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Apr 29, 2021
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Well, I am glad to be back, and I am trying to be as laid back this time as I was during the summer. well, one can hope.


My intention this time is to continue my work on my last winter's bike, with the only problem being that I have since reused my forks on the bike I did back in the summer and the only forks I have left are for longer longer head tubes or for smaller front wheels. I am not going to make any decision related to that at the moment, as my main aim this time is to construct a model of an engine out of cardboard. I might use some of the things I have created in the past, like the fuel tank for my summer bike or tank/saddle/rear lights I built for last winter's effort.

First, I need to get my box of bits together...

Anyways, two bikes of these two types are probably going to be the source of many of my parts. That is a Romet Jubilat in the front with a Romet Wigry, and both of which I want to sell in the spring.
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Oki, before I sort the bike out I first have to sort the computer out - because I transformed this one into being my work one and now I cannot get it to access my microsoft stuff on my phone or my other computer. Oh what fun! I also need to get the bike and the parts in the right location, once I decide where that might be - in the field or in the city...
I think I have now fixed the problem I was having with my pictures, and so now things can start to progress smoothly, like butter sliding down hot pierogi.

Talking of pierogi, now comes my next decision - which frame I should use? I can see that the choice of frame is important for many people and, indeed, this forum, but to me it is merely a bunch of tubes welded together by somebody to hold the rest of the parts in one place. Yes, companies do register their particular frames, but since I am not trying to sell anything but just to make something, it is all just bits. Other people do have other views, but they are not the ones making my bike.

So I just have to choose a frame on which I can hang the parts in which I am actually interested.

Will it be this one, an old Best kids frame, that I used for a project here last winter:


Or this one, a late Romet frame:


Both were manufactured 20-25 years ago, the first in the early days of a new Polish bicycle company, while the second frame is a late example from a former Polish company.

And yes, that is fibreglass on the second frame, over someone else's so-so welding - and the fork needs a bit of rewelding to fix the groove worn into the fork stem. I bought 5 Romet Jubilats, and the other 4 see regular use. I actually bought this and two other Jubilats in one go from behind some house in a very poor district of a small town. It has been nowhere since, it has just been a source of parts - once I undid all the overtightened nuts and bolts.
While we were still on our country property, I began to collect together the wheel-related articles that I would take to the city to allow wifie to engage in classroom activities at her university. I will just set up my computer wherever I am, but I know it is going to be cold in our flat as it is heated by gas, most of which used to from Russia.

Here is half of my collection of tires...


(the bit of string is not just a bit of string - it was made by the last farmer to live here, to attach to a bridle)

... and below is the other half. Most of them are classic Stomil (literally 'hundred miles'), but they ceased producing them back in 2005.

One day I am planning on using those big 28" white tires as I have the frame they came off also on the wall. What I don't have is a fork to fit, but maybe I can do something next summer.


So from them I have selected a 24" rear and a 20" front tire, and now I suppose I need a pair of tubes to fit. I do have a brand new 20" tube, but I am going to wait until desperate times before opening that up.


Here are my current tubes I am testing. I don't normally pump all my tubes up like this, but I am in the middle of fixing the tires on one of my farmyard hand-pull trailers. It has a pair of Wigry type 20" wheels that went flat while spending a year as a junk wood collector in my main barn, and it turns out that one of the tubes had a slow leak due to a corroded surface inside the valve. One day I will make or find a tool to clean up the sealing surface in such valves.

You can see I also store my lights and bar grips (and bells) in this box, but I am avoiding thinking about them at the moment. I might use those twin lamps I built for my bike last summer, though.

Anyway here are my three 20" tubes on test - if they are still up when I get back in a week's time, then one will be used on this project. If not, then I may have tom open that packet.


Finally I need to choose some rims - the 24" will be the rear cream-painted one I prepped and used last winter, so I will need to paint the 20" black rim shown below cream as well.


When it comes to colour I have always been a bit of a minimalist, and I find this helps a lot when I keep sharing around my stock of parts on my usual and special-build bikes. Typically it is black for everything bar the frame, but not until I have the time to paint it. Sometimes this is just because I lack the time, or perhaps I might use it on someone else's bike. You can see the 28" rims I have on the back of the hangar above - they are still aluminium/chrome because I am more likely to reuse them on someone else's bike than my own.
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The final choices have now been made in terms of rolling matter!

Actually the choice process took almost exactly as long as it did to find the items. I avoid sitting around and trying out lots of parts, wondering what will look good, as I already have pretty much a vision of what I want and all I need to do is select the most appropriate parts from what I have lying around. Eventually I will be choosing a mudguard to fit, for example, which means all I will do is look at the ones I have stored in the wooden barn and decide which one or pair that I would like to use. Unless there is something I have forgotten, I already know which pair that will be.

I have not actually chosen the frame yet, although I have shown the only two that are currently available that the parts will fit. I do have a bigger frame and a couple of smaller ones plus a darn heavy lump that has suspension front and rear - but aside from those it does not really matter which of the pair I choose. I used one of them last winter, so I might choose the other this year. The frames do not really matter here, even though one is a folder and the other is not.

To me they are all just parts, and I will just be working on them during this build, making sure I meet the requirements.

So here is a Duro 24" tire that I chose because I want to use the big print on the sides of it. It is a bit scuffed on this side, but it is the only tire I have got like it.

The 20" is one of my classic tires off an old Wigry, which I like as it has a very similar tread pattern.


Since I had chosen my tires, it made sense to choose the tubes next, and since my two available used tubes were with a classic bicycle valve rather than Schrader ones, that meant the front tire should be as well.


