Browsed by
Category: loop-frame

Daisy Chain (almost literally)

Daisy Chain (almost literally)

HAPPY BIKE MONTH EDMONTON!!

In an effort to embrace our bike community and get the word out there even more, I’m determined to get daily (or as close as I can get to daily) blogs out regarding biking in our city. Some of them might not be Edmonton related though, as I have a few covetable/unique things found on the internets! Anyway, I think I can do this, think of it as a Na-Ni-Wri-Mo thing, only bike related, and in June because really, who doesn’t want to bike around all summer long?

So I’m in the process of testing a bicycle trailer to haul my kidlets in. Damien is 5 and Lili is almost 2. Together they only weight approx 70 lbs together so technically can both easily fit into a trailer with weight allowance for say lunch or some groceries, or toys (or all of the above and then some!)

The kids, Daisy, and me, about to adventure!

Last night I attached the borrowed (aka soon to be purchased if it works with both kids in it) trailer. Damien’s helmet was “hidden” (pretty sure he’d put it “away” somewhere his sister couldn’t get it) so we literally just went quickly down the drive way of our condo complex. It was definitely a different experience though. I could tell that Daisy needs a good cleaning again after our windy dusty “spring” (read: dust blowing into garage onto what was once a pretty clean bike).

Observation: The kids are SQUISHED. (see photo)

These are actually happy faces, but more like “Why have we stopped!”

Second observation: The seat caves in a wee bit, hence the EXTRA squishiness. I’m not sure if this is something the kids will learn to have to deal with or if there’s a way of solutionizing this?

Thankfully though, this allows for “oh look we need more milk” runs without strollering. Also school runs will gloriously be speedy and exercise filled! Sure there’s only like 10 classes left, but still, it’s a future. And plans for more park exploration are on the horizon. There’s a very very awesome park a few neighbourhoods over (I’m talking massive green area, huge selection of climbing and swinging and kid-being) and I’d love to NOT be the parent who has to drive there to make it before nap time.

Things learned though: Lili LOVES (and I do mean LOVES) bikes. Recently we ran across a wooden balance bike (that I just checked the price on and sighed desperately) and had the funds (and store) been available, would have been now ridden to exhaustion, and back. She has since tried to sit on her aunt’s road bike (perhaps another post…) and tries to climb onto her tricycle all the time. Bike collecting in our house? Going to be popular!!

So I’m wondering, do any of you have any experience with bike trailers or even biking with 1 semi self-reliant training wheels required boy and 1 definitely needing containment almost 2 year old? I’d like something that I can at least attempt to use most of the year long, but I know winters here are going to be pushing it when it comes to biking.

Comments are MORE than appreciated!

Coveting

Coveting

So I went online to find other bikes more like Winnie and Mary Poppins, hoping that maybe someone is willing to ship to me or even to find something online. So far nothing has shown up that I want to go out and buy right now (mostly because of the whole shipping across borders, etc) BUT….I have found some lovely covetable items that in a perfect world I’d have lined up in a pretty little arrangement so I could pick which bike matches my outfit. Holy run-on sentences!

Firstly, it has been decided that Daisy NEEDS a wicker basket, I’m thinking appearance somewhat like this:

But imagine it on a wicker basket (though I’d happily settle for the white metal ones, I just think wicker would suit Daisy better…..what do you think?

Alright, so now Daisy has a pretty basket with a pretty (possibly custom) liner, that alone WOULD be enough for a regular girl right? But for me? Not even close!!

Thankfully Deborah sent me this LOVELY NOS (New Old Stock) Dynamo generator and light set (very very similar to what Nicki has, but it’d be MINE!!) and it’s very hard for me to not go crazy with the bidding RIGHT now. I do think though that adding a light would only encourage more twilight pretty rides for coffee or tea or dessert and how better to justify those sweets than by using my body to get me there!?

Now for the biggest (and best change). Daisy WILL have new handle bars. Right now she has these horrid things:

Sure these aren’t THAT bad, they suit the bike, etc, but to me they scream BMX or something similar to the late 80’s early 90’s and that just seems incredibly….WRONG! Daisy has such pretty curves everywhere else, her handle bars and grips made no sense, at all!
What I want to get will be something similar to what is on Mary Poppins and Winnie. I’m trying to find a good picture, or option to buy and all I can find right now is on eBay but I’m not sure if they’re the right size, so I guess I’ll have some researching to do on that.
Now, if I have shiny chrome handle bars it only stands to reason that I’ll need to have MORE chrome elsewhere..I’m thinkin a new chain guard and possible a new rear rack, it’ll balance out the excess of red (mmmm cherry red!) without being too obnoxious…and if I’m doing chrome everywhere else, do I do a chrome (look) basket? So many decisions, so much money to spend!
Daisy discovered?

