Bike Tale of the Week: Saint Sheldon and my KHS

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So I assume we are all familiar with the amazing repository of bicycle information that lives at the Sheldon Brown/Harris Cyclery website. Well, I found a neat tool hack there yesterday that saved me a whole bunch of heartache.

Backstory: my first 10-speed was a brand new 1981-ish KHS Winner. Junky-ish entry-level "bike boom" bike. Decent-looking lugged steel frame with braze-on cable stops, but steel wheels, steel bars/stem, and steel cottered cranks. Also stem shifters and brake lever extensions. As a 12-year-old kid reading Bicycling magazine and the Bike Nashbar catalog, I had all these plans of upgrading it with all kinds of aluminum parts, but the farthest I got was some used stuff I scrounged up: aluminum Maes bars and a set of clamp-on down tube shifters. I hacksawed off the mounts for the extra brake levers and put rubber hoods on the levers, added those goofy foam tube grips that were popular at the time, and found a set of center pull brakes for it. I rode that thing all over Long Island for a while. But I always HATED the cottered crank, and didn't have the right tools to take it apart or the money for an upgrade, so after a couple of years, I got a REAL road bike with Ishiwata frame tubing and aluminum components. I don't remember what ever happened to the KHS; it just seemed to cease to exist after a couple of newer, better bikes and a driver's license found their way into my life.

Fast forward to summer 2018. Many bikes have come and gone. Most of my bike hobby deals with junkers from the '60s and '70s; road bikes are not even on my radar. I'm at a car and bike show/swap, poking through a vendor's huge pile of junk bikes, and what catches my eye: a dead ringer for my old KHS.
20180825_173449.jpg


For 20 bucks, I couldn't bear to leave it there.

The crazy idea in my head was to put all the upgrades on it that I wanted in 1983. And the beauty of that idea was that now, almost 40 years later, I could buy a parts bike with all the aluminum stuff I needed for next to nothing.

But I didn't get around to it for almost 3 years, and so it sat in the basement. Till last weekend, when I was browsing FB Marketplace and this happened.

20210628_144647.jpg


To spare you from having to click the link: the forks on the Raleigh are bent outwards bad enough that I don't feel too guilty blowing it up for parts, and so I have begun swapping stuff over and adding bits and pieces that I have been collecting (like down tube shifters and center pull brakes). I got to this point and took it on a short brakeless cruise up and down the block. Happy with the results so far.
20210701_170247.jpg


Now here's where Saint Sheldon comes in: I borrowed some bottom bracket tools from a friend to swap the crank and BB over. The Raleigh came apart easily enough, but the trouble began when I tried to get the fixed cup out of the KHS:
20210702_112549.jpg


Between the cup being rusty and being garbage quality, and the tool being somewhat used and well-worn, there wasn't any chance that this thing was gonna budge this way. I hosed it down with PB Blaster and walked away, annoyed that the fun was over. I had no ideas for how to attack this problem. But when I Googled "stuck bottom bracket," after a little poking around I found this page:


I actually opened the webpage at the hardware store and bought exactly what he recommended: 5/8 bolt, 4 lock washers, one flat washer, 5/8 nut.
20210702_155641.jpg


I did it exactly the way he described: bolt from the inside out with the lock washers over it to keep the head out far enough to get a socket on it.
20210702_155743.jpg


Flat washer and nut on the outside.
20210702_160023.jpg


Now just tighten the nut till tight, then keep tightening. (Remember, the fixed cup is a left hand thread.) After a few good cranks, suddenly it all loosened up as the cup broke loose.
20210702_160207.jpg


Side note: this also works if you are dealing with a French or Italian bike where the fixed cup has a normal (not left-hand) thread. Just tighten the bolt on the inside of the BB instead of the nut on the outside.

