Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cruising into the woods...

Woke up one Sunday and decided to take my cruiser for a spin to the wood lands...

Nothing beats the fresh air of dawn....

Should I go further in and explore the unexplored??

Spinning brass bell, Dog Brand

Spinning brass bell, originally uploaded by the_meadows21.

Got this spinning brass bell from a new acquaintance. He knew I was searching high and low for this bell and decided to let me have it for a reasonable sum as a token of friendship. The brand of this bell is "Dog Brand". Yes. That's right. Dog Brand. It even got an embossed face of a Bulldog.
This bell has 2 striker. Spin it using your fingers and it gives off a very nice "ring-a-ting-ting-ting" resonance. Will I ever sell it? NEVER. Not now. Not in the future. Money can never get you one of these.

Mosque with nice blend of cultural design..

This is also one of the oldest mosque in Singapore. Love it's unique architectural design.

cruising down the side walk...

Found this side walk with the red brick wall facinating. Looks very colonial...

One of the oldest church. Bulit in 1888

Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819. So, this church was built in 1888...that's OLD. Very old considering Singapore's own history being considered pretty young as compared to our neighbours....

Sultan Mosque

Sultan Mosque
Originally uploaded by the_meadows21
This is one of the oldest and grandest mosque in Singapore. As must see for all tourist, including myself!

Sultan Mosque..

Sultan Mosque..
Originally uploaded by the_meadows21
Finally found some free time to bring my cruser out from some sight seeing. I've always wanted to visit Sultan Mosque and what better way to do this is on a set of wheels. Parking near this tourist attraction is terrible and often congested.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Adding more stuff to my Raleigh...

Looking through some super cool pics of suped up classic bicycles on the internet, I decided what my Raleigh lacks is a front carrier rack. But searching for one is like looking for fungi in moss...haha...So I decided to customize a rear mounted rack to fit it to the front.

Then it's off for some fun in the SUN!

More vintage stuff...

I have this with me for some time and finally decided post it. Bought it NOS at a local flea market. It was a surprise to me to be able to find one locally as far as I know, it really RARE. But up North (Malaysia that is, for the uninitated), this type of lamp can cost up to RM200 a piece. Used.
So to find one NOS, I just paid up and leave the place a happy man. Although I'm not going to fix it on my Raleigh, but looking at it and owning one, is good enough.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Latest accessory...spinning brass bell!

Recently I met a fellow collector and from our conversation, I mentioned that I've been searching high and low for a very sort after 'spinning' brass bell. I told him that I once saw it on someone's website and after which, I've lost the links to the webpage.
To my delight and surprise, he told me he actually had a few. A FEW?! My heart was pounding and suddenly, I find myself feeling like a kid once more. Jumping for joy...of course not infront of him but literally.
So, I decide to fix a date and met up with him. He is indeed a collector of bikes! Vintage bicycles. Lots of them too. Rudge. BSA. Para bikes. Raleigh....even the Lucas Silver King, he had a show case lined up side by side! I was having difficulty containing my drool....

Then he took out a wooden case and 'Wah-lah!!' My spinning brass bell! He had 5 of them, all in used condition. What the heck , right? So I told him straight in the face. Are they for sale or do I have to 'steal' them right under his nose? haha....he got the hint at my desperation to have one and decided to sell it to me as a token of friendship. Got it for SGD$150. Expensive? To me, it's not the price. It's the rarity. As I did not have enough cash with me at the moment, I only bought this 'Dog Brand' brass bell. Really, the logo on it says "Dog Brand" and there is a picture of an embossed Bulldog.

Once back home, dismantled it for some close inspection to see how it actualy works. Then lub it and give it some light polishing. Love to see the antiquated look and not too overly polished.

Spinning it with my fingers and it gives off a wonderful 'Ring-A-Ting-Ting' resonance. Told him I'm going to get his Lucas King of the Road spinning bell, thumb activated on my next visit...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Head badges..

Head badges.., originally uploaded by the_meadows21.

Started to collect head badges. The more I look at them, the more it grows on me. I not sure why, but, a bike without a head badge is akin to a man without his manhood. SERIOUS. It's what identifies the bike and the entire 'package'.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Accessorizing my cruiser....

Ever since bringing my cruiser out for ride around the neighbourhood, I just can't seem to pin point what's missing. Did I left out anything? What more does this bike need to complete the 'look'? Well, that 'missing part' appeared when I was cycling after a light drizzle. Mudguards. Yes those humble, weight additions are what I need to stay clean and dry!

Imagine hitting a puddle and next moment, you find your face and back sprinkled with those 'who-knows-what-blackish' water!
Immediately went to my favourite LBS and ask the friendly boss whether he had any NOS mudguards lying around. At first he wanted me to take a pair of aluminium mudguards but I declined. It's just too 'modern' for this bike. Then, as usual, I requested his permission to 'search' his shop. He gladly agreed as I'm his regular customer for the past 10 years. Searching through his pile of spare parts, 'junk' and stacks of bicycles, I managed to see a pair of dust covered chrome mud guards smiling at me!

Pulling it free from the pile of 'junk' lying on top of it, I was facinated to discover that there wasn't any rust on it. Just dirt and cobwebs. It even comes complete with the over-sized rear reflector. Good.

This bike is one fine ride. Turns heads at traffic junctions maybe because people have been accustomed to seeing roadies (aka racers) and MTBs but a cruiser? I intend to add a Lucas bell and currently searching for a nice chain guard to complement the cruiser look. Actually, I'm not building a cruiser. I'm more interested in the Covette look. Vintage, up-right riding posture.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cruiser, vintage style.

