Shoestring (DONE!)

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So how did that tank originally work? Was 1/2 screwed to the bike and then the other half screwed or clipped to the first half?
No, the tank halves screw together. They just sort of clamp around the headset, and then there's a little tab that squeezes in between the 2 cantilever bars to keep the tank from wiggling around. I'll try and take some photos of it later so you can see how it works. It's interesting, that's for sure.
 
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Ok, two things happened yesterday:
1. I sold $100-worth of bike parts.
2. I redesigned the tank insert. This time I used a slightly thicker piece of plywood, and I designed it so it just squeezes in between the tank and the frame. Now the tank insert fits nice and even with the frame. There are a few spots near the back where I sanded off a little too much material, but I can cover that up when I apply the khaki fabric on top of the wood.
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I'm still debating what to do about that thin sliver of reflective tape...
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I was thinking about working on staining the khaki material that I'd apply to the tank today, but there's an issue that's been bugging me for a while now. See, I have these old khaki cargo pants I don't wear anymore, so I figured the fabric would be good to repurposed on my bike projects. I figured I could stain the material to match the seat I'm using on Shoestring, and apply it to the tank insert and maybe the headlight.
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The problem is that the khaki pants are a substantially different color than the seat, even without the stains. The seat is more of a warm, faded brown, whereas the pants are more of a cool, almost desaturated olive green color by comparison. I tried digging through the rest of my fabric scraps, but most of what I have is denim, and the one other piece of scrap khaki fabric I have is much darker than the majority of the seat, though it is a close match for the dark spots on the seat. If I can't figure out a way to use what I have and make it a closer match to the seat, I may just have to check out some garage sales for supplies. I'm sure I'll think of something though.
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One more thing, since @Ulu asked: here's how the tank fits onto this style of Murray frame.
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Okay, I'm trying to get the Komet Super coaster brake completely disassembled, and I'm running into multiple issues. I can't get certain parts to come apart so I can remove and clean the bearings. I'll try and get some photos up here in a bit, but I'm still trying to find a solid tutorial on how to get these things completely broken down. What I'm finding is that the reason why so many people don't like Komet Super coaster brakes is probably because there is next to no good information on how to rebuild these hubs!
 
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Good news: I found a thorough Komet Super coaster brake hub disassembly tutorial.
Bad news: It's from a Schwinn service manual from 1969, so certain details such as finding replacement parts and greasing/oiling parts may be outdated.
 
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I have similar problems with coaster brake hubs here - I have a 'Ukraine' hub where the sprocket might be threaded on or not. I am told that you can saw off the sprocket, but that assumes I could find a replacement here in Poland :)
 
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Okay, update time!

First off, I've been experimenting with artificially aging khaki fabric to look more like my seat. I have my light khaki work pants that don't have the same warm hue as the seat, but I also have these old khaki cargo shorts that are a much closer match, at least when compared to the dark parts of the seat.
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I also had some other khaki cargos that could be a happy medium if the other 2 options don't pan out. They even have bleach stains on them!
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I cut up the first pair of khaki cargos so I'd have as much flat usable fabric as possible. Thankfully I've got plenty of good material for my tank insert and headlight.
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Now for some experimenting. I cut out a smaller, less useful piece of fabric on which to try some fading techniques. First I tried soaking a corner in distilled vinegar for about 30 minutes, with virtually no change to the color.
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Next, I stuck the fabric sample in the washer on the whites setting, with bleach. Results were severely disappointing. In fact, I think I even brightened the fabric a little bit! I did notice the corner that I soaked in vinegar looked paler, though. Not by much, but enough to notice.
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I tried soaking the same corner again, this time for several hours. Results were so disappointing they weren't even worth snapping a photo. I still haven't figured out how to go about this since the last time I messed with it, but hopefully I'll figure out something soon.
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On to something different: taking apart the Komet Super coaster brake hubs. I found a fairly solid tutorial on how to disassemble these hubs from an unexpected source: the Schwinn Bicycle Service Manual for Licensed Schwinn Dealers Volume 1. I probably didn't need to take the hub apart as much as I did, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible. That means popping off this dust cap to get to a bearing that I don't understand why they'd make it so tough to get to, and sort of damaging it as a result.
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Ok, level with me here: on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "you can fix that no problem" and 10 being "you really really should not have done that," how bad is the damage?
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I loaded everything into my ultrasonic cleaner to see if it'd all fit, and amazingly, I could still fit a ton more small parts in this thing! However, since I've never used this before, I have to ask: is this too much to try and clean at once? All the tutorials I've seen for these devices only show folks cleaning a single bike chain and maybe a few cassette gears in these things. I really want to get as much clean as possible, but I'd like to avoid damaging anything if I can help it.
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One more thing: while I did take apart the majority of the Komet hubs, the 2 parts I couldn't separate were this bearing and whatever the part is called that it's wrapped around. I tried removing it, but I was afraid of damaging what looked to be a good bearing. The guide in that Schwinn manual even said it wasn't really necessary to remove the bearing unless there was any significant damage to the bearing or the part it surrounds. Can I leave this part like you see it and clean it that way, or do I need to completely take this apart?
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As I was loading all those parts into the ultrasonic cleaner, I noticed something: I had 3 sprockets with a different amount of cogs. From left to right, I have a 20-tooth, 19-tooth, and 18-tooth sprocket. My chainring is a 46-tooth. I looked up "bicycle gear ratios for dummies" and finally got a better understanding of how gear ratios on bikes work. Basically, the smaller the rear sprocket is compared to the bigger chainring, the harder it is to pedal, but the faster I'll be able to travel once up to speed. On the flip side, the closer the rear sprocket is in size to the chainring, the easier it is to pedal, but the slower I'll be able to go. Thing is, these 3 sprockets are so close in size to each other, I'd only go about 2mph faster or slower between the 18- and 20-tooth sprocket. So, which would you suggest I go with? I know this isn't going to be a fast bike, so easy-pedaling is ideal, but I wouldn't mind having a little extra speed too.
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That's all the progress I have to report for now. I'm hesitant to start cleaning bearings and parts until I know for sure how to go about it, but there are a few other things I could do in the meantime.
 

kingfish254

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I really like the route you are taking with the cargo short fabric.
Have fun
 
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On the swiss military bike (26'ish) standard was 50T front 20T back. This gave a nice speed without too much pedaling in the flat. Depending on the expected terrain we used to have spare sprockets ranging from 18T (mainly used for races) to 22T for going into the mountains.
So yes, one or two teeth more or less in the back make a big difference!
Try what suits you best.
 
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I'd start with the 20t, and if it feels to spinney, swap it out. 1t in the rear makes a big difference.
On the swiss military bike (26'ish) standard was 50T front 20T back. This gave a nice speed without too much pedaling in the flat. Depending on the expected terrain we used to have spare sprockets ranging from 18T (mainly used for races) to 22T for going into the mountains.
So yes, one or two teeth more or less in the back make a big difference!
Try what suits you best.
Alright, thanks! I might just try all 3 sprockets just to see how much of a difference each cog makes. Never really messed with gear ratios before, so it could be fun to experiment with them!
 
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Okay, that's good to hear. Think it's a problem if I try to clean this many parts in the ultrasonic cleaner all at once?
Dunno about ultrasonic, but a plastic shaker jar and Simple Green worked for me.
 

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