Daisy discovered?

Well, it turns out that my blackberry has a far better zoom, allowing me to get MUCH better close ups of parts on Daisy!

The best I can do for now, but this is the shifting set 🙂

A better shot of the brakes. (Forged Star = brand?)
I just thought this shot was pretty!
Now that I have these better close ups though I notice how dirty she is, a few puddles on my part and who knows how long she was neglected have meant a nice bunch of dirty spots.
I also noticed a few more spots where the paint has been rubbed right off (more noticeable in my first set of pictures) and am now going to figure out the best way to tackle this…do I try to do touch ups (obviously post clean up) or do I just hope that sealing the scratches will stop any further wear?
Pictures of Ms Daisy

Pictures of Ms Daisy

Apologies off the bat for the poor quality of these pictures, I guess our camera is pretty outdated now, and am pretty sure I could get better zoom pictures with my phone (perhaps will try).

A close up of the only indentification I can find, not very helpful in the ways that I’ve searched, but perhaps someone else will have a better idea of WHERE to search or what to search for…Yeah?

The other form of identification on the bike, sadly in actuality it is just an abbreviated form of “Pro Tour” logo. At least you can see my pretty fenders here though, lovely cherry red everywhere 🙂

Out of focus yes, but this is the last version of the logo I have, again nothing specific, and the lack of manufacturer identity has really started to irk me. REALLY. Started. To. Irk. Me. Oh well…

My favourite (ok one of my favourite) parts of my bike is the chain guard. Regardless of whether Daisy is a retro/vintage/whatever type of bicycle, the chain guard gives her this bit of class that I love to bits. Bits and pieces. Plus having the chain covered means more cute biking clothes for me! (and less worry of said things getting AS tangled!)

Upon today’s pictures I discovered the rear fender that rubs against the tire actually has worn the tire a very little, but nothing serious that would need fixing right now vs another day. I forgot to get a picture of the handle bars, but think bmx-style grips from the 80’s that would’ve been on your bike (as a kid):

 Except mine are dirtier and just not pretty at all. I’d love to get some lovely LOVELY ones with intricacies that only I’d notice (or another biker girl who’d actually be up close and personal with daisy and notice them)…anyone have any suggestions?
Those are all the pictures I have for now, I need a better macro type zoomability to be able to show off any of the parts with identification on them…though I’m almost at a point where I hold little hope for much more than my bike having existed (because I know this much!)
Ms Daisy, a brief intro…

Ms Daisy, a brief intro…

Unlike Deborah’s wonderful researched entries with wonderful pictures and information, I have very little to say about Ms Daisy. I’ve tried my best to do research but apparently “Pro Tour” and bike means a lot of things NOT to do with retro-ish bicycles. Go figure 😛

So here’s what I do have, *right now* 1 lovely picture I took the day I bought her, with my blackberry no less:

The only identifiers I’ve been able to notice is “Pro Tour” on the bottom diagonal bar, plus a sticker with “PT” on the one vertical bar. I plan on going to capture better images of these (since my camera now has batteries) so I can better research ANY kind of history with my bike.
She’s also in need of lots of attention, I’m not entirely sure how long the previous owners had her sit (or where for that matter) but I’m sure she needs new tubes (and possibly new tires as they seem dry and worn) and definitely needs some brackets straightened. Specifically one fender wire/bracket – not sure on specific wording – is bent or crooked which makes the tire rub just a little on the fender, I haven’t noticed any signs of wear on that side of the tire. I don’t think it’s a damaging kind of rub, but when I ride I can hear it, and that’s enough to drive me bonkers!
Next spring (or possibly over winter as I imagine I’ll have more time to fiddle, but less options for purchasing…) I plan on on replacing the handle bar covers – I’d prefer to stick with the white, but avoid the BMX feel that they have now. And I’ll reassess the seat as I go, I’d probably put the seat on the last replacement since it is infact in good condition but isn’t exactly the comfiest of seats out there. And finally, I’ll need a basket for the front! My first thought was to go with a wicker type basket, but now I’m thinking based on what Deborah found for basket liners that if I could learn to make my own it’d be even more original of me (and cuter – and washable!) and make Daisy even better.
Next up: getting more pictures, I’m going to tackle as many identifiers as I can so I can find out *who* my bike is/was. I tweeted that a few days ago and (although briefly) was made fun of it, but I feel so attached to her already that I want to put and identity to the bike. She NEEDS a story!!
Mary Poppins: a 1966 Phillips loop-frame bike

