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Category: cleaning

Simply Deelite-ful

Simply Deelite-ful

Today, Audrey and I spent a little while cleaning the Deelite, in preparation for taking it in to get the wheels and fenders fixed and trued. While Audrey was on lemon-and-foil duty, I followed her with  wax, tackled cleaning the chain and chainwheel (lots of low-viscosity biodegradeable lube on a rag did the trick), and tried a couple of new things:

1. Goof-Off, to remove adhesive left behind by early-1970s-era decals, applied sparingly with a rag. It worked like magic, and didn’t seem to change the underlying paint in any way.

There used to be triangular stickers on the front forks, the dirt-encrusted remnants of which could be seen in photos in the first post about the Deelite. The solvent removed the residue completely.

2. a Magic Eraser, where regular soap had failed to remove layers of caked-on yuckiness from the vinyl saddle and the rubber hand grips. It removed the gross layer of dirt (and skin cells and sunscreen and god knows what else) from the saddle, but also some of the colour from the flowers (which were hardly pristine anyway). It could not get into the crevices of the rubber grips.

As you can see in the top photo, the still-nameless Deelite has had a vintage rear-view mirror and some LED flashers installed; the plan is to also put a chainguard, basket, streamers, and spoke beads on to girl it up. I can’t wait to see it finished with my little sweetie on the saddle!

UPDATE: It turns out that the Deelite needs labour-intensive repairs, so on the advice of the lovely guys at United Cycle we bought an already-serviced used bike for Audrey’s birthday instead (which you’ll see in an upcoming post). Here is what they said is wrong with the Deelite: new tire & tube needed for rear wheel; front fender attached in unconventional way and needs replacement (not just truing); rear coaster hub not stopping properly; and, both front & back wheels too wobbly (so, adding washers?).

I now think the Deelite will become a longer-term fix-up-at-EBC project with Dom as the eventual rider – possibly using wheels cannibalized from another, less interesting bike. Audrey loves the flower-power banana seat so it may make an appearance on her new ride.

Rust removal on the CCM Galaxie

Rust removal on the CCM Galaxie

Kitchen chemistry is intrinsically cool. We have demonstrated it previously, with lots of thanks to the awesome Green Cleaning post from Riding Pretty for giving us the idea. However, today was a beautiful spring day, and Angel’s CCM Galaxie needed some love, so we pulled out the lemon juice and aluminum foil again.

Before we started.

The underside of the grips, where sun and use have had no chance to turn them black and grungy.

Uh-oh, is that the dreaded Shimano 333 hub?
(Sigh.)

Hm. Actually, it’s a Shimano 333 coaster brake, not the 333 3-speed hub that Sheldon Brown warns can fail catastrophically. The guys over at the Old Roads forum say that the 333 designation was used on a number of pre-1975 Shimano parts – so maybe the coaster brake will work okay?

The original tires are rock-hard and have deep fissures, so they will definitely need to be replaced. But for the record, the originals are Canadian-made Nylon 26 x 1 3/8 Clipper tires marked for EA3 rims:

The rims are unmarked except for this:

Just in case you needed evidence that rusty chrome plus lemon juice plus aluminum foil plus a little elbow grease magically equals shiny fabulous chrome:

This especially rusty area on the front fender was what we tried first, to compare methods. RustCure and extra-fine steel wool was working okay, but couldn’t get everything; aluminum foil and lemon juice worked like magic. (Angel, is there anything you’d like to add, since you worked on this section?) That remaining spot you can see along the edge is bare steel under the chrome plating.

To our amazement, the foil-and-lemon-juice method even removed the discolouration on the white painted decal – without scratching up the decal (I rubbed VERY gently). The chainguard now looks practically new.

Disappointment leads to New Beginnings

Disappointment leads to New Beginnings

**Note this is a pretty old post that I put off until I got better pictures/time to re-write it so it was done well, I’ve given up though, and will just post as is and then maybe work on a follow up post that I can get done sooner than later. It’s nice outside and Ms. Galaxie needs to get out on the road!!**

Remember our Lovely Lady of Raleigh? The gorgeous undated one with the impossible to find 28″ wheels and the GORGEOUS headbadge and chainwheel and and and? Yeah me too. Turns out though that my BARELY 5’5″ self would, in NO WAY, be able to safely or comfortably. Thank goodness for Keith at EBC huh? Saved me lots of money spent on parts that would then do nothing for ME.

