Currently (as of November 2012) the UAL stable has four active bikes!
Surly Long Haul Trucker
acquired April 2008
The Surly is my premium bike. It primarily fulfills the role of touring bike, but it's also a great around town bike as well. I realize at this point a Long Haul Trucker in Portland is almost a cliche, but what the heck! It's a nice bike and it does the job well.
I got it in the spring of 2008, when my original nice bike/touring machine the '80's Centurion Accordo failed (the frame broke at the bottom bracket.) I had been pining for a purpose-built tourer for awhile, as much as I loved the Accordo (and there was the added sentimental value from being the bike on which I toured the Pacific Coast), I did realize it was too small for me. I realized that I had enough cash to buy the Long Haul Trucker frame and then get most of the components switched over from the Accordo.
The Long Haul has seen a lot of action in the past four years. It accompanied me on the Wheely Fun tour of Vancouver Island July 2008, Sunshine Coast Sept 2008, Pdx-Vancouver May 2009, Trans-Oregon June 2010, Olympic Peninsula July 2010, plus many other small tours and excursions.
The bike is "mostly done". Just before the Cross-Continent Bike Tour I got new wheels, a pre-built dynohub front wheel (Alex XCE 500 double wall black rim with Shimano DH3D30 dynamo hub (silver)), and a handbuilt rear wheel (Deore hub, Sun Rims Rhyno Lite Rim). For the dyno light I got a B+M Lyt Senso Plus headlight. After the tour I removed the rear rack (for now) and installed arear dyno light, a Spanninga Pixeo XS Fender Dyno Tail Lamp w/ SafeStop.
|The bike: Late April 2012|
In April 2012, I had a complete drivetrain overhaul and a few other things done to it:
- Sugino XD 500T triple crankset (46x36x24)
- Sram chain
- 13-34 seven-speed rear cassette
- MKS Lambda/"Grip-King" pedals (from the Raleigh)
- Velo Orange hammered fenders
More photos on my flickr page.
- Nitto "Grand Roundenour (sic)" handlebars
- Busch & Muller Lumotec IQ Cyo headlamp.
acquired Dec 2010
made functional Feb 2011
I purchased it from the depths of East Vancouver for a paltry $30 by an old guy who likes to work on old bikes, just like the guy I bought the Cycle Truck from. He said that he got the bike 10 years ago, fully intending to restore it, but never got around to it. The main issue was the 3 speed Sturmey-Archer hub "doesn't work", which usually means the person doesn't know how to adjust it.
The Wayfarer is part of the classic British 3-speed sports roaster tradition, the type of bike Raleigh is famous for. While I've seen my share of Raleigh Sports, the "standard" 3-speed model, the Wayfarer is a bit of a mystery. I have found no record of it through Raleigh USA catalogs from the era, and my Raleigh expert friends in both the US and Canada scratch their heads in bewilderment. The only evidence on the internets of the Wayfarer model is from the UK, so that info (plus the reverse brakes) leads me to believe that someone brought it over from the British Isles. The best guess for the age of the bike is sometime in the 70's, though the Sturmey-Archer AW hub is from 1956.
When I got it, the bike was remedially rideable. The restoration was done slowly, most of the major stuff happened when the Raving Bike Fiend visited Portland in Jan-Feb of 2011 (unless noted otherwise).
Here is the exhaustive list of all the things that happened to the bike:
- Replaced front wheel with new handbuilt alloy wheel. Aluminum (alloy) Sun Rims CR18 650A/590mm size rim, spokes, Dynotech dynamo hub, V-O locking skewer.
- Replaced internals of the 1956 Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub (AW model) with a working 1954 internals.
- Rebuilt rear wheel with original hub/shell (see above) and new aluminum (alloy) Sun Rims CR18 650A/590mm size rim, and new spokes. (March 2012)
- Replaced tires with Schwalbe Delta Cruisers 26" x 1 3/8" (650A/590mm), and new tubes.
- Generator lights: Spanninga front and rear LED, plus wiring and bracket accessories.
- Replaced handlebar/stem with "North Road" handlebars,used stem , cork grips , Japanese Crane chrome bell.
- Replaced block pedals with used "rat trap" style, then MKS Lambda "Grip King" pedals (fall 2011).
- New cotter pins for cranks.
- Water bottle cage.
- New chain and 20 tooth cog for rear.
- New brake cables and brake pads.
- Took off old kickstand, replaced with Greenfield rear-triangle kickstand.
- New longer seatpost.
- Brooks B-66 saddle and Carradice saddle bag.