Mary Poppins: a 1966 Phillips loop-frame bike

Now that my children are getting old enough to cycle faster than I can walk, it’s high time I replaced the mountain bike that was stolen (along with every other bike in the apartment building by someone impersonating a construction worker) about a decade ago. So I’m eternally grateful to Angel for alerting me to the posting on Kijiji that made me the proud owner of this step-through, loop-frame town bike:

newoldbike


Isn’t it lovely? A slightly eccentric English lady bike. I’ve named it (her) Mary Poppins, since as Angel pointed out, she’s the Mary Poppins of bikes. The fellow who sold her to me (thanks Chris!) told me she was from the 1960s, has her original finishes and a coaster brake, and was built by Phillips, who were bought out by Raleigh later on. She does need a little TLC, mainly rust removal and paint touchup, but not much.

I did a little research online, and here’s what I learned about Miss Mary:

DSCF1701

This headbadge may date her to about 1965, according to a Flikr set of another Phillips bike. Phillips was purchased by Raleigh in 1960, and from the Spring of 1961 on the bikes were made in Nottingham at Raleigh’s 40-acre factory instead of the Phillips bikeworks near Birmingham. Raleigh continued to make Phillips-branded bikes for export until the 1980s (the wiki page implies), and some collectors look down on them as poor cousins to the higher-quality Raleigh-branded bikes. Whatever. By today’s standards, the build quality is impressive regardless.

DSCF1713
Note the chrome trim on this mudflap – mmmm. This style of mudguard was made by Speedwell and date the bike to the 50s or 60s, according to the information in current eBay listings and Flikr posts. A lot of the steel frame, and the tyre rims, is chromed. The tyre rims are marked STURMEY ARCHER *ENGLAND F250 28 x 1 1/2* (ie, they’re 635mm), and the tyres are marked SEMPERIT, Made In Austria, Super Elite (so they’re probably not original – would likely have been Dunlop when the bike was first sold). The two-tone vinyl mattress saddle was made by Brooks (who, like both Phillips and Sturmey-Archer, were owned at the time by Raleigh’s parent company, TI), and the white plastic grips were probably made by Dare. The kickstand is marked PLETCHER, who were/are a Swiss manufacturer. The basket isn’t marked, and appears to be made of aluminum.
For local historians, it bears a green “repairs” sticker from Premier Cycle & Sport Shop. Anyone know of them?
DSCF1715
I haven’t seen any photos online of similar full-rubber chrome-edged pedals yet. The figure in the middle has an R marked on it, so they’re probably 1960s-era Raleigh pedals. [Update: there are other pedals on eBay right now with the same crest on them, but less wear so it’s easier to make out in the photos, and the seller identifies them as being Raleigh Industries.]
If my bike were a three-speed, this article from oldroads.com would help me identify it much more easily. But a single-speed mechanism with a coaster brake means I’m out of luck unless I can find a serial number that matches what’s in the article. [Update: there is a serial number stamped onto the frame below the saddle: 3464230. Sadly that tells me nothing. The coaster brake has a plastic-stoppered hole for adding oil, and is marked: ENGLAND STURMEY ARCHER SC (in the bottom triangle) 11   6 (running perpendicular to the 4-triangle logo; if this is month/year, she was probably made in November 1966). SC would be the model number based on the illustration in this article by Sheldon Brown, and according to the official Sturmey-Archer history site, it’s the SC single coaster brake hub, introduced in 1963 and retired in 1978.]

Here’s a shot on Flikr of a bike that’s very similar to mine, down to the aluminum front basket, although the frame isn’t as curvaceous.

Mary’s grey-plastic rear reflector is a mid-60s Phillips part, found in this catalogue (PDF) …but that’s the only part, apart from the headbadge and decals, that I’ve been able to confirm is Phillips for now. [Update: strike that! It’s actually a very discoloured white rubber-cased reflector, with tiny, difficult-to-photograph letters, that identify it as a Fairylites reflector (also TI, also found on Raleighs of the period). Curiouser and curiouser.]

I wonder whether she was a custom order put together from various TI parts, and branded as a Phillips because she was assembled in or for the Canadian market?

Next I need to clean Mary up. Any advice on how best to do that would be greatly appreciated!

(The content of this post was originally published on Deborah’s other blog.)