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I had to scour my entire stock of three free derailleurs to build one that that had good sprockets (from the original 3-speed one on the left) and a complete sprocket back plate of the right size (the 5-speed one on the right). No, I have not removed any parts from the one in the centre, that is exactly how it arrived on the bike - incomplete. Once everything is cleaned up I am sure that I will have one unit that works.

I am sure.

Kind of.

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Once the spray cans and the sun are out, it is hard to stop.

Even the saddle mounting brackets are going to have a nice dash of paint, once I finish prepping them.

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Here are almost all of the derailleur parts ready for assembly, after getting a good clean up. The backing plate is missing because it needed painting, as the chrome plating was poor. I also removed the single remaining pin cover and will instead live with the possibility of one of those pin clips getting lost down some trail. It just looked sad with one cover,

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This means that we are getting ever closer to stage 2 of this build - where everything gets examined for flaws and then gets painted. It is going to be so exciting!

Tears will be forthcoming.

Trust me.
 
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So this is where I work on my bikes - in barn 2 on our property. Barn 3 can be seen in the background.

The door on the left is the entrance to my base of workshop operations, seen here in the late afternoon when the sun comes around and warms everything up.

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I like it, although I must say that the chimney is attached to a rather clunky brick-built heater that does not work and one day soon will have to go. With a couple of tiles and a big hammer you would think the task would be done in a few hours - but it goes through a concrete ceiling on the way up. Ah well, maybe I should place a ladder in the wagon in the next shed to gain entry to the loft section, and examine what is required in a bit more detail from above. The loft in this barn is last place where I have never been, because there is an old wagon in the way. I finally went up into the loft on barn 1 the other week, to rescue my at-the-time sickly cat... ;)

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When we moved in I did not realise that there was a brick floor in here, as it was just covered with decades worth of coal dust. I assume that this was some kind of drying room in the distant past, but it is gradually evolving into a workshop for everything, especially bikes.

Anyway, for the moment, the bike frame is on the bench on the right, while the parts awaiting work are lying on the table on the left.
 
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So this is where I work on my bikes - in barn 2 on our property. Barn 3 can be seen in the background.

The door on the left is the entrance to my base of workshop operations, seen here in the late afternoon when the sun comes around and warms everything up.

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I like it, although I must say that the chimney is attached to a rather clunky brick-built heater that does not work and one day soon will have to go. With a couple of tiles and a big hammer you would think the task would be done in a few hours - but it goes through a concrete ceiling on the way up. Ah well, maybe I should place a ladder in the wagon in the next shed to gain entry to the loft section, and examine what is required in a bit more detail from above. The loft in this barn is last place where I have never been, because there is an old wagon in the way. I finally went up into the loft on barn 1 the other week, to rescue my at-the-time sickly cat... ;)

AM-JKLUWCi9JhYyHptF60g9wZadhy--eVkHxuDb15o5OiWrNqiJ0O8Ba_AcqD1HL8NUHjOITl9a-XpF_uS3DJnqiNqOdIPLJwlsdLRgut57MxN4OJkA9dBR3uM40s7CcJKIp0cUl2i85151Mn8Hof5fQzBl84A=w741-h955-no


When we moved in I did not realise that there was a brick floor in here, as it was just covered with decades worth of coal dust. I assume that this was some kind of drying room in the distant past, but it is gradually evolving into a workshop for everything, especially bikes.

Anyway, for the moment, the bike frame is on the bench on the right, while the parts awaiting work are lying on the table on the left.
I DREAM of barns like that! Absolutely beautifu!!!! …one day….
 
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Recently I got around to replacing the BB because the loose-ball type fitted had damaged bearings, so it was time to fit that kit I had bought from my favourite bike shop in Lublin. I have often just replaced the bearings, but the company making them ceased doing so two years ago.

Actually I am not sure the bike shop really knew what they were selling, and for me I had to learn what bits I actually need to look at when buying or ordering them.

The initial tube that I had to fit into the frame came as two parts, that had to be slid in from each end. They took some time to fit as I had to file away all traces of the other frame tubes that protruded into the BB space. That itself took more time than I planned for, and then once in they showed no desire of being removed again. That would be fine, except that it had a part that stuck out from the BB shell by 5 mm on the crank side. I cannot comment on the logic of doing it, but because each end of the BB has a right-hand or left-hand thread, the bulky end of the BB also sticks out by another 5mm or so on the same side. Ugh!

