Trading Spokeses

Subtitled: Wherein Eliza becomes Deborah’s bike, Mary Poppins becomes Nicki’s bike, Fiona buys a vintage Sparta from Karen…and Winnie looks for a new home

Our lovely friend Karen is selling one of her pair of vintage Dutch city bikes, to make room for her gorgeous new Linus loop-frame (which I hope she’ll review for us – its’ biggest selling feature for her was its ability to attach a Chariot for her little guy).

The Sparta Cornwall above, which she is selling, 
is the bigger sister of the Sparta below,
shown with Karen at the Fall edition of Critical Lass. 
Aren’t they to die for? (Along with her Fluevogs?)

Fiona had a hybrid (destined to become her husband’s bike) and a beautiful vintage (1978) Raleigh DL-1 Tourist named Eliza. (In fact, I strongly suspect that Eliza is similar to the rod-braked snow-covered beauty that we swooned over and dubbed The Baroness at EBC last winter, but was far too big for Angel - update: Fiona says Keith found her this one after she just missed out on owning The Baroness). Sadly, Fiona has found that Eliza is a smidgen too small for her. So, she was very intrigued by Sparta and needed a new home for Eliza so she could justify the purchase. (Did I mention she lives in a small apartment-style condo?)

And so began our little game of Musical Bicycles.

Eliza, via Fiona’s blog Retro Rides & Prairie Skies
Yes, those are fully functional rod brakes, 
which apparently mess with the installation of most styles of double kickstand available.
She has 28 inch wheels, so I expect her to fit like Mary Poppins does. 
 She’s been fitted with an SA 3-speed hub, Brooks leather saddle, 
rectangular wicker basket and crocheted skirtguards.
I believe her full name is Lady Elizabeth Doolittle, the Baroness Raleigh of Nottingham,
but as she works for her living, she has no patience for such pretentions.

Nicki expressed interest in Eliza, but we knew Eliza was beyond her student budget. So I proposed that I might upgrade from Mary Poppins to Eliza – my budget can stretch this far, since Eliza is an everyday ride instead of purely a collector’s item, and I’m finding that 3-speeds are much better suited to my rolling neighborhood than single-speeds – and Mary Poppins would become Nicki’s new ride. Since we paid similar values for the two bikes, we could almost do it as a straight swap of Mary Poppins for Winnie, and not much actual cash needed to change hands, which made it very budget-friendly for Nicki. Mary Poppins does have a couple of repairs that need doing, but we think she’s closer to being everyday-ride-able than Winnie, and at lower cost (especially if DIY with EBC’s help is involved).  Most importantly, Nicki has been nurturing a serious bike crush on Mary Poppins since she first laid eyes on her, and we know from the summertime edition of Critical Lass that she’s a perfect fit.

Nicki with Winnie on the day we found her

This arrangement left me with both Winnie and Eliza, but the Musical Bikes fun won’t end there. Winnie needs attention for her nonfunctional coaster brake and a few other small issues, but she should be ready-to-ride with a couple more afternoons of DIY at EBC (a detailed list of her remaining issues is in the blog post about using her as my Basic Bike Maintenance learning bike). I’m hoping a new home for her will pop up in the meantime (if it’s with you, please let me know!).

My eventual plans for Eliza:
- update: first and foremost, new brake pads, since her rod brakes aren’t feeling terrifically reliable
- to inherit Mary Poppins’ 1950s-era Miller bell, 60s-era chrome rack, and antique egg crate (yes, I’m making Eliza my grocery-getter)
- also to inherit the (decorative) chrome handpump (anyone know where to get the leather washers for these?)
- double kickstand absolutely required for grocery-getting, might need to be custom-made or -modded
- cork handgrips
- puncture-resistant cream Schwalbes to set off all the lovely brown accessories
- vintage light (already in my collection) rewired, fitted with LED bulb, and installed

Mary Poppins late last summer in full regalia - 
she’ll retain her jaunty custom basket liner and double kickstand. 
I know she’s going on to a great home.

Nicki’s probable plans for Mary Poppins:
- Mary is keeping her custom-made front basket-liner and double kickstand
- Mary is losing most of her other accessories; she and Trudy will swap saddles, so she’ll have the Canadian Tire Everyday one with the built-in LED light
- giant dingdong bell
- lights for evening rides
- loose spoke fixed – so, relacing one wheel (can’t remember if it’s the front or back)
- coaster brake works, but slowly, so needs to be serviced
- slow leak in one tire, so new tubes

Update 1: Fiona has written about it too! More details on the Sparta, now named Sophi, in her post.

Update 2: photos via Fiona’s blog:

Little Man wanted me to take it for another spin

Eliza’s crochet skirtguards were ordered through Dutch maker Simeli – see more on them at Cyclelicious

4 comments for “Trading Spokeses

  1. April 12, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    Whoa! Talk about musical bikes!

    Anyway, I thought I’d let you all know that EBC is holding a workshop on coaster brake bikes on April 27th, where everybody will open up and overhaul their coaster brakes. It would be great to see you there!

    Coreen

  2. April 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Thanks Coreen!! I really wish I could make it, but unfortunately my daughter’s end-of-year dance recital must take priority. (Honestly? I’d rather be repacking a coaster brake, but maternal duty calls.) I’m hoping Angel and Nicki will be able to bring Winnie and Mary Poppins for some love that night. We’ve already been discussing it. =)

  3. April 13, 2011 at 12:39 AM

    Looks like a deal where everyone won!

  4. April 13, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    Deborah,

    I hope Eliza ends up working for you:) Hopefully new brake pads will do the trick. If not we’ll figure something out and maybe I’ll have my “Southside” Bicycle too heehee

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