TKI67

Elite Member
I'm an avid cyclist. Having built bikes from the frame up with vintage and period-correct componentry (gruppos), I can assure you that chain guards that cover the top of the chain do exist but are a bit of a mixed blessing. They protect your trousers from grease, but they make getting at the chain for repairs (removing links, tightening the chain, etc.) a harder task. Even the seasonal cleaning of the chain with a lube (like White Lightning) is tedious with a guard.

Now the fully enclosed chain is often found in vintage Raleighs, Humbers, etc. They look very retro and nice. But these chain cases are, of course, much more of a pain to remove. I have three Raleighs in my stable (two Superbes and a Sport) and I wanted a chain case for one of them, picked up in the after-market. I was persuaded not to do this by my local bike shop chap, who said they were hard to maintain.

My solution is simple and elegant (sort of, LOL). I use trouser clips or else tuck the tops of my trousers into my socks. I also roll up the right trouser leg since this is the side where the chain is. Most of the summer, I wear shorts for distance cycling, so it is only of concern when I have to wear trousers. If I must wear a suit, I have an even simpler solution: I drive!
Another facet of your many interests. I have recently been pondering a Raleigh three speed, but it would involve a lot of adjustment, mainly psychological, after being spoiled by riding an older Colnago Master. I am also hesitant about returning to a Sturmey Archer on Austin's hills, not that 53/42 by 12/21 was easy!
 

drpeter

Super Member
TKI, that outfit sounds so terrific, I will have to duplicate it some time. Luckily I have all the components, and even a Gurkha tie (or bowtie) to go with the ensemble.

I do like wearing seersucker trousers with a dark blue, square-bottom shirt (meant to be worn untucked) or dark blue polo shirt, also untucked. And I prefer these shirts short-sleeved. It's a very precise configuration, I would not wear seersucker trousers with any colour other than a dark blue, or even with a tucked-in shirt. We all have our compulsions, I am sure mine are certifiable, LOL. (As a psychologist, I ought to know, right?)
 

drpeter

Super Member
I am also hesitant about returning to a Sturmey Archer on Austin's hills, not that 53/42 by 12/21 was easy!
Good heavens. Those front and rear arrangements (53/42 front crankset and 12/21 rear cluster, I assume) must have been heavy, especially if you are climbing Austin's hills. Those things can add weight and hauling it up those hills would be almost like hauling a 45-lb Raleigh Superbe uphill!. Does your bike look anything like the following ebay listing? I am very partial to Campy components:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/COLNAGO-MA...ilco-S4-Campagnolo-Pantographed-/303736001674

It used to cost me around $2000 to build up a vintage steel frame with accurate components. I remember searching all of Madison, WI's bike shops to get the right cones for an Italian wheelset, Ambrosio rims if I recollect. Another OCD domain, LOL.

My favourites are light bikes. I have a spare time trial Ilkeston Raleigh, handmade, Reynolds 753 tubing that is as thin as 0.3mm, except for the joins but with great tensile strength. Period accurate, five gears, and minimal hardware. I even have a period accurate vintage Smith bike stopwatch mounted on the handlebar! In actual time trials, these machines had no brakes because you do not use them, you are going all out for speed. At the end of the run, they would be stopped by grabbing the front wheel with gloved hands! Crazy, isn't it? The fork and frame weighed just 3.2 pounds before I built this one up.

I also have a gorgeous chrome-plated 1972 Schwinn Paramount racer with an all-Campy Record gruppo and a Cinelli headset and bars. The best steel bike ever built in America. Total weight is 15.5 lbs. It flies and it is beautiful. I get all the attention when I am out downtown on this machine.

Sorry, you triggered another OCD attack...
 

TKI67

Elite Member
Good heavens. Those front and rear arrangements (53/42 front crankset and 12/21 rear cluster, I assume) must have been heavy, especially if you are climbing Austin's hills. Those things can add weight and hauling it up those hills would be almost like hauling a 45-lb Raleigh Superbe uphill!. Does your bike look anything like the following ebay listing? I am very partial to Campy components:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/COLNAGO-MA...ilco-S4-Campagnolo-Pantographed-/303736001674

It used to cost me around $2000 to build up a vintage steel frame with accurate components. I remember searching all of Madison, WI's bike shops to get the right cones for an Italian wheelset, Ambrosio rims if I recollect. Another OCD domain, LOL.

My favourites are light bikes. I have a spare time trial Ilkeston Raleigh, handmade, Reynolds 753 tubing that is as thin as 0.3mm, except for the joins but with great tensile strength. Period accurate, five gears, and minimal hardware. I even have a period accurate vintage Smith bike stopwatch mounted on the handlebar! In actual time trials, these machines had no brakes because you do not use them, you are going all out for speed. At the end of the run, they would be stopped by grabbing the front wheel with gloved hands! Crazy, isn't it? The fork and frame weighed just 3.2 pounds before I built this one up.

I also have a gorgeous chrome-plated 1972 Schwinn Paramount racer with an all-Campy Record gruppo and a Cinelli headset and bars. The best steel bike ever built in America. Total weight is 15.5 lbs. It flies and it is beautiful. I get all the attention when I am out downtown on this machine.

Sorry, you triggered another OCD attack...
I love Paramounts of that vintage. Those and PX-10s. My Colnago was blue, carbon fork, seat-post, and saddle, all Record. Sigma rims. It weighed a shade over 17 pounds, not bad for a lugged steel bike! It rode like a dream with a CX on the front and a CG Pave on the back. I don't think you can even get them anymore. The gearing was not particularly heavy, just better suited to criteriums than pleasure riding. In my late sixties I hung it up after a freak accident. I was on a very steep hill, probably going under 10 mph, and the entire drive train seized, pitching me over the bars. The bike shop could not figure out what had happened. If they had, I probably would have kept racing, but since they couldn't, I sold it. I still have the scar on my lip where a chunk of incisor went through it. Heckuva keepsake.

If I ever got another road bike it would still be Columbus or Reynolds tubing, but I'd find some old Nuovo Record, way easier to work on than indexed shifting!
 

drpeter

Super Member
Your account of the accident reminded me of the only time I had a machine seize -- it was a motorcycle engine, and the entire thing became like a sculpture! Nothing would move that piston, LOL It belonged to a friend and he was on another bike, I was riding his -- later on, some mechanic actually rebored the cylinder and repaired the engine. This was in India, where people always repaired things, never threw them away.

The PX-10s were good bikes, but I never owned one. Yes, I think I would stick to older gruppos too. I don't know how to work with the newest systems, and don't really want to put in the effort. Lack of space in my flat means that I am not going to build new bikes any more. Not sure how many more years I can ride. Some of my pals have already switched to trikes with electrical support options, LOL. I do have a recumbent that someone gave me, but that is not all that comfortable for me.
 
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