I have always longed to own a cruiser. Love the laid back look. The curves. Yes. It's those mesmerizing cantilever curves. Thus I set out to 'hunt' for my beloved frame. Before all this, what got me inspired is the book that I bought from States, "Standard Catalog of Schwinn Bicycles~1895-2004" by Doug Mitchel. Can't find this book in Singapore. Maybe we have a relatively small group of collectors. Or maybe there arn't any Schwinn collectors. Anyway, the pictures inside the book is really a turn on. Pages after pages, pictures that stands out and calls out to you. Although purist may say that Schwinn had more bikes than those found inside the book. But, what the heck. This will do for now. I need references for my project and this book will do. For now.
So, which model am I looking at? Well, it the famous middle weight Corvettes which was produced in the 1950s.

I had a really hard time sourcing for this frame. I remembered many years ago, bikes fitted with tiny motors uses this frame. That was before the government decided to ban all petrol powered bicycles due to some irresponsible goons who rode their bike fast and furious, which resulted in death of a pedestrian. After months of asking around the LBS, lady Luck was on my side. Found a shop which still happened to have some NOS in the store. Paid up immediately and left with all the necessary parts like BB bearings, head set, crank and chain ring and fork. I was literally smiling all the way home. Frame and fork full chrome with no traces of rust or tarnishes.

Back home, immediately set off by fixing it with my Shimano Nexus 4 Speed internal hub with drum brakes. The 26 inch rims are Araya and spokes Stainless Steel. This hub runs super silent. Gear changing is excellently smooth. Never skipping a gear. Unlike the SA that I always encounter. Maybe it due to the setting? Anyway, a quick check on the internet found some info on the hub. Basically, it's maintenace free. That's a plus point.

This saddle belongs to a Hercules. Bought it from a LBS for a song because the previous owner finds it heavy and change it to a normal PVC covered saddle. Well, it's indeed heavy. That's becasue of the 2 solid steel spring. But when I rode it, it like riding on cloud 9. Fits my bum nicely with plenty of space to shift around. Does not pose any harm to the groin. Absorbs all the bumps. I would use this a a comparison; Sitting in a Rolls Royce as compared to sitting in a pick up truck. That's the comfort level it gives.

What's a 'vintage' without some vintage parts, right? Fix a Raleigh Shopper handle, which I bought from Ebay UK. Comes complete with brake levers and stem. Also added a vintage dynamo powered head lamp. The 4 speed grip shift comes together with the hub.

A 'Vee' brake doesn't look authentic so I decided to change it to a spare MX caliper I have lying around. Braking power is good.

Took her out for a spin. The front rim is alloy and the spokes Stainless Steel. Tyres are road compatible and low profile.

This bike runs smoothly and the shifting of gears are a real treat. Simple. Rigid. I will be adding more stuff to it, eg. bell, rack soon. Right now, it's proudly displayed in my living room. Just got to find time to bring her out more often...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vintage Shimano road bike restoration...

During one of my 'hunting' trips up North, I stumbled upon an old road bike chuck in one corner of a bicycle shop. It was covered in dust and cob webs. Approached the owner and asked to see the bike. You was rather shocked that I would even want to part my $$ for this piece of 'junk'! The boss even persuaded me not to buy it and recommended me to other newer road bikes in his shop. Being a persistent fellow, I insisted that THIS is the bike I wanted...

The bike's in pretty, run down state (too bad I forgot to take pics before I strip it down). The previous owner has converted it into a single speedster. Handle bar was a MTB type. Seat condition is good as gone. Pedals missing.
But this is the type I'm looking for. A challenge. A chance to start fresh. Good thing is that the frame, fork and rims only need some washing and removing of surface rust with some cleaning agent.

Proceeded to my favourite 'treasure trove' and bought lots of NOS stuff...

Dia Compe brake lever set

MKS track pedals

Pizo stem, Made in Italy

Shimano front hub

Shimano front derailleur

Alps International Ltd, Japan drop handle

Finally, after weeks of restoring it, decided to take it out for a spin before parting ways as I've sold it to a collector and he's coming to collect it.....

List of things that I've added/changed not shown in the pictures:-
1) NOS Shimano brake cables, thick ones.
2) NOS Made in Japan chain ring
3) New chain
4) New rear tyre
5) NOS Shimano pedals
6) Brooks B18 Messenger saddle ( the only plastic Brooks I've known! )
7) OGK grip tape
8) NOS Shimano front/rear derailleur shifter.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NOS Kuwahara Laserlite found!

Went JB again to hunt for vintage finds and guess what I found! NOS Kuwahara Laserlite!! Stillunpacked and has all the factory packaging and protective papers wrapped around the frame!
Grab the bike and paid the boss immediately, even though he charges me quite high for it. You don't get bikes like this in such prestine condition everyday,ok. Sped my way back to Singapore, smiling all the way....

Diacompe brakes and original brake pads...

The stamp of a genuine product..

Araya rims...

Sugino crank set. After 20 plus years in storage, the chrome is still excellent, given that the bike is kept in a danity shop house in a tropical climate.

The coverted Laserlite...

As-is condition. All wrapped up,waiting for a new home..

Latest update. The bike is no longer with me and has found a new home! Sold to an avid collector of Old Skool BMX. Bye~bye bike Kuwi...gonna miss you..