- Hoseclamp and rings to rear rack for attaching panniers.
- Replaced original rear rack with black "Dutch" style one (spring 2011).
So now I have a spiffy bike! Dyno lighting! Comfy geometry! This will be my everyday bike from here on out.
Read the entire story on the restoration project in my "Raleigh" category.
And see more photos on my flickr page.
|The Raleigh can even do some light-duty touring. This was from the Battle Ground Lake cabin trip, February 2012.|
Some more upgrades!
- New B+M Lumotec Classic dynamo powered headlamp
- Abus rear wheel lock with chain
- Cork grips from Rivendell
- Linus rear rack.
Acquired December 2011
Made functional January 2012
Rudge (or more specifically, Rudge-Whitworth) was a British bicycle manufacturer established in 1869. In 1943 British bicycle behemoth Raleigh acquired Rudge. Rudge then assumed the role of a prestige marquee in the Raleigh stable, on par with Raleigh and Humber. My Rudge Sports of 1953 vintage was pretty much a Raleigh Sports of the same year, albeit with distinctive Rudge features like its chainring.
I got the Rudge for free from Todd Boulanger of Vancouver. Todd received the bike sometime in the distant past from someone who rescued it from a garage that was getting cleaned out. The bike was in pretty sorry shape, as evidenced in the "before" photos. Todd had hopes of "doing something" with it, but it languished in his very impressive pile of bikes. So in spring of 2011 he asked me if I had any use for it. Initially I was hesitant, as I had no room myself, was about to embark on the big bike tour, and was intimidated by the sad shape it was in. But I told him if it was still available when I returned from tour, I'd take it. And it was still around when we got back, so I took delivery of the bike right before Christmas 2011.
The receipt of the bike was during a fortuitous time, as the Raving Bike Fiend was again in town. There's no way I would have been able to tackle this project without expertise, so over the course of a week in January 2012 Keith and myself stripped, cleaned, and reassembled. I decided to go with a stripped down "path racer" or scorcher look, as I already had two practical bikes (the LHT and Wayfarer) so I can afford a fun machine that would not do well in the rain. (Steel rims and lack of mudguards do not make a rainy season rider!)
The (mostly) exhaustive list of what was done:
- Replaced front wheel with another Sturmey-Archer steel rim 650A (26" x 1 3/8"), originally from my Raleigh Wayfarer
- Replaced broken spoke on rear wheel, trued it (to some extent)
- Kenda gumwall tires/tubes that I found at the Citybikes free pile
- Removed fenders (horrors!)
- Replaced Italian drop bars with used North Road bars (inverted!)
- Replaced original stem with another Raleigh stem
- Pedals came off my Raleigh since I have MKS Lambda pedals on there now
- Brown Brooks B17 Narrow saddle and Minnehaha saddle bag (had in my stockpile)
- Used seatpost
- Union bottle dynamo/halogen headlamp combo (stockpile)
- Crane Brass bell (stockpile)
- VO bottle cage handlebar bracket with bottle cage
- New chain
- New brake pads
- New cables and housing
- Lots of tweaking, cleaning, oiling, scraping, and polishing. (Oiling a steel frame does wonders for its look, and aluminum foil and lemon juice does a good job of getting rid of surface rust!)
More about the restoration with posts tagged with Rudge.
And lots of photos on my flickr page.
Wish List/Future Upgrades
- New, modern wheels (using a steel AW shell instead of the alloy)
- New, better tires
Carradice bag?Got a Carradice knockoff, Sept 2012
- Fix cranks
Raleigh Crested Butte
Acquired October 2012
Made functional November 2012
Bought off Craigslist on Oct. 14, 2012 for $200. 1984 was the first year Raleigh USA offered standard mountain bikes. (Their "Trail Rider" came out in 1982, but it was more a quasi MTB than true MTB.)
The "Mountain Tour" series featured five different bikes, and the Crested Butte was the top of the line. It features "555" chro-moly double-butted tubing, Shimano Deore XT (deer head!) derailleurs and brakes, a Takagi "Tourney XT" triple crankset, Suntour XC II pedals, chro-moly "Bullmoose" bars, Avocet Touring II saddle, Araya 26"x 1.75" x7 alloy rims, Suntour sealed bearing hubs, and plenty of braze ons, including two for a carrying strap!
The geometry is very relaxed, with a 68 degree headtube and 43 inch wheelbase. The bike was designed with actual touring in mind, and it was from before they steepened angles on mountain bikes.
