Overall I’m really happy with with the finished bike, although I’m still on the lookout for a nice large flanged vintage front wheel to go on it rather than the temporary alloy one that’s on it at the moment, but other than that it’s all good.
Let it be said that it’s not a true restoration because although most of the original parts have either been refurbished and refitted, or replaced like-for-like, I’ve upgraded some bits that weren’t in the bike originally. ..
Modern brown tyres are new, and the French maker would never have put British made Brooks Saddles on their bikes.
Some great finds were the new Dynamo lights, they are exactly as the ones that came off it originally, and I was luck enough to find some 1970s stock, still brand new in the boxes in France.
New decals were made in Australia. And identical except in colour to the originals.
Also found a nice old Sachs 5 speed derailiuer to replace the modern retrofitted one that had been put in the bike.
Other lucky finds were the nice vintage 19″ pump that sits nicely in the brazed on pump holders.
New cables, outer cables, pedals , clips and straps finish the bike off nicely I think.
Right off to the pub on it me thinks!
the build has started!
Started out by sewing on the new leather handlebar grips and fitting the bottom brackets.
New Dynamo rewired, cranks on, starting on the cables…
After all the priming, sanding, spraying, sanding, lacquering, sanding. More lacquering and a final T-cut and polish… The frame is finished.
Looking good and very retro in its new Ivory colour scheme, with 4 coats of high gloss lacquer giving it I lovely deep shine.
And just in time, my new custom made decals arrived today from Australia.
Bike frame now sprayed, sanded and lacquered.. I was hoping this nice summer weather would be perfect for hardening the paint of nicely before rebuilding it all..
The great british summertime has other ideas it seems… Cold, wet & windy..
Seems the warmest place to cure the paint is in the kitchen by the Aga
So after a few days… And I mean ‘long days’ sanding, stripping, wire brushing.. And more sanding… Every scrap of paint, every blob of rust was removed, every dint or bump smoothed out or filled in, the frame was taken back to shiny bare steel once more… Naked as the day it was born…
4 good coats of primer applied, ready for a final sanding tomorrow before starting to put some top coats on.. 😃
Added note, I’m having some replacement decals made, identical to the originals, but in brown to suit the new colour scheme.. Got the email today saying that they’ve been shipped… From Australia.. Hope they don’t take too long..
Also the bottom brackets have left the factory in China. Fingers crossed..
the forks are now stripped, sanded and primed ready for paint… The frame is also ready for priming.
Oh yeah, and my highly flammable cellulose paint arrived today… It’s a good thing my delivery man is on the ball.
happily getting high on the fumes of the Nitromors paint stripper, when suddenly my new seats arrived…
Am I being to anal by polishing each individual nut, bolt and washer?
Even Little things need some love
the project is now underway, the bike has been completely stripped, which wasn’t an easy task, most of the bolts were corroded and took a great deal of time and effort to remove each one without damaging the frame or salvageable parts. Many of the parts where steel is bolted into aluminium, corrosion has taken place and the two metals have well and truly bonded, ie the crank arms to pedals, and the aluminium seatposts and handlebar stems into the frame. Generous application of WD40, heat and brute force has managed to win over in the end.
The sourcing of many new and replacement parts is well underway.. A 1970 Sachs Hurret 5 speed derailleur has been found and will replace the modern and non working shimano derailleur that had been retro-fitted to the bike at some point.
Replacements of the French original Soubitez Dynamo parts have been found from 3 different places and bought accordingly, new handlebar grips, tyres, tubes cables, seats, chains, pedals clips and straps have all been sourced..
Work is now underway refurbishing the badly corroded and seized wheels.. The hub brake has been stripped and refurbed as good as new, the spindle and free hub have also been stripped, cleaned, refinished and lubed before being reassembled.. The stainless spokes are also badly weathered and are proving to be a mammoth job to get the shine back on them.
The paint on the bike is beyond repair and retouching, so the whole bike is going to be stripped and re sprayed, this is where I’m going to deviate from the original bike by changing the colour, these tandems were only ever made in the light metallic blue, but after much deliberation I think we’re going to go for a more classic retro look and paint the bike cream with brown detailing.
The bare frame…
The stripped and refurbed hub brake
New bits piling up.. 🙂