the tools become slightly used and the heap of steel is getting nearer the bottom of the crate. But then we still have the stand! Made to last a lifetime outside in the rain, perhaps even in a lake.

I have only seen one more of those Chinese made bicycles in real life. It was at an train station, the bicycle was parked in the stands with other bicycles. There was an collage nearby so I assumed it was a “hip” student who wanted a retro/good looking/fun/odd bicycle. It was identical with mine, all details where the same. But it was rusty, oh so rusty. The luggage rack was far from its shining chrome condition as it started out. The rest? Well, it was tragic. Perhaps I got an bad example, perhaps I had bad luck. Perhaps this is the resurrection of the China bicycle? It will proove its glory and shine again. After all, I have seen ads for those bicycles after I bought mine. With all parts upgraded from the factory.

So as now I have this frame. It is cleaned from it’s old parts. I got the frame… that is it. So in short, I need everything.
Cranks with pedals (with an vintage look) and the entire casing with crank shaft and bearings, wheels (with tires), front fork. Perhaps even a chain. That might be the  things needed as I can think of right now. Then is the matter of putting it all together. But might be just fun. New parts are clean and in good condition! No grease since the spring of 1937 in the bearings or crank houses. New parts that are unused and has a smell of silicone oil.

It can be a good challenge. It also can be a disaster in making. I will give it some more thought.


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