The distance between the bearings was far too short, so the bearing on one side was too far short of where it should be.

So I took them all back out.

See that little step on the left hand end of the hub...

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It was supplied like this, in just two pieces. Since it did not fit I could have just taken it back - but then I would have never known why it didn't.

So with great effort and much care, I eased off the bearing on one end in a process that took around an hour and then popped the other off in about 15 seconds. Luckily, everything should go back on, if I ever get around to it.

What I learned is that those bearings, because they sit on those machined areas, could never be shifted apart enough for this hub.

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Luckily I bought a kids bike last year to improve the performance of one of my Romet Wigrys, a small bike often used by older people in the more rural parts of this region. I don't know if they were originally intended as a child's bike, as they are rather small, but I am certainly comfortably in the age group still riding them. So while I have removed enough of the running gear to keep my Wigry mobile, I had not touched its BB. Since I had to buy a special socket to fit and later remove the BB in the current project, I wondered whether it would fit the BB in the kid's bike frame currently sitting in the next barn down.

It did, and here it is.

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The bearings are concealed in it, but they are definitely further apart than the one I already had, as are the spoke mounts. All I have to do now is fit it!
 
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It is time for lots of pictures of the same red stuff!

First of all I did the dumb thing - and made sure that the BB actually threaded in on each side.

The orange frame is the Polish-built frame I removed the BB from, made by Zasada. It looked to be about the same width, within a couple of mm anyway. If they are about the same width, then the bearings should be in about the right place.

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For some reason the left-hand threads always seem to be tighter than the normal right-hand threads, meaning that getting the plastic body screwed in was a bit difficult, as it got quite tight for the last couple of threads.

Here it is, fully in, and now all I have to do is find some set of cranks to make sure that they clear the frame.

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Well, I guess that is a yes, although I am mildly concerned that the gap is way bigger on the crank side.

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So that is it for now, the next stage will be to select the actual cranks I will be using, and see how the sprocket aligns up with the derailleur hub on the back.
 
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Today was another day where I took that impossibly heavy box back off its high shelf, or at least that is how it felt for my joints, to select an actual crank for the project. Feast your eyes on the top two cranks with built-in shafts - ah, two versions from Romet, both needing new bearings, from a factory that closed two years ago. One day I will find a way to get them back into use.

Anyway, I needed to select the actual cranks I will be using.

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Here they are below, and they have certainly seen enough action to wear off the cheap paint coat. I hope that the short stroke of the cranks can be offset by the choice of gears and the smaller diameter of the wheels - at only 24".

The main reason I am interested in these short stroke cranks are the prevalence of tractor ruts in our rural community. Of coarse, for the same reasons, they are deeper in just those locations one needs to pump hard on the pedals. Interestingly, most Romets had either of these two crank sets shown above, no matter how big or small the bike.

These are heading for the clean-up, rectify and paint line.

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I knew I had another set of front brake levers somewhere, and these are at least the right colour. They still need to be touched up a bit, of course.

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It feels that at the moment most of what I am doing is selecting and painting the small parts - but I want to get all that done early while I experiment with my other bikes.

At the moment I am getting my Romet Turing and Romet Wigry ready for summer life in the city, which means some experimenting with brake and gear change cable routing. Because it was the aluminium wheels rather than the 3-speed hub that I wanted on the Wigry, the hub kind of sat around for nearly a year, with no real hope of a future. Eventually, I realised that the steep-sided valleys around our apartment meant that the hub would be useful, and so I rebuilt the rim back onto the hub, and planned to install both the gear change lever and a front brake.

Except the hub also has a coaster brake, which I would have known if I had bothered to look at it.

So now the Wigry is now more a frame running on later equipment - and now I am wondering whether I shouldn't eventually change the BB and crank to the one I am installing here. That would give me a decent spare crank set, because I used my last spare one earlier this year on renovating the neighbours Romet Jubilat...
 
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Well, I did not get much done over the weekend, other than repairing some minor damage to some of the things I intend using, but I did make a great discovery while out with wifie yesterday.

We spent the day visiting some friends, and stopped on the way to visit a small fortified hill. It was a lovely day, so we did not bother reading the endless bumpf they printed on signs, but instead climbed up this former fortified village.

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Wifie decided that was as far as she was going, and I do not blame her as everything was a bit rickety.

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Yep, some odd bit of timber to hold the flag...

