Project AEWRON 13


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SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#1
My father passed away a few weeks ago after being in a nursing home for 4 years, and the cost for that care was $9k a month so they took just about everything. I did however acquire his bicycle, a 1984 Free Spirit 12-Speed that he bought new currently valued around $30, lol. Considering its sentimental value and me not having a road bike, I decided the proper course of action would be to honor him by fixing it up over the next few months and riding it this summer.

While they were cheap department store bikes at the time, its actually not a bad rig in retrospect. The Pinnacle was a higher model than the Sovereign I believe with a steel lugged frame, Dia-Compe 630's, and a Falcon 1st Gen SS derailleur which is a Taiwanese copy of the Shimano Skylark, etc. The best feature about the bike is that it has a light coating of greasy filth all over it, that helped preserve everything over the decades and it was properly stored off the ground in a dry garage.

My plans are to do a partial-restoration, make a nice rider out of it, some customization, and most importantly have fun with it. Since his biggest passion was flying and he was very fond of his NAVY days I will be using his squadron logo for the head tube badge (see avatar). Obviously replacing all the dry-rotted rubber components, going with all new shiny stainless spokes, new seat and pedals, eliminating one of the front sprockets converting it to a 6-speed with different shifter, but keeping the original paint because its in pretty good shape.

Funny how I didn't want any projects this winter but my dad had other plans in mind. Here are some before photos showing it barn-fresh out of long-term storage...

AEWRON1.jpg


AEWRON2.jpg


AEWRON3.jpg


AEWRON4.jpg


AEWRON5.jpg


AEWRON6.jpg


AEWRON7.jpg


AEWRON8.jpg


AEWRON9.jpg
 
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SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#4
Thanks for the comments. Since I don't want to put a lot of money into this bike I'll be using a few extra parts I have on hand, starting with the seat I have 2 to choose from...

- First one is crushed velour with diamond pattern, looks like late 70's or 80's, no brand name on it, only says "Made in Italy"
- Second one I'm almost positive is from the 80's, it says Arialee Jaguar, Made in Japan

I think either one would look correct on this bike...

ItalySeat.jpg


JapanSeat.jpg
 
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Sven

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Dec 24, 2017
2,055
5,989
55
Mechanicsville, MD, United States
#5
My condolences on your loss. That's a great idea. Best of luck with your project.
 
Likes: Eatontkd

Campbellsoup19

'Lil Knee Scuffer
Sep 4, 2018
11
11
Delaware
#6
Sorry about the loss of your father. His bike looks like it was kept in fantastic condition and I'm sure he'd be proud of what you're doing with it.

I personally like the look of both seat options you have. Try them on the bike, see what they look like and take a seat to see which you like most.

As was said before keep us posted on progress. I look forward to seeing this completed.
 
Likes: Eatontkd

stezell

I live for the CABE
May 8, 2014
1,593
1,676
Clarksville, TN, United States
#7
My condolences to you on the loss of your Dad. Looks like you already have a good starting point for your build, look forward to seeing your progress.
Sean
 
Likes: Eatontkd

SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#8
Many thanks, today was step one by stopping at the bike shop on my way home to see what used parts I could dig up... Since I'm converting it to a 6-speed using only the smaller sprocket up front for preferred gearing range would have been an easy mod, if I could just unbolt the chain guard and remove the larger sprocket but that would have been too easy, lol. The reality is the larger sprocket is attached to the crank and only the smaller sprocket and chain guard can be removed. So I have two options, cut the larger sprocket and use it as a modified spider, or use this Raleigh tri-spider crank I found which is the same length, but I would have to find a 42ish sprocket for it. Also found a single HURET downtube friction shifter which is exactly what I had in mind to eliminate the clutter on the stem, so that was a nice score.

sprockets.jpg


shifter.jpg
 

SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#9
Went tire shopping this evening to check availability, prices, reviews, etc. Basically it came down to these four...

Kenda K35 = $16
https://www.amazon.com/Kenda-K35-Street-Wall-Wire/dp/B0028N17DG

Sunlite CST638 = $17
https://www.amazon.com/C638-Wall-Wire-Bike-Black/dp/B0037N32QQ

Vittoria Zaffiro IV = $22
https://www.amazon.com/Vittoria-1113Z62332111TG-Zaffiro-Tires-Black/dp/B074D5PJ3B

Continental Supersport Plus = $23 (On SALE for $12 shipped!!!!!!!!!)
https://www.amazon.com/Continental-SuperSport-Plus-Black-27-Inch/dp/B004IFM8B2

While I was tempted to stick with traditional looking old school tires, this is a functional custom build so the modern tire on sale was the clear winner for me.

The price of the Continental for a 700 wheel is $30, and the 27" is normally $23, so $12 shipped is a really great price if anyone is looking to buy 27x1.25" tires.
 
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Likes: dnc1

SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#10
Picked up these NOS rat trap pedals last summer for my old Schwinn, but after I got home I realized they were 9/16" for 3-piece cranks and couldn't use them on my one-piece Schwinn cranks, but as fate would have it they are perfect for my dad's bike project.

pedals.jpg
 

Eatontkd

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jun 5, 2016
161
263
59
Central PA
www.eatontaekwondo.com
#11
Picked up these NOS rat trap pedals last summer for my old Schwinn, but after I got home I realized they were 9/16" for 3-piece cranks and couldn't use them on my one-piece Schwinn cranks, but as fate would have it they are perfect for my dad's bike project.
I never get rid of my mistakes for this reason. That's why I have so much stuff!!! :)
 
Likes: dnc1 and Sven

fattyre

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Oct 22, 2014
821
1,946
Chicagoland
#13
Are your rims straight sided / hookless bead? I’d bet they are. I know you mentioned that you wanna keep to a budget but may I suggest hook bead rims? If you are indeed respoking the wheels that would be a good time to up grade to alloy hook bead rims. Might want to research that a bit.

