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Apr 29, 2021
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A neighbour of ours in the village has spent most of the winter sending us adverts for brand new bikes he was 'considering' buying, but somehow the amount of money involved in buying a new bike just seemed more like a dream.

Finally, though, one of his relatives gave him a well used bike. Well used enough that it had tape over the gear change rubbers, tape covering the seat and a replacement rear wheel. The front forks were also solid. The bike was a Kross, a Polish made bike that is very popular these days, I even have one, a much better one, in one of my barns for when I want to ride longer distances. This one, though, had done most of the things it was bought for, and just wanted to be left forgotten in a shed.

I kind of did a temporary fix to the punctured front tube, made sure the brakes worked and gave it a trial run to make sure that the frame was not bent or something. Everything was fine until I tweaked the rear gear changer, which sent the derailleur into the spokes - and broke its aluminium mount.

I was not too bothered about it, but I put it on my work bench, fiddled around with it once or twice over the weekend. The BB was toast, the mudguards we held on with plastic straps, but the front forks did start to move up and down.


Then I remembered a Btwin frame I had, made for that massive French sporting goods shop, Decathlon, and the few bits that had come with it. It has quite a nice front suspension fork, but it is only a 7 speed derailleur instead of the 9 speed on the Kross.


This one had lived in a nice part of a city instead of the back end of a village, so most of the things still on it are still in quite good condition. They both take 26" wheels and the same types of brake, and I am sure I can find a BB to fit.

So that is my latest project.
The front forks have started working properly, and I wonder whether anyone knows what that bolt on the 'bottom' of the forks does? Can you top up the oil inside them?


Now the forks that fit the other frame look good, with just a minor oil leak mark on the stems. This is definitely the best set of forks I have - well, other than the ones on my own rideable Kross, but they are not going to be casually swopped around.

The mudguards look to be in good condition, but somehow the mounts have all gotten broken and are now strapped on.


See, almost sparkly white, now the stickers have been peeled off...

They especially look good in comparison to the cheap yellow and silver forks behind it.
The bike, when you look at it from a little distance, looks like a presentable bike, but when you get up close - like here - the good bits look a lot less good...

I am not sure what you have to do to your bike to end up with a such a rusty bearing.


I had a spare front triple sprocket that weighed a ton, and as an option for this bike I thought I would shave some excess weight off. I have never been that keen about multi-sprockets at the front end, even though I bought my Kross with a set on - but one day, when I can afford a bigger rear gear set, it will go.

One day I might remove the plastic covering from the crank, sand the crank smooth and paint it black.

I wonder if that small sprocket would fit on the rear?


Anyway, for now, the plastic stays, but here it is with a new coat of paint.


The stuff behind is the main part of this barn, with our next year's firewood stacked up with the chopping block and scraps at the bottom right.
As this bike has been ridden a lot, the seat has become worn out and has begun to split - which you cannot see from here, of course...

Still, the seat was obviously fitted with its cover before these two metal mounting bars were fitted, as the staples are behind the bars. My question is what do I have to do to remove those bars so that I can easily and effectively fit a new cover?


As an aside, this is the tin of grease I found here, on my farm, and which I have been successfully using to lubricate all my bikes.


Here is also my rear wheel, after I had freshly regreased the bearings. I have never had a wheel design like this one apart, with the gear hub mounted on a stub in the other side of the wheel. I assume my own Kross has a similar hub mount, but I have yet to take that one apart.


Anyway, the sprocket mount inside the other side of the wheel hub has worn away and there is only just enough metal left in the wheel hub to stop the rear gear set from spinning. I could just swop the hub, but they are expensive. The wheel from my other frame had one gear less on the gear hub, which means it has the classic threads to spin the gear hub onto. The gear changer parts are also in good condition.
While I think about and search for all the other gear changer parts that originally came off this incomplete frame, I could do something about the mudguards / fenders.

I have a lot for bikes with 24" wheels and smaller, and I have already cut up the only ones I had for a bike with 26" wheels. Well, that is life!

So I thought I would try out some of the fenders from the 24" wheeled bikes, and I found I had a mismatched pair that would kinda fit, and were already painted in matt black. Overall, though, they are not in bad condition, and the mounts were still firmly fixed on.

Here is the one on the front.

You may also notice that my table is only just big enough for this kind of bike.


It kinda also fits at the rear, but if I was honest I would say that on both there is some gap between the mudguards and where they are fixed to.


Hopefully I can lift the mudguards and still have the brake cables pass safely over them.


I think the next stage will be to modify my table so that I am not spending half my time stopping the bike from falling off it.
So I spent some time modifying my table and, since it is now longer, I had to sort out the pile of junk and pieces of wood that used to stand at one end.

This bike is noticeably longer than most of the bikes I usually deal with in my Warsztat, and now that I have tried it out I realise that I need to make the table even longer. First I added a block at one end to stop my bikes dropping off that end as I worked on them, and then I thought why not extend the table at the other end? So I did, and then realised that I could use some of the odd bits of tube I collect to make a tire stand. Only then did I put both wheels on the bike, and then when I put it on the table it only just fitted. I can see that I might have to extend the table in the other direction as well.


While the main frame of the bike is in quite good condition, the mudguards have been around the block more than once, and I quite like how they look on the bike. I would like to just polish them, but I know that the guy who owns the Kross just won't keep them clean - so they are going to be sprayed with my one can of shiny gloss varnish.


I am still indecisive about what I am going to do about the rear axle as I do not have enough parts. It is funny that here I am in Metric land, and many of the threads here on bikes are still the same as when I grew up in pre-metric Britain. However, the axle on the rear wheel has a different thread from all my others, so maybe I will go buy a classic type axle?
I used to have a full set of brake and gear cables for this bike, but I never marked them when I added them to my cable box. I also have about three sets of this type of brake stocked away, but I have never really messed around with them as, by the time I get the bikes, all the cables and stuff are really in second rate condition.

This makes this bike a bit of a learning curve.

I have finished giving the mudguards a clear coat, which since he does not really look after his bikes should help it to blend in.


I had not realised that my different brands of this type of brake were different lengths, so this is the second set that I have fitted and the rear one still clips the mudguard. The mudguard is as high as I could get it, which I achieved by filing the mounting slot until the mudguard contacted the frame bracket. Now I need to put a dent in the mudguard to allow the brake cable mount to clear.


I was happily installing this brake cable when I realised that the front gear change was a top-pull variety, and the rear change unit had its cable coming down the upper bar. If so, then that would leave the brake to be controlled by a cable going under the BB...

I need to check out how this bike was cabled originally.


Today the guy came around on his current bike, so I showed him this. He seems to like it, but he was more concerned about his current bike, which he originally bought for his elder daughter. He has managed to break a chunk out of the the rear wheel rim side wall, somehow, but I might be able to replace it as I still have his old rear rim from his Kozar.