But all is not lost dear blog readers, in fact with the help of Deborah I have now PURCHASED (as in she’s mine, ALL MINE!) the lovely CCM Galaxie that we found in the yard a few weeks ago.

Here are hopefully better pictures that I got in the lovely warmth of the EBC shop. I cannot wait to tackle the clean up, especially knowing how well some of our cleaning supplies work!!

So here we go:

Look at the curves!!! BEAUTIFUL!
I’ve done a few hours of research and have yet to find a Galaxie with the same curves. I found one similar (a 1965 Galaxie) but it’s a men’s frame and thus the curves are slightly opposite (still gorgeous though). Other galaxies that I can find pictures of don’t have the same curve on either the stay or the top tube, in fact both are straight as an arrow, regardless of step through frame or not. I’m not sure what this means exactly, and it’s proving hard to find info on Galaxies that haven’t been taken apart and turned into low-rider muscle type steeds of (in my very humble but biased opinion) less awesome (yet still awesome.)
Headbadge & Seattube Decals
 I was a bit (tiny bit) saddened by the fact that the headbadge is literally JUST a decal but at least it’s there right? If I had the knowledge I’d maybe guess that it’s some sign of value or something, but it could just be a sign of the times? Regardless of the “quality” of the headbadge, I’m still glad to know she has one, so there’s no doubt at all of her authenticity.
Cleaning up Winnie

Cleaning up Winnie

{This is actually a guest post by Nicki about her ’51 CCM-built Garry.}

My first post on Loop-Frame Love! Very exciting! Hope everyone can put up with me. I’m a complete novice and this whole process is definitely a learning experience for me. Feel free to correct me in the comments.

As you know, I’ve acquired a 1951 CCM! She’s gorgeous and has since been christened “Winnie”.

Last weekend was our bicycling cleaning party. Myself, Deborah, and Angel took on the task of cleaning up Winnie with a little Rust-Cure and investigating her a bit more closely.

We started with some disassembly. We took off her basket (which took a bit of time. Yeesh.) and we also removed the electric-taped wiring from the generator/Miller dynamo light. The wire was pretty much shot and will definitely have to be replaced.

After removing the basket. Better picture of where my missing headbadge should go.

You can see a bit of what Winnie’s original colour is like. Seems that she had a gold colour with burgundy painted over top. My plan is to eventually restore her to the original colours.

Burgundy over gold colour.

[Editorial note from Deborah: you can also see the holes where the headbadge rivets would have been in the photo above – they helped confirm the CCM hypothesis, along with the 1951-era serial number stamped into the frame right under the seat.]

Another exciting discovery: it turns out that there are tiny reflectors in my handles! Upon realizing this, my excitement level hit an all time high – imagine being 6 years old and having streamers in your handles. That’s how I felt!

Handle with clear reflector

Deborah and Angel did some research: we had all originally assumed that the two holes in Winnie’s fender were for a mudflap and a reflector. Turns out that it’s actually for a reflector on a two holed mount. Here’s are my empty holes (look closely at the middle/bottom of my fender):


Finally, here’s a picture of my less dirty chain wheel. Rather than me attempting to elaborate and possibly mix things up, I’m just gonna quote Deborah here:

Thinking that the lack of iconic CCM chainring means this bike was a CCM-manufactured bike with another headbadge.

Very cool stuff! And this is only the beginning!

Daisy & dating

Daisy & dating

Firstly, apologies for my utter disappearance, while I’d like to say I have an excellent excuse the truth is that I just got dissapointed in the back story to my Daisy.

  The photo from the Kijiji listing – yay for TwitPic!

So, I’ve yet to find any markers actually identifying a brand or date ON the frame, and the only date I found is based purely on my Shimano shifter puts THOSE around 1987. I can’t be sure on the rest though as I’ve yet to find any other dating marks. Such is life.

It’s not that I don’t love Daisy, she’s gorgeous and I’ve put in plenty of thought on how to make her MORE my bike, how to make her more “retro” and less looking like she has BMX parts and more like she’s a dainty, sturdy steel steed!

Sadly though, my hard drive has been compromised and I’m now missing all my pictures, for now I’ll say go look at these two posts for references, maybe someone out there on the google machines will recognize a part of label and have a better idea of who Daisy is, since I’m STILL manufacturer-less. (And still hoping that she’s older and just has new parts (which I know is a far possibility, but still a possibility!)

