The Happy Bicycle

The exciting conclusion to the partial restoration of a 40-year-old English touring bike.  For Part One see my April 2012 blogpost, Bicycle Love.  To view larger, click anywhere on the comic once.  To view fullscreen, click anywhere on the comic three times. Bike Restoration Part Two

Product information:

The subject of this comic is a Humber bicycle, ca. 1968-1970.  Humber bikes were manufactured in England from the 1880s until 1932 when Raleigh bought the company.  Raleigh continued the Humber brand until about 1974.  My dad’s bike has the Humber head badge but also Raleigh decals, Raleigh pedals, and a few nuts with the Raleigh R logo.

To remove the rust, I used a product called Chromax.  This stuff is awesome.  It’s an abrasive paste that polishes chrome, destroys rust and cleans up other metals, including aluminum and stainless steel.  I even used it on the steel kickstand and got impressive results.  It’s inexpensive and comes in a plastic 8 ounce jar.  I used a little over half the container for the whole bike.  It’s biodegradable and non-toxic and has a pleasant scent.

I wanted a classic saddle for my bike, but after much hunting online, all I could find that met my requirement was a Brooks saddle, but they’re very expensive.  Then I discovered Gyes leather saddles.  These are very good looking, high quality leather saddles at about half the price of Brooks saddles. Check out the whole line of saddles and other stuff at http://www.crowcycleco.com.

I was impressed with this Basil bike basket in its overall dimensions and design.  It’s just the right size—not too small, not too big—to mount on top of a rear rack.  The cut-away for your seat allows you to mount it as forward as possible on your rack, which is great for weight distribution.  It’s rugged and well made, and the black metal mesh has a thin coating of rubber over everything to help protect it from the weather.  The mounting hardware is well thought-out too. The hardware can go perpendicular or lengthwise to your rack.  I didn’t have enough clearance between the top of the fender and the bottom of the rack to fit the hardware perpendicular, but I was able to mount the hardware lengthwise, no problem.  You can check out their whole product line at http://www.basil.nl.

The new gum wall tires are Kenda brand.

In case you were noticing and wondering about that cargo net, the manufacturer is Topeak.  It’s a very handy and inexpensive stretchy net with 6 hooks to hold your stuff on a rack or in a basket.  I found it at REI.com.

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4 responses

  1. Geoff, I’m so proud of the job you have done. Never remember the bike looking so good. Your Dad is looking down on you with great pleasure and thinking that it’s good enough to pass on to another generation!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    • Thanks, Marge, I’m extremely happy with the bike, and oddly it seems more Dad-like than ever. The old handgrips are black rubber, and the right grip has several splotches of white paint on it. I think that happened when Dad was still living in the Cranston house. He kept his bike in that little dirt floor basement, where he kept all the paint for his various apartment buildings, too. That same grip is split a little, but I have NO intension of changing it out. Yes, Jake is very interested in the bike when I am no longer able to ride it–I was JUST talking to him about that a few hours ago as a matter of fact!

      December 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

  2. I really love this, awesome work!

    December 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

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