Frame: Kona Chromoly Butted
Fork: Kona Chromoly Project Two
Derailleurs: Shimano Deore LX
Brakeset: Shimano Acera-X (M290)
Wheelset: Mavic 236 rims on Shimano Altus Parallax hubs with Continental Race King 26x2.0 tires
I really like the old Konas and have owned a couple of my own in the past. This one was in pretty decent shape and the price was right so I thought it deserved a full rebuild to bring it back to its former glory.
This rebuild went well. The frame had several rubs and scrapes but they blended in well when the paint was polished. I found the Kona grips and really wanted to use them but they couldn't be used with GripShift so I had to hunt for some 7 speed rapid fire shifters. When I changed it to rapid fire, I decided to upgrade the derailleurs to Shimano Deore LX. The original brake leavers were worn out so I replaced them with new levers. In the end, this build ended up with a new saddle, grips, brake pads, brake levers, chain, cables and housing. I really liked the orange touches that I added to go with the orange in the paint, such as the cable end caps and the orange in the tires. This once sad and neglected bike is happy again and ready to make its new owner happy, too!
Status: Gift for My Daughter-In-Law
Frame & Fork: Special Designed Mountain Bike Hi-Tensile Tubing
Groupset: Shimano Light Action SIS
Wheelset: Araya VP20 rims on Shimano Exage Sport hubs on 26x1.95 Kenda Komfort tires
My daughter-in-law wanted me to rebuild a bike for her. She wanted a dropped top-tube, mountain bike handlebars, lots of gears and a comfortable position. I had been looking for months and hadn't found one that was big enough for her (she's quite tall), was in good condition, had a decent groupset and wasn't too expensive. Finally, I found this Norco and decided it was worthy.
The paint was in really good condition and it was obvious that it had been stored indoors. It restored really well with a nice deep shine. I didn't just want a bike that was good looking, though. I needed it to work well and be safe. There were some major issues. The brake pads were very old and had no stopping power. I replaced those with some new Kool Stops. The cable housing was cracked and the cables were gummed so I replaced those with new ones. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to save the fenders. Both of them had several cracks including ones that split them in half. The wheelset was chromed steel. They looked nice but they were incredibly heavy and chrome makes a terrible braking surface, especially if it gets wet. Luckily, I had a nice set of Araya aluminum rims waiting for a project. I saved 1355g/3 lbs just by swapping out the wheels! It wasn't a straightforward swap, though. The rear Araya wheel was set up for 135mm (7-8 speed) spacing and the Norco had a 126mm (6 speed) spacing. It took some work but I finally got the rear hub on the Araya set up perfectly for the Norco. I really didn't need to do much more. The tires were in very good condition and the original Norco saddle was still in good condition. Even the grips were in great shape. In the end it turned out quite nice and rode and shifted really well. It will make a great bike for her to ride around town and on the rail trail or greenway. I hope she likes the colour!
Made in Torino, Italy
Frame: Columbus Zeta
Fork: Chrome Battaglin Columbus
Groupset: Shimano 600 Arabesque
This was my third Benotto 850. Someone had tried to update it to a more modern Campagnolo groupset and wheels, which was admirable, but it just wasn't working for me. I decided that I'd use the shifter/brake combos and the rear derailleur on my MBW shop bike and since I had a complete Shimano 600 Arabesque groupset, I'd return it to it's more original glory.
Made in France
Frame & Fork: Peugeot Tube Spécial Allégé (Special Lightweight Tubing)
Groupset: Simplex Prestige SDGD
Brake Set: Mafac
Saddle: ADGA La Chatillonnaise Croupon 28A (Made in France)
Wheelset: Rigida Chrolux Chromage Supérieur (Superior Chrome Plating) rims on Atom hubs with Huret Luxe wing nuts on Kenda K35 tires
Link for the full Brochure
I was fortunate to buy this Peugeot from the original owner. Brenda was a student at University of Victoria and working in Banff at a summer job when she purchased this bike in the summer of 1969. She said that everyone wanted one back then and they were hard to find. She had to order it from the shop and wait for it to arrive. She rode the bike during her university years and held onto it all these years. Except for the rear tire, everything was original including the front tire which was rotting and the leather saddle that was stiff as a board. Brenda was obviously attached to this bike or she wouldn't have kept it for 50 years. I was looking forward to bringing it back for a visit after the rebuild.
This Peugeot was a lot of work but it was worth it! Every single piece of metal had rust or corrosion and had to be polished. That means every bolt head, nut, washer, shifters, brakes, spokes, rims, and so on. Even though the components were in rough shape, the frame was in quite nice condition. After stripping the parts, I noticed that the inside of the bottom bracket was clean and rust free. The paint had a lot of fading but it had very few scratches or scrapes. I decided to restore it rather than repaint it so that it would keep the vintage patina look. After using Mother's 3-part polish and wax system, I was amazed at how well it polished up.
The clamp for the front derailleur was made of plastic and had cracked. I found a nice aluminum replacement in France. When I removed the crank arm cotter pins, one of them got mangled. I thought I'd just head down to the local bike shop and pick up a couple more. I know bikes haven't been made with cotter pins for over 30 years but I was surprised to find that not a single shop had any. In the end I had to order them from France.
The tires were completely rotted and needed replacement. Unfortunately, 27 x 1 1/4 tires are not common at all. Lucky for me, The Bike Smiths on Ebay sold a set of two tires, two tubes and rim tape (the Peugeot's was rotted) for just under $100 CAD. A big shout out to them for providing this rare tire for those of us restoring and rebuilding vintage bikes.
Perhaps the most satisfying part of the rebuild was the saddle. It was flared out and hard as a piece of wood. I rubbed it with rubbing alcohol for a long time until the pores of the leather opened up and then I coated it with petroleum jelly. After sitting overnight with straps to get it back into shape, it got another coat of petroleum jelly and then three coats of leather conditioner. In the end it turned out really beautiful and relatively supple.
This Peugeot turned out to be a beautiful bike and a satisfying build. Because of its age, I thought it would mostly be a nice bike for someone to look at but after riding it around a bit, I've changed my mind. It rides quite nicely and is a lot of fun. I wouldn't want to bomb down any hills but the brakes are adequate for cruising around. As a bonus, it shifts surprisingly well. I'm really looking forward to seeing the look on Brenda's face when I bring it back to show her!