Fresh Find: 1980 Cook Brothers Three Bar Cruiser

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sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Some progress, figured if I was going to run those heavy tires, I didn't need to run the heavy tubes, too. Also got a new White Industries freewheel for it but 1. my diagnosis of the old freewheel having play in it was wrong, this exhibited the same behavior so likely it's a bent axle. 2. the bigger FW body hits the frame in the dropout so I'll be refurbing the skinny, old freewheel and reinstalling.

I have new hub bearings coming for the Sunshine hubs and I'll have my local shop ensure the axles are straight. Still having a heck of a time with the headset, thinking I may just replace it. Any recommendations? I like this one. I want something quality, period looking and new. Not going to dick around with mix and matching old, worn parts.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/283782942117?campid=5335809022

Lastly, there was a criterium downtown Saturday so it was a great chance for my wife and me to ride the looptails.

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ozzie

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Tange headsets are great. The one in the link provided should fit and will be light. If you want a chrome plated Tange HS, have a look at the MX-2 but it will be a little heavier. My personal favorite for most of my builds.
 

sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Some more progress. Installed new sealed bearings in the 2nd gen Sunshine hubs, put the old freewheel back on as it was not the issue, installed the rear brake and some new DiaCompe cable clamps.

I was able to finally adjust the old headset somehow. I did take the fork downtown again to have the race pounded hard again to be sure. I'll go for a good ride tonight to ensure it does not come loose again.

Installed some Hunt Wilde grips but not sure about the color, pretty loud! Kinda was going for a primary color thing and to pull out the red of the decals... I also have a set in dark blue that I could run, too.

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sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Recently I played around with a coaster brake set up on the Cook. I borrowed the coaster wheels off my Kona and I really enjoyed it - I've never been the biggest fan of the freewheel/brake setup on cruisers. I also brought over the S&M High Husky bars and Brooks Professional saddle from the Kona, replacing some loaner bars and a newer B17 saddle.

I've also been playing with BB spindles as the one that came on this bike was extraordinarily too long for a single chainring setup. The first-gen DuraAce cranks are a nice departure from all the mismatched gold ano bits on this bike.

I got lucky on eBay the other morning with this NOS high flange Shimano coaster being listed with a decent priced BIN. I've sourced a matching gold ano Ukai rim to match the front wheel and I'll get that laced up soon. I'd really like to use this opportunity to find and lace up a Cook Bros. front hub but good luck finding one of those!

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sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
I recently picked up some Cook Bros. Longhorn bars from a California seller. I figured a set of these would give me the true Cook 26 experience. These appear to be 2nd gen models produced from 1980 til '83? So the right gen for my '80 frame and also my favorite iteration of the Longhorns. In true Cook fashion, these are phenomenally lightweight and very high quality. I love that the previous owner left the Fiesta Cruise decal on there, an institution for CA Cook 3-bar riders.

I also went ahead and re-installed the Cook seatpost - that's too pretty to just sit in the parts bin, enough though a conventional straight seatpost probably better fits this short torso author. Still struggling through BB spindles currently, the few reproduction spindles have some odd specs that are not JIS or ISO... Gotta love it.

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sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Went back to the straight post per advice from the Cook experts. Supposedly the tolerances between the post and the frame on these were pretty loose and a brass shim is recommended to prevent damage to the seat tube. Running the layback post was not advised at all due to the extra stresses but she ran it, even shimless, for many years. Oh well, the layback is too short for me anyway.

I finally got the correct width BB spindle installed (original was way wide) and found some standard JIS cranks to run after trying three sets! 1st gen Dura Ace (which were JIS low profile, weird) then some Campagnolo Record Strada (ISO) and finally these Sugino Mightys were the ticket.

Next up I'll be lacing a coaster brake wheel. I have the hub and a donor matching gold Ukai front wheel but am stuck in 14ga rim/spoke and 12ga hub spoke hole purgatory. Hopefully some spoke washers can save the day.

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sworley

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Laced up a coaster brake rear wheel for the bike using a Ukai gold ano rim I got via a complete front wheel. I re-used the wheel's vintage spokes and laced up a NOS Bendix 96 (repop Morrow brake arm) for that vintage look. New spokes would've really stood out!

I really like this configuration - clean, simple and coaster brake.

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