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And then, just as I was about to leave, I noticed what they had used to hold the flag post - a main crank sprocket off an old Romet bicycle. OK, so it is not much to look at, but I was pleased, historical even ;)
 

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I think your mind was so subconsciously tuned into bicycles, that it kicked in your sixth sense and led you to that Romet flagpole sprocket.
 
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I think your mind was so subconsciously tuned into bicycles, that it kicked in your sixth sense and led you to that Romet flagpole sprocket.
You are probably right, I had this sudden urge to climb the hill and stand by that flag pole, even though everyone else was kind of happy standing at the bottom of the hill.
 
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Painting continues...

Now that I am painting larger items, I though it was time that I made somewhere I could actually do it.

First I cleaned off all the rust from what I was going to paint, but because I still want to protect them, then instead of painting them black I applied a layer of clear paint. As this would be a bit impractical in my warsztat, and since we have three barns, I decided to hang thm all from some string I hung between the main doors of our brick barn.

Most work is done in here, with a small storage area off to the left, a bench made from some furniture I found in the house, cement for the house insulation we will be starting next week, wood for the heater in the house, a small bench for cutting wood, strimmer and mower, water tap, uncut wood storage off to the right, and twig storage off to the left.

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On the back wall you can see some rings formerly used to secure cows or horses, and there happens to be one each side of the door. They are a bit low for painting things, but they do.

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While I was waiting for the paint to harden, I finally got around to opening up and cleaning out the side room in the wooden barn so that I can store bicycles in there during the winter. It needs a bit of work, but it is dry in there - and I found this oil lamp up on a shelf in there, complete with wick and oil.

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In the same barn I also found a load of horse tack, everything I would need to use the wagon tucked in another shed, assuming that I had a horse...
 
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A horse you gotta feed. A bicycle you just gotta grease. ;)
Good luck with the painting!

I usually have to paint outdoors underneath a tarp or awning. Fortunately the weather here is always gentle.
Ha ha, if only I had a tarp or awning, I could do it in the middle of the grass.
 
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Bits and pieces today, as I work on the things that hold the bike together.

I don't think I have ever put so much effort into the smaller parts of a bike, but this one needs it because while the condition was fair when I bought it, everything was a little shabby and definitely made to a budget. I can always find parts for them in people's sheds and barns, and the other week I overhauled some of my neighbours bikes he keeps for when his grandchildren visit, including two Romets - a Wigry and a Jubilat.

The latch is not, of course, for the bikes - I just needed to paint the hook and catch I am putting on the gate I recently fitted up by my top barn to keep out the dogs owned by another neighbour.

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For the first time ever, I stripped out the metal components from the seat I am using. I cannot remember now where I got it, but it needs a new cover made for it.

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Here is my city Wigry 3, and if you look at the main chainwheel it is the same design as that used to fix down the flag base I showed here the other day. I love this little bike, although I must admit that the wheels, saddle, gears and handlebar grips are off another Polish bike, a Zasada. Here in the countryside the Wigry is still a popular adults bike, even though it is tiny and must have gone out of production in the 1990s.

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In the same barn I also found a load of horse tack, everything I would need to use the wagon tucked in another shed, assuming that I had a horse...

Funny how random thoughts get triggered. This statement immediately made me think of Lyle Lovett with his Pony on his boat out on the sea.

 

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Bits and pieces today, as I work on the things that hold the bike together.

I don't think I have ever put so much effort into the smaller parts of a bike, but this one needs it because while the condition was fair when I bought it, everything was a little shabby and definitely made to a budget. I can always find parts for them in people's sheds and barns, and the other week I overhauled some of my neighbours bikes he keeps for when his grandchildren visit, including two Romets - a Wigry and a Jubilat.

The latch is not, of course, for the bikes - I just needed to paint the hook and catch I am putting on the gate I recently fitted up by my top barn to keep out the dogs owned by another neighbour.

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For the first time ever, I stripped out the metal components from the seat I am using. I cannot remember now where I got it, but it needs a new cover made for it.

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Here is my city Wigry 3, and if you look at the main chainwheel it is the same design as that used to fix down the flag base I showed here the other day. I love this little bike, although I must admit that the wheels, saddle, gears and handlebar grips are off another Polish bike, a Zasada. Here in the countryside the Wigry is still a popular adults bike, even though it is tiny and must have gone out of production in the 1990s.

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Little folders are always fun to ride. A couple of old Dahons and then later a Raleigh Twenty are what got be back into bikes years back.
 