Over-The-Bumper Skirt Guard / Sprucing Up Vintage Vinyl

Over-The-Bumper Skirt Guard / Sprucing Up Vintage Vinyl

‘Tis the season for bike projects instead of cycling, and I scored a couple of sweet vintage white-vinyl accessories for Mary Poppins on eBay. (I know, eco-friends: no vinyl that’s final, right? I’m making an exception since this stuff is not newly manufactured.) Unfortunately, both items need a good clean – even the NOS one – because while in storage in their original locales they collected grime and some mildew grew on them.

That’s right, Albertans: mildew. That dark grey stuff that grew on the grout in the bathroom of your student apartment. In parts of the world that are wetter than here (ie, almost everywhere), it grows on almost anything that’s left lying around. Consider yourselves lucky.

Being me, I started by doing some research on how other people remove this stuff. Here are the best links I found for vinyl-cleaning methods:
eHow: How To Clean A White Vinyl Bag
– car restoration site Classic Tiger: Vinyl Cleaning Tips
eHow UK: How To Clean Mildew Stains From Vinyl

That sounds like a lot of work. Let’s see why it’s worthwhile:

First up: a white vinyl over-the-bumper skirtguard, NOS, marked Bluemels, at least 50 years old according to  the seller, from the UK – shown here just before I cleaned it, with a ruler for scale. Yes, it doesn’t have a brake-hole – but it’s also fairly narrow. It also may have been intended only for use on coaster-brake bicycles like mine. I can see why there aren’t a lot of these still in use since the plastic is as thin (and has the same texture) as the standard el-cheapo vinyl shower curtains – in regular use they would have gotten brittle and torn fairly quickly.
Before I use it on a bike, I’ve used it to create a pattern for reproduction. I’m pretty sure, now that I’ve measured it, that it won’t fit my 28″ wheels –  so I’ll need to make a second pattern that’s a little bigger. Here are the measurements for this one, which should be fine over the bumper of a modern standard 26″ wheel’s bumper:
 
Closeup showing logo and discolouration from storage. The tip of the triangle, if it was truly triangular, would make the sides 11.5 inches long; the elastic cord (you could use thin shock cord) makes a loop that adds about two inches to that before it’s stretched.
 
 
That angle is 65 degrees.
 
Inside out to show the heat-sealed hems and curved stitched seam, to give an idea of the seam allowances to build into a pattern.
Wouldn’t it be great to whip up some of these from thrifted plastic shower curtains or vintage oilcloth tablecloths in fun patterns? So easy, too – one curved seam, the hemmed edges, and reinforcing stitches where the elastic is sewn on.
 
Second: a sweet vintage white vinyl saddlebag.
  
…and that’s my 4-year-old assistant photographer in the background.
The pair of loops on the metal brace attach to the slots on the rear of the saddle, and the loop at the bottom goes around the seat post:
 
This is the bottom of the bag. The lighting isn’t ideal but you can see all the black scuffs and possible mildew spots on there.
  
Interior shot showing definite mildew spots. The sides are stiffened with exposed cardboard – not exactly luxuriously crafted, but authentic to the period of the bike.
Here’s how I cleaned them:
Step 1: I sprayed the surface liberally with a gentle oxygen-bleach based laundry stain remover (I used OxiClean Baby, since it was what I had on hand). This works for white vinyl, since you don’t need to worry about the colour changing with bleach exposure – I’d test in an inconspicuous spot first if the vinyl was any other colour. For the interior of the saddlebag, I carefully used a rag saturated with product instead of spraying, to keep the cardboard dry.
 
Maybe it’s the biochemist in me, but I love watching bubbles form as the nasty stuff gets oxidized.
Step 2: After letting it sit for a minute, I used an old soft-bristle toothbrush to gently scrub the surface wherever there were stains. I worked quickly.
  
Not a bad photographer for his age, is he?
Step 3: Next I wiped the surface dry with paper towel,  and assessed if I needed to repeat steps 1 and 2. Then I rinsed the surface with water (or a damp rag, in the case of the saddlebag, since I didn’t want the exposed cardboard inside to get wet), to remove any residual oxygen bleach and detergent.
Step 4: Finally, I used an automotive vinyl cleaner-protectant spray according to the directions (i.e., spray on sparingly, then wipe down with paper towel to remove excess). I only did this step for the saddlebag, since the skirtguard plastic felt quite supple.

Here are the results:
Pretty impressive, yes?

Hopefully the weather will warm up enough to take some photos of these installed in the next week or two. (At time of writing, the outdoor temperature is holding steady around -30C… yuck.)
What bike projects are you working on?