I know Sun rims makes a 27 inch CR-18.
 
Likes: Eatontkd

SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#14
Are your rims straight sided / hookless bead? I’d bet they are. I know you mentioned that you wanna keep to a budget but may I suggest hook bead rims? If you are indeed respoking the wheels that would be a good time to up grade to alloy hook bead rims.
Thanks for the suggestion, funny that you would mention that today...

I believe they are hookless, and the Continental tires just arrived an hour ago and they clearly state on the sidewall "MOUNT ONLY ON HOOKED RIMS"

You have a valid point about better modern alloy rims with a lip, and I don't disagree, but to be honest I was trying to keep the original steel rims for several reasons... the rims are saveable, enjoy the process of reviving the chrome, I like the look of chrome, save money, trying to keep it as era correct as possible, and part of the fun for me is "the feel" of all those older steel parts when riding it. I guess my two choices are... go with modern alloy rims with modern Continental tires, or keep original rims with old school tires.

Since so many people use the Kenda K35 and Sunlite CST638 for 70's and 80's road rims, I assume they are correct for hookless right?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/KENDA-K35-...re-Fixed-Gear-Classic-27-Bicycle/371189689546

Edit: Since this is a budget build that I'm only riding a handful of times in the summer, I'll probably go with Kenda K35 blackwalls on original rims (the gumwalls don't hold up as long).
 
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Likes: fattyre

GarrettFuller

On Training Wheels
Feb 8, 2019
4
5
20
Missouri, USA
#15
Those rims are hookless... I have a 1987 Free Spirit Pinnacle. Quite a few bikes from that period had the hookless "steel" rims.

I currently run a Vittoria Zaffiro on my rear wheel. That tire is also marked "MOUNT ONLY ON HOOKED RIMS" on the sidewall. That tire hasn't given me any problems; I run it at ~70 PSI.

Just don't inflate it over 70 PSI, and keep an eye on the bead while inflating. If any part of the bead starts to become uneven or try to unseat, immediately deflate the tire and try again.

I have a post on my personal website discussing the topic: http://personal.garrettfuller.org/blog/2018/09/27/steel-rims-and-tire-pressure/
 

SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#16
Thanks for the tips Garrett.

Forgot to mention yesterday, also found some NOS white vinyl at the bike shop for the bars, that will look nice with the white lettered frame decals...

tape.jpg
 
Likes: Scribble

BrandonB

Look Ma, No Hands!
Oct 25, 2018
70
135
70
California
#17
My condolences on the passing and loss of your Dad. I like your idea of using your fathers squadron logo for your head badge. My father was a bombardier on a B17 in WWII and I took his squadrons logo and had a gear shift knob with a brass insert of the logo made for my 34.
Pops Shift Knob.png
 
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SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#18
Thanks, my grandfather was also a B-17 bombardier, trained at Brooks Field in Texas, that shift knob is beautiful, great idea!

In addition to the head badge I made a "Warning Star" decal today to replace the "FS-12-SPEED" top tube decal, because I'm converting it to a 6-Speed and that was the plane he few in that squadron. I realize some people would think that's silly, but that is what this build is all about, taking a crappy Free Spirit and having fun transforming it into something special, because sentimental value is priceless.

He was stationed in Newfoundland and that Naval Base was part of the Atlantic Barrier, North America's early warning detection from attack during the Cold War (that's why the squadron patch has Paul Revere on it, instead of the British are coming, it was the Russians are coming, haha). They would fly 15-hour shifts from Newfoundland to the Azores non-stop 24-hours a day looking for threats. What is the big deal? Well in the late 50's there was no modern satellites, computers, etc. It was still done the old school way under brutal conditions, there was no cancellations or 2-hour delays even with sub zero temps and 30" of snow, they flew regardless of weather conditions, you cleared the runway and rolled out, no excuses. My father took a Super8 color camcorder there in 1959 and that reel-to-reel film was stored in his closest for 50 years. I asked him repeatedly to let me convert it to DVD before it was too late (linear magnetic recordings deteriorate over time) and he repeatedly refused. Well about 10 years ago he finally gave in and let me digitally convert to, then I edited it in Movie Maker adding music and put it up on YouTube. Over the past 9 years there has been 15k views and lots of guys who also served there have commented so that's been pretty cool, here is the link...


20190209_170508_resized.jpg
 
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SWPA

Look Ma, No Hands!
Sep 17, 2018
62
158
SWPA
#19
Made some good progress on Sunday afternoon...

1. Stripped parts from frame
2. Removed unwanted decals
3. Remove decal adhesive
4. Cleaned frame (paint a little nicer than expected)
5. Cleaned & re-greased bottom bracket
6. Cleaned & re-greased headset (one bearing damaged but had same size spare)
7. Cleaned and oiled rear derailleur
8. Separated crank arm/sprockets/chain guard to evaluate
9. Previously mentioned I'm converting it to a 6-speed to eliminate a lot of clutter, want to use smaller sprocket for desired gearing and it would have been easy if big sprocket was removable, but the smaller sprocket and chain guard only removable, so I'm going to have local machine shop cut the big gear off and essentially create my own spider, then attach the small sprocket to the spider...

decal1.jpg


decal2.jpg


decal3.jpg


frame1.jpg


frame2.jpg


frame3.jpg


bearing.jpg


parts.jpg
 

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