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1956 Racer Rebuild

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flyingtaco

Finally riding a big boys bike
1729361


Seen this on market place. Not sure if it would be correct for your bike, but it looks like mine
 

soddruntlestuntle

Finally riding a big boys bike
According to UPS, the rest of my parts should be here on Tuesday. In prep for that I set some other parts in place to see if I was missing anything. Along the way I proved to myself that the fork is bent. No surprise with all the other stuff that's bashed out of shape on this. I noticed it when I couldn't get the bars to line up with both the axle and the crown of the fork. If I still had access to the fancy Park tools I could fix it easy enough. I'm not sure how I'll deal with it without the tools though. For now I'll leave it and press on.

From there I decided to check the frame. With a quick and dirty set up the frame looks to be spot on, which was surprising.
View attachment 1726070

The distance from the seat tube to the string is within half a millimeter from side to side. Sweet.

I haven't had any luck finding an appropriate seat so I thought I'd try to straighten the frame on the one it has. When I looked closer I found one of the springs had broken and been "fixed". Along with the bends, I'm not sure I want to deal with it. If I could find a couple springs it might be worth pulling the whole thing apart and working on it, but in the meantime I slapped on a seat from a '66 Breeze. That got me thinking - I wonder if the frame/springs from a later seat could be modded to work under the '56 seat? It looks promising, maybe I can find something with a trashed cover and use it as a donor.
View attachment 1726071

Here's the brake cable fitting that used to be the aluminum rod that I showed earlier. Oooh. Ahhh. Magic! This shot also reveals another secret. I bought some replacement brake pads that were less expensive than the Kool Stop inserts. They're too long and hit the frame if the brake is allowed to open all the way. But once they are installed/adjusted the cable won't allow the caliper to spring open that far so I'll go with them.
View attachment 1726072

Nothing is tightend down, I need the grips to know where the levers need to go. They're in the same shipment as the chain. But here's how it sits now.
View attachment 1726073

Speaking of grips... I was thinking about "coke bottle" grips for my next bike but can't seem to find any reproductions for bicycles. Are they out there? They are easy to find for motorcycles. The only thing there is I'd have to buy two sets to get a pair for a bike since the throttle grip has a larger ID. But they're cheap enough that isn't out of the question.

I had it out of the stand and sat on it to get a feel for the size. It'll work, but the '62 and it's larger frame should be perfect. I rolled back and forth on it a little and wondered how long it has been since the bike would do that? I couldn't even roll it over to my car when I bought it! Even the paint on it looks good to me now. Oh sure, if you get close it's pretty rough, but from a few feet away it looks pretty good for a 66 year old bike that got ridden hard and put away wet.

It may not be obvious in that photo but the seat that's on there is off of a violet Breeze, so it doesn't come close to matching anything... I'm not too proud to ride it like that until I find something better though! For now it just keeps the bike from sliding out of the stand. The seat post is so small the grip is questionable.

It's not correct, but I put an early seventies lightweight saddle on the '64 Racer I'm resurrecting; and while it may not be age appropriate, I think it looks good, and it's very comfy.



2FC26007-FC70-45C6-B62C-E69C0E3A9934.jpeg
 
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Eric Amlie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I would say that if you actually intend to ride the bike, not just look at it, replacing the seat should be considered de rigueur.
Remember that when sold new, these bikes were targeted at young people who weighed maybe half of what we do.
Those original seats were not intended to support our weight comfortably.
As you can see from the pic of my '57 Racer(posted earlier in this thread), I replaced the saddle with a Brooks B72 which I find quite comfortable.
I'm a bit over 190 lbs.
 
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