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Little folders are always fun to ride. A couple of old Dahons and then later a Raleigh Twenty are what got be back into bikes years back.
When I started on bikes again after many years away it was because we had a couple of cheap folders in the back of the garage, but other than a new Zenit mountain bike I have for long rides and a Romet Turing that came with the farm, it is folders, Romet folders, that I love the most.
 
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The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.

This is the frame I intend using, marked Zenit (zenith) and Kowalewo, and is a factory modified Romet Jubilat, intended to take a three-speed derailleur wheel instead of the usual coaster brake found on the very much more common Jubilat. Other than the fact that the frame has been widened slightly at the back to take the wider 5-speed-with-3-gears-fitted hub and that it lacks any frame tabs to fit a chain guard, it is identical to the Jubilat. It came out during a rough time in the Polish economy, which lasted for pretty much the whole of the 1980s, and I am not sure why they produced it. Were they worried that they might not be able to import the coaster brake rear hubs from Czechoslovakia? Whatever, by 1995 it was gone, and this is one of only four Zenits that I have ever seen. In fact I bought it as one of three Jubilats that had been rescued by a guy from a rubbish dump - hence the picture of them all in the back of my car back in one of my early posts.

Kowalewo, as a matter of interest, is the name of the village where Romet had their factory to build the folders, but why the could not call it a Romet is beyond me.

So, do I paint it, like the one I saw the other week in nearby Krasynstaw? Maybe I should just clean it up a bit and give it a clear coat? If I could find a set of stickers to replace these then painting it would be my choice - or just remove all the paint. In that way the fact that I am not using the original fork will not stand out as at least one other Jubilat I have came with an original but non-standard fork.

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Out of the five Jubilats I have had, this one is the only one marked up as a Romet, and since the vast majority of them made were marked as Romet Jubilat how did four of mine be turn out to be non-standard? I don't know.

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I also have a couple of Romet Wigry, with 20" wheels instead of the Jubilat's 24" ones. This one is also not marked as a Romet but as a 'Uniwersal', which means it was designed for the export market. This was bought from one of the old Pewex shops, were you could buy goods made for export (even though 'x' was not part of the Polish alphabet) - no I don't know the answer to any of your questions, other than the fact that they were gone by the time I came here in the mid-90s.

Anyway, take a close look at the shoddy finish under the chrome, it must have been a rough day at the factory in 1983 when they decided to make these cranks.

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Here are some of my rear wheel collection. The one on the left is off the Zenit, the one in the centre is off a Jubilat and the one on the right is painted gray instead of being chromed and is off my 1983 Wigry. the 1980s were an odd time for Romet.

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So yes, Romet folders are really my thing. They are cheap, available, and no two bikes I ever buy seem to be the same. I have a pile of frames in one of my barns from a number of bikes that I have bought for the parts to modify or restore my Romets, and that is fine by me.
 
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So the first job today was to get cranks into a somewhat flawless condition. I think these came off the Zasada that makes up most of the bits on my Wigry these days. These cranks are very short, because the bike was for kids, but I would really be interested in how they increase the clearance in the centre of the bike when riding it off road. Well, here is to a couple of hours hand sanding down some chunks of metal.

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Here I took a break when I was about half way through the work on the left hand one. You can see some of the poor clean up they gave the parts at the left hand end of this one.

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...and after a great deal of effort, I finally got to the stage where I could actually give them a test spray to see how much more effort they need.

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Such are the pleasures of working on a bike on a nice evening after working on a computer all day long. It might not seem like much, but this week we start removing the outer woodwork on our house to replace it with expanded polystyrene blocks, a huge job.

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This picture was from last winter, but all that woodwork has to go for better insulation - it is just a skin as the house is actually made from 3" thick planks!
 
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Ulu

Stinky Old Fish
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Wow! 3”? That house must be 100 years old. I could heat my house for 100 years with that much lumber. Maybe 200! ;) I haven’t stepped outside my door into snow more than once in 50 years.

We have a rather modern double insulated California mass-production tract house. It is made of 10-12mm plastic reinforced concrete stucco over 50mm styrofoam sheets 1.2x2.4 meters, with 50x100mm douglas fir studs and 100mm fiberglass batts. Inside is all sheetrock with wood trim.

Since it never snows here in the middle San Joaquin Valley, I took down my chimney, removed the fireplace, and put in an aquarium. Summer or winter it looks much like this.
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