So anyway, thank you, Sheldon Brown. Now I'm one step closer to finishing the build I started in middle school, after I clean the muck and sludge out of the BB shell.
20210702_160629.jpg



Stay tuned for the next installment, where I tackle the challenge of finding 27-inch tires in a post-pandemic bike parts shortage. :rofl:
 
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Tallbikeman

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Excellent. I always felt that centerpull brakes were the best of that era. Cottored cranks just meant that the bottom bracket never got serviced and is full of rust and dirty wax after this many years. I'll bet she rides sweet and is somewhat lighter.
 
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So I assume we are all familiar with the amazing repository of bicycle information that lives at the Sheldon Brown/Harris Cyclery website. Well, I found a neat tool hack there yesterday that saved me a whole bunch of heartache.

Backstory: my first 10-speed was a brand new 1981-ish KHS Winner. Junky-ish entry-level "bike boom" bike. Decent-looking lugged steel frame with braze-on cable stops, but steel wheels, steel bars/stem, and steel cottered cranks. Also stem shifters and brake lever extensions. As a 12-year-old kid reading Bicycling magazine and the Bike Nashbar catalog, I had all these plans of upgrading it with all kinds of aluminum parts, but the farthest I got was some used stuff I scrounged up: aluminum Maes bars and a set of clamp-on down tube shifters. I hacksawed off the mounts for the extra brake levers and put rubber hoods on the levers, added those goofy foam tube grips that were popular at the time, and found a set of center pull brakes for it. I rode that thing all over Long Island for a while. But I always HATED the cottered crank, and didn't have the right tools to take it apart or the money for an upgrade, so after a couple of years, I got a REAL road bike with Ishiwata frame tubing and aluminum components. I don't remember what ever happened to the KHS; it just seemed to cease to exist after a couple of newer, better bikes and a driver's license found their way into my life.

Fast forward to summer 2018. Many bikes have come and gone. Most of my bike hobby deals with junkers from the '60s and '70s; road bikes are not even on my radar. I'm at a car and bike show/swap, poking through a vendor's huge pile of junk bikes, and what catches my eye: a dead ringer for my old KHS.
View attachment 163399

For 20 bucks, I couldn't bear to leave it there.

The crazy idea in my head was to put all the upgrades on it that I wanted in 1983. And the beauty of that idea was that now, almost 40 years later, I could buy a parts bike with all the aluminum stuff I needed for next to nothing.

But I didn't get around to it for almost 3 years, and so it sat in the basement. Till last weekend, when I was browsing FB Marketplace and this happened.

View attachment 163447

To spare you from having to click the link: the forks on the Raleigh are bent outwards bad enough that I don't feel too guilty blowing it up for parts, and so I have begun swapping stuff over and adding bits and pieces that I have been collecting (like down tube shifters and center pull brakes). I got to this point and took it on a short brakeless cruise up and down the block. Happy with the results so far.
View attachment 163448

Now here's where Saint Sheldon comes in: I borrowed some bottom bracket tools from a friend to swap the crank and BB over. The Raleigh came apart easily enough, but the trouble began when I tried to get the fixed cup out of the KHS:
View attachment 163450

Between the cup being rusty and being garbage quality, and the tool being somewhat used and well-worn, there wasn't any chance that this thing was gonna budge this way. I hosed it down with PB Blaster and walked away, annoyed that the fun was over. I had no ideas for how to attack this problem. But when I Googled "stuck bottom bracket," after a little poking around I found this page:


I actually opened the webpage at the hardware store and bought exactly what he recommended: 5/8 bolt, 4 lock washers, one flat washer, 5/8 nut.
View attachment 163451

I did it exactly the way he described: bolt from the inside out with the lock washers over it to keep the head out far enough to get a socket on it.
View attachment 163452

Flat washer and nut on the outside.
View attachment 163453

Now just tighten the nut till tight, then keep tightening. (Remember, the fixed cup is a left hand thread.) After a few good cranks, suddenly it all loosened up as the cup broke loose.
View attachment 163454

Side note: this also works if you are dealing with a French or Italian bike where the fixed cup has a normal (not left-hand) thread. Just tighten the bolt on the inside of the BB instead of the nut on the outside.