Since I had chosen the cream painted rear wheel, that meant we were going derailleur!

The black rim has no spokes, as I found it hooked over some farm machinery in the big barn last year. If I had been a bit more watchful when the previous owners were selling metal for scrap last year I could have saved more bits... but they were still the owners, it seemed to give them so much pleasure and most of it was real scrap. Anyway, while they only made about 1200 zloty, which was about 3-400 dollars worth, they seemed happy - and since I did get this rim, the wheels on the trolley, an old Ukrainian rear wheel and the Turing bike, I am not complaining.

I cleaned the rim up and painted it last year, but I notice it has developed a few corrosion bumps, but since I need to paint the wheel in the same shade of cream that is not a problem.


I had a spare set of spokes lying around, as well as one decent front hub, so that to me means we will have a complete front wheel by the time the painting and assembly is all done. The front hub needs to be cleaned up and painted black, while I just need to give the spokes a coat of green.


Now that means many of the rest of the parts have also been selected, I just need to go hook them out of their boxes. I mean, that wheel is for a derailleur, and I have only got a 3-speed and 5-speed hub.

Anyway, I put them in the back of the car and we transported them to Lublin, so I could start work on them in my garage here. First I need to paint the rim and the spokes, and then next week I will be able to do the hub - if I remember to bring it this time.
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Well, we have moved back to Lublin for the week so that wifie can do her work in the classrooms at her department, and I have also slipped the wheels and tires into the car to allow me to work on them here.

I have given the 20" rim a coat of cream-coloured paint to match its 24" partner, and while it is mostly ok there are little points over it where the paint has not taken. I gave them a good rub down before, and so I am unsure why there is still active corrosion there. No matter, I will do some more work on them during and after this build, and I only really kept the rim to eventually replace the rims, one at a time, on my trailer to allow me to get them cleaned up a bit. By building it into a wheel now is the first stage of that process!


Now these short spokes are also a bit of a pain to paint, as many of them end up with a bit of a bend in them that makes it difficult to paint them on both sides. I usually lie them down in a row on some cardboard, wait, flip them over and paint that side - but some are bent such that they only have one side they can lie.

I used to paint them in my basement room here, but instead this time I will be doing it in my garage to keep my neighbours happier. My garage is across the road, as one of a block of them, while other people have their garages under our block, with an entry via the basements. Yeah, so some of them paint there, but people only complain if you do it in an actual basement. Well, whatever.


I should have brought some black paint and undercoat as well, duh, because I also need to paint the hub. Well, we will be back in the country this weekend, so it is on my list. I also need to check what spanners I need to bring as my set here is incomplete.
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Well, I think I might have fixed it, it took a bit of time as I had to do some paid work and then wifie insisted that I had my lunch....
Ah ha,

ha ha ha...

It helps when I remember to transfer the images to a file that allows external viewing...

Anyways, yesterday I solved the dumb problem of painting bent spokes with 28 quick strokes of my hacksaw.


Yep, the answer was as simple as that, 28 quick slots cut in the edge of my cardboard using a hacksaw (because I don't think I have a knife here). When they dry, all I need to do is turn the cardboard over, push the spokes through the cardboard a bit, and then finish spraying them.

The hacksaw is one of a pair of identical ones I found in the attic of our cottage, both a bit rusty and worn out. I tidied them up, and while the nuts and bolts used to hold the blade in place are much better than the wobbly pins used before, they will have to do.

Anyway, here is a slightly blurred picture of the paint defects on the 20" wheel I painted. I rubbed it down again and repainted those parts, and I will recheck it tomorrow.


That just leaves the rear tire to fit, and then I need to bring more bits here over the weekend.
So there I was, with my 24" rear wheel, tire and tube sitting there, waiting to be assembled, with me cursing the fact that I had forgotten to bring my pump.

Well, I thought, I might as well use the time to ride my big Turing or my small Wigry I have sitting in the garage. Both of them had tires that were a little low on pressure, and I just wandered over to my bench and got my hand pump. OK, it was a bit out of sight when I was thinking about rebuilding my wheel, in the box in the corner of my bench, because I had been so focused on my footpump, as that is all I have got in my workshop back in the country.


Well, 5 minutes later and I had my first wheel assembled, just waiting for the axle bits that I need to bring this weekend.

And the 'durospeed'? The tires look pretty much like those you would find on almost any old bike around here, but with that printing on the side they hopefully will look good on this build. I am not even sure whether they have a proper direction in which they should be installed, I just made sure that the undamaged words were on this side, for the best kind of 'chopper' look.

Now, should I rotate the tire so that the printing and the valve are opposite each other?
Now, should I rotate the tire so that the printing and the valve are opposite each other?
It is a mechanic's trick to do so, makes locating the valve quick and easy in a rushed racing environment. And yeah, that tire is rad for a muscle bike.
Nice trick on the spoke painting too
I was sitting at my computer earlier, doing some real work, the kind that earns money, when I had an idea about my seat...



To explain - for my last build I created a mounting system that put the saddle further back than normal, and I built a tank out of some plastic piping. If I take some of the leftover pipe and the seat mount of that bike, I might be able to make a long saddle, I just need so material to cover it... and yesterday there was a broken chair down by the dumpsters, that might give me material for a cover.

I will be back, now where are my scissors?
I went to our village home over the weekend and brought back a bunch of mechanical stuff that I need.

Did I bring the stuff to make the saddle?


I did go for a ride on one of my bikes there on sunday, where I ran into the only guy in the village who still has a horse, while he was out with the horse pulling a wagon as something worth doing on a sunday afternoon.

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