On November 1st, 2012 there was a major work session. Found a nice MTB appropriate stem (Kalloy) that was in the weird size (21.1) this bike requires. It even had a built-in brake cable hanger! The bars are Civia Duponts (made a brief appearance on the M40.) Sunlite front rack holding a chrome Wald 139 basket. Minnehaha small saddlebag, for now. Planet Bike Cascadia fenders. Portland Design Works Fenderbot rear light.
Shortly thereafter added new Crane brass rotary bell, Klean Kanteen bottle cages (handlebar one mounted with VO clamp), and the Rubena Cityhoppers (in brown) mounted to wheels.
This bike will fill the role of "rough stuff" rider, for some bikepacking/dirt/trail touring/camping, winter hackin-around, what-have-you. A country bike. All around, an all-rounder!
More photos on flickr.
Bikes I have formerly owned
Centurion Super Le Mans
acquired Sept 2009
sexified Thanksgiving Eve 2009
sold May 12, 2011 for $140
At the time of its acquisition, I already had two bikes, the aforementioned Long Haul plus the Univega "Picnic Truck" (a 70's 10-speed frame converted to 3-speed AW hub with giant Wald front basket), why a third bike? Well, I was in the mood for a single speed. Lightweight and stripped down to the basics. Something for around-town fun. I had the idea of finding an old road frame relatively cheap and then do an inexpensive conversion. I chose to only spend around $100 for the bike, which was tough during late summer of 2009, when people were selling complete pieces of shit in that price range.
The Centurion came up on Craigslist, resplendent in mediocre 70's bike boom componentry, steel wheels and all. But all I cared only about the frame, which besides some paint scrapes and rust, was in decent shape.
Ian from the PSU Bicycle Cooperative had a set of 700cc alloy single-speed wheels that he was willing to give me for a song. Not only that, but he would help me convert it. So I repaired to his house in Center--er, North Tabor the night before Thanksgiving. We got it all done in one session: wheels/tires/tubes, fenders, brake pads, cables, handlebars and tape, and a Brooks Champion Flyer saddle!
The Centurion came into the stable with the purpose of being the sexy, lightweight, stripped down fun machine. That it became my daily rider was a nice side benefit. I loved its relative lightness and its low maintenance, and can easily see why a lot of people like single speeds, fixie or freewheel. The gearing wasn't the best for flats, but was great for hills, which was significant because I climbed Mt. Tabor most every day. Since the "conversion" in November of 2009, the only things that I've had to deal with (besides flat tires) were brake adjustments, chain tension adjustment, and a bottom bracket overhaul. The only changes that I've made since the conversion was the addition of a small Soma front rack. It's the bike I've tweaked with least.
But having four bikes of mine (plus April's three) in a tiny apartment was too much, and I felt push come to shove. But the thrill was over after I built up the Raleigh, which took the Centurion's place as "daily rider". I thought briefly about swapping out the bullhorn bars for something swept back and maybe throw on a "porteur" style front rack to overcome the lack of functionality of the Soma rack. But I didn't want to endlessly tweak with the bike. I didn't want another project bike. So I figured it would be good to put it back out into circulation. So in May of 2011 the bike was sold.
Worksman Low Gravity (aka "Cycle Truck")
acquired Nov 2010
sold April 4, 2012
I've been fascinated by Cycle Trucks since the first time I saw one on Hawthorne many years ago. It's the original American "cargo" bike that has been in production since before World War II. The design and concept hasn't changed: a heavy duty cruiser style frame with a 26" rear wheel. The front basket sits on a platform connected to the frame, not front fork, so the front wheel can move independently of the basket and the basket can hold more weight (up to 150 pounds, so I've been told!) The front wheel is only 20" with motorcycle-gauge spokes, so there's more room for the front basket. These are the same bikes seen delivering pizzas around New York City (with a specialized pizza rack in front instead of the basket.)
Schwinn made a highly-collectible version of the Cycle Truck from approx. 1938-68, as did some other American (and British!) bicycle makers. Worksman is the only American company that has been making them continuously since the Interwar years. You can go to their website and buy a brand new one, the design the same as it always has. Worksman doesn't have the cachet that Schwinn does, but that means their cycle truck is cheaper to find used.
|Using a bike to haul a bike!|
I haven't done much to the bike itself since I got it (these photos are from the day after I bought it) besides the rear wheel. These are the changes: swapped original seat with my Brooks B-67saddle, cork grips, and an ABUS rear wheel lock and chain combo.
I sold the bike in April 2012. More about that here.
Read more about it in my Worksman Cycle Truck category.
And see more photos on my flickr page.