So anyway, thank you, Sheldon Brown. Now I'm one step closer to finishing the build I started in middle school, after I clean the muck and sludge out of the BB shell.
View attachment 163455


Stay tuned for the next installment, where I tackle the challenge of finding 27-inch tires in a post-pandemic bike parts shortage. :rofl:
Hey Parker Drive, looks like your having a fun time with your new KHS... So how many of the loose balls did you loose? So as far as tires go i was lucky enough to find 2 pair of 27x1 3\8 on flee bay a while back... Good luck... Razin...
 
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Tallbikeman

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Just checked Biketiresdirect.com and found Kenda 27" tires for 14.95 to really good quality tires by Gatorskin for $59.46. I have a bike with 27" tires and like you when I put it together a few years ago I was afraid of a lack of good tires. I use a Gatorshin Hardshell on the front wheel and still getting miles out of a Schwalbe Marathon Pro on the back. Schwalbe tires have been impossible to source for over a year. I don't know when they will become available again. My 27" Schwinn 1981 Sports Tourer is used mostly on dirt roads and is a very good gravel/dirt road bike. No MTB stuff, just 10-12mph with no jumps or other exciting stuff. Bike has been terrific for this purpose. I bought the bicycle whole and changed out the drop bars for an S and M cruiser bar on a BMX quill stem. I drilled a hole through the clamp part of the stem to pass the brake cable through for the front centerpull brake. I built new aluminum wheels with Velo-Orange 10 speed cassette hubs, respaced the rear fork for the 135mm hub. Shimano Shadow rear MTB derailleur with lock. Old pair of handlebar mounted Suntour MTB shifters running the original Suntour front derailleur and the Shimano rear derailleur. Had to bend the travel stops on the rear shift lever to get enough travel for the Shimano rear derailleur. I never expected it to be so good on gravel/dirt roads. I believe the really good quality puncture resistant tires are the reason this has worked out so well for me. I weigh 270lbs and this bike has been very reliable for several thousand miles.
IMG_0455.jpg
 
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Schwalbe tires have been impossible to source for over a year.

These work great on pavement and in dirt.
 

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Thanks Karate Chicken Industries. Biketires direct has a 27" Schwalbe non Marathon Pro offering also but I have been using the Marathon Pro version because I knew they were tough enough. I've since bought a Gaterskin Hard version but this tire is basically a slick. However it is not giving me any issues on my hardpan/roadbase roads I'm riding on. Your suggestion led my down the rabbit hole at Continental which led me to an e-bike rated tire called the Continental Ride Tour Part #010161 and these look very tough, good tread pattern, and in about the same dollar bracket as to what I've got. My rear Schwalbe is still quite usable but thanks for pushing me to investigate further. One never knows when a new tire will be called for.
 
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ISO 630 is my wheelhouse. I have a grip of vintage aluminum 27" rims (mostly Araya) and use them in fixed gear and gravel conversions. I've been hovering around 200# for the past seven years, after 225# for many years, which allows for less expensive and lighter ISO 630 tire solutions. The Schwalbe HS-159s are worth a try for you, IMO. They are belted and roll much better than your current preferred choices.
 

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KCI I'll check out the Schwalbe HS-159's. I weigh 270lbs. When I buckle down and lose weight I end up at roughly 220lbs. This is a huge load on tires. I want rears to last at least a year before getting too thin to stop thorns and my fronts to last a couple of years. I do want easy rolling tires but don't want to sacrifice dependable durability to get it. As many of us have done I went through several brands and weights of tires before ending up with Schwalbe and Gatorskin tires. I really like my 630 wheel bicycle and the wheels are part of the pleasure. I ride all derailleur equipped bikes. That's what I aspired to get when I was a teenager in the 1960,s and still want to this day. I'm still stuck in my childhood.
 
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